Our city has a number of fantastic black owned restaurants that you can support. Here’s a list of my personal favorites! All of these venues currently have take-out options.
This plant-based restaurant in Takoma Park serves its food buffet-style, which is the perfect format for sampling multiple items. From BBQ tofu to cheesy squash to drumettes to battered cauliflower, you really can’t go wrong with anything you order. The one item you can’t skip: their famous mac n cheese. Creamy, rich and decadent, it is hands down the best mac n cheese in town. I sometimes get it as an entrée and a side…seriously.
This Jamaican spot is smack in the middle of Georgia Ave., and happens to have some of the best Jamaican food in town. It’s also entirely vegan! I highly recommend the curry chickpeas and the curry “chicken.” The chickpeas come smothered in a earthy, fragrant curry sauce and served with brown rice and a crunchy purple cabbage sauce. The curry “chicken” has a similar sauce, but with a spicy veggie cutlet instead of chickpeas. The jerk chicken is spicier and features a traditional jerk sauce. Get some of their plantain crisps on the side and one of their fresh smoothies to wash it all down.
Flaky biscuits, cajun fried “chicken” and BBQ “ribs” are just a few of the mouth-watering items at this plant-based soul food cafe. With unique vegetarian items like lemon shrimp and jerk chicken, you will have to visit multiple times to sample all the enticing items. Don’t skip the sides – potato salad, yams, and coleslaw are fresh, creamy and essential.
The food at Mansa Kunda is whirlwind of flavor. Dishes like peanut butter chu, which is a peanut infused stew, are nutty, creamy, rich and savory all at once. Jollof rice is earthy and warm, bursting with the essence of tomatoes, onions, garlic and chilies. Crunchy black eyed pea fritters called akara are crispy and addictive, while fried plantains bring a sweet element to your meal. The menu is extensive; there are a variety of stews and rice dishes, as well as soups and grilled items. The stews can be made with tofu, so vegans and vegetarians are well taken care of.
D.C. has no shortage of Ethiopian restaurants, but I am impartial to Abol which has a cozy and homey feel to it. It’s a small space, but filled with the scent of freshly made injera, cooked lentils, frying onions, and berbere spice. Their sambusa are the crunchiest in town, the yellow lentils are oh so silky and dreamy, cooked cabbage is crunchy and light, and the fresh tomato salad is bright and bold. It’s a win all around.
For the best macarons in town, look no further than this Capitol Hill spot. Flavor options change with the season, but can include lavender, guava, green tea, sweet potato pecan, and creola cacao. (You can start drooling now). They also have cupcakes (vegan and non-vegan!), eclairs, shortbread and madeleines. I am partial to the macarons but if you really can’t choose, get one of their famous macaron topped cupcakes – the best of both worlds.