By Toni Bryce
Washington, D.C. is known for its monuments and museums, but it is also rich in charm, culture, and Black excellence. You are sure to find a flavorful restaurant in this city, which has one of the most diversified cuisines in the country. Here are 3 DC black-owned restaurants you should know about.
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Ben’s Chili Bowl, Dr. Martin Luther King’s favorite D.C restaurant, is most known for its chili hotdogs loaded in cheese and chopped onions. Since Virginia Ali and her late husband, Ben, first opened the doors in 1958, this restaurant has been a U Street hotspot. Now, at the age of 88, Ali’s is still behind the counter, providing meals to locals and tourists.
Creole on 14th
Creole on 14th offers a glimpse of New Orleans without ever visiting! Jeffeary Miskiri, a Takoma Park native, owns this restaurant and bar with the goal of bringing a taste of the South to DC. He began by serving essentials like jerk chicken, plantains, and shrimp and grits at family functions for his southern/Caribbean relatives. In addition to the classics, he also serves panko-spiced lamb chop, oxtail stew, and rotisserie chicken coated with a 12-spice creole seasoning blend.
Meals on wheels? That’s the first thing that comes to mind when introducing this southern-style hot spot. Toyin Alli has been serving bread pudding and gumbo from local venues and food trucks since 2010. Her most popular menu items are gumbo with chicken and beef sausage, shrimp and grits, and red beans and rice. Alli’s signature dish is her Brown Butter Bourbon Bread Puddin’. There are plenty of locations of this must-try destination now that it has grown to include a Union Market location and two food trucks!