Washington, D.C. is a city known for its diverse culture and rich history, especially when it comes to its culinary scene. With a variety of cuisines represented, the city’s Black-owned restaurants are among the most distinctive and flavorful in the nation’s capital. From fried chicken to Caribbean and Ethiopian flavors, these establishments offer a unique dining experience.

In Arlington, James Beard-nominated Chef Rahman “Rock” Harper pays tribute to his mother with a fried chicken mecca named Carole Harper, offering mouth-watering fried chicken and sides. DCity in Shaw serves up smokehouse barbecue in a humble setting that once was a garage, offering smoked wings, ribs, and Mac & Jack Cheese that are not to be missed.

Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street has been a mainstay in D.C. for over six decades, boasting consistent chili recipes and a historic atmosphere. Halfsmoke in Shaw is a dining and party destination with board games, boozy milkshakes, and all-day brunch options. All Set in Silver Spring, co-owned by Executive Chef Ed Reavis, offers modern seasonal dishes with fresh, local ingredients, including Maine Style Lobster rolls and Maryland crab cakes.

Georgia Brown’s in Downtown combines fine dining with Southern soul, serving up classics like biscuits, fried green tomatoes, and fried chicken livers. In Columbia Heights, Letena is a top-rated Ethiopian restaurant offering a tasty vegetable sampler and fluffy injera. Swahili Village in Dupont Circle features Kenyan classics and flavors from all over Africa and beyond.

Roaming Rooster in U Street is known for its fried chicken sandwiches and variety of chicken options. St. James on U Street offers a modern Caribbean menu with dishes designed to be shared family-style. Melange in Shaw, founded by Chef Elias Taddesse, serves dry-aged beef burgers on house-made buns for a unique dining experience.

Finally, Milk & Honey in the Wharf area is a New Orleans-themed restaurant known for its decadent brunch dishes like shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles, perfect for a meal by the water. These Black-owned restaurants in Washington, D.C. offer an array of flavors and dining experiences that celebrate the city’s rich cultural heritage.

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