Black-owned businesses to support during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

A brief guide to Black-owned businesses in the District in light of the Black Lives Matter movement

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues, calls to support Black-owned businesses are heard across social media and the news. With nearly half of D.C.’s population being Black, according to 2019 census data, D.C. is home to a myriad of Black-owned businesses to explore — especially within food service. In November 2019, the annual DMV Black Restaurant Week highlighted some of these District favorites. 

Here are four Black-owned restaurants you should be sure to add to your favorites list. If you’re looking for delivery, Uber Eats is waiving its delivery fees from Black-owned restaurants for the rest of the year. 

Ben’s Chili Bowl 

1213 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Ben’s Chili Bowl is a D.C. landmark, founded by owners Ben and Virginia Ali in 1958. The restaurant has a long history withstanding change — notably the burning and looting from the 1968 race riots that took place in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Known for its Original Chili Half-Smoke dish, a half beef, half pork sausage that was voted as D.C.’s signature dish, the business has been a staple for many D.C. residents, always providing delicious comfort food and exceptional customer service. 

Available for curbside pick-up, carry-out and delivery. 

DCity Smokehouse 

203 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

DCity Smokehouse is a great barbeque option for all the meat lovers out there. It has a mouth-watering menu filled with barbeque classics available in individual and large platters if you’re feeling especially hungry. Co-owners Scott Jacobs and Melvin Hines are behind the barbeque staple in D.C., known for its signature Mac & Jack Cheese and smoked brisket and ribs. Its sandwiches are loaded up with fresh ingredients and coleslaw that is made daily. 

Available for pick-up, catering and minimum order delivery. 

Dukem Ethiopian

1114 - 1118 U St Washington, D.C. 20009 

Dukem Ethiopian, listed as one of the most iconic restaurants in D.C., offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian friendly meals. A traditional dish consists of a variety of stews varying in their spice level, with traditional injera, a sour fermented flatbread, that soaks up the flavors of the stew. The restaurant also has musicians perform Ethiopian music, but this charm is on pause due to the ongoing global pandemic. 

Available for carry-out. 

Bukom Cafe 

2442 18th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Bukom Cafe is named after Bukom Square located in Accra, the capital of Ghana. On a normal weekend night, it is a bustling hot spot in the Adams Morgan neighborhood with live music performances. Its signature nightlife may not be available now, but you can still take home traditional West African dishes. Popular dishes include special stews served with jollof rice, a one pot Ghanaian rice dish. 

Limited hours during COVID-19, but available for carry-out and delivery.

arustum@theeagleonline.com

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