Arts + Culture

Diaspora Eats: 9 of the Best African Restaurants In Washington D.C.

Here are nine of the best African eateries in the Washington D.C. area.

DIASPORA—It’s “No Borders” month here at OkayAfrica, which means we’ll be highlighting travel and relations between people on the continent and in the diaspora.


Food is a major part of the traveling experience, and if you’re like us, then you’re looking for tasty delectables in any city that you might find yourself in. Good food only amplifies the traveling experience and thankfully, the diaspora is brimming with a variety of restaurants that offer savory dishes that’ll make your trip even more memorable. They might even remind you of mom’s cooking.

Whether you’re looking for options to fit your dietary restrictions or you’re simply looking to stuff your face with quality eats, there’s a spot in the city that will cater to your palette. Below are 7 African restaurants to check out while you’re in Washington D.C.

Check out some of the best African food in HoustonLondonNew York, and Paris

Sumah's West African Restaurant

This restaurant, located on 7th street in Washington D.C. offers all the West African staples you need, like jollof, peanut stew and more in a bright, comfortable atmosphere.

Start the day off right! Fufu, Juloff rice, egusi, and tomato stew #lawd

A post shared by Kwame Onwuachi (@bastedmind) on

Selam Restaurant

Check out this spot if you're in the mood for some flavorful injera, doro wat or tibs. The cozy and quaint restaurant offers a full bar and pool table as well.

Get a quick bite at Selam! #selamrestaurant #food #family #friends #bar #chickensandwich #selamspecial #housesalad #hennessy #cheers #bellyfull

A post shared by Selam Restaurant & Bar (@selamrestaurantdc) on

Appioo African Bar & Grill

This hot-spot serves "home-cooked Ghanian dishes, drinks, and live bands to help you forget your 9-5." Sounds appealing right? Their menu includes fried appioo goat and chicken, yam chips, fufu, egusi and all the other tasty eats you can imagine in an exceptionally colorful space.

@appioobargrill Come and enjoy the lunch specials TODAY!! NOW!!

A post shared by Samantha Fikir (@blklakota_womyn) on

Keren Restaurant & Coffee Shop

This Eritrean restaurant on Florida Ave, has one of the most unique breakfast menus in the area. Try their generous fish platter or pick from their extensive vegetarian options.

Ful salad w/ scrambled egg, served with warm French rolls

A post shared by keren (@kerendmv) on

Jodeem African Cuisine

This low-key eatery located in the Beltway Plaza Mall in Greenbelt, Maryland, offers authentic Nigerian dishes like efo riro, pounded yam and fish stew. It's quick, affordable and the customer service is top-notch.

Swahili Village Bar and Grill

This casual spot offers "a true taste of Kenya" by offering classic Kenyan dishes like Nyama Mchuzi (beef stew), Mbuzi Mchuzi (goat stew), samosas and other East African delectables.

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian

This Ethiopian restaurant is one of the most popular in the city, and for good reason. It offers all the Ethiopian dishes you need, in a chill, relaxed setting—plus they have fruit smoothies!

🌍 #ethiopia #dc #vegan

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Chez Dior

This eatery, located on Baltimore Ave in Hyattsville, Maryland, serves tasty Senegalese dishes like chicken yassa and thiebou diene just to name a few. Add this restaurant to your list of stops next time you're in the DMV to get a taste of authentic Senegalese food.

Little Kampala Bar and Grill 

Located in Laurel, Maryland, this Ugandan restaurant is one-of-a-kind, specializing in charbroiled dishes like tilapia, beef and chicken. Try "The Pearl" sandwich or the chapati served with grilled meat.

popular

Janet Jackson Returns With Afrobeats-Inspired Song & Video 'Made For Now' Featuring Daddy Yankee

The icon's latest is a nod to the sound, fashion and culture of the diaspora.

Ms. Jackson is back.

The iconic artist returns with her first single since the release of her 2015 album Unbreakable, and it's a timely nod to the "made for now" influence of afrobeats fashion, sound and culture.

On "Made For Now," which features Puerto Rican reggaeton titan Daddy Yankee, Janet Jackson does what she's done successfully so many times throughout her decades-long career: provide an infectious, party-worthy tune that's fun and undeniably easy to dance to. "If you're living for the moment, don't stop," Jackson sings atop production which fuses dancehall, reggaeton and afrobeats.

The New York-shot music video is just as lively, filled with eye-catching diasporic influences, from the wax-print ensembles and beads both Janet and her dancers wear to the choreographed afrobeats-tinged dance numbers, even hitting the Shoki at one point in the video. The train of dancers travel throughout the streets of Brooklyn, taking over apartment buildings and rooftops with spirited moves.

It's obvious that Jackson has been studying and drawing inspiration from the culture for some time now. She even hit the Akwaaba dance, popularized by Mr Eazi, during her Icon Award performance at this year's Billboard Music Awards.

The bouncing video, directed by Dave Meyers, features contributions from a number of creatives from Africa and the diaspora who were involved in the creation of the video, including designer Claude Lavie Kameni and choreographer Omari Mizrahi. Ghanaian health guru, Coach Cass pointed out some of the many dancers involved in the production on Instagram, who hail from Ghana, Nigeria, Trinidad, Grenada and the US.

Ahead of the video's release, it garnered attention on social media when Jackson was spotted filming in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wearing what many thought was a questionable fashion ensemble. The outfit in question only makes a small appearance in the video, and we're glad to see that Janet's other looks appear, at least slightly, more coordinated.

Watch the music video for "Made for Now" below. The singer is set to perform the song with Daddy Yankee live for the first time tonight on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, so be ready!

Audio

You Need to Hear Juls' New Single 'Saa Ara'


New hip-hop and highlife grooves from the celebrated UK-based Ghanaian producer.

By merging the diverse influence of growing up in Accra and East London, Juls has managed to cultivate a hybrid afrobeats style that has set him apart from the rest.

For his latest single, "Saa Ara," he teams up with award-winning rapper Kwesi Arthur and gifted lyricist Akan.

The brilliant fusion of vintage highlife instrumentals and booming hip-hop beats, along with Kwesi Arthur's lively chorus and Akan's fiery delivery gives the song a very spiritual and classical feel.

Soothe your soul this weekend with these tasteful sounds from Juls.

Listen to "Saa Ara" by Juls featuring Kwesi Arthur and Akan below.

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News Brief

FIFA Refuses To Meet with Nigeria's Sports Minister as Ghana Takes Steps to Avoid Ban

This could jeopardize Nigeria's qualifier against Seychelles in September, while the Ghanaian government has pledged not to dissolve its football association.

In lieu of the ultimatums Nigeria and Ghana's football associations faced from FIFA, one country is on its way to dodge the threat of being banned, while the other is not going down without a fight.

FIFA has refused a proposed meeting with Nigeria's sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country's football federation, BBC Sport reports. They say their leadership and the FIFA president is unwilling to meet during the proposed time period.

FIFA is giving the NFF until August 20 for Chris Giwa, who was acknowledged by the courts as the president of the federation, to leave the NFF offices.

Giwa's lawyer Ardzard Habilla asserts that FIFA can't ban Nigeria as the federation's issues need to be sorted out internally by the country's judiciary.

Habilla questions, "Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land—the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?"

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