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

A post shared by Aaron Levon Jones Jr. (@aboriginal_thinker) on

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.

Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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