DC is rapidly gentrifying but there are still plenty of black-owned businesses to be found in Chocolate City. DC is full of unique local businesses, and among them are hotels, restaurants that you might not have known are black-owned.
So in honor of Black History Month, here's how to spend a weekend supporting black-owned businesses in DC.
Traveling to DC or enjoying a staycation, lay your head down at Awkaaba DC Bed and Breakfast in Dupont Circle. The historic and intimate townhouse, is perfect for anyone looking for a quiet and quaint weekend getaway. The hotel, whose name means “welcome,” has eight suites named after popular genres, as well as authors including Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley and Zora Neale Hurston. Spotlight: Hot home-cooked breakfast served every morning and interior throughout the inn celebrating the work of African American authors.
Get toned for hitting DC’s streets at Sidebarre; owned by three black female instructors trained in ballet, they'll help sculpt and tone your body in all the right places while breaking a sweat.
Or, you can add some Southern bass to your Namaste in one of the country’s few trap yoga class at Khepera Wellness which offers yoga classes and workshops that focus on wellness and mindfulness. To try: Black Girl Magic Yoga for deep relaxation or a Soul Flow session set to classic soul sounds of artists from Teddy Pendergrass to Erykah Badu and every soul artist in between.
Get fired up
Fuel up for a jam-packed day full of adventure with a healthful and healing cup of tea at Sunyatta Amen’s Calabash Tea & Tonic tea house in Shaw. The menu has 88 tea varieties and is “95 percent-vegan,” save for some yogurts and pies. Walking to the counter of the cozy community spot, you’ll be greeted with a warm “How can we heal you today?” and the staff will brew you a custom beverage or help you select the perfect potion from the set menu.
Another option: Part bookstore and part cafe, Sankofa was founded by filmmaking duo Haile and Shirikiana Gerima who named it after their acclaimed 1993 film. Here you’ll find books and movies focused on the African diaspora. Choose from a selection of breakfast foods and smoothies while diving between the pages of a good book.
The Museum of African American History and Culture is an obvious pick for an afternoon adventure, but there are many other gems worth your attention.
Journey - #1
Spend the day in Anacostia, the nation's first majority black city and still the home to DC's largest black population:
Journey - #2
Time for lunch
There’s usually a line outside Ohhs and Ahhs for a good reason. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Big Mama’s kitchen at this U Street staple where the whiting fish and wings have gained national attention. And the macaroni and cheese and cornbread can’t be missed.
Or you can feast on finger licking good BBQ at DCity Smokehouse where smoked meat perfection is the name of the game. The pit-smoked wings, ribs and brisket are *chef’s kiss*
Indulge your sweet tooth at Here's the Scoop where there are 12 ice cream flavors to choose from (including salted caramel, butter pecan and birthday cake), an array of pies and cookies and signature milkshakes. If cakes are your preferred confection, visit The Sweet Lobby in Capitol Hill. Owner Dr. Winnette McIntosh Ambrose is a MIT-educated engineer turned pastry chef who won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, turning her into a star and turning the store into a must-stop shop for those craving macarons, shortbread and éclairs that are to die for.
Come on, get happy (hour)
Tucked underneath Shaw’s Sugar Shack doughnut shop, unwind at Nocturne, a hidden bar in Shaw specializing in experimental, globally-inspired cocktails. Order up drinks individually or create a tasting flight of three.
Put on your game face for some friendly competition on Game Night, chillax listening to live jazz or sing out loud on Karaoke Fridays, all while enjoying locally-inspired craft cocktails.at Pop Social happy hour lounge.
Sample jazz performed by the best best jazz and blues musicians in DC for just $5, plus a few more bucks to sample the fish-fry from SouthWest Catering at Westminster Church. It's a winning duo that can't be beat!
Top Chef fans will recognize the name Kwame Onwuachi (season 13) but the real draw at Kith/Kin, his eatery set within the InterContinental at the Wharf, is his elevated spin on food that celebrates the chef’s heritage from West Africa to the Caribbean and from New Orleans to New York. The portions are generous enough for two, but the food is so flavorful, you won’t want to share. Tip: Try the braised oxtail or the goat roti.
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it