Old Town Alexandria
Since 2006, Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux's award winning brasserie and wine bar located in Old Town Alexandria has continued to offer guests a contemporary spin on French cuisine set within a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere.
U St. Corridor/Atlas District
Virginia Ali &Sonya Ali
Virginia Ali is now 85 years old and she started the restaurant with her husband Ben when she was only 24. Her daughter in law Sonya is now part of this iconic restaurant in DC. Ben’s Chili Bowl is celebration of DC’s African American history, culture, and character. It’s a celebration of our city, and U Street’s resilience. Our Black community is front and center in this story and Ben’s is a perfect case study – in their quest of freedom and it’s ongoing re-definition.
The jolly, larger-than-life personality and myriad scattershot interests of Gina Chersevani belie this renaissance woman’s ability to apply intense focus to any task at hand. Whether she’s practically inventing a professional field from her passion for ultra-creative mixology, or securing DC’s only mobile liquor license for her 1967 Airstream bar.
Daniela Moreira is the Executive Chef of DC’s award-winning Timber Pizza Co. and buzzed about new sister restaurant, Call Your Mother, (a Jew-ish deli). Daniela grew up in Argentina learning to cook alongside her mother who provided meals for the family’s summer campground.
A family operation, led by brother and sister, Chef Peter Prime and Jeanine Prime, Cane is all about bridging cultures through food. Its concept pays tribute to the siblings’ native Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, where African, Indian, Spanish, French, and East Asian food and culture all weave deeply throughout the country’s unique history.
At Centrolina restaurant and market in CityCenterDC, Chef and Owner Amy Brandwein shows Washingtonians the versatility, grace, and overall delicacy of Italian cuisine. The four- time James Beard Award nominee believes food should taste as good as in Italy, plated with pose, and viewed through the seasonal lens of the Mid-Atlantic—tenets she instills in her fast- casual project, Piccolina, an osteria that opened across the alley from Centrolina in July 2019.
Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon
Founded by Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon, Chaia is a female led, female run business that believes everything’s better in a taco and making the world a better place starts with the food we eat. From a stand at the Washington D.C. farmer’s market to our first Georgetown spot, Chaia is expanding in the nation’s capitol and beyond.
DC Wharf/14th St. Corridor
Welcome to a lively spot where the colors are as vibrant as the flavors. Share in the Cuban way to start and end the day. At Colada Shop we bring people together by transporting them into a space where conversation is flowing, strong coffee is brewed, food & cocktails are made with the flare of Cuban flavor and life. Coladas and conversation go hand in hand. Reach for a cup. Stay for a snack.
Rose Previte comes from a food loving Sicilian-Lebanese family. She spent years helping to run her mother's catering business and later her restaurant. Rose spent over a decade working in bars and restaurants. She worked at Mike Schuster's Pour House for over six years, while getting a master's degree in Public Policy from George Mason University.
Ballston Quarter/Dulles Town Center
Since 2009, Cookology has touched the lives of thousands of people at our locations at Dulles Town Center and Ballston Quarter. The goal is simply to inspire people to connect with friends and family over a great meal. We teach folks to do this everyday by offering professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes in our safe commercial kitchens.
14th St. NW
Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts opened Cork Wine Bar in January 2008 in their Logan Circle neighborhood with the dream of creating a welcoming space for people to come with friends and family to try outstanding wines, often from unexplored regions of the world, paired with delicious, simple, local food.
Riverdale Park/Silver Springs
Julie Verratti and Emily Bruno
Co-founders Emily, Jeff, & Julie opened the doors to Denizens Brewing Co. in 2014 as the first production brewery in Montgomery County, MD. A place to enjoy high quality, locally made craft beer and hard seltzer in a warm and welcoming space that is inclusive of everyone. Craft beer doesn’t need to be exclusive, and that is why we started this company.
Dupont Circle/Logan Circle/ The Wharf/
Moasic District/Bethesda/City Center
The idea for Dolcezza was birthed in Buenos Aires in the year 2000, that first, warm humid night in South America, under the lights at the popular gelato shop. Violeta and Robb opened their doors in Georgetown in July 2004 without having ever made one batch of gelato, we just knew we wanted to create something with our own hands, something we would be proud of and something delicious, and we did.
Emily Friedberg and Jeanlouise Conaway
Jeanlouise and Emily met in 2002 in Washington, DC while working together on USAID projects in Africa. We decided to open Each Peach Market because we want to share our love for good food and the DIY culinary spirit with our community.
Equinox Restaurant is a family-owned and operated fine dining institution located a block from the White House. Generations of Washingtonians have been enjoying Chef Todd Gray’s sublime regional seasonal cuisine since he began as a young cook in DC in 1989. In 1999, with his wife and business partner, Ellen Kassoff, Equinox Restaurant was founded. The food and culture of Equinox has consistently reflected the couple’s principal mission for over 21 years: serving innovative cuisine with an unyielding commitment to sustainability.
Fetching Goodies is a small, woman-owned & operated bakery in Alexandria, Virginia. Rachel creates classic yet innovative baked goods – cookies, quick-breads, muffins, and, her favorite BARS like brownies, blondies, pumpkin bars, apple pie bars.
Flight opened in January of 2014 when the city had just a few wine bars. Owners and sommeliers, Kabir Amir and Swati Bose, have traveled the world selecting the wine for their robust wine list consisting of over 600 wines in various formats including 22 wine flights and 35+ wines by the glass. They focus on small, family-owned estates, and lesser known varietals and regions.
Founded by Maya Fiellin in 2020, Fuck the System hot sauce is here to support marginalized communities while disrupting the status quo. All profits are donated to organizations that are fighting injustices in this country. We aim to bring awareness to BIPOC and female excellence, to raise awareness for organizations doing incredible work in the field of justice and equity, and to deliver an equally spicy and delicious hot sauce.
Catherine and Micheline Mendelsohn
The Mendelsohn family - Harvey, Catherine, Micheline and Spike -run a restaurant group headquartered in Washington, DC. They specialize in dynamic American comfort food concepts, elevated through chic atmospheres, high quality local ingredients, and a Chef's touch.
Dupont Circle/DC Wharf/Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria
Chef Jamie Leeds is a pioneering and tenacious female entrepreneur who has spent her career fostering community, mentoring other female business owners and culinary professionals, and supporting sustainable practices across her restaurants and the seafood industry at-large.
Founded in 2016, Healthy Fresh Meals was born out the need for a home cooked meal that was healthy, convenient, and delicious. We believe that high-quality, healthy food should be accessible to everyone. Headquartered in Hyattsville, MD, the team focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, that are prepared by professionally trained chefs.
Anna Valero is president and co-founder of Pirate Ventures, a hospitality and media company which focuses on Delivering the Unexpected by curating environments and experiences where people feel welcome, acknowledged and safe.
She transformed an 80 year-old former drug store into Hook Hall, DC’s premiere 13,000 square-foot multi-flex venue where corporate events, neighborhood gatherings, weddings, bar mitzvahs and community programming are hosted.
Mobile Pop Bar
Diana Rios Jasso
Jarabe Gourmet Pops is an inspiration from my childhood upbringings of seeing my father sell paletas and raspados (Mexican pops and shaved-ice) from a push-cart in the streets of East Los Angeles. Jarabe (pronounced hah-rah-beh) which means “syrup” in Spanish specializes in serving handcrafted Mexican-style pops and sweets.
Chef Shamim Popal & Fatima Popal
Their adventure in this exciting business began 12 years ago when they decided Washington needed a little European flair by opening a Parisian-inspired crêperie. Over the years, they've opened a sister French bistro, a private event space in a historic 20th century ice warehouse, and a modern Afghan bistro.
Pentagon Row/Woodley Park
Grace Shea and Gladys Abi-Najm
Lebanese Taverna was born between two great cities: Beirut, Lebanon and Arlington, Virginia. The restaurant was founded in Arlington’s Westover neighborhood in 1979 by Tanios and Marie Abi-Najm, who had escaped civil war in Beirut just three years earlier. Lebanese Taverna introduced classic Lebanese family cooking to the D.C. area and over the next four decades became a beloved local institution.
Le Mirch is a South Asian restaurant that brings the taste of South Asian delicacies to Washington DC. We always serve freshly cooked food just the way our customers want to ensure they are satisfied. Our spice level is always the customer's choice. We have been impacted by covid as well but we are here to serve people.
Yamrot Ezineh hails from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and gained valuable experience working in a family-owned restaurant in the United Kingdom. This experience would later play a crucial role shaping her outlook of the restaurant business. After living in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC since 2008, she concluded that there was an unmet need of offering quality Ethiopian cuisine to further contribute to the diversity and vibrancy of the neighborhood.
Dupont Circle Farmers Market & Delivery
Little Wild Things City Farm produces soil-grown microgreens, shoots, and edible flowers on less than one-quarter acre in the heart of Washington, D.C.
They believe that environmentally sustainable, commercially viable farming is possible in urban landscapes.
Moorenko’s is a family business founded in 2002 by Susan Soorenko. She wanted a pure, delicious ice cream that she could feed to her children without reservations - so she decided to create her own.
After studying under renowned ice cream experts in New York and a master gelato maker in Italy, Susan worked hard to perfect her own process and recipes before setting out to make ice cream on the highest possible level - rich, decadent, and as wholesome as possible - and Moorenko’s was born.
Inspired by the countless taquerias that co-founder and McAllen, TX native Ana-Maria Jaramillo grew up with on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border, La Tejana offers a slice of the rich culinary traditions of the Rio Grande Valley in DC. With house-made flour tortillas and simple, no-frills ingredients made from scratch with mucho amor and no corner cutting, La Tejana seeks to pay homage to the countless mom-and-pop taquerias that we can't get enough of across the state of Texas.
The District Fishwife is a family-owned small business operated by partners Fiona Lewis and Ben Friedman, who have lived together in the Washington, DC area since 2009. Fiona and Ben share a passion for all things aquatic and a commitment to promoting healthy and abundant oceans for future generations. Fiona’s upbringing in Australia was marked by her family’s passion for fishing, seafood, and conservation of local fish species in her native state of Victoria. Prior to moving to the United States, Fiona was a seasoned hospitality professional working in both casual and fine-dining establishments in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.
“Food has played a vital role in helping me connect with others throughout my life, and for years I’ve considered how I could help others make similar connections with their immigrant neighbors. The D.C. area has some of the best, and most diverse, immigrant-owned restaurants in the nation. Many of these restaurants are hidden gems, and I want to help others discover these culinary treasures.” -Mary
DC : Dupont Circle/Georgetown/Spring Valley
MD : Hyatsville
We opened Pizzeria Paradiso so we could make the kind of pizza we longed for but couldn’t find in the DC area; the kind of pizza where the crust was the most important part - lightly graced with the finest quality toppings, finished with extra virgin olive oil and baked in our wood fired brick oven. The restaurant received immediate critical acclaim and has consistently been ranked among the best dining in Washington, DC.
Pluma is a café concept from the folks behind D.C.'s acclaimed Bluebird Bakery. After providing Washingtonian restaurants and cafes with signature, high-quality wholesale pastries for years, proprietors Camila Arango and Tom Wellings are thrilled to be serving guests in their own bakery.
POW POW is an award winning plant-based Asian, organic and kosher certified fast-casual restaurant located in the heart of the popular H Street, North East corridor of Washington, DC.
Adapting classic Chinese, Japanese and Korean techniques through corporate American food models, POW-POW creates its version of “New Asian” cuisine. Serving creative plant-based salads, hearty bowls and Egg rolls the size of your arm.
Valerie Zweig and Taryn Pellicone
Valerie Zweig and Taryn Pellicone have a new nickname: The Soup Ladies. The gals behind Rx Chicken™ started delivering soup to hungry bellies through the Washington, DC area in September of 2016. Valerie and Taryn, in addition to being soup aficionados, are cousins who have strong hospitality backgrounds. They channeled their love of all things chicken soup to create a business dedicated solely to churning out bowls of liquid gold
Patrice Cleary’s passion for cooking came at a very young age. Born in the Philippines to a Filipino mother from Bicol, and an American father from Massachusetts, her family moved to the U.S. when she was still a baby. Her mother’s desire to acclimate herself and her children to the American way of living but still hold onto her Filipino roots was a challenge but ultimately she did it through food.
Razieh (Razzi) who founded Razzicakes Bakery - had the courage to launch her new small business in the midst of COVID. Razzicakes is a custom home based bakery business. All of the ingredients in thecakes and icing are all natural/ organic. Razzi believes that it takes clean and simple ingredients in order to indulge in the best tasting cakes.