May 22, 2023 - Food and Drink

Try the hottest up-and-coming chefs and restaurants at this D.C. food festival

New Kitchens on the Block food festival is June 10.

Taste restaurants before they open at New Kitchens on the Block. Photo: Albert Ting

New Kitchens on the Block, an annual D.C. food festival highlighting up-and-coming chefs and restaurants, is happening on Saturday, June 10 at Mess Hall in Brookland.

Why it matters: The event, now in its ninth year, is a fun way to get tastes of anticipated eateries before they open — and it often sells out.

What’s happening: Nine soon-to-open restaurants will offer bites and sips over two sessions (12pm-2pm and 3pm-5pm), plus beer by Right Proper Brewing Company and cocktails by District Made Spirits. All-inclusive tickets start at $99 for general admission and $139 for VIP, plus an after-party option for $159.

What’s opening: A diverse lineup, many of which are active on the city’s pop-up circuit.

🔥 Mahal Afro-Filipino BBQ: A creative ‘cue spot coming soon to The Square food hall in downtown D.C. that explores chef Jerome Grant’s Afro-Caribbean and Filipino heritage.

🌯 San Pancho: San Francisco-style burritos are heading to Takoma Park courtesy of the team behind Mexican spot Cielo Rojo.

🥩 Korean BBQ: Moon Rabbit chef Kevin Tien is working on a yet-to-be-named KBQ restaurant (somewhere, sometime…)

🍣 Two Nine: The talents behind Ama Ami — which offers luxe “homakase” dinners — just launched their Georgetown café and omakase space (takeout-only right now).

🌱 Elena James: The team behind Shaw’s popular locavore spot Nina May will bring a new all-day New American restaurant and market to Chevy Chase D.C.

🦆 Mallard: A “southern gem” of a restaurant is coming from former Honeysuckle chef Hamilton Johnson.

🍝 Urai: A “Thaitalian” concept with creative pastas and snacks such as curry-spiked arancini from ex-Maketto chef Ben Plyraharn.

🍕Alfreda: Chef Russell Smith, an alum of Wolfgang Puck’s D.C. restaurants, is planning a pizzeria (location TBD).

🍇 A Mediterranean restaurant: from Michelin-starred Gravitas chef Matt Baker. Details TBA.


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