Try the hottest up-and-coming chefs and restaurants at this D.C. food festival
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.
- Now-established NKOTB alums include Michelin-starred restaurants (e.g. Maydan, Oyster Oyster) and diner favorites such as Call Your Mother.
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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