If you’re planning to visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture or its three-day Freedom Sounds festival this weekend, you’re going to need to eat at some point. Food will be available from a variety of vendors at the festival, and if you’ve managed to snag a timed museum entry ticket and want to join everyone else trying to dine at the museum's Sweet Home Cafe, be prepared for lines.

To beat the crowds, you may want to consider off-site eateries when it comes time to refuel. Our suggestions are no more than about a 20-minute walk away.

At the festival

Collabo Catering : Kenyan and Caribbean fare, including jerk chicken, chicken or vegetable curry and Kenyan doughnuts.

KBQ Real Barbeque: Southern barbecue and soul food, such as smoked pork ribs, fried catfish and peach cobbler.

RockSalt: Po’ boys and fried seafood.

Beverages, including iced tea, beer, smoothies and juices, will be available from the vendors as well.

Concession hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. (Saturday and Sunday mornings will only have very light fare, such as coffee, tea and Kenyan doughnuts.)


Bakers & Baristas is a good place to grab a coffee and breakfast pastry. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)
Early breakfast

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken : Creative doughnuts and sandwiches. 1308 G St. NW.

Bakers & Baristas : European pastries and caffeinated beverages. 501 Seventh St. NW.

RareSweets : Delectable baked goods, both sweet and savory. 963 Palmer Alley NW.


Buredo’s sushi burritos make an ideal portable lunch. (Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)
Quick or grab-and-go lunch

&Pizza: Fast, customizable pies. 1005 E St. NW.

Buredo : Very popular sushi burritos. 825 14th St. NW. Closed Sunday.

Mitsitam Cafe : The best of the museum cafeterias. In the National Museum of the American Indian, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW.

National Place food court: Lots of seating, with fare from local burger and fries favorite Five Guys and Korean taco joint TaKorean. 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Closed Sunday.

Red Apron: First-rate sandwiches that will keep you satiated for hours. (Also consider for breakfast.) 709 D St. NW.

Taylor Gourmet: Reliable, thought-out hoagies. 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW or 624 E St. NW.


José Andrés’s Oyamel, where a group can share a wide variety of Mexican small plates. (Joseph Victor Stefanchik/For The Washington Post)
Group dinner

Hill Country: Build your own barbecue meal. 410 Seventh St. NW.

Old Ebbitt Grill: A dose of history and oysters. 675 15th St. NW.

Oyamel : Mexican small plates. 401 Seventh St. NW.

Pi Pizzeria: Deep-dish pizza via St. Louis. 910 F St. NW.

Teaism: Quick, healthful meals with an Asian accent. (Also consider for breakfast or lunch.) 400 Eighth St. NW.

Fancier dinner

Bombay Club: Excellent Indian fare and an easier table to get than sister Rasika. 815 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Fiola: Refined Italian in a sleek trattoria. 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

The Source: Modern Chinese menu. In the Newseum, 575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Closed Sunday.