For generations of immigrants, the restaurant industry has been a hub of steady and hard work. And in return, these immigrants have blessed cities like New York, Chicago, L.A., and D.C., opening their own spots to serve the food from their countries of origin and providing spaces for the homesick to get together, eat good food, and feel connected to the people and places they left behind. They also happen to be good places for the rest of us to go, eat good food, and try to connect to people we may know nothing about.
In light of Trump's Muslim Ban, here are a handful of restaurants that offer an experience of the food from some of the countries targeted by Trump's executive order. Go support and enjoy them!
Kabob Bazaar - Kanon Bazzar has been serving the DMV area delicious traditional Iranian food since December of 1993. Since then Bazaar has been known for its delicious kabobs, fresh bread, and authentic Iranian side dishes. Make yourself comfortable at the marble top bar and you'll spot their Samovars which are used to brew the freshest Persian tea. With a menu that is tasty, flavorful and affordable Bazaar is a must try.
Green Zone - The Arab world may not be exactly known for its craft cocktails, but one pop-up bar in D.C. is changing that, one drink at a time! Connected to the popular hookah bar, Zeba, The Green Zone combines modern craft cocktails with flavors of the Middle East. The name of the bar comes from the safe zone in Iraq, where you can occasionally find an ex-pat party. Make sure to check out the "F*** ISIS Punch Drink".
Kulan Restaurant - The Kulan Restaurant serves contemporary Somali food, using fresh and unique ingredients. Join them any day of the week for lunch or dinner and experience some of the best foods available. It's a little far out in Falls Church, VA, but it's their rule to have every guest leave their premises completely satisfied.
Mama Ayesha's Restaurant - The founder, Mama Ayesha Abraham, was born in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem in the late 1800's. After running 24 farms by the age of 21, she came to the United States in the late 1940's and was hired as a cook for the Syrian Embassy. After toiling at the embassy, she opened her first restaurant in 1960, Calvert Cafe. The booming cafe served ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, and U.S. officials with delicious Palestinian and traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. Although Mama Ayesha is no longer with us, her memory and recipes remain!
Saba - Some of the best Yemeni cuisine around can be found tucked away in a Fairfax strip mall at Saba Restaurant. Saba offers traditional Yemeni specialties such as fresh baked bread and large portions of meats and rice. Speaking of rice, Chef and owner Tahia Alhoraivi, makes fives different kinds daily!