Sweet Home Café, housed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, is the newest dining experience at a Smithsonian museum.

Managed as a joint venture by Thompson Hospitality and Restaurant Associates, Sweet Home Café showcases the rich culture and history of the African American people with traditional, authentic offerings as well as present-day food traditions.

Current Offerings


A Celebration of
African American Cooking 

Sweet Home Café uses the very best version of classic dishes and employs a high degree of from-scratch cooking with locally-sourced ingredients. Four distinct stations each tell the story of the regional offerings.

Order Cookbook


Visitors may obtain a Dine and Shop Pass to facilitate museum entry to dine in the Sweet Home Café or shop in the museum store. 


11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
on days the museum is open to the public

Please note the museum opens at 12:00 p.m. on Mondays, except those observed as Federal Holidays.



Seating is on a first-come, first-served walk in basis. No reservations accepted. 

Entrée prices

$8 – $22

Seating Capacity


Square Footage

Approx. 12,000 square feet (dining and kitchen)

Sweet Home Basics

No outside food or drink is permitted. Food purchased in the café may not be consumed elsewhere in the museum. Refunds may not be given for food items unable to be taken to go.

Supervising Chef

Albert Lukas

Executive Chef

Ramin Coles

Special Recognition

The research and writings of culinary leader Jessica B. Harris, Ph.D., were essential to the development of this project.


2019 James Beard Foundation Awards Nominee Best American Cookbook

2018 Food & Wine Best Cookbook

2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalist Best New Restaurant


The café encourages visitors with allergies to ask management for guidance/assistance in selecting menu items and to consult the allergy signage where posted. Due to the high volume of visitors, the café is unable to accommodate preparing individual meals during normal operations.

We handle and prepare egg, milk, wheat, shellfish, fish, soy, peanut, tree nut products, and other potential allergens in the food production areas of our facility. 

Please ask for management's assistance to help guide you in your dining selections. 

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