Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washinton, D.C. (

New York Times Calls Mitsitam Cafe Best Food on the National Mall

March 06, 2013

The best dining option on the National Mall is Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian, according to a review of all dining options on Capital Hill by Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times.

Steinhauer tells visitors to avoid food at the newly constructed Capitol Visitor Center, "and head to the National Museum of the American Indian, which has the best food on the Mall."

Mitsitam Native Foods Café is no stranger to praise. Last summer, it was honored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington with a Rammy Award on June 24. It was the first museum restaurant to receive a Rammy nomination. The eatery also recently put out an award-winning cookbook.

The Zagat-rated restaurant showcases a refined, seasonal menu of foods that have been grown, raised and harvested in North and South America for thousands of years, from Peruvian ceviche to pork tacos. Mitsitam means “let’s eat” in the Piscataway and Delaware languages, and the café stays true to its Native focus, drawing on tribal culinary traditions.

Read more about the meals Executive Chef Richard Hetzler prepares with Native-sourced ingredients, like bison through the InterTribal Bison Cooperativeand salmon from the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington here.