Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections have consciously uplifted a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul… a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide… we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.
It’s hard not to be taken with Busboys and Poets, particularly if you have an affinity for cozying up with a compelling book and a steaming cup of coffee. Part restaurant, bookstore, and hub for driving social change, the establishment is eclectic and comfortable, outfitted with murals and art depicting activists and progressive movements. The crowd varies, based on time of day, event lineup (though they are currently virtual), and what’s going on in the world when you visit. Weekend mornings can be lively, with folks tucking into a DC favorite brunch.
Open for Indoor and Outdoor Dining
This is where it all began, on 14th & V streets NW, in 2005. Our founder Andy Shallal was active in the addition of the name “Langston Hughes Way” on V street between 13th and 14th streets to pay homage to the poet Hughes, where the inspiration for the name Busboys and Poets comes from. 14th & V is located in the U Street Corridor neighborhood, known as “Black Broadway” in the 1920s, and is a major center of DC’s cultural, artistic and progressive activist scene. Inside is Shallal’s best known mural ‘Peace & Struggle’ in the events space The Langston Room. This mural highlights notable figures in world history who have made impactful contributions to human history. Some of the people painted on the mural are Langston Hughes, Howard Zinn, Alice Walker, Cesar Chavez, and Shirin Ebadi. This location also houses our largest Busboys and Poets Books bookstore.