U Street Tour: Exploring DC's Cultural and Culinary History
4.8
247 Ratings
Washington
Experience the rich cultural and culinary history of U Street in Washington, DC. Discover the origins of famous musicians, explore hidden art, and taste diverse cuisines that reflect the neighborhood's vibrant past. Book now and support a local charity!
Duration: 3 hours
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
Highlights
  • U Street - Our tour will take place predominantly along the U St corridor, which is rich with history. We’ll stop in several places between restaurants to share the history and culture of this diverse neighborhood.
What's Included
  • Professional local guide
  • Inclusive lunch
  • Rich historical content
What's Not Included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Additional Information

Uncover the rich culinary traditions and history of DC as we walk and converse about the golden era of ‘Black Broadway’ and its vital role during the Jazz Age. You would be astounded to discover the number of famous names that had their beginnings in the modest clubs located along this avenue.

Experience the unique flavors of DC as we uncover the stories behind hidden murals, sculptures, and the artists that envisioned them. Understand the Civil Rights upheavals that left a lasting impact on the city and its skyline for years that followed. Discover the evolving architecture and its ongoing transformations.

Savor a diverse range of dishes that resonate with the historical narratives of this distinctively DC neighborhood. U Street is a not-to-be-missed locale in DC!

When booking, please inform us of any food-related allergies you may have.

A part of the revenue from every ticket sale is contributed to Bread For The City, an institution dedicated to providing food, clothes, health services, and legal and social support to alleviate the hardships endured by the impoverished residents of DC.

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking - we cannot accommodate vegans :(
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Please note: Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate vegan diets or dairy allergies on this tour.
Location
1213 U St NW
U Street Northwest
Please arrive 5 minutes prior to tour time and meet your guide outside of the restaurant. If you do not see your guide, please head inside and find your group.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
4.8
(247 Ratings)
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Dolly_m
Mar 22, 2024
More than we expected - Loved the story telling and the deep learning every step of the way. Not only did we get the opportunity to taste the culture we were learning about but we truly felt like we walked away with more knowledge than we signed up for
Review provided by Viator
Angela_p
Mar 16, 2024
Great Tour from Houston, Texas!!! - The food tour with Blue Fern Travel was amazing! My boyfriend and I were extremely pleased with our tour guide Jim’s knowledge of the community, his personal stories about experiences he’d had in the U Street Corridor, as well as his desire to ensure we had a fantastic experience. We visited four selectively chosen spots that did not disappoint. This tour was certainly a focus on Quality vs Quantity; and my boyfriend and I were not disappointed. Our favorite stop was an Ethiopian cafe that is sure to please all. It was our first Ethiopian dining experience, even though we live in Houston, Texas and can easily access Ethiopian cuisine. The presentation of the food, cleanliness of the cafe, and eclectic spices used in the dish made our experience one to remember. You too will enjoy it. Ben’s Chili Bowl, and Colada were also superb. However, our last stop was Jeni’s Ice Cream, and it was the perfect finish. This ice cream was served in a warm waffle cone and made every bite worth the time we plan to spend in the gym working it off! Absolutely fantastic tour! We recommend this tour with Blue Fern Travel. You will enjoy it!
Review provided by Viator
B9343pjkellyb
Jan 14, 2024
Delicious Way to explore the City - Pleasantly full is how I feel having just spent the afternoon in the U Street corridor with Jim. A food tour is never just about the food, and wow does this tour deliver. Get ready for a dive into the complex and beautiful story about U Street/ Black Broadway, the complex cycle of urban flight and regentrification, and the efforts of African American soldiers in the civil war. You will emerge knowing more about the city than you entered, and will have munched your way through it all. Arrive with an empty stomach, the first two stops serve full portions (and you will not finish the food at stop two…you just can’t). Starting a Ben’s Chili bowl, then traversing from its Trinidadian roots to Ethiopian cuisine is a culinary adventure. Also, any food tour that begins by giving you a full bottle of water warms my heart right away, and that will get you through stops 1 and 2, with a glass of water meeting you at stop 3 where you journey will evolve from savory to sweet. You’ll leave with a new friend (seriously, he told us to save his number and let him know how our food adventures go from here) and a list of Jim’s favorite DC area restaurants. We will definitely be looking for him on his Georgetown tour in the future.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Robertw372
Nov 12, 2023
Fun Food Tour! - Sonata was terrific guide--full of historical info and fun facts. In addition to great food, we heard a wonderful series of stories from the African American Civil War historian. Ethiopian food was my highlight, along with amazing history of Ben's Chili Bowl.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Carol_t
Oct 28, 2023
A U street experience - The information and food experiences of the local community was very good. Telling the truth is important. It was nice to be in a small group with others interested in African American people and their communities.
Review provided by Viator
Anna_b
Oct 16, 2023
Rasheed is amazing! - Rasheed was a engaging, lively host. Warm, welcoming, personable and funny. Good humoured and knowledgeable. We loved the food and could've gone on all day.
Review provided by Viator
Hi639623
Feb 26, 2024
So much history! - I felt that the amount of walking was just right, and everyone was happy with the amount of food. Would have loved to learn more about the food itself. The cost of this tour is a bit high but the company is ethical and approaching things the right way so we're happy to support them.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Joy_b
Jan 15, 2024
Pretty good - The tour is a little light. Would enjoy *more* info about neighborhood history, what was going on in the U.S. in general at that time, additional mural visits (I think we visited 2), just more in depth info. Guide was nice and fun, however. We did 4 food stops. First two are neighborhood establishments (savory). Second two (dessert) seemed to be chains? Disappointed compared to other foodie tours we've taken, but we would still recommend to friends.
Review provided by Viator
Linda_c
Nov 17, 2023
Not a good value - The black history of the region was very interesting. It was a vibrant community with the blacks helping blacks. Then the riots happened and ruined a good community. We felt like it wasn’t a good value because the food did not justify the high cost. I understand the Ben’s is historical but half smoked dog, bottled water and a bag of chips wasn’t that good. Ethiopian Food and Cuban pastries were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The ice cream was ice cream , not really historical or ethnic.
Review provided by Viator
Marc_y
Oct 27, 2023
The good parts:... - The good parts: enthusiastic guide, several fascinating historical sites still in operation, we joined the tour of an in-uniform Civil War soldier who was VERY informative and engaging. Less good: a lot of walking without any context, not a well-focused talk, and there should have been small samples (there was too much food) at the food establishments which would have allowed for quicker time in the restaurants and the tour could have then been shorter. Maybe lunch at Ben’s could have been an hour into the tour, rather than right at the beginning.
Review provided by Viator
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