National Museum of the American Indian’s Mitsitam Cafe To Close for Renovations

Cafe Will Close Sept. 5 Through Late Spring 2024
August 29, 2023
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Mitsitam Cafe

Mitsitam Cafe. Image courtesy of Restaurant Associates.

The Mitsitam Cafe at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will close for renovations Tuesday, Sept. 5. The cafe, which is in the museum’s Washington, D.C., location, will remain closed through late spring 2024. Mitsitam means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples.

The Mitsitam Cafe opened in September 2004, and this is the first major renovation of the space since that time. During the closure, the museum will install a new exhaust system, update the space’s electrical and plumbing systems, and upgrade the lighting and kitchen equipment.

“For the first time since it opened, Mitsitam Cafe will undergo a major revitalization that will greatly enhance the experience and better showcase the Native-inspired foods we serve,” said Cynthia Chavez Lamar, director of the museum. “We appreciate our visitors’ patience as we complete this renovation and look forward to welcoming everyone back to the cafe when it reopens next year.”

During construction, the Espresso Bar, which is located on the museum’s first floor, will remain open. In addition to a variety of hot and cold coffee drinks and other beverages, the Espresso Bar will also offer a variety of Native-inspired food options such as posole, chili, clam chowder, Hatch Green Chile corn muffins, wild rice salad and sandwiches. Pastries and desserts will also be available.  

While the Mitsitam Cafe is closed, visitors can find additional food options at other Smithsonian museums, including the Mars Café at the neighboring National Air and Space Museum, Dolcezza Coffee and Gelato at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Ocean Terrace and Atrium Cafés at the National Museum of Natural History, Eat at America’s Table and LeRoy Neiman Jazz Cafes at the National Museum of American History and Sweet Home Café at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

About the National Museum of the American Indian

In partnership with Native peoples and their allies, the National Museum of the American Indian fosters a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples. The museum strives toward equity and social justice for the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere through education, inspiration and empowerment. Through two locations, it features exhibitions and programs in New York City and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit Follow the museum via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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