Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe Reopens With a New Chef, Revamped Menu

May 14, 2024
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Exterior facade of building with large overhang, stone, and glass windows.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has announced the reopening of the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the museum in Washington, D.C. Closed since September 2023 for exhaust-system renovations, the café will reopen to the public Friday, May 17. The regular hours are 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival June 26–July 1, the hours will be 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Mitsitam means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples. 

The cafe will feature a refreshed menu developed by Alexandra Strong, the new executive chef. Organized into four stations (Campfire Grill, Mitsitam Chef’s Table, The Four Corners and Woodlands & Coastlines), visitors will have a variety of options highlighting ingredients indigenous to the Americas. Familiar standbys including frybread and bison burgers return, alongside new twists on favorite ingredients such as manoomin (wild rice) cakes with smoked candied salmon and Southwest lamb stew. Supporting Strong will be sous chef Toshiba Veney, making the duo the first all-female team to helm a Smithsonian museum café.

About the Museum

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 on FacebookInstagramXYouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

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Becky Haberacker


Lisa Austin