Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian nominated for Rammys award

The Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian is the first museum restaurant to earn a nomination for the Rammys awards, an annual competition dubbed “the Oscars of D.C. Restaurants” that celebrates innovative chefs and restaurateurs in the Washington, D.C., area. The Mitsitam is competing against four other local restaurants in a new category, “Best Casual Dining.” The winner will be announced at the 30th annual RAMMY Gala at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., June 24. For more information on the awards, visit

Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe Photo: Molly Stephey, NMAI

The Mitsitam Cafe recently expanded with the addition of the Mitsitam Espresso Coffee Bar, which serves pastries and casual fare from the cafe’s repertoire along with Tribal Grounds Coffee—organic, fair-trade coffee grown by indigenous farmers and imported, roasted and provided to the museum by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee of North Carolina. Specialty drinks include the “Trail South,” a cappuccino flavored with roasted chestnuts and cocoa powder, and “The Sequoyah,” a cappuccino with sweetened milk, cocoa and cayenne. The coffee bar’s menu will include Cherokee translations for each drink as part of the Western Carolina University Cherokee Language Program, which began in 2006 to boost the dwindling number of Cherokee speakers. For more information on Tribal Grounds Coffee, visit

Tables in the coffee bar are adjacent to the Potomac Atrium, the heart of the museum and the site of many cultural presentations and festivals. A lending rack of tribal newspapers is available for visitors who want to catch up on news from Indian Country. The tribal newsstand is located near the museum’s 20-foot totem pole carved by Nathan Jackson (Tlingit).

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