Restaurant Reviews U Street Washington, DC

Busboys and Poets – U Street

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

Busboys and Poets Review – U Street

The Ambiance

The first thing I thought of when I walked into Busboys and Poets was Tryst, the cafe in Adams Morgan. They both have welcoming leather couches occupied by students and locals typing away on their laptops, reading books, or chatting with friends.

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

The difference between Tryst and Busboys and Poets is that the latter has a bookstore and restaurant area, alongside this cafe area. From the portraits of literary giants on the walls to weekly poetry slams and musical performances, Busboys and Poets is a cultural hub in the already idiosyncratic U Street neighborhood.

Busboys and Poets was actually named after poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy in the 1920s before his poetry career sprouted.

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

Hemingway and Poe

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via BetterThanRamen.netBusboys and Poets U Street Review via BetterThanRamen.netThe Food

The menu at Busboys and Poets is very vegetarian and vegan friendly. So much so that I couldn’t find many options with chicken, my favorite meat. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Panini ($10) with a side of fries. It was served with chipotle mayo, caramelized onions, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato on a ciabbata roll. It was tasty, but nothing special.

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

Grilled Chicken Panini

The beverage I ordered, however, was quite delicious. The Lem-Pom ($2.95) is a combination of lemonade and pomegranate juice. It was very sweet and satisfying. I loved that the drink was served in a mason jar!

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via


For dessert, I split the White Chocolate Bread Pudding ($6) with my dear friend whose birthday we were celebrating. The dessert looked kind of strange… it was a lumpy mass drizzled oozing with sauces. However, one bite revealed that it was safe to eat and actually tasted really good. The bread pudding was soft and gooey and had partially raisined green grapes in it, which were a nice addition. The dessert was served with coconut ice cream, which nicely complemented the warm dessert.

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

What makes Busboys and Poets special is its ambiance, not necessarily its food. I would come back to Busboys and Poets with my backpack and study from one of their inviting couches while sipping on a warm drink or nibbling on a dessert. I would also come back for an open mic night or other performance. I would not go back for a full meal just because their entrees (at least the one I had) are pretty average.

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

Busboys and Poet’s menu

Busboys and Poets U Street Review via

The bar

The Bottom Line:

Food: 2.5/5

Ambiance: 5/5

Busboys and Poets

2021 14th St NW (U Street Corridor)
Washington, DC 20009

(202) 387-7638


Busboys and Poets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You're gonna love these other posts!

No Comments

  • Reply Busboys and Poets - Food and politics | Washington DC Spotted by Locals

    […] Busboys and Poets is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in DC. Named after Langston Hughes, who was a busboy at a Washington hotel in the 1920s. Once while working, he slipped some of his poems to a famous customer who wrote in the papers the following day of his discovery of a “Negro busboy poet.” Busboys is a restaurant, cafe, and bar that unabashedly celebrates progressive politics, social change, and the arts. The restaurant has a great selection of coffee, tea, craft beer, and American and Middle Eastern vegetarian- and vegan-friendly food. I recommend the Sweet Fuji Apple & Gorgonzola Sandwich or the Avocado or Portabella Mushroom Paninis. […]

    July 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM
  • Reply Tryst - Coffee, sandwiches, and jazz | Washington DC Spotted by Locals

    […] has a very similar feel to my other favorite restaurant/coffeeshop/bar Busboys and Poets. When you walk into Tryst, located […]

    July 15, 2013 at 10:48 PM
  • Leave a Reply

    Food Advertising by