Developing food hall Tastemakers has only been open a few weeks, but food fans are already finding their way to the hospitality hub. Weekends are especially crowded. And the former factory turned food incubator is becoming another reason for local diners to explore Brookland.
With bagel sandwiches, taco bowls, vegan barbecue, nitro coffee, and so much more to choose from spread across eight food stalls, things can get a little overwhelming. Here’s a list of go-to food and drinks to try when visiting Tastemakers.
Alchemist Coffee Company: Baristas here serve coffee that’s brewed hot, immediately chilled, and preserved with nitrogen gas. Try the Karogoto coffee, a light, slightly sweet Nordic-style roast, with fruity and floral notes. It’s perfect for sweltering hot days.
Ball or Nothing: It was hard to tell which gourmet meatballs at this local vendor were vegan and which were made with actual meat — which is a good thing. The on-site stand, an extension of the six-year-old food truck by the same name, provides a choice of three meatballs and three sides. The most popular offerings are the classic meatballs with Brussels sprouts, as well as mac & cheese.
Benjamin’s on Franklin Bar: This Ben Franklin-themed bar slings all sorts of booze, including wines, local brews, and bubbly. Staff says cocktails are what people are craving the most though. One early favorite is the Silence Dogood, which is made with One Eight Distilling’s Rock Creek Bourbon, Cointreau and Lillet Blanc. A crowd-pleasing daiquiri features rum, lime, simple syrup, and a foamy top.
Bullfrog Bagels: The smoked salmon bagelwich at this latest outpost of one of D.C.’s most beloved bagel makers is a proving to be a hit at Tastemakers. The deli staple comes with capers, cream cheese, tomatoes and salmon, along with choice of bagel.
Captain Cookie: The top sweet here is the ice cream sandwich, which features one of nine specialty cookies as the base and slathers farm-fresh ice cream in the middle. The most popular combo is vanilla ice cream stuffed between two chocolate chip cookies.
D.C. Steakholders: The stall and food truck by the same name serves cheesesteaks that hit the spot. Naturally, the traditional steak and cheese sandwich is the go-to. Staff says customers typically top it with banana peppers, mushrooms, pickles, and sliced tomatoes.
Pianta: The most adventurous offering at this vegan eatery is probably the barbecue-style smoked jackfruit sandwich. It comes with the titular fruit, barbecue sauce, cole slaw and crispy onions. Pianta also serves beet burgers, faux sausages, and tofu-filled creations.
Taqueria del Barrio: This satellite taco stand from the owners of the Petworth restaurant by the same name serves traditional tacos on corn tortillas, as well as build-your-own bowls. Bowls feature meat, cilantro, lime rice, black beans, and choice of toppings. The chicken tinga tacos, and carnitas (pork) bowl are bestsellers here.