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Sankofa Internet Cafe and Bookstore


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Rate & Reviews

How would you rate Sankofa Internet Cafe and Bookstore?
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181 Reviews

181 Reviews

Oluwakemi O


Handsdown the best (almond) chai tea latte I've had in my life. The food is delicious, healthy, and with options for vegans & omnivores alike. Excellent collection of Black books that you can't find anywhere else. They are intentional about creating a space for Black community events.

Becky W


Three words: chocolate chai latte! This coffeeshop and bookstore across the street from Howard University makes a mean cup of coffee and has the nicest staff ever. It's a good place to linger on a weekday afternoon and also a great place for a lecture or poetry reading in the evenings. Their unique coffee drinks are pretty inventive, but the standard espresso is high quality as well.

jeffrey j


Very welcoming staff and organic book store. The food is good and fresh and the atmosphere is quiet and comfortable. Its Afro Centered by the way

Brett D



Vladimir H


Great coffee, great food, great ambience!

Gisèle C


I visited Sankofa for the first (and last) time this morning, September 30th with a companion. We literally could not get what we had ordered.

First, I ordered a "caramel latte with skimmed milk." The female employee informed me that they didn't carry skimmed milk. Unacceptable for a "cafe." Wanting to be a sport, however, I accepted the additional calories. I subsequently received an iced (instead of hot), sugary latte.

My companion ordered an "iced Americano." He received a hot beverage with cream, sugar and foam on the top. He informed the employee of the error. She made him another "Americano." This time iced but again with cream and sugar.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the word "AMERICANO" is a term of art. It means "[a]n espresso coffee diluted with hot water and containing no milk.'" Allerton, David J. (2010). I Only Have a Kitchen Because It Came with the House. The Foodies Handbook. p. 26. As a term of art, one should be able to visit any cafe, request an Americano and receive the same thing. Such has been the case at Tryst, Starbucks, Potter's House and any number of DC cafes offering "Americanos." This is not just a matter of taste; pricing for caffeinated drinks depends on such distinctions.

At this point my companion had resigned himself to not having coffee. He is lactose intolerant and could not just force it down. In disbelief, I went inside to speak with the employee. She was irritated, unapologetic and stubborn. When I told her exactly what was in an "Americano" (espresso, water, no milk), even Googling the term to show her how to make it, she informed me that "everyone knows" that at Sankofa you get cream and sugar and that we'd have to tell her if we didn't want those ingredients. She didn't care what an "Americano" actually was. It was whatever she chose to dish out. By her logic, the next time you order that tofu wrap, enjoy your pork, because "at Sankofa, that's just how we make our tofu and everyone knows that."

If the owner bothers to read this, here's how to make an Americano:…. Train your employees better or at least teach them to be apologetic and refund customers when their orders can't be filled. We spent $30 for two melts and our jacked up coffee orders and left feeling displeased and robbed. Sankofa has great Yelp reviews; that's why we tried it out and wanted to like it. Maybe it's heading downhill.

P.S. My salmon melt came with a "salad" that fit into something slightly bigger than the plastic condiment cups you get at fast food restaurants. They really shouldn't list it as a choice. Just include it as ornamental lettuce not worth mentioning.

Lisa M


They make me this beautiful drink called a dirty almond chai latte, and they put it in a huge beautiful ceramic mug, and everything is right with the world.

Israel C


They have a excellent variety of afro centric children's books. They even carry Princess Planet books there!

Daphne D


I was here for the food....BUT...the Poet..Raquel Rivera Flowers was Absolutely Amazing. If she is in the area reading from her Poetry books..Heathen or Trouble Accents...Go..Listen!!!

JoMarie 8


Nice atmosphere. Purchased a gaston kabore wrap and a preach pleasure smothie tasted great. Happy to support this black own business.

tibebu t


Such a Woniderfull mekiato(coffe vs milk)I had ever

Amy W


Their iced coffees are amazing. Such a wonderful space that hat a large selection of books and community event information. POC-centered and welcoming. Also rooms upstairs for events.

Oju E


The food here is delicious. They cater to everyone from vegan to meat eaters. The coffee and tea are great. The vibe is beautiful!

Sade J


Excellent ora, food and drinks. The owner is very charming and welcoming.

Donna L


I called and asked to speak with one of the owners and the female who answered the phone told me that they have "a protocol" which I couldn't guess what that could possibly be except some people trying to make themselves seem way more important than they are (!) for me to make an appointment to make such an appointment since this chippy was just able to speak with the owner whom I could hear in the background, yet he couldn't speak to me because he was in a meeting! Need I tell you that I was just as rude with this "sister" as she was with me in no uncertain terms! Heaven help us with leaders like these! Dick Gregory is and has always been listed in the public telephone listings and there have been public "hits" put out on Gregory's life! That's like regular company's customer service reps. not giving their last names supposedly because of fear of reprisals from customers but I think so that said reps. can't be held accountable for their actions (!) while ALL IRS reps. (that massively hated organization!) give their first AND last names AND an ID number when I call them ! Puhlease people!

Christee C


Love love love the energy in this place and the food was amazing! As I sat at the far end of the establishment I could hear conversations about the various intellectual works within the shop. I could have joined in and felt like I was among family. If I'd had the money I'd have bought a lot more books... I was more than impressed with the selection. They have a large selection of children's books too! So nice to see books in an establishment for melinated children for once! Happy to support this black owned business. This shop makes me wish I lived here... sigh

Shamal A


Phenomenon Afrakan Eatery, loaded with cultured artifacts from historic or modern reads to tasty healthy mind foods that put the body at ease.. Your holistic health Seba Shamal-Ptah Afurakan on the move exploring and sharing the Vegan Shrines of Black Excellence... Ptah Hotep (Ankh☥ Udja💰 Seneb☤)

Asad C


Sankofa is a warm, intimate, community oriented space dedicated to African and African diasporic culture, food, music, and art.

Ashley C


Very quaint cafe, great espresso, and even better library of ethnic culture for all ages. Staff is very friendly. Live music events are held as well.

Morris J


GREAT coffee, and amazing vibe.

Steve W


Just had a very satisfying smoked salmon melt and another terrific double espresso. So enjoyed that. Digging the vibe here, too. The fare is flavorful and freshly prepared, and the energy is pleasant and laid back. Nice.

Nia L


The atmosphere here is wonderful. There are so many books to look at and purchase if you would like. The food is delicious! Everytime I'm in DC I make a point to go here.

Crystal P


I love Sankofa! Such an amazing atmosphere. You meet so many positive and empowered people there. Awesome selection of books. Great staff. Chill place.

Marion C


High quality latte and enlightening books to satisfy my hunger for knowledge.

Elton L


Good hang out cafe/bookstore. The food is good. The book selection could be better. The vibe is energizing inside and out!

tariku t


The most beautiful coffee, got some different flavor on the espresso macchiato, which let me go there almost everyday. Nice peoples

Kiefer M


Absolute garbage. I bought a bean pie and it had a dead baby rat in it. Disgusting. I went to tell the owner and he laughed at me and threw me and my belongings out into the street. I am disabled physically from the war and did not appreciate my valuable papers flying all over the air and ground as I lay in the street stunned over this attack. Shameful. SMDH.

tarus m


Great for books on people of color of all wslks of life. And the have great coffee and sandwich melts.

Purposed A


Powerful people with life changing conversations. Everyone I've visited, I've left with new friends and a new outlook on life. The books are good but the people you can meet are better! The also have excellent food and smoothies!

Kerston R


I Love Sankofa. This was one of my favorite places to visit while I was a student at HU. I'm so glad that they are doing well. My favorite was the Julie Dash yummy and good for you!

Angie W


One place that has the greatest watermelon lemonade made daily. It's absolutely refreshing and delicious.

Tracy M


Got what I wanted for my old boo....He loves to read his history....Black that is.....

Lennon E


love the space. it is an excellent source of Black History and Knowledge as well as great coffee, food, and service. on any day you may run into one of The Elders dropping some knowledge on you.

John C


Great bookstore and Cafe. Plenty of great books, movie and events. The conversations are what I love about this place. You meet people you don't know and can have a deep conversation or debate the issues of the day.

Nichole M


Great space to sit and read any number of books by African Americans on numerous topics, includes children's books. Quite a few tasty wraps and coffee drinks. The salmon melts and healthy shakes are especially popular. Sit indoors or out, front or back. I believe you can host small gatherings there. It seems to be set up that way.

This small business has been around a long time now; which is most likely due in part to the fact that all of the staff act like family. They're more than cordial, they're genuinely kind and loving.

One issue: even if you call ahead the food takes 15 minutes because they don't start until they see you. That's disappointing because I only have a half hour for lunch and hubs and I wanted to make that our new midday spot. Still, it's definitely worth checking out. I'd rather their current vibe and freshly prepared food than hustle and bustle and food that sat around before setting before me.

Robyn G


The vibe has definitely changed over the years. The food is still decent compared to other places, though it too has declined in recent years. Meh. Time for a new spot.

Maybe I'll start a cafe. 😏

Blake W


Great wraps too. The Gloria Rolando is spicy if that's what you need in your life. The Julie Dash is by far my favorite. You'll thank me.

Max R


Excellent bookstore with an incredible variety. Cafe is also top notch with good food and coffee. Staff is friendly and helpful. This is a must visit place in DC.

Tierra I


It was my first time visiting and I was extremely excited to bring my first born daughter (who is an avid reader). They had an excellent variety of children's books and a rich library for adults. I'm definitely going to make visiting a monthly adventure.

The H


Sankofa Sankofa Sankofa! Sankofa video Cafe and Bookstore it's not just a business it's an active participating member of the community! An excellent selection of books, movie Nights, guest speakers, spoken word artists, musicians, and wonderful food! And let's not forget it's annual participation in Watermelon Day!

Nikki H


Best place for reading and nibbles. If they don't habe ur book they will order it. I love supporting local businesses.

Patrick A


Outstanding place. Awesome front yard . An oasis in the city. Great coffee and baked goods. One of my favs.

Wood R


Nice little quaint bookstore/restaurant/intellectual stimulation meet up spot. They sell some clothing, bags and jewelry. The owners are melinated of African decent (black owned), and are film makers. Its not very noticable unless youre casually walking by and taking in the sites so gps would be a good too. The employees were nice and i enjoyed my food. I'll be going back for books and maybe an open mic or two.

kwame d


Love this place. Great energy and vibes. Awesome books for sale. Even books that are hard to find. The salmon sandwich is really good.

Darnell R


I've been eating here since 2010. Great food, staff and environment.

Support this black owned coffee shop and bookstore.

Josh W


Best iced chai I’ve had, great cookies, will definitely come back to spend more time here.

Javoniel T


Amazing food (I recommend the eggs and the Larry Clark) and the best selection of books by writers of color. The food is Ethiopian influenced and the books are extremely diverse. It is also a center for engaging programs. Certainly a D.C. BEST and must visit!

Anika G


Every child should experience some of the children's literature in this place, whether or not they are of African descent. Exposure is important for our children.

Arion S


One of the best spaces to chill but a book get some great food and relax. The ownership is wonderful, nice and polite. Great spot.

Jasmine J


I love coming here! Especially when I was in college. The food today was good, but the bread on my panini was a little too toasted. Other than that I love Sankofa. It is such a historic and important place for our community.

Joakina M


Positive vibes surround you in Sankofa. It's a great spot to get a good book and is a great place to find/build community.

Destini H


Amazing cafe. Great vibe, I like to go and write at the cafe. Customer service is awesome and the food is unbelievably delicious!!!

Gabriel F


Love this place. The food and culture of this place is amazing. I eat here mutiple times a week. Coffee is good as well.



Good and unique place to grab a coffee, a bit hot when I went there (since there are no air-conditioning). But otherwise a nice place.

Sisay A


Great costomer service, delicious sandwich coffee. ... lovely people i meet

Please visit

Anna S


There happened to be a children's book reading when I visited for a quick bite. The author of the book presented two of her books and danced with the kids. The atmosphere was very grounded and encouraging.These types of happenings aren't rare for Sankofa and I appreciate it every time. This place is community-oriented, socially conscious, and makes a darn good chai latte. I thoroughly enjoy browsing the book shelves and have a hard time leaving without at least one new read.

laura t


It was great, a great variety of books as well as beautiful jewelry and of course food and coffee. Loved it.



This place makes the BEST almond milk lattes like HOLY COW.

Rare E


Awesome food tofu sandwich with chips is off the chain. Best in DC

Jessica F


Great energy. Good books and good beers. They also have some cool features vents. Top notch. The place is simply BEAUTIFUL and a very important fixture! Resuscitative to the spirit. Love Sankofa Books and Cafe. Love it.

Raycurt a


It's all about Black studies and REAL ancient knowledge. Our African neighbors have made a comforting setting for morning coffee, midday lunching with friends or strangers. They say theirs music events in the evening but I have yet to get there. I'm around the corner with my music workshops.

Get there and enjoy.



The place has good vibes. I understand the family friendly place but I was harassed because I was looking to charge my


Marcus A


Great food and book selection- found some great, hard to find books for my child!

Ephrem T


Great food, delicious coffee and fantastic ambience. The books add refreshing experience. I am going to be a regular here.

Degen M


The best place to buy books, eat good traditional food, meet friends and most of all learn African Heritage. African Music and Arts, Fashion Shows are available. Great place a lot of fun too.

Trelani M


I fell in love from the second I walked up the front steps. Amazing book selection, great food, and beautiful vibes.

Nellie F.



This is got to be the most unique restaurant/ Cafe I have ever been to. It also is a bookstore, it looks like they may have some spoken word there as this and 113 more

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