Henry’s Soul Cafe

Image: Fried Chicken, Greens, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy and a hint of Cornbread.

Last Updated: July 2021

Current Status:  Open for take-out, and you can order ahead.  They have a couple seats outside, if you can’t wait.  Note that they close on the early side.

Overview:  Inconspicuous on the Dupont side of a block that bridges Adams Morgan and 14th and U is this throwback of a spot.  They do soul food to go, centered on a menu of picking a main and your sides.  The fried chicken is very good.  The food is cooked to order.  The display case when you walk in is for slices of its hallmark sweet potato pie and some banana pudding.  Take the food to go, and it will still be crisp and warm when you get home.  The mumbo and hot sauce are portioned out into plastic containers and piled high, along with the plastic bags ready to be filled.  The service is no nonsense.  The portions are ample.  It is an indulgence to be sure, but one you will likely not regret.  Namesake Henry Smith, who started the business in 1968, passed away a few years ago, but not before finding out that he had a fan in a President.  Now it is carried forward by the next generation.  While Henry’s feels connected to a historic D.C., it seems to be finding another generation of customers as well.

There is another location in Oxon Hill, MD.


Cuisine: New or Old American
Neighborhood: Dupont
Address: 1704 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Website: https://www.henryssoulcafe.com/
Reservations: Walk-in

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post:  Tom steps on Tim’s turf to write an ode that we are glad did not have to be marred by a star rating.

Washingtonian: Short piece in 2008 on the pie.


Eater DC: Adele Chapin did a profile in 2017.

The Root: A story about the inevitable confluence of Henry’s and Obama.