Little Sesame

Image: Hummus and Chicken and other good things.

Last Updated: August 2022

Current Status:  Downtown location is open from 10:30 – 4:00, Mon-Fri.  The Chinatown location closed as of 26 August and they have backed out of plans to open in Bethesda.


We are pretty sure troubadours have written ballads to commemorate the hummus at Little Sesame.  It is silky in texture and has a pure richness that comes from being made fresh.  The bowls are a bed of hummus topped with choices of ingredients like veggies or chicken.  It comes with pita, or you can skip to the slightly smaller serving of a sandwich.  There are some variations between the sandwich and bowl ingredients so if you really want eggplant you might have to settle for sandwich.  They added grilled cheese pita sandwiches recently – untried by us, but they look decadent.  There are sides of salads (think traditional like Tabbouleh or modern like Kale and Brussel slaw) and mezze that are mostly the toppings from the bowl and sandwich choices (chicken, eggplant, cauliflower, etc.).  There are soft serve desserts that are tahini-based instead of dairy.  This is a place that GF, vegetarians, and others can do very well at despite the focused menu. 

Little Sesame is a local success story.  It started in the basement of what was then DGS on Connecticut Ave (actually the entrance was on the 18th St. backside).  Word of mouth took off about this tiny spot serving hummus bowls.  We did not know the world needed hummus bowls, but it did. After DGS shut down, fans held their breath to see what would happen.  They found new digs on L Street after what seemed a very long time.  No longer in the dark basement, the double panel of glass across the front lets light in to shine on the eager diners who appear every day.

Note that the also started a line of ready-made hummus of different flavors available at various stores.  It is not the same exact recipe, but it is still really good.  Also, in case you were looking for a nice story about a restaurant owner, in 2020 Little Sesame shifted to service to coommunity during that time of need.  As owner Nick Wiseman explained in the Post, “We launched Meals for the City — quickly turning our restaurant kitchens into community kitchens to serve our neighbors. And it has worked. We’ve served more than 10,000 meals to the most vulnerable in D.C. who are among those hit hardest by the current public health crisis.”

Cuisine: Eastern Mediterranean

Downtown: 1828 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Chinatown: 736 6th St NW, Washington D.C., DC 20001 (Closing, last day: Aug 25, 2022)

Reservations: Walk-in

Other Voices/Critics:

Washington Post: Carman waxed eloquently about how good the hummus is.

Washingtonian: Cheap Eats 2019 – dating back to when it was underground.

Lori Gardner (Been There Eaten That): Got neighborhood drop delivery in 2021.