3207 Grace Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20007
Find us off of Wisconsin Ave, parallel to the C+O Canal
Monday - Friday, 11am-9pm
Saturday - Sunday, 10am-9pm
Getting to Grace St
Park - Georgetown Park Garage
Bus - Circulator to Wisconsin Ave + M St NW stop
Metro - Rosslyn Station then 38B Bus to M St + Wisconsin Ave NW stop
Foggy Bottom Station then 38B/31N/33 Bus to M St + Wisconsin Ave NW stop
First in the kitchen, then at the farmers market and now a brick-and-mortar shop in Georgetown, Chaia offers seasonal, plant-based tacos, sides and natural drinks in a stylish, casual setting. Chaia's menu is based on the seasonal, flavorful and healthy food our founders Bettina and Suzanne loved to cook for their families and friends.
Every taco is served on a hand-griddled corn tortilla and topped with hyper-local micro greens. Order our taco trio for $11 or a single for $3.75.
3207 Grace St NW, Washington, DC 20007
mushroom feta, red sauce + cilantro
creamy kale + potato pepper jack, poblano crema, green sauce + pickled onions
sautéed cabbage queso, salsa asada + radish
butternut squash goat cheese, chipotle yogurt + mint
rutabaga + red kale feta, roasted pepita salsa + fresh jalapeño
pasture-raised eggs fried or scrambled (weekends only) 1.50
cilantro-lime jalapeños gordy's pickle jar 1.50
black beans with jalapeño crema 3
green rice brown rice, herb pesto + feta 3
kohlrabi carrot slaw sweet + spicy vinaigrette with mint 3
winter white soup potato, fennel + hot chili oil 3
seven spice chocolate bar 2.50
cinnamon coconut cookie 1.50
*both sweets are gluten free and vegan
seasonal shrubs beet, lemon ginger, cranberry orange 4
cold-pressed juice apple-lemon-mint, pear-spinach-cucumber (misfit juicery) 5
iced hibiscus tea housemade with local honey + fresh mint 3
wine (lambrusco-italy, sangiovese-california, sofi-italy) 6
local beer (optimal wit-port city brewing, vienna lager-caboose brewing) 6
hot tea black, green, herbal (bellocq tea atelier) 3
hot coffee indonesian sumatra, single origin (vigilante coffee co.) 3
Truly driven by building a better food system, close friends Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern founded Chaia to share the beautiful, flavorful food they love to cook for their family and friends with the larger community. Inspired by their work as food writers and educators, their love of Mexican cooking and their roots - Bettina grew up in New York City and Suzanne hails from the Midwest - Chaia's "farm to taco" is a unique relationship between farmers and urban street-style food. First in the kitchen, then at the farmers market and now a brick-and-mortar shop in Georgetown, Chaia offers seasonal, plant-based tacos, sides and natural drinks in a stylish, casual setting. We are dedicated to:
serving delicious, handmade food + drinks
with great attention to detail
celebrating vegetables at their very best
partnering with the farmers that grow our food
offering a plant-focused menu for
our health + the environment
welcoming you into our shop with gratitude
“Chaia's vegetarian fare bests even the most flavorful fish or steak tacos."
“'This is it,' I thought to myself. 'This is the best taco I've ever eaten in my life.'"
“Bill Yosses, former executive pastry chef at the White House, is said to have developed quite the obsession with these tacos."
We describe Chaia as a seasonal vegetable taco shop and often shy away from using the descriptor “vegetarian”. Why? Because people often hear the word and immediately think that our restaurant is for people who don't eat meat or animal products. Our goal is to help people to eat more vegetables because they are both delicious (particularly when prepared just right) and they are so good for you. “Going back” to plant-based diets may be the best way forward for a sustainable future.
Our mission is about eating more plants to benefit not only your health, but the health of our environment - and there is extensive amounts of evidence that supports this. We are just beginning to scratch the surface on the impact we can make. Vegetables are the new meat: the more we can center our diets around whole, healthy plant foods, the healthier we will be longterm.
As always, our menu changes based on what’s in-season and what's growing locally and regionally around us. If you have not yet tried it, stop by the shop (or place an order online) for our winter Cabbage Taco - sauteed with toasted cumin seeds and served with queso fresco, our grilled tomato salsa + radish.
Thanks to you, we had a very positive and welcoming first year at Chaia. When people tell us how much they love our food, the space, and our happy, bright team - we feel so proud. Thinking back to our goals for that first year (serving great food, creating a unique experience for our customers and establishing our concept in a new neighborhood), we are confident and very excited with how the shop keeps improving. Chaia’s values of quality, seasonality, sustainability and hospitality continue to be our focus.
In 2017, we will continue to promote healthy living, sustainable agriculture methods, and reducing waste. Our focus is on developing a business model that protects the health of individuals, communities, and the planet.
A message we often repeat is: “Changing the world one taco at a time”. How? Because we feel that the impact of daily meal choices matters and that small adjustments can have a big effect.
Chaia’s philosophy supports opting out of many of the concerns of our current food system by eliminating processed, industrial foods from our diet, eating more plants, and supporting our local food economy. In our shop (and also in our own homes), we make every effort feasible to eat more plant-based foods and support our local and regional farmers, producers and businesses - as much as possible and even in the winter months. We are paying it forward. For us it has become habit. For you, it can too.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein
Here's to a bright and hopeful 2017!
--love from the Chaia Team
For Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon their focus on local, seasonal vegetables not only strengthened their friendship, but also heightened their passion for building a business around food. With Bettina’s past experience in editorial publishing, coupled with Suzanne’s expertise in environmental sciences and consulting, they saw an opportunity and decided to target it. In 2009 they began their journey in their own kitchens where they posted seasonal recipes on their home cooking blog (loulies.com). Determined to share with a larger community, they decided to bring their delicious food to the people - what better way than at a farmer’s market? Suzanne and Bettina set up a 10x10-foot tent at the Freshfarm Market by the White House and provided the community with tasty tacos all made with local and seasonal vegetables.
Almost one year ago (November 2015), Chaia transformed from a tent set-up at the market to a brick-and-mortar shop in historic Georgetown. They both agree: growing Chaia has been the best experience, resulting in extending good food, local farm relationships, seasonality, sustainability and warmth to you.
Chaia Chatter with Bettina & Suzanne as told to Amanda Bertholf, a Chaia team member:
1. If your best friend was talking to me, what would they say is the best part about being your friend?
Bettina: "She is adventurous and will go anywhere and try almost anything. She doesn’t see the future as a fixed destination, but rather as a place that she can create out of the choices that she makes.”
Suzanne: “Loyal and a big heart.”
2. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Bettina: “One of my parents dogs. They literally have the best life in the world - it’s pretty much all fun and games for them all of the time.”
Suzanne: “Our dog Beaumont - he is so spoiled and lives a great life.”
3. What has the most satisfying moment in your life been?
Bettina: “Birthing this business; it has been exciting, rewarding, and very hard work.”
Suzanne: “Raising a family and opening Chaia!”
4. What types of hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
Bettina: “If playing outside were a hobby - then sign me up. Running, hiking, backpacking, swimming, kayaking and traveling…physical activities done in the wide open.”
Suzanne: “Yoga, travel, beach, swimming, antiques and consignment stores.”
5. If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and why?
Bettina: “The famous people who intrigue me the most are those that have retained their integrity, their values, and their kindness towards others while creating or accomplishing amazing things, including: Paul Newman, Warren Buffett, Michelle Obama, Danny Meyer, and Maya Lin, to name a few.”
Suzanne: “Stella McCartney - I love her style and she is a vegetarian so I would love to get her hooked on Chaia.”
6. Do you have a favorite sports team?
Bettina: “Both the US Men’s and Women’s National Soccer teams. Rooting for the ‘home team’.“
Suzanne: “No not now, but I do love football season.”
7. Who is your role model and why?
Bettina: “My husband Chris. He has shown me what true, unconditional love means.”
Suzanne: “Probably my Mom, she has been through a lot in her life and still has such a positive attitude and sweetness about her. I am so thankful she taught me to be independent, self-sufficient and confident “
8. If we are sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it has been for you and Chaia, what did we achieve together?
Bettina: “The learning curve creating Chaia has been so steep! Mix theoretical and practical frameworks that are taught in business school with real-world problems such as: how to network, how to find customers, how to hire, and how to fix a major plumbing problem- pronto. I’m very proud of our accomplishments to date.”
Suzanne: “We have built so many incredible relationships and friendships.”
9. What is your favorite thing to cook for others?
Bettina: “My favorite meal to make for anyone, including myself, includes grilled, freshly-caught bluefish. Every fiber in my body feels energized if this is what I’m able to serve to a crowd of any size; it means I’m in the right place at the right time. It almost always mean that I’m surrounded by the people that I love most, including my three gorgeous sons.”
Suzanne: “For others and myself - We call it the "best cauliflower ever" it is stewed and mashed with tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan. It is so good.“
9a. For yourself?
Bettina: “Summer tomatoes are the one summer crop that I can’t get enough of. Slicing an heirloom variety, adding Hellman’s mayo and fresh basil for a lunch sandwich is my favorite treat.”
Suzanne: “Best Cauliflower Ever”
10. What is your favorite flower?
Bettina: “Dahlias - insanely gorgeous specimens in all manner of vibrant colors, shapes and sizes, with pretty textures and beautiful petal formations.“
11. What is your favorite movie?
Bettina: “The Graduate. It has always seemed to me an artistic stroke of genius. I’ve seen it so many times.”
Suzanne: “The Royal Tenenbaums. Every time I watch it, I relate to it in a different way.”
12. What is your favorite book?
Bettina: “Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. It’s a remarkable story of four generations of an American family To me it is a mesmerizing tale. When I fantasize about going back in time, I would love to have been a West Coast pioneer.”
Suzanne: “Mildred Pierce by James Cain - I love a book that I start reading and just can’t put down.”
Cinco de Mayo celebrations like you've never seen...or tasted
Our restaurant will be transformed into a festive atmosphere with Mexican-inspired decorations created by The Lemon Bowl
Offering special drinks all day and night
'Michaialadas'--our take on micheladas
'Mexican Sangria' made with local strawberries + citrus
Chaia Georgetown, 3207 Grace St NW
11am-10pm *extended hours*
Thursday, May 5th
SPREAD THE WORD + INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO THE FIESTA
this earth day, take a moment to connect the food on your plate to the earth that grows it. at chaia, we believe eating vegetables is healthiest for us as people and our planet
we eat real food in season, not just because it tastes better, but because fresh, locally available food supports farmers, sustainable land use, and our collective food community
this earth day, we also celebrate food's life cycle and thank our community for joining us in composting over 5 tons of food 'waste' and customer packaging from our restaurant
with our partners at fat worm compost, we are able to divert 100% of this 'waste' from a landfill to an industrial composting facility in prince george's county, maryland where 'trash' is turned into nutrient-rich soil that farmers and gardeners can use to plant the next season of crops + plants
to take part in the 'seed to soil' movement and explore composting options for your home and office, read more here
Create a Better Food System with Chaia
We are hiring!! Seeking dedicated, organized and reliable individuals for positions in both front and back of house for seasonal and long-term positions.
We believe that true hospitality is the meeting point between generous, open service and food that is nourishing for people and the environment. We are seeking like-minded teammates to help us grow.
A willingness to wear many hats is a must; you may be cashiering, preparing our natural drinks, filling tacos on the line, or helping prep and cook our farm fresh vegetables in the kitchen. In all positions, you will be our brand ambassadors, with an eagerness to talk about all things Chaia and create a superior guest experience. All of our teammates are capable of working independently and we encourage creative collaboration.
If interested, we would love to hear from you. Please send us your resume and a note with a few sentences about why you are interested in Chaia to email@example.com.
Photo by Albert Ting
Farm-to-table tacos and succulents - what could be better?
Join terrarium instructor Holley Simmons at Chaia for a terrarium class with succulents in our upstairs loft area.
We'll be filling glass bubble bowls with rocks, foraged moss, hearty succulents and a few other surprises!
Purchase your tickets here
Tuesday, April 19
Chaia 3207 Grace St. NW
Seating is limited to 20 guests.
Email Holley@SillLife.com with any questions.
We 'hyper-locally' source all of our microgreens from Little Wild Things City Farm, a woman-owned sub-acre urban farm right here in Northwest Washington DC and only 2 miles from our Georgetown shop. Microgreens are not to be confused with sprouts. Sprouts are seeds germinated in water just long enough to grow roots and underdeveloped leaves. Microgreens are tiny, baby, leaf seedlings that are less than 14 days old that are grown in soil and sunlight from a variety of vegetable seeds such as radish, kale, spinach, beet etc. Beyond being delicate and beautiful, scientists have found that that they are packed with even more nutrients compared to their adult version of the vegetable.
In preparation for the opening of our first shop in Georgetown, it is with great excitement and bittersweetness that we write you announcing our last White House FRESHFARM Market is TODAY Thursday, October 29th and our last Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market is this Sunday, November 1st.
FRESHFARM Markets allowed Chaia to launch our business by testing out our local, seasonal tacos in an incredibly supportive community. Chaia's first brick-and-mortar store, soon to open at 3207 Grace St NW in Georgetown, is the direct result of efforts by FRESHFARM to develop and support local businesses like ours and of course, all of our enthusiastic, dedicated customers who visit our market stand each and every week.
Back in May 2013, Chaia's founders Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon showed up at their first White House market with enough food to feed 50 people and sold out as fast as they could serve them. Since that first market day two and a half years ago, we have been so fortunate to serve hundreds of you every Thursday and Sunday. To be part of a community that values and celebrates fresh seasonal vegetables grown by local farmers means everything to us at Chaia.
So here's the biggest THANKS to all of you for supporting us at every step of the way. Our time at farmers markets is only the beginning for Chaia, and we can't wait to continue this Farm To Taco journey with you. Please stop by one of our last two markets this week because we have a small token of appreciation for you!
Help us spread the word that we are moving from the farmers market to our first shop in Georgetown! Exact opening date TBA.
3207 Grace St NW
Washington, DC 20007
Do you love our tortillas? Once you try handmade tortillas, you'll never go back to the grocery store packs again. They are simple and take no time at all. Follow the recipe on Maseca Brand Corn Flour found at most grocery stores and these tips: