Chef Rafidi’s ‘Yellow’ Café: A Hit on Wisconsin Ave.

Since opening its doors last December, Yellow, a Levantine cafe from chef and owner of Michelin-starred Albi restaurant, Michael Rafidi – who was just named a 2023 James Beard Award Finalist – has created a dining sensation along the bustle of Georgetown’s commercial corridor. Rafidi’s new cafe concept has proven to be a hot popular spot to grab a bite and relax, inside or outside, at 1524 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

“Yellow will evolve with what’s local, what’s seasonal. It’ll be based off of spontaneity,” said Rafidi who grew up in Maryland as the grandson of Palestinian and Jordanian immigrants, according to Washingtonian.

Chef Michael Rafidi was recently named a James Beard Award Finalist for Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic. Instagram photo.

With its tasteful yellow decor and matching yellow La Marzocco espresso machine, Yellow delivers all the aesthetics and the flavors. Featuring a fusion of middle eastern, and French fare, Yellow offers a decked-out menu with something for everyone. Their unique menu covers drinks and coffees like Turkish coffee affogato and Baklava mochas to signature pastries, mezze, and wood-fired pita sandwiches. Popular items include Middle Eastern sesame ka’ak breads, wood-fired shakshuka, smoked dirty chai, and cider tahini caramel soft serve. Full family dinner packages and catering services are also available.

Courtesy Yellow.

At Yellow, “fire-kissed breads, meats, and vegetables will come from a wood-burning pizza oven… Rafidi is playing with shawarma wrap-style sandwiches in addition to stuffed pitas, plus savory pastries such as “sfeeha” lamb meat pies with za’atar and creamy garlic toum,” reported Washingtonian.

Customers can dine in the cozy cafe with 30 seats indoor or opt for brick sidewalk-seating with 30 seats en plein air. The only caveat, no laptops and no WiFi. Yellow strives to be a space for more conversation with neighbors and friends rather than a place to catch up on work emails.

Pastries sell out often, especially on weekends, and seating availability can be slim. Nonetheless, be sure to wait out the lines. Although it’s busy, baristas are quick and efficient and tables free up fast. The bill might be fairly pricey, but it’s worth noting that all transactions at Yellow include a 3 percent “employee wellness” surcharge that allows staff to receive full benefit packages including health, dental, and vision insurance.

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