Food

NYC’s Chic All-Day French Bakery and Cafe Maman Is Expanding to DC

The Oprah-approved venture is opening restaurants in Bethesda, Georgetown, and Union Market.

Dishes at NYC's all-day cafe and bakery Maman, which is expanding to the DC area. Photograph by Isabelle Namnoum, courtesy of Maman.

Maman, a chic French bakery and cafe based in New York City, is expanding to the DC area with three locations. The first all-day, Provençal-inspired cafe will debut at Bethesda Row in late spring or early summer. Two more are bound for Georgetown and Union Market. 

The restaurant first opened in Soho in 2014—it was then an independent venture from Michelin-starred French chef Armand Arnal, and husband-and-wife duo Benjamin Sormonte (a French lawyer) and Elisa Marshall (a Toronto-born baker and event planner). Praise followed, particularly for “NYC’s most impressive new chocolate-chip cookie,” per Grub Street (Oprah is also a big fan). Arnal has since returned to Southern France, while Sormonte and Marshall have expanded Maman into a “lifestyle brand” with 15 Instagram-ready locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, and into Montreal and Toronto. 

Maman’s chocolate chip cookies – a favorite of Oprah. Photograph by Victoria Morris, courtesy of Maman

Maman’s DC-area locations will be similar to the others, with menus filled with pastries, quiches, salads, sandwiches—and those famous chocolate chip cookies. Decor will follow suit, with plenty of florals and vintage and antique accents from France. The team says they’re also planning some exclusive-to-Washington menu items and events.

High-end out-of-town bakeries are a growing trend here. Maman will join Levain—a Manhattan bakery famous for its chocolate chip cookies—in Bethesda and Georgetown. Mah Ze Dahr, another New York export, has shops in Navy Yard and National Landing. And Tatte, Boston’s airy Mediterranean creation, has planted roots in Bethesda as well as Dupont Circle, West End, Clarendon, and beyond. 

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.