Given the current COVID-19 situation, we will be postponing Bite Night: ZooFari until later in the year. If you have already purchased tickets, those will be honored for the new date—and if that date doesn't work for you, the full cost of your tickets will be refunded. We'll post the new date as soon as it is confirmed, and we look forward to seeing you then.
D.C.'s favorite chef-curated restaurant tasting event returns Wednesday, May 20. Hosted by top area chefs Tim Ma, Cathal Armstrong, Erik Bruner-Yang and Tiffany MacIsaac, Bite Night: ZooFari is an unforgettable night of animals, entertainment and the best gourmet bites in the city. Enjoy an exquisite evening while supporting the Smithsonian’s work to save endangered animals around the world.
- Event Info
- Tickets & VIP Packages
- Vintners and Distillers
- Chef Host Committee
- Parking & Transportation
- Silent Auction
- Conservation Nation
- Enjoy complimentary food tastings from more than 50 of the area's best eateries
- Mingle with the owners and chefs of D.C.'s top restaurants
- Meet animals up close
- Visit animal houses after hours
- Bid on animal-themed items and exclusive getaways at a silent auction
- Drink complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks and water
- Enjoy live entertainment and wild activities
- Take advantage of exclusive experiences for VIP ticket holders, including a penguin encounter and the VIP Lounge, hosted by Charles Schwab & Co.
General Admission Tickets
General admission tickets provide access to the general event area, which includes complimentary food tastings, beer, wine, soft drinks and water, plus live entertainment and animal experiences.
Bronze VIP Package ♦ $800 ($1,000 starting March 26)
Silver VIP Package ♦ $1,600 ($2,500 starting March 26)
Gold VIP Package ♦ $6,000 ($7,500 starting March 26)
Platinum VIP Package ♦ $10,000
*The VIP Lounge, hosted by Charles Schwab & Co. (located on the Great Meadow) will be open for the duration of the event. The VIP Lounge is the only place where spirits and liquor will be available. VIPs also get special dessert tastings, exclusive entertainment and more.
** Pre-party (located at Clint Fields Plaza) is open from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and includes exclusive hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
Refund policy: You will receive a 75% refund on your ticket purchase if you request the refund before May 6. No refunds will be given starting May 6. Additional ticket fees are nonrefundable.
This list will be updated frequently. Check it out often! VIP Lounge desserts will be curated by Tiffany MacIsaac of Buttercream Bakeshop. More restaurants will be announced soon.
VIP Lounge, hosted by Charles Schwab & Co.
This list will be updated frequently. Check it out often!
VIP Lounge desserts will be curated by Tiffany MacIsaac of Buttercream Bakeshop. More restaurants will be announced soon.
Check back later for 2020 vintners and distillers.
2019 Vintners and Distillers
- 90+ Cellars
- Barton and Guestier
- Dirty Habit
- District Winery
- Francis Ford Coppola Winery
- Freixenet Mionetto USA
- Quintessential Wines
- Rough Day Wines
- ANXO Cider
- Barr Hill Gin
- Barton and Guestier
- Dirty Habit
- DNV Rooftop
- Dr. Stoner's
- Grape Intentions
- Redemption Rye
- Twelv 31 Spirits
- Virginia Distillery Company
- Barr Hill Gin (exclusive provider of spirits at the pre-party)
- Klinker Brick Winery
This year, a committee of esteemed area chefs will help curate Bite Night: ZooFari’s culinary experience.
Chef/owner, American Son and Prather's on the Alley
Tim Ma is a fixture in Virginia and D.C. From American Son at the Eaton DC hotel, where he expresses American cuisine as a melting pot of diverse immigrant stories, to Prather’s on the Alley, where he serves as executive chef, Ma's cooking celebrates and explores what it means to be American today.
Chef/owner, Kaliwa and Restaurant Eve
Cathal Armstrong is an eight-time James Beard Award nominee, and his restaurant Kaliwa is on Washingtonian's 100 best restaurants list for 2019. He is one of Food & Wine Magazine's best new chefs and won the Best Chef award from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington D.C. His cooking combines his Irish upbringing and French training with modern techniques.
Chef/owner, ABC Pony and Brothers and Sisters
Born in Taiwan and raised in the United States, Bruner-Yang has been credited for introducing D.C. to ramen in 2011 with Toki Underground. Since then, Bruner-Yang has brought his contemporary yet habitual cooking to new restaurants including Spoken English, Brothers and Sisters, and ABC Pony.
Owner/pastry chef, Buttercream Bakeshop
At Buttercream Bakeshop, MacIsaac devotes herself to the simple ambition of making people happy with her high-quality confections. Her style is distinctly playful, but her serious work in the kitchen — and background as a pastry chef in Michelin-starred restaurants — produces superior cookies, cakes, and confections.
This year, parking for Bite Night: ZooFari will be free. Parking tickets will be required. Check back later for more information.
At the silent auction, lucky bidders will have the chance to take home incredible travel packages, art created by animals and more. The auction will go live for pre-bidding on Wednesday, May 13, and close at the conclusion of Bite Night: ZooFari on Wednesday, May 20. Check back later for more information.
Smithsonian scientists will be on hand to share information about how they’re saving endangered animals around the globe. They’ll showcase wildlife projects that are supported by Conservation Nation, an initiative of Friends of the National Zoo.
Conservation Nation’s 2020 priorities include studying disease in rescued orangutans, helping monitor rare tigers, saving pangolins and setting the stage for the Guam kingfisher’s reintroduction to the wild.
Designated accessible parking spaces are located in Parking Lots A, B and D on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wheelchair and Electronic Vehicle Rental
All Zoo pathways are wheelchair accessible. Please note that the Zoo’s main pathway is located on a hill with a significant decline from top to bottom.
Wheelchairs and electronic vehicles are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Manual wheelchairs are available from the information booths at the Visitor Center (parking lot A and metro riders), Panda Plaza (parking lots A and B) and Lion-Tiger Hill (parking lot D).
Electronic convenience vehicles are available for rent from the information booths at the Visitor Center (parking lot A and metro riders), Panda Plaza (parking lots A and B) and Lion-Tiger Hill (parking lot D). Please note: A state-issued driver's license or ID card is required to rent and operate an electronic convenience vehicle. Guests must be at least 16 years old to operate an electronic vehicle and those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members
Restrooms are located at the Visitor Center, Panda Plaza, Elephant Outpost and Conservation Pavilion. All restrooms throughout the Zoo are accessible. The Visitor Center’s restrooms, water fountains and Asia Trail gift shop are accessible via wheelchair lift.
Family restrooms are located in the Visitor Center, Elephant Outpost and Conservation Pavilion. All restrooms at the Zoo have automatic flushing mechanisms.
Aira Services for Blind/Low-vision
Access to free Aira services are available while visiting the Zoo through use of the Aira app. More information about Aira.