Meet Vanessa Lim, Owner of Spices Asian Restaurant

This entry is part 5 of 15 in the series CPMS Small Business Spotlights

Interview conducted by Olivia Brown

We sat down with Vanessa Lim, the owner of Spices Asian Restaurant in Cleveland Park to learn a little more about her restaurant and why she loves the neighborhood.

When did you open up your restaurant in Cleveland Park? 

I moved to Cleveland Park in 1992 and opened Spices in October of 1994. Originally, it was just a 1,600 square-foot space and then in 2001 we acquired the store next door and were able to expand the size of the restaurant.

What inspired you to open in your business in Cleveland Park?

I chose to open Spices in Cleveland Park because of the community. I quickly noticed that the community of Cleveland Park is very supportive of small businesses. This was especially true during Covid. I am very thankful for the support of the Cleveland Park community during the pandemic. We were able to keep on 90% of their employees during the pandemic, which was thanks to the support of the community. 

Tell us a little more about your business that many of us might not know. 

Spices is a women-owned business. It has been a women-owned business since its inception in 1994. Additionally, several of the employees have worked at Spices for over 15 years.

Tell us the something interesting you’ve experienced running a restaurant.

Since Spices has been around for 28 years, I have cultivated relationships with several families in the neighborhood. I have watched several children grow up in front of my eyes—from trying their first sushi roll, to now hosting their bachelor party at Spices!

Visit Spices at 3333A Connecticut Ave NW. They are open for on Mon-Thurs from 12-3PM for lunch and 4-9PM for dinner. On Friday & Saturday they are open 12-9:30PM and Sunday & Tuesday 4-9PM. You can view their menu and order online at

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