Maura Judkis

Reporter, The Washington Post

Washington, D.C.

Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. She has appeared on MSNBC, PBS, Al Jazeera and numerous radio programs.


I used every pumpkin spice product I could find for a week. Now my armpits smell like nutmeg.

Pumpkin spice is not a flavor, it’s a lifestyle. Its mantra is the crackle of fallen leaves and bonfires. “Sweater weather” is its holy creed. The pumpkin spice life, like its coffee, is sweet, and you are always #thankful for your #blessings. It was never really about that particular blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and allspice, but how it makes us feel: warm, nostalgic, loved.
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Another restaurant closes. That doesn’t mean the industry is headed for a crash.

Ripple was the kind of warm, welcoming place that bred regulars like rabbits. It was both upscale and casual, and not overpriced. It won awards and was fondly reviewed. It was filled with people until, gradually, it wasn’t. “Our sales were down, and they’ve been down over the last couple of years.
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Brands want to capitalize on 4/20 munchies. Pot advocates say it’s time to grow up.

When you and your buds get the munchies on April 20, the high holiday for marijuana users, a small army of marketing professionals is working to ensure that in your haze, you’ll reach for their brand of blazed, er, glazed doughnuts. Or Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Or Burger King. Or any other brand of junk food — even from a wholesome, family-friendly company — that suspects its biggest fans may be spending the day more flame-broiled than a Whopper.
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Is their crossroads cuisine ‘the next big thing’? Uyghurs hope so.

Uyghur people are “really hospitable,” said Erkinay Abliz. So that’s why, when a recent visitor to her brother-in-law’s Cleveland Park restaurant, Dolan Uyghur, struggled to pull a piece of lamb off a nearly sword-length skewer, Abliz picked up her own kebab and bit the meat directly off the metal.
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Snap a selfie inside Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms. But take a moment to reflect.

The first time I walked into a Yayoi Kusama mirror room, I spent a minute in isolation, pondering the infinite. I was surrounded by mirrors — on all sides, even the ceiling — and the floor was covered in the Japanese artist’s characteristic neon dots. I looked into the horizon and saw thousands of versions of my own reflection, growing smaller and smaller until I disappeared.
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‘There’s a dignity to this place’: Inside the world of pay-what-you-can restaurants

When the check hits the table after a three-course meal at the homey EAT Café, it looks a little unusual. The receipt slip reads: “The total above is only a SUGGESTED price. Please write here the amount you wish to pay.”. The meal is valued at $15, plus $1.20 in tax. Some pay it. Some pay more.
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Miss World is the biggest beauty pageant you’ve never heard of. What’s it doing in Washington?

There is no swimsuit competition at Miss World. Miss Universe, sure: More body than brains. But Miss World? She’s all about charity and humanitarianism and talent. Let alone that the global pageant — which is considered more prestigious than Miss Universe — is happening right now, on the Maryland fringe of the nation’s capital, with a crowning Sunday at the new MGM National Harbor casino.
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A robot named Bruno helped make your pizza. Is it still ‘artisanal’?

When robots inevitably take over our planet, as the dystopian vision of science fiction writers foretells, we’ll lose our jobs, our freedom, our humanity. But take comfort in one thing the robots will provide for us lowly carbon-based life-forms: artisanal pizza. They’re already making it in a commercial kitchen in the heart of Silicon Valley: Two robots named Pepe and Giorgio squirt sauce on dough, and another robot, Marta, spreads it.
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Artisanal marijuana crabcakes: Is this the future of getting high?

As Matt Doherty wrapped up his cooking demonstration, a woman in the audience raised her hand to ask a question: How long would the cannabis-infused butter he had shown them how to make keep in the fridge? “I’ve never had it go bad,” replied Doherty, the manager of a Capitol Hill hydroponic supply store.
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The Renwick is suddenly Instagram famous. But what about the art?

The exhibition is about amazement, marvel and awe. But as droves of Renwick Gallery visitors gape at the large-scale installation art in “Wonder,” the newly reopened museum’s inaugural show, curator-in-charge Nicholas Bell is more amazed by something else: their phones. Thanks to a few well-placed signs announcing “Photography Encouraged,” smartphones are omnipresent when you walk into the Renwick.
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Is posting support for Paris on Facebook narcissistic, or heartfelt?

We were in Paris, more than a mile from the attacks, enjoying a quiet Friday night dinner at an Alsatian restaurant, just as people on vacation do. Our first indication that something bad had happened wasn’t the sound of gunfire or explosions, but the buzz of a text from a family member back home: “Are you ok?”.
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Washington’s newest hot spot – long-neglected Ivy City

This is Ivy City, a small neighborhood off New York Avenue NE. Now, much of it is in the hands of one man. Who plans to make it big. When developer Doug Jemal stands on the front steps of his new apartment development in the former Hecht Warehouse in Northeast Washington, gazing out at the panorama before him, he’s like a monarch surveying his kingdom: Almost everything, as far as the eye can see, belongs to him.
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Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post, covering culture, food and the arts. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. Maura has appeared on local and international TV and radio, including MSNBC, PBS, and Al Jazeera. She is a 2007 graduate of the George Washington University, and a 2011 arts journalism fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of Southern California.