40-black-owned-restaurants-to-visit-in-nyc

40 Black-Owned Restaurants To Visit In NYC

Photograph: Ali Garber

40 Black-owned restaurants to visit in NYC

These expertly crafted restaurants and bars are created, owned and run by Black New Yorkers.

New York City’s brilliant Black community is constantly making this town one of the best places to live, creating incredible spaces for culture and art to flourish and opening expertly crafted restaurants and bars. If you’re looking for a way to support Black-owned businesses, these amazing restaurants created, owned and run by Black New Yorkers are an excellent place to start. 

RECOMMENDED: 10 amazing Black-owned businesses in NYC to support right now

1. F1rst

It’s a family affair at this tiny shop with a big heart in Bed Stuy, where the couple at the helm are supported by various relatives in keeping their “contemporary food for the soul” endeavor alive. While they’re perhaps best known for the duck leg confit mac n cheese bowl that first put them on the map, if you find yourself there on the weekend, try one of their brunch-only menu items, like cornbread French toast or biscuits and chicken sausage gravy.

2. Kokomo

One of our favorite restaurants of 2020, Kokomo’s Caribbean-inspired menu includes sweet plantain pancakes, saltfish avocado toast, fried breadfruit, braised oxtail, jerk chicken, and a variety of flatbreads. 

3. Ras Plant Based

This fantastic Ethiopian restaurant first opened in early 2020 and still won fans and followers in spite of the hospitality chaos that followed. Farm-to-table items are, of course, plant based, the cocktails are terrific and the dining room is vibrant. 

4. Bayou Restaurant

With its Big Easy-inspired interiors and live jazz music repertoire, Bayou brings a little bit of New Orleans to Staten Island. Look for classic comfort dishes like the rosemary lamb chops, crawfish and shrimp etouffee and steak Louie on a menu full of can’t miss options. And mark your calendars: They do it up big for Mardi Gras with a Fat Tuesday feast.

5. Sweet Science

Owner James Freeman slings elevated comfort food, craft beers and cocktails at this white-tiled Bushwick gastropub on a corner of Graham Avenue. The expertly-crafted menu offers up tasty wings in a variety of flavors, hot honey chicken sandwiches, shrimp and grits, as well as top-notch cocktails.

6. Scarr’s Pizza

This joint has that hip, back-in-the-day vibe we love: With its wood-paneled walls, counter stools and neon beer sign, the interior screams 1960s without feeling contrived. But we’re really here for the food from owner Scarr Pimentel, who mills his grains in the basement. The result? A featherweight pie that’s best in class. 

7. FieldTrip

Chef JJ Johnson, the hospitality pro behind Henry, Nomad’s much-lauded, now-shuttered pan-African restaurant, has created another hit with FieldTrip. Rice bowls are the focus, with several fish, vegetable, beef and chicken varieties to choose from. 

8. Jamaican Flavors

This eatery and bakery has Jamaican patty choices like beef with cheese, vegetarian, curry chicken and jerk chicken. It also now has several locations in New York. 

9. Veggie Castle II

Veggie Castle’s buffet is a chance to get creative. The buffet offers oodles of options to mix and match things like vegan salt-baked fish, jerk chicken, wings and other alternative proteins, plus delicious sides like collards and mac ‘n cheese.

10. Melting Pot Cuisine

This Queens venue has solid prices at lunch and dinner and popular dishes of jerk chicken, fried chicken and oxtail paired with plantains and a choice of salad or steamed vegetables. The menu also includes red snapper, kingfish, chicken and goat curries, and an assortment of sides, patties and pastries.

11. Cafe Rue Dix

This French-Senegalese cafe, restaurant, and cocktail bar in Crown Heights serves Senegalese cuisine and French cafe fare. It’s known for using fresh ingredients and bold spices to create some of the best Franco-Senegalese dishes in NYC. 

12. SoCo

Fine-dining vet Kingsley John (Aquavit, Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago) goes casual with this eclectic Southern restaurant. The rustic 130-seat space is outfitted with dark gray banquettes, Edison lightbulbs and a 20-foot-long bar. Cajun (shrimp gumbo), BBQ (baby back ribs) and soul food (lobster, shrimp and grits) plates share menu space. Craft brews, classic cocktails and absinthe are available to sip. 

13. Cheryl’s Global Soul

Flavors from French, Asian, Moroccan and Southern cuisines inspired chef Cheryl Smith to create the globe-trotting menu at this Prospect Heights restaurant. Expect menu items like grilled jerk chicken wings and “global bowls” with bases like Japanese-inspired tonkatsu and Moroccan vegetable tagine for lunch and dinner, and pancakes with crispy fried chicken as well as a variety of omelettes for breakfast and brunch.

14. Sisters

Fried Brussels sprouts with spicy vinaigrette and sesame and chicken wings with sambal, soy and peanuts are among the small plates at this café-bar hybrid, which also offers live music and cocktails like the mescal-and-bitters Fugue State. It uses only organic and farm-fresh meats without hormones or antibiotics.

15. Ghenet Brooklyn

After years of bringing Ethiopian flavors to Nolita, Ghenet opened an efficient space in Park Slope that does justice to the original. Its wide variety makes it a great option for groups. 

16. Sisters Caribbean Cuisine

Consider this a one-stop culinary tour of the Caribbean, with a taste of the American South as well. Here, chicken is curried, jerked or caramelized, and there are enough sides to mull for a while. Among the best are mac and cheese with a crispy crust, hearty collard greens, and rice and peas with a strong dose of coconut. Stake out your seat early, because dishes start selling out by late afternoon.

17. Negril BK

Expect Caribbean flavors with a twist at this hotspot, including “Trini” brown stew chicken, ackee-saltfish spring rolls, pepper shrimp, jerk lamb meatballs, and Creole seafood & grits.

18. Peaches HotHouse

HotHouse presents dishes of the South, like fried green tomatoes and fried catfish, with a more casual vibe than its sister restaurant, Peaches

19. Awash

Awash opened its first location in 1994 and it now has three in NYC. There’s enough variety to keep coming back for and to share with friends. 

20. Vinatería

This restaurant–wine bar in Harlem serves Italian and Spanish-influenced plates. The casual 57-seat spot offers a small menu of classics, with twists, like a rosemary pappardelle with lamb ragu and a pan seared black sea bass with risotto and wild mushrooms. To drink: an extensiven wine list highlighting small producers. 

21. Peaches

At this pioneering Bed-Stuy restaurant, owners Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman (both of the Smoke Joint) ably merge two trends—Greenmarket and upscale Southern. Appetizers lean continental and rustic, including a spinach-artichoke dip and a beet salad with labneh and preserved lemon. The rest of the menu hews closer to Cajun and Creole standards: a juicy half chicken sports a salt-and-chili rub, and garlicky shrimp with tomato gravy are served over fluffy grits. Peaches is a progressive addition to a still-emerging ’hood—guts like those play well in the South, and in Brooklyn, too.

22. Rustik Tavern

This neighborhood tavern has beer, cocktails, wine and food afternoon through night. Come by for brunch, when you can order the boozy option a and choose from items like French toast, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles.

23. Silvana

Tuck into spit-roasted meats and falafel at this bi-level Israeli restaurant in Harlem. During the day, there are Israeli pastries, organic loose-leaf teas and Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee—plus home decor and vinyl records—in the upstairs café-retail shop. The downstairs lounge features Middle Eastern classics (falafel, shawarma, hummus), as well as late-night entertainment like belly dancers, a live DJ and a tobaccoless hookah after midnight.

24. Extra Virgin

The saucy moniker suits this sexy bar, but it officially refers to the premium olive oils liberally poured over chef Joseph Fortunato’s dishes. Share an order of crisp, slender fries and a bowl of rich Gorgonzola fondue, then move on to the lemon crusted cod with fennel potato purée and crispy artichokes or the truffled mushroom asparagus turkey burger. For dessert, just order another glass of wine and watch the beautiful people parading past you on the sidewalk.

25. Omar’s Mediterranean Cuisine

This Mediterranean takeout spot from Egyptian native Omar Abouzaid offers halal plates (spiced grilled lamb, falafel, housemade sauces) and baked goods (tiramisu, napoleon).

26. Seasoned Vegan

Mother-and-son team Brenda and Aaron Beener give soul food a vegan overhaul at this Harlem eatery, decorated with burgundy walls, maple banquettes and penny-tile floors. Find meat alternative creations Harlem chopped “cheese” burger and the BBQ Craw Sandwich, which subs burdock root for the standard. 

27. Queen of Sheba

Queen of Sheba produces out a noble spread. Dip your injera into spicy dishes like doro tibs or green lentils with green chili. Vegetarians and pescatarians will delight over meat-free dishes like the Berbere spice-rich shiro wot and the basil butter-drenched tuna. Ethiopian honey wine and baklava complete the royal treatment.

28. Peppa’s Jerk Chicken

Peppa’s has a wonderfully fragrant goat curry and tender stewed oxtail served over coconut rice on the menu, but it’s the perfectly grilled smoked chicken that keeps us coming back. You can easily pay a bundle for a roast chicken elsewhere, but this more reasonably priced option is just as satisfying. 

29. Brooklyn Chop House

This lower Manhattan restaurant celebrating old-school Brooklyn has hearty slabs of dry-aged steak and thick-cut chops, plus dim sum. It also has another location in Times Square. 

30. Melba’s

Melba’s was heralded both for its neo-soul sensibility when it was first opened by the niece of the woman behind legendary Sylvia’s in 2005. Praise for plates like its chicken and waffles soon piled on, including from Bobby Flay on the Food Network.

31. Reverence

Chef Russell Jackson opened this California-inspired, reservation-only fine dining restaurant to great fanfare in 2019. With only 16 seats available, five days per week, opportunities to dine here are very limited, but well worth the wait with an incredible ever-changing vegetable and seafood-forward tasting menu

32. Brooklyn Beso

Seeking sips of margaritas or caipirinhas in Bedford-Stuyvesant? Land on Latin American bar and restaurant Brooklyn Beso. Start with tapas, like Beso wings with guava sauce, jerk mac and cheese, bacalao rellenos and chipotle chicken empanadas. Larger plates are available for later. 

33. Teranga

Find West African–inspired dishes in a fast-casual café nestled inside the Africa Center at Teranga. Senegal-born chef Pierre Thiam draws on influences from Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and other African countries to create what’s billed as “super food.”

34. Charles Country Pan-Fried Chicken

North Carolina-born chef Charles Gabriel serves pan-fried chicken several ways (barbecued, stuffed, curried), plus can’t miss sides like collard greens, potato salad and sweet-potato pie at his eponymous Harlem and Upper West Side spots. 

35. Snowdonia

The boozy focus of this Trappist-style gastropub is beer, both at the dark-wood bar and in the kitchen. Ten all-American craft brews are on tap, and dozens more are available by the can. The food menu is full of pub fare like cod and chips and shepherd’s pie.

36. Pig & Butter

This brunch spot on the Lower East Side is ideally situated to fortify yourself in advance of your next Best Night Ever, or re-fuel following the inevitable conclusion of your last. The breakfast sandwiches are the obvious contenders here, more chock-full than your standard grab and go, rush-hour offering. 

37. Sam’s Soul Food Restaurant and Bar

This Bronx spot has a welcoming Southern-style kitchen, a wood-paneled bar and a comfortable lounge. Get there early for the fried whiting, plump jerk chicken and freshly smoked ribs. Items sell out quick.

38. Ponty Bistro

Ponty Bistro offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night meals and weekend brunch, and each menu includes dishes influenced by Senegalese and Mediterranean cuisine. At brunch, that might take the form of a croque monsieur or a merguez and roasted pepper sandwich. At dinner, that might mean following escargots with grilled shrimp and coconut rice in lemongrass curry sauce or chicken tagine. Other French classics like steak tartare with shoestring potatoes and mussels in white wine sauce dot the menu. 

39. Sugarcane

A stylish crowd gathers at the stainless-steel bar of this classy joint on Flatbush Avenue. Their chicken and waffles are some of the very best in the city–crunchy, juicy and perfectly balanced between sweet and salty. Unique drinks include mojitos with mango and tamarind and shots infused with ginger, rosemary or ginseng.

40. Freda’s Caribbean & Soul Cuisine

Freda’s menu favorites include a West Idian plate of aromatic oxtail, coconut-y garlic-charged callaloo and fried sweet plantains. Just make sure to call ahead, because once Freda sells out, the shop closes.

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