Where To Eat And Drink In Phoenix During Black Restaurant Week

Phoenix will host its fourth Black Restaurant Week starting Friday. The aim is to raise awareness and build support for Black-owned culinary businesses around the Valley.

A dozen metro Phoenix restaurants, food trucks and purveyors are participating and offering special menus and goods for the ten-day event running from March 15 to 24.

“It’s become a vital part of my business,” says Nik Fields, the chef and owner of Tempe’s Chic Chef 77, Arizona’s first Black-owned wine bar. “Just to be included, I’m extremely thankful.”

The Phoenix event is part of a regional Southwest Black Restaurant Week, which is also happening in Austin, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. The concept launched in Houston in 2016, and since has grown to host 15 regional events touching more than 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Since its inception, Black Restaurant Week has supported more than 3,000 restaurateurs, bartenders, chefs, caterers and food trucks, according to its organizers. The aim of its “More Than Just a Week” campaign is to introduce people to these businesses and inspire year-round patronage. Black Restaurant Week promotes businesses online and via social media.

From left: Derek Robinson, Falayn Ferrell, and Warren Luckett founded Black Restaurant Week in Houston in 2016.   Black Restaurant Week“> click to enlarge

From left: Derek Robinson, Falayn Ferrell, and Warren Luckett founded Black Restaurant Week in Houston in 2016.

Black Restaurant Week

That added visibility is helpful, says Marcus Moody, a former marketing professional who opened Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro in Laveen in 2019 before moving the restaurant to Phoenix. The eatery took part in last year’s event and saw “a lot of new customers that didn’t know we were there,” Moody says.

“We were just opening that location up (in Phoenix), so it was great to have some eyes on our Southern cuisine,” he says.

Black-owned businesses make up 1.3% of the Phoenix metro area’s businesses but the Black community represents 5.3% of the population, according to Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s “State of Black Business” 2023 report. The report’s authors encourage solutions to increase and generate access to capital that can help Black-owned businesses start and grow. In Black Restaurant Week’s announcement, organizers likewise note the systemic barriers Black business owners face, such as disproportionate access to business loans.

But, GPEC notes that one of the strongest areas for Valley-based Black-owned businesses is in food service, estimating there are more than 230 Black-owned restaurants, bakeries, food trucks and caterers. Here are 27 of our favorite Black-owned restaurants around metro Phoenix to stop by for a bite.

In addition to amplifying the voices of these business owners, Black Restaurant Week works to provide access to small business grants and training through its nonprofit, Feed the Soul Foundation.

Here’s a sampling of what’s in store for 2024’s Black Restaurant Week:

A spread of plates and desserts from Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro.   Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro“> click to enlarge

A spread of plates and desserts from Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro.

Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro

Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro

2319 E. Indian School Road

Named for Moody’s grandmother, Charlie Mae’s Southern Bistro has served classic, comforting meals since 2019. Moody, who previously ran Smoothie Run in Laveen, wanted to share Southern cuisine and memorialize his late grandmother.

“Thousands of people speak her name every week,” he says.

During Black Restaurant Week, diners can receive half off the bistro’s three-piece fried chicken plate with two sides, such as collard greens, macaroni and cheese or yams. Cap off the meal with a slice of red velvet, Oreo crunch or strawberry crunch cake, which are also offered at half-price. These discounts are only offered for dine-in from 3 to 9 p.m., and customers must mention the promotion prior to ordering.

Chic Chef 77 offers wine, cocktails, small plates and shareable boards.   Alexys Brandon“> click to enlarge

Chic Chef 77 offers wine, cocktails, small plates and shareable boards.

Alexys Brandon

Chic Chef 77

1221 E. Apache Blvd., #104, Tempe

Opened by Fields in 2023, Chic Chef 77 offers wine, cocktails, small plates and shareable boards ideal for noshing over happy hour or brunch.

“We take our charcuterie boards to the next level,” Fields says.

The chef and owner aims to create a less stuffy environment than many wine businesses, offering classes about wine along with entertainment throughout the week, from violin and poetry evenings to a live DJ on the weekends.

All guests who visit during Black Restaurant Week will receive a complimentary glass of Champagne. Fields will also debut two new boards during the event. The first focuses on shrimp, with Cajun shrimp, shrimp cocktail, garlic baguette and deviled eggs. A dessert board will provide a lighter fix for sweet tooths, with fruit, nuts, Nutella, caramel sauce and other treats.

To learn more and browse a full list of Phoenix culinary businesses participating in Black Restaurant Week visit blackrestaurantweeks.com.

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