How To Spend A Day Supporting Black-Owned Philly
By DeAnna Taylor
Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in our nation. But, did you know that the city is filled with its own in-depth Black history and culture too?
It’s no surprise that business owners of color are deciding to call Philly home. If you are heading to the city soon, we wanted to help you spend your day supporting Black-owned businesses.
Here’s how you can spend a day in Black-owned Philly.
Start your morning off right by fueling up with a day full of exploring and sightseeing.
Franny Lou’s Porch is a literal and figurative source of community sustenance. This café offers local-inspired espresso drinks and teas, biscuits, and muffins with a side of activism and drum class. You can find the plant-filled café at 2400 Coral Street.
If you’re looking for something on the lighter or healthy side, check out iMunch Cafe. They only stay open through the afternoon, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
Spend your morning exploring some of the cities small Black businesses and boutiques.
First up, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse. Owner Ariell R. Johnson is the first African-American woman on the East coast to own a comic book shop. You can find your favorite Marvel and DC comics stocked here in addition to big-time and self-published books for grown-ups. Don’t leave without trying one of the comic-book-hero-themed cupcakes or special seasonal drinks.
There is also another Black-owned comic book store in the city. Atomic City Comics. located at 638 South Street, will also give you your fill of dollar comics, manga, and old-school Arcade games.
If you need a little mid morning snack as you shop for some of the best in Black literature, stop by Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books. Owned by author, social commentator, activist and professor Marc Lamont Hill, his bookstore features black literature and a food menu that supports black vendors.
For my naturalistas, Jenea Robinson birthed the ultimate solution, Marsh + Mane. Located on South Street, one of the most diverse business districts in the city, this natural hair care boutique is a sacred, inspiring space for black women.
Do a little upscale vintage shopping at Cultured Couture. Owner Erik Honesty offers a selection of well-priced Hermes scarves, ties, coats, and shirts, as well as Louis Vuitton and Gucci luggage.
You’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, so now its time to indulge.
Aksum Cafe: This Mediterranean inspired eatery allows you to bring your own bottle to enjoy with your meal. It is most known for its vegetable tajines, Lebanese lemon chicken and shrimp, Greek lamb chops and tapas.
Enjoy some comfort food at Pretty Girls Cook for lunch. Word on the street is they have some of the best seafood in the city. You’ll definitely want to try the: Thai wings, loaded buffalo chicken fries, sinful salmon, and the Shrimp burger.
If you are the type of person that needs something sweet after their meal, then one of the city’s longest-running bakeries is where you will want to go. Denise’s at 2916 N. 22nd Street, will have everything your sweet tooth desires. The line is always wrapped around the building for this place.
It’s time to get in a little education and learn more about the city’s Black culture and art scene, while you work off that lunch and dessert.
The Sable Collective, located in North Philly, is a resource for women of color. Here you will find everything from affirmation flag pennants, Ankara-print socks, and Cuban leather bags to book-clubs and yoga workshops.
As the first institution of its kind, The Colored Girls Museum honors the stories, experiences, and history of Colored Girls. Visitors will be treated to a Salon Style-Guided tour of a home that has been converted to a museum. Located in the historic Germantown neighborhood.
Last but certainly not least is the African American Museum. It is the first museum built to preserve, interpret, and exhibit the heritage of African Americans.
Finish out your afternoon with a little retail therapy.
Milano Di Rouge is a must-shop luxury street wear boutique. Owned, operated and founded by Milan Rouge, this apparel brand focuses on providing affordable luxury to the fashion enthusiast. It’s been spotted on rappers Cardi B., Rick Ross, Moneybagg Yo, Blac Chyna, Lil’ Kim and many more.
Black-woman owned Lovello Elizabeth, brings together two cultures, styles and worlds to forge a new path towards diversity in fashion. Born and raised in South Philadelphia, the brand embodies the designer, Alnika E. Lovello’s, multi-ethnic background of African-American and Italian.
To close out your day of exploring Black-owned Philly, we suggest indulging at some of the city’s best Black-owned restaurants that also offer live music.
Warmdaddy’s, owned by brothers Robert and Benjamin Bynum, is home to New Orleans jazz and acoustic soul. Let’s not forget the finger-licking menu consisting of barbecue short ribs, skillet mac and cheese, and gumbo Ya Ya.
One of the most talked about places around Philly these days is SOUTH Jazz Kitchen. Get ready for low country fare, old-fashioned hospitality, live jazz six nights a week, and a 50-bottle bourbon and whiskey program.
If you’re looking for a photographer to capture your Philadelphia experience, check out Rashiid Marcell, Philadelphia-based world traveler and photographer. CLICK HERE for booking info.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.