Enjoy Amazing Food At These Black-Owned Restaurants In Philly

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Philly may be known for its cheesesteaks but there is much more to indulge in its culinary scene.

This city is rich in black culture and history, so it’s no surprise there would be many black-owned cafes and restaurants for every foodies’ tastebuds.

Here are the black-owned restaurants in Philly you have to try:

Coffee Shop & Cafes

Franny Lou’s Porch

This beautiful cafe is filled with plants and has the coziest vibes.

The menu offers up espresso drinks, teas, smoothies, muffins, biscuits, and sandwiches.

There are also readings and drum classes to get the community involved in the arts.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

The owner of Amalgam, Ariell R. Johnson, is the first black woman on the East Coast to own a comic-book shop.

Here you can find Marvel and DC comics as well as mainstream and self-published books for both adults and children.

Enjoy your reading while having coffee and pastries or even one of the comic-book-hero-themed cupcakes served at this joint.

Rose Petals Cafe & Lounge

This spot serves up breakfast and lunch six days a week.

The rose petals and whipped cream topped strawberry waffles is their specialty dish.

Restaurants

Barkley’s BBQ

Craving barbecue? Head here for your fix of soul food and barbecue platters.

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Enjoy slathered ribs, apple-stuffed yams, collard greens, fried fish, green beans and gooey mac and cheese.

Butter’s Soul Food to Go

Another soul food spot that is sure to hit the spot. Butter’s got its name from the philosophy that the food they serve is so good it melts (like butter) in your mouth.

Jamaican Jerk Hut

Jamaican Jerk Hut has been serving up their authentic Caribbean cuisine since 1994. Here they serve dishes like jerk chicken, oxtail, curry chicken, roti, cornbread and more.

You can also BYOB, making it a favorite amongst locals.

Relish

Head to Relish for an epic 40-foot brunch buffet every Saturday and Sunday.

They also serve modern Southern dishes along with having live Jazz music each Thursday through Saturday.

Youma

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Get a taste of Senegal at this west Philly restaurant. Experience dishes like yassa (spicy grilled chicken), fatata (beef patties), dibi (grilled lambchops), thieboudienne (friend vegetable rice with fish), aloco (fried plantains) and wash it all down with ginger juice.

Warmdaddy’s

Enjoy New Orleans-style jazz and soul performances here along with comfort foods such as barbecue short ribs and mac and cheese.

SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Bar

This spot has live jazz music six nights a week and a 50-bottle bourbon and whiskey program.

Savor the taste of lobster and grits, hush puppies and chicken-fried oysters here.

Reggae Reggae Vibes

This spot merges Jamaican and American cuisines and serves up fusions like jerk chicken cheesesteaks and chicken patties.

Keven Parkers Soul Food Cafe

This stall is located in the Reading Terminal Market.

Dishes like southern-fried chicken wings, smothered turkey wings, candied yams, collard greens, mac and cheese, and more is what this stall is known for.

Paris Bistro & Jazz Cafe

Head here for an upscale dinner offering escargot and French onion soup.

There are also live jazz performances four evenings out of the week.

Shrimp Express II

Perfect for seafood lovers, this small family-owned spot serves all kinds of seafood platters.

48th Street Grille

The great thing about this restaurant is it serves dishes from soul food, Caribbean and American cuisines.

Arrive hungry because you’ll be served generous portions of dishes such as baby back ribs, jerk turkey with stuffing and blackened wings.

Booker’s Restaurant And Bar

This restaurant has amazing dishes such as coconut rice, pan-seared salmon and Buffalo cauliflower.

The restaurant was named after Booker Wright, a black server who was killed after speaking up about his experience as a black server in an all-white restaurant in 1960s Mississippi.

Dos Tacos

Enjoy tacos at this spot owned by former Top Chef contestant Senat Sylva.

Green Soul

Comfort food with a healthy twist is what Green Soul is all about.

With dishes like black bean veggie burgers, North African chicken, and mango jerk salmon, you’ll be sure to enjoy.

iMunch Cafe

Popular amongst locals, iMunch Cafe has a menu that is both delicious and healthy.

Menu offerings include salmon patties, fruit smoothies, stuffed omelets, salads, and paninis.

Dessert

Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen

The owner of this bakery was once Jay-Z’s accountant.

She now serves up cookies, baked donuts, cakes, and cupcakes to those with sweet tooths!

Denise’s

Treat yourself to pound cake, brownies, pies, cookies, and doughnuts — you can even get a wedding cake here.

The Best Black-Owned Vegan Spots In LA

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With one of the most diverse and expansive dining scenes in America, Los Angeles has a restaurant to fit every foodie’s preference. Plant-based diets have exploded in popularity and many Black-owned restaurants are jumping on this trend, successfully proving that soul food staples can be translated into delicious meat-free meals.

Fill your belly at these Black-owned vegan restaurants next time your travels take you to Tinseltown: 

1. Stuff I Eat

Perhaps the most well-known vegan restaurant in Inglewood, Stuff I Eat specializes in plant-based soul food, with specialties that include BBQ tofu, kale greens, yams, and mac ‘n’ cheese. 

2. Simply Wholesome 

In business since 1981, Simply Wholesome is a neighborhood convenience store where you can grab groceries or sit down for a quick vegan meal. They offer on-site nutritional counseling and information for customers who want to make a healthy change, but don’t know where to start. 

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3. Vurger Guys Food Truck 

Vurger Guyz was founded as a project to promote healthy living without compromising taste. All of their products are 100% plant based cand cooked in avocado and rice bran oils. They also offer a one-bite guarantee on all of their burgers and if you’re not satisfied after the first bite, you get a full refund!

4. Lettuce Feast Food Truck

Lettuce Feast grew from a plant-based cookbook to hosting vegan pop-ups to a food truck that can often be found at various vegan-based festivals in and around LA. Some of their favorite dishes include a crispy “chicken” sandwich, cajun fries, and tangy apple slaw. 

5. Compton Vegan 

If you’re in the mood to eat vegan from the comforts of your couch, place your delivery order with Compton Vegan, which has a vegan menu that rotates daily and includes dishes like black bean enchiladas, pizza and wings, and jambalaya. They also offer meal prep services!

6. Azla Vegan

You can find Azla in the Mercado Paloma food hall near USC, serving up authentic Ethiopian food in a casual setting that allows local students to grab grub in between classes. The mother-daughter owners earned the stamp of approval from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and offer the perfect pitstop when you need to escape bumper-to-bumper traffic. 

7. Jackfruit Cafe

Jackfruit Cafe began as a food truck, but will reopen this September in a permanent location in West LA. As the restaurant’s name suggests, jackfruit is their specialty and they offer menu items that range from jackfruit smoothies to cheesy jackfruit nachos to their specialty jackfruit bowl.

Twin Brothers Launch Black-Owned Food Delivery Service in Philadelphia

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Food delivery services have exploded in popularity, making it easier than ever to order from your favorite restaurants without leaving your couch. But for those who want their dining dollars to go towards Black-owned restaurants, there’s no easy way to specify that search on most apps. It’s a problem that twin brothers David and Aaron Cabella set out to solve with their Philadelphia-based food delivery service Black and Mobile.

After dropping out of Shippensburg University in 2016, David Cabella began watching YouTube videos for tips on how to start his own business. During that time he worked for food delivery services like Uber, Caviar, and Postmates, which inspired him to create a similar service that catered to the Black community.

Black and Mobile allows users to choose from a list of local Black-owned restaurants based on the cuisine they’re craving. After they’ve placed their order, it’s delivered straight to their door. Orders are currently being delivered via motorized bike, but the Cabella brothers are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a Black and Mobile app, further website development, hiring of marketing managers, insurance, a company vehicle, and an office space. So far 470 backers have pledged over $14,000 of their $100,000 fundraising goal. 

David Cabella reported to FOX 29 that his bike was stolen over the weekend, severely crippling the pair’s ability to run Black and Mobile. Anyone with information on the bike is being asked to contact the police and David told the news channel that Black and Mobile needs support now more than ever.

Currently, only 2.5% of Philadelphia businesses are Black-owned, despite the fact that Black people represent 43% of the city’s population. Whites only make up 34% of the population, yet own 76% of the businesses in the city. Nationwide, Black consumers only spend 3% of their disposable income on Black-owned businesses. The Cabella brothers think that providing a fast and convenient delivery option will encourage Black entrepreneurship and help Black businesses reach more customers. They hope to expand to other cities and begin delivering other products and goods once the app is fully funded. 

Click here to support Black and Mobile’s Kickstarter Campaign.

Famed Houston Restaurant, Turkey Leg Hut, Is Bringing Its Infamous Stuffed Turkey Legs To Atlanta

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Power couple Lynn and Nakia Price introduced Houston to a whole new BBQ experience with their famous mouthwatering stuffed turkey legs in the Rodeo parking lot. The Turkey Leg Hut has become one of the most talked about restaurants in the city since opening in 2015. They’ve received endorsements from entertainers and socialites like Megan Thee Stallion, Snoop Dogg, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Marlo Hampton, James Harden and more. They are waiting on the Queen Bey to answer their open invitation, though.

Cajun Bowl and Two Alfredo Stuffed Turkey Legs | Facebook

Patrons will spend up to two hours in line waiting to taste their juicy fall-off-the-bone smoked meat, drawing in crowds at the parking lot. Their famous turkey legs are stuffed with everything from dirty rice and shrimp to alfredo sauce and red onions and mushrooms. I wonder what hits you first the tasty flavor of the glaze or the alcohol when you order the Hennessy Glazed Turkey Leg. That’s a 2 for 1 if you ask me.

The price, plates, and stuffed turkey legs are big enough for two. Even the Mega Mimosas were recently named the largest drink in Houston. On a busy day, the restaurant sells at least 2,000 of their signature style turkey legs, especially the original Turkey leg stuffed with Dirty Rice and Shrimp. Other fan favorites include the Jerk Chicken and Shrimp Pasta, Cajun Crawfish Mac & Cheese and the Pasta Yaya, made with sauteed spinach, shrimp, mushrooms and red onions in a spicy cream sauce.

Former student-athlete Nakia Price graduated from the University of Houston with a BS in Business and a minor in marketing. Her husband and Houston native, Lynn, played baseball at Rice University. Together, they turned their hobby into their passion, with no culinary background, just a passion for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen with various cooking styles and seasonings. Initially, they only sold stuffed turkey legs and sausage on a stick.

Since opening, the restaurant’s success led to an expanded menu featuring at least seven kinds of turkey legs dressed in various toppings, crawfish, crab boils, and homemade delicacies, sold at their location on Almeda Road in Houston’s Third Ward District.

They also offer desserts like deep-fried Oreos, milkshakes, and enormous alcohol-infused flavored funnel cakes from That Funnel Cake Place for less than $15. Fans also come for other menu favorites like swamp fries, jerk tacos, stuffed baked potatoes, and salmon salad.

Cajun Bowl and Two Alfredo Stuffed Turkey Legs | Facebook

The family plans to expand further down the road by opening a Daiquiri Hut, a beer garden that’s currently under construction, and a Breakfast Hut down the street expected later this year. Get ready because Turkey Leg Hut is making a name for themselves in and out of Houston, Texas.

To the city of Atlanta, the Turkey Leg Hut says “Hold Tight we coming,” expected to open later this year in Midtown.

Next time, you’re in Houston, make sure you get more than a taste of their Stuff Turkey legs. If you’re not into extended wait times and long lines, you can still get turkey legs at their recently opened food truck, Turkey Leg Hut Express, located just up the block from the restaurant at 4902 Almeda Road for walk-up service. 



Los Angeles Based Black-Owned Ice Cream Shop Struggles to Stay Open

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Written by: Danielle Dorsey

Did you know that Los Angeles has a Black-owned vegan and gluten-free ice cream shop sandwiched right in the heart of downtown? Neither did I, so you can imagine my dismay when I found out that Divine Dips is in danger of going out of business just before the summer heat wave hits.

The dessert parlor is owned by Diane Jacobs, a self-described Jill-of-all-trades, who wanted to offer her community an all-natural, organic option for satisfying their sweet tooth. Prior to creating Divine Dips, Jacobs ran a custom cake shop for twelve years and has dabbled in architectural design, filmmaking, and photography. After several years of selling her frozen treats at various retail locations around LA, Jacobs took the leap and opened her brick-and-mortar shop in 2018.

In a time when many consumers are in constant paranoia over hidden ingredients, Jacobs eases that worry by being refreshingly transparent about the ingredients used in her creamy confections. Divine Dips offers more than 15 flavors ranging from matcha green tea to black sesame ginger, all of them vegan and gluten-free. Although technically not raw, Jacobs’ ice creams are created without the use of heat and with agave-nectar used as a sweetener, making them more accessible for diabetics. Since opening, Jacobs has expanded her menu to include non-dairy “Mylkshakes,” ChurroNuts (a churro/donut hybrid), cookies, brownies, apple pie squares, mini cheesecakes, and an assortment of beverages.

Like many Black business owners, Jacobs began her shop with little to no capital and has worked tirelessly to keep it open, hoping that an investor would see her shop’s potential. She’s been approached by Whole Foods and other local restaurants who want to add her desserts to their menus but lacked the financial support to move forward with these opportunities. Catering to LA’s growing vegan and gluten-free populations has earned Jacobs’ amazing reviews on Google and Yelp, but after a year of reaching into her own pockets to support business costs, Divine Dips is being threatened with eviction and Jacobs’ home is in danger of foreclosure.

Thankfully, a Divine Dips superfan has taken it upon themselves to set up a fundraiser for the business. The GoFundMe raised an impressive $3,000 in just 15 days but is still a long-shot from meeting its goal of $127,525. Click here to donate.

The fundraiser does not have an end date nor does it specify when Divine Dips will be closing if they don’t meet their goal. According to Yelp and Google, the shop is open and keeping regular business hours, so there’s still time to beat the heat with Jacobs’ almost-guilt-free treats.

Femme Power: 15 Of The Best Black Women-Owned Restaurants In The U.S.

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Written by: Ni’kesia Pannell

With everything so easily accessible now, finding a good place to eat typically isn’t that hard. Although you may hear about plenty of places that deliver exceptional service, delicious dishes, and delectable drinks, one thing that may end up missing from the most conversations is who the owner happens to be. Sure we see and celebrate many Black male chefs stirring the pots and building their businesses, but the ladies of the food industry are holding it down, too.

Give a nod to femme power with 15 of the best women-owned Black restaurants in the U.S.

Tassili’s Raw Reality Atlanta, GA

If you’re looking for delicious raw vegan options without sacrificing taste or your time, Tassili’s Raw Reality is the place. They provide a unique variety of raw vegan items like spicy kale salad, juices, carob brownies, and their famous Punany Wrap, a spinach wrap kissed with soy mayo, kale salad, avocado, tomato, sweet coconut corn, and Karamu couscous. Each item on the menu is inspired by Tassili’s international palate.

Star Fusion — Philadelphia, PA

Owned by Darlene Jones, this enchanting restaurant has something on the menu for everyone in the family. Known as the “home of specialty wings and spring rolls,” Star Fusion was developed based on a mission that Jones adopted to create both a healthy and diverse dining option. The restaurant also offers a diabetic-friendly menu and in March 2019, gained a sister property in the vegan, cold-pressed juicery, Blu Diamond Juicery — also owned by Jones.

Calabash Tea & Tonic  — Washington, D.C.

Fifth generation herbalist and naturopathic healer Dr. Sunyatta Amen’s celebrated restaurant Calabash Tea & Tonic is an absolute must try the next time you are in the D.C. area. Offering up unique décor and a warm and global environment that is representative of the culture it was derived from, Calabash serves up vegan goodies like Jamaican patties (sans beef), vegan BLTs, delicious pies, and more. Additionally, the restaurant features over 50 teas and tinctures to choose from. So whether you’re headed on a first day or just want to get a little healing, Calabash is perfect for any mood you’re in.

Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine — Ithaca, NY

Opening up in March 2015, Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine has garnered rave reviews from visitors and locals alike. Solely owned by Ethiopian chef Gedese Degebasa, Hawi features an array of Ethiopian cuisine including mild and spicy stews and lamb, beef, chicken, and vegetarian based dishes.

Sky’s Gourmet Tacos — Los Angeles, CA

Established more than two decades ago, Sky’s Gourmet Tacos has become a staple location for fusion food. Serving up Mexican cuisine combined with a bit of soul, Barbara “Sky” Burrell has created an extensive menu of imaginative and delicious tacos that are a clear reflection of the bursting community that the restaurant is housed in.

Taste of Nigeria — Houston, TX

Looking for authentic and mouth watering made West African cuisine? You’ll definitely want to head over to Taste of Nigeria in Houston, TX. Co-owned by Tiffaney Odewale and her husband Ayo Odewale, the restaurant hosts a menu of over 50 unique dishes that celebrate both the cuisine and culture of the country.

Nana’s Chicken and Waffles — Conyers, GA

Designed to deliver a family style dinner with influences from both Louisiana and Maryland, Nana’s Chicken and Waffles will leave you wanting more before you even head out of the restaurant. Owned by Kellie Ferrell, Nana’s offers foodies, families, and friends alike the opportunity to experience fusion comfort food while staying on budget. From New Orleans style beignets to Cajun shrimp and grits, there’s guaranteed to be something on the menu for everyone to enjoy.

DaJen Eats Cafe — Eatonville, FL

If you have plans to head down to the Orlando, FL area anytime soon, you’ll definitely want to carve out a little extra time to take the short trip over to Eatonville. Founded by Chef Jenn Ross, DaJen Eats Cafe has become a restaurant to watch for vegan cuisine. Combined with a Jamaican flair, each dish at DaJen will leave your tastebuds soaring. And, she even offers cooking classes!

La Patisserie Choquette — St. Louis, MO

Whether you’re looking for a way to soothe your sweet tooth or just want to relax a bit over tea time, Simone Faure’s La Patisserie Chouquette French pastry shop will help alleviate your craving. Known for creating classic goodies with a pop-culture influence, each one of the decadent and memorable creations will leave your begging for more.

The Grey — Savannah, GA

Founded in Historic Downtown Savannah by co-partner and Executive Chef Mashama Bailey, The Grey offers patrons the opportunity to embark on a journey of tasty goodness. Creating dishes that are soulful in flavor and rooted in tastebud elevation, guests will discover a melting pot of comforting and surprising tastes in every option on the menu.

Bennachin — New Orleans, LA

Bennachin offers a delicious taste of African cuisine for vegans and carnivores alike. Fanta Tambajang of Gambia first opened Bennachin in Metairie, LA in 1992 with a since-departed partner from Cameroon. The restaurant later moved to the French Quarter where it has been for years. Bennachin Restaurant offers the freshest ingredients, the fastest, friendliest service and the best dining experience possible.

Gocha’s Breakfast Bar — Atlanta, GA

Celebrity hairstylist Gocha Hawkins is doing more than just slaying your fav’s hair these days; she’s slaying delicious meals, too. Operating in the Cascade area of Atlanta, GA, Gocha’s Breakfast Bar has quickly become a go-to destination for anyone looking for a modern, yet premiere dining experience. And yes, everything on the menu is worth a try.

Brown Sugar Kitchen — Oakland, CA

The creation of Executive Chef Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen has become a staple in the West Oakland community. Serving up locally grown, organic, and seasonal ingredients for all of their dishes, BSK’s unique interpretation of soul food has continued to set the bar and make an unforgettable statement.

Fusion Flare Kitchen and Cocktails — Detroit Michigan

If you’re planning to swing through Detroit in the near future, don’t forget to make a stop by Mashelle Sykes’ Fusion Flare Kitchen and Cocktails. Utilizing fresh and local ingredients, this restaurant delivers high-end dishes on an affordable budget.

Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours — Atlanta, GA

After traveling the world for 25 years, Chef Deborah VanTrece decided that it was time for her to embark on her own journey as a restaurant owner. Opening in 2014, Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours has given Atlanta locals, transplants, and visitors a delectable dining experience that won’t break the bank or leave you disappointed. And with menu options like the Jack Daniels Honey Pecan Wings and the Dirty South Fried Chicken Omelette, who would even expect you to?