A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC

Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
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Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
BLVD Bistro - 239 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

Why: Everything is delicious. The Shrimp and Grits, the Chicken Dinner (served with Collard Greens and Potato Salad) and a pitcher of mimosa is the way to go!

Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
The Pink Tea Cup (Fort Greene) - 120 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Why: The Pink Tea Cup is all about the southern classic, Chicken and Waffles, Catfish and Waffles, Grits, Mac & Cheese etc. Its new location in Fort Greene is perfect for the Pink Tea Cup. If you have a chance to stop by, I recommend trying the Catfish and Grits, which is my favorite brunch item.

Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Chocolat Restaurant (Harlem) - 2223 Fredrick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10025

Why: Chocolat is a full Service bar, lounge and restaurant in Harlem. They also offer weekend Brunch as well. The Red Velvet Pancakes are delicious

Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Soco (Clinton Hill) - 509 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Why: Soco is a great restaurant in Brooklyn to meet some locals, have some delicious drinks and eat some southern food. When I visit Soco, I’m all about the Red Velvet Waffle and Fried Chicken. The Mac & Cheese and the Shrimp & Grits are also pretty good options to try. This is also a great place to to just have a drink at the bar.

Source: Soco
A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Ponty Bistro (Harlem & Gramercy Park)

Senegalese-American chefs Ali Cisse (Chef Ali) and Elhadji A. Cisse (Chef Cisse) are on a mission to save New Yorkers from the same old food. To do just that, their restaurant, Ponty Bistro, which has two locations in Manhattan, (Gramercy Park & Harlem) offers fresh options to excite the palates of jaded New Yorkers. The Fish Fataya is a must-try

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Melba's - 300 W 114th St, New York, NY 10026

Why: Known as the “Queen of Chicken and Waffles”, Melba’s serves some of the best Chicken and Waffles in Harlem. Melba’s sweet and savory Chicken and Waffles are topped with strawberry butter and maple syrup and made from an eggnog waffle. The Fried Catfish and the Mac & Cheese are also very delicious.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Negril Village (Greenwich Village) - 70 W 3rd St. New York, NY 10012

Why: This is a “go-to” spot for delicious food and vibes. You can eat and dance, all within 20 feet. The drinks are always delicious and strong. My favorite things to eat at Negril are the Jerk Wings and the Bahamian Mussels.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Streetbird (Harlem) - 2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027

Why: This is Marcus Samuelsson’s other delicious restaurant that recently opened in Harlem. The concept of the menu is centered on delicious rotisserie chicken, creatively mixed into other options such as sandwiches and tacos. For the sides you have the option of keeping it semi-healthy by ordering some vegetables or with fries, corn etc. The Notti Greens (Green beans, Chili peppers and Peanuts) is my favorite. The Chicken is also deliciously well seasoned and fresh. Overall, Streetbird is a delcious yet casual meal in Harlem.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Cove Lounge (Harlem) - 325 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027

Why: Cove is a trendy Harlem lounge that offers delicious appetizer & tapas. Everything I’ve tasted thus far has been simply delicious. I recommend trying the Lobster Mac & Cheese and the Red Velvet and Chicken Waffle.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Amy Ruth’s (Harlem) - 113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

Why: Amy Ruth’s has all the southern staples covered; Mac & Cheese (very cheesy, baked), Collard Greens made with smoked turkey (well seasoned, not vinegary), Candied Yams (not overly sweet, creamy) and Fried Chicken (crunchy exterior, juicy, and tender on the inside). You can order the fried chicken plain, honey glazed or smothered (my personal favorite). In addition to all these delicious options, Amy Ruth’s offers 14 different versions of chicken and waffles. As a celebration of black culture, the entrees are eloquently named after famous black people, (e.g. The President Obama, the Gabrielle Union etc.). My personal favorite is the smothered turkey legs AKA “The Roger Toussaint”. (pictured above). I love the gravy, the large turkey wing and the price.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Jacob’s Restaurant (Harlem) - 373 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10027

Why: Jacob’s is my go-to spot for take-out in Harlem. Jacob’s Restaurant, is a Black owned and family operated, soul food and salad bar buffet, with a huge selection of 42 fresh Southern, Caribbean, and Continental options. It’s affordable and a great option if you need a quick meal. They also cater! My favorite items include the Smothered Chicken, Mac & Cheese, and the Oxtails.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Footprints Café (East Flatbush) - 5814 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Why: Footprints is all about having some good Caribbean food. The Curry Goat is delicious and so is the Jerk Chicken. However, the real MVP at Footprints and perhaps their staple entree is the Rasta pasta. (Pasta with Jamaican flavor)

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Moca Bar and Grill (Harlem) - 2210 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

Why: Moca is a local lounge in Harlem and is a good place to meet some local Harlemnites and young professionals. On Tuesdays, they offer spoken word. Happy Hour prices are decent as well. My favorite food item from Moca is the tasty Catfish Strips. (which is discounted during Happy Hour). Those Catfish Strips are still some of the best I’ve had in NYC to date

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Peaches (Bed-Stuy) - 393 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233

Why: Peaches is an urban, rustic, and cozy restaurant in Bed-Stuy. The live music during brunch is fun and entertaining! The food is excellent, fresh, well seasoned and tasty. Average brunch price is around $15. The Blackened Catfish Sandwich is my favorite item from their Brunch menu so far.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Red Rooster (Harlem) - 310 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027

Why: Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster is a popular destination in Harlem. Located right at bustling corner 125th street in Harlem, you have no choice but to go in and taste the delicious food. Marcus Samuelson is a creative chef, so the menu at Red Rooster offers southern classics with a refined culinary/creative twist. Try the Chicken and Waffles (made with chicken liver butter), The Shrimp and Grits or the Coconut Grilled Chicken, which are among my favorite menu items.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Suede NYC (East Flatbush) - 5610 Clarendon Rd., Brooklyn, NY 11203

Why: Suede is a modern Caribbean cocktail lounge, bar and restaurant located in East Flatbush. The décor is very modern and upscale. The crowd is full of trendy young black professionals. The food is delicious! The brunch menu is well developed and features a modern twist on the standard Caribbean brunch. Since I’m a Chicken and Waffles addict, I can attest that Suede does an excellent job at its version of Chicken and Waffles, which features a delicious rum-raisin flavor.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Sugarcane (Park Slope) - 236 Flatbush Ave, New York, NY 11217

Why: A solid Caribbean restaurant with an excellent drink selection. (I personally love the Sugarcane Rum punch). Sugarcane is the perfect hang out spot for happy hour and/or a delicious Caribbean dinner. The Jerk Chicken and Oxtails are my favorites.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Sylvia’s - 328 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027 .

Why: You’ve been warned, Sylvia’s gets a little touristy on the weekends. However, Sylvia’s is a solid soul food option in NYC, I believe you must try Sylvia’s at least once, you know, “just to say you did it”. The menu offers all the southern classics. (Greens, Chicken and Waffles, Mac & Cheese). My friend enjoys their Gospel Brunch offered on Sundays

Source: Yelp
A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
The Door (Jamaica, Queens) Where: 163-07 Baisley Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11434

Why: You can enjoy traditional authentic Caribbean dishes at The Door in Queens. They offer various dishes such as curry shrimp, oxtail, curry goat, jerked chicken, escovitched fish and much more. I really enjoy their chicken soup and I used to have my ex boyfriend bring me some all the time. Honestly, everything I’ve had here is really good but I will be going back to try more! (since it’s in my hood). They even have a to-go restaurant next door if you are in a rush, which lately it seems like I’m visiting at least once per week.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Vivid Café (East Flatbush) - 4617 Avenue D, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Why: Vivid Café is a full service family owned restaurant and lounge, located in Brooklyn, East Flatbush area. I had the opportunity to visit while in the Flatbush area for brunch one weekend. The lobster Mac and Cheese was delicious. (pictured above). Everything else looked good as well but I will have to go back to try more items off the menu. For now, I believe that Vivid is a great neighborhood find!

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
40/40 Club (Flatiron) - 6 W 25th Street, New York, NY 10010

Why: Don’t forget, that supporting Jay-Z’s 40/40 still counts as technically supporting a black business. If you are a sports fan (like me), 40/40 is your spot! You can watch the games in a sleek, chic lounge and enjoy some elevated bar food. My favorite things to eat are the sliders and the catfish strips.

A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC
Therapy Wine Bar (Bed-Stuy) - 364 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233

Why: the hip ambiance at Therapy Wine Bar makes it the perfect place to visit for happy hour (1/2 price pours) or enjoy a laid-back date night in Brooklyn.

As a (black) foodie, I believe it’s important to support black businesses. However, just so you know, I’m not one of those people that will support black businesses “just because”. Every restaurant on this list, is here not only because they are black owned, but also because the restaurant offered something that made it worthy to be on my foodie list.

My journey through the Best Black Owned Restaurants in NYC is ongoing and started when I moved to NYC from Chicago almost  10 years ago. As such, this post will continuously be updated as I visit more places. For now, eat up and enjoy!

-Ash Renee

*Please note: This post was originally published on or about July 21, 2015

Ash Renee

Ash Renee, is a practicing real estate attorney & broker in NYC. Ash loves exploring the NYC restaurant, fashion and social scene. When Ash is not practicing law or writing on her blog, she can be found immersed in a good book.

1 Comment
  1. thanks Ash! I’ve been looking to find black owned restaurants or restaurants with black executive chefs and haven’t come across anything until now – this is super helpful when looking to support black business.

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