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50 in 50: The Hottest Black-Owned Restaurants In Each State This Year
Let’s keep it real: the past couple of years have been tough on the restaurant industry, with Black-owned restaurants and establishments faring even worse. But some have shown uncommon resilience and are thriving through the adversity with incredible service and mouth-watering cuisine.
As you travel around the country, be sure to stop and support one of the eateries on our compilation of the hottest Black-owned restaurants in each state this year.
Brenda’s Bar-Be-Que Pit in Montgomery, Alabama doesn’t just serve up southern fried whiting, pig ear sandwiches, and barbecue ribs. It also doubled as a spot for strategic meetings during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1950s.
Get authentic Ethiopian cuisine with a bit of spice and a ton of flavor at Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant.
Café Desta, located south of Downtown Tucson, has been serving traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean meals (with a side of injera) since 2010.
The family-owned Yeh Mon Authentic Jamaican Restaurant gives a taste of Caribbean flavor in healthy portions of well-known faves like jerk chicken, oxtails, and curried goat.
New Orleans meets downtown Denver in the Southern-inspired oasis Nola Voodoo Tavern. Try Cajun favorites Gumbo, Etouffee, and Muffalettas.
Chef Cheryl D. Rogers feeds the soul while Chef Jean Gabriel Jr. injects creativity and an eye for detail at Soul Tasty.
Green Box Kitchen, a fast-casual Plant-Based restaurant serving handcrafted salads, smoothies, açai bowls, cold-pressed juices, grain bowls, and other fresh foods, was voted the top vegan restaurant in the state of Delaware.
9. District of Colombia
Brother and sister duo, Chef Peter Prime and Jeanine Prime’s Cane, is a laid-back Caribbean vibe with intensely flavorful street food and intoxicating rum concoctions.
The Haynes Family’s Southern Kitchen and Grill is equal parts hospitality and delicious comfort food.
Since 1995, Grandpa’s Southern BBQ has been offering customers a taste of authentic southern cooking. The menu includes gumbo, brisket, pulled pork, fried chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and collard greens.
Get your creole fix with ‘po boys, boiled shrimp, and seafood towers at Ina Mae Tavern and Packaged Goods in Chicago.
His Place Eatery is homemade goodness at its core. That’s why it has been named one of the “best soul food restaurants” for four years.
Vivian’s Soul Food is a small gem in Cedar Rapids that has won rave reviews from guests around the United States for its authentic Southern dishes.
Stopping at a barbeque joint in Kansas City is practically mandatory. Add Jones Bar-B-Q to your list, where the sauce has been made from scratch daily for over 50 years.
Shirley Mae and Chef Theresa put oodles of love and care into their food. It’s those little, thoughtful touches that make guests feel like they’re getting a homecooked meal with every visit to Shirley Mae’s Café.
Addis Ethiopian Kitchen is family-owned and one of only two Ethiopian restaurants in the state.
The Land of Kush is billed as the “ultimate vegan soul food experience” with meatless options that will blow you away. Visitors include Stevie Wonder and Angela Davis.
Chef Anthony Caldwell’s soul-Asian fusion at 50 Kitchen is a standout in the Dorchester area.
Cajun Shrimp & Pasta, Shrimp Toast, Fried Lobster Tail, Fried Green Tomatoes, Pan Seared Tilapia, and Salmon Croquettes are among the tasty dishes at Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues in Jackson.
Necie’s Restaurant has been making Soul Food “Served Right” since 1985.
Quick Bites Soul Food is reputed to be the home of the best fried chicken in the midwest.
31. New Jersey
The healthy heapings of all-day breakfast and comfort food from Vonda’s Kitchen in Newark will leave you wanting more.
32. New Mexico
Jambo Café is a Caribbean restaurant named by the Santa Fe Reporter as the Best International Cuisine for 12 years and counting. Chef Ahmed Obo has also been named “Best Chef” from 2015 to 2021. It was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives in 2013.
33. New York
Organic farm-to-table plant-based Ethiopian is the specialty at Ras Plant Based, founded by Romeo and Milka Regalli.
35. North Dakota
Madina Cuisine is a family-owned business, where the African and Middle Eastern recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.
Chef Andrew Black keeps it bold but simple at Black Walnut featuring fare like Smoked Mac and Cheese Bites, Crispy Bacon Slab, Lamb Ribs (No Hush Puppies), Oysters, Turnip Leaves Salad, and Fried Quail.
48th Street Grille‘s Caribbean-American fusion menu of island wings, brown stew chicken, and conch fritters is the perfect balance of delicious.
40. Rhode Island
The District is a pizza lover’s paradise and has been voted the best pie in Rhode Island from 2017-2019. The secret lies in an 800° custom brick wood-fired oven used to fire up the pizza.
41. South Carolina
Nigel Drayton and his wife/partner Louise were not exaggerating when they named their soul food eatery Nigel’s Good Food. The South Carolina spot has won a slew of awards for its classic fare.
42. South Dakota
Kaladi’s Bistro started as Kaladi’s Coffee Legend & Bistro in 2004 but has since expanded to add diverse and unique dishes to the Sioux Falls culinary scene.
Binge Kitchen provides 100% vegan food made with the cleanest ingredients at an affordable price. Gluten-free options are also available.
Kismayo Kitchen is doing justice to Somalian cuisine with a menu that includes Coconut Chicken Stew With Rice and Beef Samosa.
Southern Home Cooking Simply Fresh is the motto at Della J’s Delectables, a family-run business in Springfield, Virginia. The name was inspired by proprietor Jerry’s mother Della.
Majorie, an intimate Seattle restaurant, is named after owner Donna Moodie’s mom. Moodie’s menu is “intricate” and “eclectic”, and judging by the devoted clientele, beloved.
49. West Virginia
Dem 2 Brothers & A Grill BBQ started as a roadside joint, selling ribs and pulled pork. Now customers have the choice of two restaurants and two food trucks. The overwhelmingly positive reviews even landed the BBQ favorite on The Food Network’s Southern Fried Road Trip.