As more people look for ways they can support black-led organizations locally and nationally, it’s important to remember that one of the easiest things you can do is regularly buy from and support black-owned businesses including restaurants, bakeries, and other food services.
“Racism is inherent to the fabric that is America, and there’s really nothing we can do to change that,” Kristian Henderson, the founder of BLK + GRN, a marketplace selling all-natural products created by black artisans, previously told The New York Times. “But what we can do is be really, really conscientious about how we spend our money.”
Below we’ve listed some resources you can use to find some new favorite black-owned spots and continue to support the ones you already love. As a reminder, once you do find places you love, tip generously, leave great reviews, tell your friends, and continue to actively support them.
Download apps like EatOkra
This app, founded in 2016 by Anthony and Janique Edwards, can help you to find and bookmark black-owned restaurants in many major cities and metropolitan areas. There are more than 1,700 restaurants on the app and you can break them down by which kind of cuisine you’re in the mood for. The app also allows you to share your finds with friends and family. You can learn more or download the app here.
EatOkra is the main major app focused on specifically black-owned restaurants that we’ve found; let us know if you know of others! And if you’re looking to expand your efforts into other businesses, check out these apps listed by Afrotech.
Follow national publications and blogs
If you’re looking to discover black-owned restaurants not only in your city, but also when you travel, following national publications and blogs that are focused on highlighting black-owned businesses across the country and even the world. Some to check out are Travel Noire (which often posts specific city guides) and Black People Eats, which highlights restaurants in seven cities.
Follow local publications
If you live in a major city, chances are there is already an Instagram account and maybe even a publication for local black-owned businesses. Some might even get more specific as to only highlight restaurants and other food services. Some notable ones include Black-Owned Brooklyn (which includes a very helpful map), Black Chicago Eats (which includes a directory), and Black Biz DFW. Even if you can’t find a local publication dedicated to this cause specifically, seek out your city’s paper or website and see if they might have a dedicated article you can start with.
As more people becoming actively invested in supporting black-owned restaurants, many have taken it upon themselves to create spreadsheets of black-owned restaurants in different cities. Though they were compiled by many individual authors, you can find an aggregated list of them via writer Helen Rosner’s Instagram as well as this list from blogger Stylishly Taylored. Try searching for your city on social media, too, as many have created individual guides.
Check out this comprehensive list
Though local and national publications have a plenty of great options of Black-owned restaurants and food services, if you needed something that has everything in one place, this public Google Doc will prove to be very helpful. Broken down by either city or state—and even some in different countries—this list features both spreadsheet and article links to help you find the best Black-owned eatery in your area. And, there are even resources listed for Black-owned vegan restaurants, wineries, agriculture, and more.
Use Yelp searches
It’s not foolproof, but searching “black-owned restaurants” on Yelp and other search engines will often pull in results due to comments and bios from local restaurants. It’s probably worth doing a bit of your own research on top of that, but is good when you’re already out and about.
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