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Photograph: Ali Garber

44 Black-owned NYC restaurants to try

These expertly crafted restaurants and bars are created, owned and run by Black New Yorkers.

Shaye Weaver
Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Shaye Weaver
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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New York City's brilliant Black community is constantly making this town one of the best places to live, creating incredible spaces for culture and art to flourish and opening expertly crafted restaurants and bars. If you're looking for a way to support Black-owned businesses, these amazing restaurants created, owned and run by Black New Yorkers are an excellent place to start. 

RECOMMENDED: 10 amazing Black-owned businesses in NYC to support right now

Black-owned NYC restaurants to try

  • Restaurants
  • Crown Heights

This fantastic Ethiopian restaurant first opened in early 2020 and still won fans and followers in spite of the hospitality chaos that followed. Farm-to-table items are, of course, plant based, the cocktails are terrific and the dining room is vibrant. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • East Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

Owner James Freeman slings elevated comfort food, craft beers and cocktails at this white-tiled Bushwick gastropub on a corner of Graham Avenue. The expertly-crafted menu offers up tasty wings in a variety of flavors, hot honey chicken sandwiches, shrimp and grits, as well as top-notch cocktails.

  • Restaurants
  • Harlem

Chef JJ Johnson, the hospitality pro behind Henry, Nomad’s much-lauded, now-shuttered pan-African restaurant, has created another hit with FieldTrip. Rice bowls are the focus, with several fish, vegetable, beef and chicken varieties to choose from. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Jamaican
  • Long Island City
  • price 2 of 4

This Queens venue has solid prices at lunch and dinner and popular dishes of jerk chicken, fried chicken and oxtail paired with plantains and a choice of salad or steamed vegetables. The menu also includes red snapper, kingfish, chicken and goat curries, and an assortment of sides, patties and pastries.

Cafe Rue Dix
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Crown Heights

This French-Senegalese cafe, restaurant, and cocktail bar in Crown Heights serves Senegalese cuisine and French cafe fare. It's known for using fresh ingredients and bold spices to create some of the best Franco-Senegalese dishes in NYC. 

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SoCo
  • Restaurants
  • Cajun
  • Clinton Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Fine-dining vet Kingsley John (Aquavit, Charlie Trotter's in Chicago) goes casual with this eclectic Southern restaurant. The rustic 130-seat space is outfitted with dark gray banquettes, Edison lightbulbs and a 20-foot-long bar. Cajun (shrimp gumbo), BBQ (baby back ribs) and soul food (shrimp and grits) plates share menu space. Craft brews, classic cocktails and absinthe are available to sip. 

Cheryl’s Global Soul
  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Flavors from French, Asian, Moroccan and Southern cuisines inspired chef Cheryl Smith to create the globe-trotting menu at this Prospect Heights restaurant. Expect menu items like grilled jerk chicken wings, Thai coconut curry mussels, sake-glazed salmon and vegetarian tagine.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Clinton Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Fried artichoke hearts with lemon aioli and bone marrow on toast are among the small plates at this café-bar hybrid, which also offers live music and cocktails like the mescal-and-bitters Fugue State. It uses only organic and farm-fresh meats without hormones or antibiotics.

Ghenet Brooklyn
  • Restaurants
  • Ethiopian
  • Park Slope
  • price 1 of 4

After years of bringing Ethiopian flavors to Nolita, Ghenet opened an efficient space in Park Slope that does justice to the original. Its wide variety makes it a great option for groups. 

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Kombit Bar & Restaurant
  • Restaurants
  • Haitian
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Named for a collaborative farming process, Kombit, on the border of two Brooklyn neighborhoods, features dishes like lambi (tenderized conch in a stew of carrots and tomatoes), riz djon djon (wild rice mixed with black mushrooms) and poulet en sauce (baked chicken in a tangy tomato gravy). The founding family owners have brought that spirit to the atmosphere as well. 

  • Restaurants
  • Caribbean
  • East Harlem
  • price 1 of 4

Consider this a one-stop culinary tour of the Caribbean, with a taste of the American South tate as well. Here, chicken is curried, jerked or caramelized, and there are enough sides to mull for a while. Among the best are mac and cheese with a crispy crust, hearty collard greens, and rice and peas with a strong dose of coconut. Stake out your seat early, because dishes start selling out by late afternoon.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 2 of 4

HotHouse presents dishes of the South, like Nashville-style hot chicken, and creamy rice balls made from an heirloom variety of the grain grown in the Carolinas, with a more casual vibe than its sister restaurant, Peaches

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  • Restaurants
  • Ethiopian
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Awash opened its first location in 1994 and it now has three in NYC. There's enough variety to keep coming back for and to share with friends. 

  • Restaurants
  • Israeli
  • Harlem
  • price 2 of 4

Tuck into spit-roasted meats and falafel at this bi-level Israeli restaurant in Harlem. During the day, there are Israeli pastries, organic loose-leaf teas and Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee—plus home decor and vinyl records—in the upstairs café-retail shop. The downstairs lounge features Middle Eastern classics (falafel, shawarma, hummus), as well as late-night entertainment like belly dancers, a live DJ and a tobaccoless hookah after midnight.

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  • Restaurants
  • Haitian
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 2 of 4

Grandchamps has a spacious dining room, lined in yellow ceramic tiles. Chef Shawn Brockman evokes his mother-in-law’s homestyle cooking, serving some of the tastiest, crispy-on-the-outside, miraculously juicy griot (fried cubes of pork), as well as a number of Haitian classics in sandwich form. 

  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 1 of 4

At this pioneering Bed-Stuy restaurant, owners Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman (both of the Smoke Joint) ably merge two trends—Greenmarket and upscale Southern. Appetizers emphasize salads, like the toss of watermelon, arugula and spicy pickled ginger. The rest of the menu hews closer to Cajun and Creole standards: a juicy half chicken sports a salt-and-chili rub, and garlicky shrimp with tomato gravy are served over fluffy grits. Peaches is a progressive addition to a still-emerging ’hood—guts like those play well in the South, and in Brooklyn, too.

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Rustik Tavern
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 2 of 4

This neighborhood tavern has beer, cocktails, wine and food afternoon through night. Come by for brunch, when you can order the boozy option a and choose from items like French toast, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles.

Safari Restaurant NYC
  • Restaurants
  • Somali
  • Harlem

This is NYC's first Somali restaurant. Everything is halal and it's open from 9am to 10pm daily. Choose from items like beef, chicken or veggie sambusa, the popular hilib ari (roasted goat served with basmati rice) and slow-cooked mango curry chicken.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lower East Side

This joint has that hip, back-in-the-day vibe we love: With its wood-paneled walls, counter stools and neon beer sign, the interior screams 1960s without feeling contrived. But we’re really here for the food from owner Scarr Pimentel, who mills his grains in the basement. The result? A featherweight pie that’s best in class. 

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Harlem
  • price 2 of 4

This restaurant–wine bar in Harlem serves Italian and Spanish-influenced plates. The casual 57-seat spot offers a small menu of classics, including homemade spaghetti with fava beans, sautéed striped bass in ramp sauce, and grilled octopus on a bed of celery frisée. To drink: an extensiven wine list highlighting small producers. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

The saucy moniker suits this sexy bar, but it officially refers to the premium olive oils liberally poured over chef Joseph Fortunato’s dishes. Share an order of crisp, slender fries and a bowl of rich Gorgonzola fondue, then move on to the roasted artichoke with poached egg or mushroom-crusted virgin chicken with sweet-pea risotto. For dessert, just order another glass of wine and watch the beautiful people parading past you on the sidewalk.

Omar's Mediterranean Cuisine
  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Midtown East
  • price 2 of 4

This Mediterranean takeout spot from Egyptian native Omar Abouzaid offers halal plates (spiced grilled lamb, falafel, housemade sauces) and baked goods (tiramisu, napoleon).

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Harlem
  • price 1 of 4

Mother-and-son team Brenda and Aaron Beener give soul food a vegan overhaul at this Harlem eatery, decorated with burgundy walls, maple banquettes and penny-tile floors. Find meat alternative creations like BBQ lotus-root riblets, a seitan-and-soy fried chicken and Cajun-style crawfish, which subs yams for the sea creatures. Items like lasagna, pizza and lentil-walnut burgers are made with cashew cheese.

Massawa
  • Restaurants
  • Ethiopian
  • Morningside Heights
  • price 2 of 4

This Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant first opened in NYC in 1988. It still commands a following for its broad menu, sliding heat intensity and live music nights. 

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Queen of Sheba
  • Restaurants
  • Ethiopian
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

Queen of Sheba produces out a noble spread. Dip your injera into spicy dishes like doro tibs or green lentils with green chili. Liberally applied berbere spice is a complex and flavorful, l and kitfo is drenched in basil butter. Ethiopian honey wine and baklava complete the royal treatment.

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  • Restaurants
  • Harlem

California cuisine, which has become synonymous with seasonality through the years, is on the menu at Reverence. Chef Russell Jackson pays homage to the Golden State with a milti-course tasting menu featuring dishes inspired by the West Coast.

Brooklyn Beso
  • Restaurants
  • Latin American
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

Seeking sips of margaritas or caipirinhas in Bedford-Stuyvesant? Land on Latin American bar and restaurant Brooklyn Beso. Start with tapas, like jerk mac and cheese, platanos rellenos, chipotle chicken empanadas and crab fritters. Larger plates are available for later. 

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  • Restaurants
  • West African
  • East Harlem

Find West African–inspired dishes in a fast-casual café nestled inside the Africa Center at Teranga. Senegal-born chef Pierre Thiam draws on influences from Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and other African countries to create what's billed as "super food."

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

This popular, Big Easy–inspired sandwich shop offers a taste of New Orleans on the outskirts of Chinatown. The shrimp and oyster po'boys are the signature offerings, and fried chicken with gravy and braised short ribs are also on offer. Homey, down-South touches abound.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Harlem

North Carolina-born chef Charles Gabriel serves pan-fried chicken several ways (barbecued, stuffed, curried), plus can't miss sides like collard greens, potato salad and sweet-potato pie at his eponymous Harlem and Upper West Side spots. 

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  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

The boozy focus of this Trappist-style gastropub is beer, both at the dark-wood bar and in the kitchen. Ten all-American craft brews are on tap, and dozens more are available by the can. The food menu is full of suds-centric fare, too, like beer-battered fish-and-chips and beer-pickled vegetables.

  • Restaurants
  • Lower East Side

This brunch spot on the Lower East Side is ideally situated to fortify yourself in advance of your next Best Night Ever, or re-fuel following the inevitable conclusion of your last. The breakfast sandwiches are the obvious contenders here, more chock-full than your standard grab and go, rush-hour offering. 

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Sam’s Soul Food Restaurant and Bar
  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

This Bronx spot has a welcoming Southern-style kitchen, a wood-paneled bar and a comfortable lounge. Get there early for the fried whiting, plump jerk chicken and freshly smoked ribs. Items sell out quick.

Ponty Bistro
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Harlem

Ponty Bistro offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night meals and weekend brunch, and each menu includes dishes influenced by Senegalese and Mediterranean cuisine. At brunch, that might take the form of a croque monsieur ($14) or a merguez and roasted pepper sandwich ($15). At dinner, that might mean following escargots ($12) with grilled shrimp and saffron rice in lemongrass curry sauce ($27) or chicken tagine ($21). Other French classics like steak tartare with shoestring potatoes ($26) and mussels in white wine sauce dot the menu. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Caribbean
  • Park Slope
  • price 1 of 4

A stylish crowd gathers at the stainless-steel bar of this classy joint on Flatbush Avenue. Unique drinks include mojitos with mango and tamarind and shots infused with ginger, rosemary or ginseng for the botanicals’ reputed healing propertie

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