The Black-Owned Restaurants and Bars in NYC You Should Be Supporting

Even in times of unrest, you need to grab a plate

June 8, 2020 11:46 am
NYC restaurants
Rob Kim/Getty Images (photo illustration by Mike Falco)

To paraphrase labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, if you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them. So today, we’re looking at social justice through that lens: food, a subject everyone can get behind and also has the virtue of bringing everyone together.

In a time of both lockdown and unrest, local Black-owned businesses need your help. And bonus: By helping out a restaurant or bar, there’s a chance you’re going to discover your new favorite place to eat. 

One excellent new resource on finding these dining spots arrives via Rachel Karden, an associate director of social media for food heavyweights like Bon Appetit and Epicurious. Karden just launched a spreadsheet of nearly 200 Black-owned restaurants in New York, covering all five boroughs. She also says you’re welcome to DM her and provide updates and venues of your choosing.

As Karden writes: “[This is] not meant to only be used this week. Or this month. These are restaurants that you should always support. I need to do a better job of doing that, and am committed to supporting more Black-owned restaurants, clothing stores, and media brands … To be clear, this is a start. I will continue educating myself more on the systems that allow injustices like George Floyd’s murder to happen. I will continue donating to bail funds and organizations supporting Black communities. I will be having more conversations with family and friends about anti-racism. I will use my platform to amplify Black voices. I will listen. I will do better. And please don’t tell me to ‘stick to food.”” 

Some other food-centric resources include Black-Owned Brooklyn (which goes beyond restaurants and encompasses a wider range of Black-owned business) and the app Eat Okra, which lists more than 2,250 Black-owned restaurants (and is so popular their site is actually experiencing some lagging issues). The Infatuation also has their own list.

Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite spots via their Instagram handles. 

Milk & Pull
Coffee in a laidback cafe, with locations in Brooklyn and Ridgewood.

Cheeky Sandwiches
Sandwiches with a New Orleans flair on the LES.

Berber Street Food
An “Afro-fusion” mix that takes inspiration from the Caribbean. 

A soul food staple in Harlem (we miss the brunch!) still delivering family-sized meals.

Ode to Babel / Good Life
Sister bars in Brooklyn that support local artists and now offer drinks to go.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.