Our Favourite Black-Owned Restaurants In London
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
You'll never run out of amazing Black-owned restaurants to try in London, but the restaurants on this guide are our mainstays. From Nigerian ‘tapas’ up in north London, to sensational Guyanese home cooking in south, to outstanding Caribbean cooking all over.
Joké Bakare’s modern West African spot in Fitzrovia is one of the most innovative restaurants in London. Its two-floor space is spacious and cosy all at once, with terracotta tones and a £65 per head menu featuring spices and sauces you’ll want to mainline. Start with a spiced okra martini—the menu recommends just two per customer, such is its oomph—before enjoying cloud-like sinasir topped with crab meat and ngalakh (or rice-cream) for pudding. It’s only open on weekdays so if dinner isn’t an option then swing by for the lunch set. This isn’t an optional London restaurant, it’s a must-visit.
There are a few meals that, when done well, are worth crossing London for. And the jerked beef Sunday roast at Guanabana, a casual Caribbean spot in Camden, is one of them. The perfect bite includes spicy, tender jerked beef, the edge of a crispy roast potato, a caramelised baby carrot, a piece of sweet plantain, and an unevenly cut corner of a beautifully deformed yorkshire pudding that’s soaked in gravy. It’s a laid-back place that’s good for small groups, where you can see the chef chaotically put out plate after plate of roasts and, during the week, other Caribbean-inspired dishes like a peppery jerk chicken alfredo.
Stork’s food is a pan-Afro-Caribbean feast. It’s all about old favourites with a unique twist—the peppery BBQ octopus suya is a particular joy. Served on a bed of yam fries, it's like a dish of calamari and chips served off the Côte d’Azur, reimagined for the warm breeze of the Gulf of Guinea. Stork’s put-together Mayfair setting is similarly sleek. The dress code is fitting of their west London location and higher-end price point, so put on your finest—everyone else does. That being said, the plush interior with soft lighting and modern West African art avoids any stuffiness.
Entering Kate’s Cafe in Plaistow immediately feels like you’ve walked into an aunty’s or family friend’s dining room. The space does away with unnecessary decor and keeps it simple. Which is more reason why it just feels like popping over to a familiar kitchen and makes it perfect for a group catch-up. The dishes are a deep dive into Ghanaian cuisine. Grilled fish is served with swallows like omo tuo, pounded yam, banku, and kenkey. Make sure Ghanaian stews like the incredibly rich, peanut-based nkatenkwan and abenkwan are on your table, plus rich, tomato-based red red. All bites come with plantain or yam, and if you can’t choose, get both.
Time is thrown out the window in Ikoyi’s world at 180 The Strand, and course after course from its blind tasting menu will leave you hopeful that perhaps it will never end. The fine dining restaurant leans heavily on West African influences and spicing. But with its glimmering bronze walls and the overwhelming sense you’ve stumbled into a gourmand’s nuclear bunker, it’s safe to say that this special occasion restaurant is unique unto itself. Not least thanks to its stupendous, lobster custard-topped jollof rice or a suya-covered chocolate truffle that will occupy your thoughts in the best possible way.
Home to London’s finest jerk pork and chicken, as well as Crystal Palace’s finest tarmac dining room in the shape of the big Sainsbury’s car park behind, Tasty Jerk is the must-visit Caribbean takeaway in London. The stripped-back interior is most notable for its line of perma-smoking steel drums behind the counter that are carefully charring sensational hunks of pork belly and ludicrously smoky chicken. This stuff is best consumed with your hands outside the door. A pot or two of Tasty Jerk’s blazing homemade scotch bonnet sauce is essential, but a seat or table is not.
After visiting The Treats Club, a dessert spot in Shoreditch, a klaxon was sounded in our WhatsApp groups with the words: HOT DOUGHNUTS. This small, pink-accented space is basic and the handful of stools are made for a good time, not a long time. But it’s worth sitting in to enjoy the doughnuts straight from the kitchen. While the filled doughnuts plucked from a tray are excellent, it’s the fried-to-order, glazed ring ones you should get. The crisp, golden exterior gives way to pillow-soft, warm dough, and the shiny glazes hug the top. The flavours change but they’re always excellent.
The Original Caribbean Spice, an Elephant and Castle Caribbean takeaway spot (if you don’t count the two tiny tables) feels like a proper homely affair. The radio plays loudly and regulars spend time here just reading the paper. We keep coming back to the slightly spicy mac and cheese, goat curry that’s rich and falling off the bone, and lamb patties stuffed right to the edges with crumbly meat. If you’re not sure what to get, the two sisters who run the place will happily recommend you something off the blackboard menu, before asking about your day and gently remind you not to spill the coleslaw that they’ve added to your takeaway bag.
A typical Eritrean meal waits until all members of the family are seated before breaking injera. And at Adulis—an Eritrean restaurant in Vauxhall that’s over 25 years-old—togetherness is in every single bite. A casual spot, Adulis is a place for gathering and sharing—splitting sour, tangy injera and scooping zighni (a heartily spicy beef stew) or hamili (a garlicky vegetarian spinach stew) that’s both comforting and refreshing at the same time. Bring a team—you’ll need the stomachs—or bring your most indecisive friend and watch them fully relax when you order the veg and meat platter for the table.
And the award for the London restaurant with the best name goes to… well, you can probably guess. Fish, Wings & Tings is a ‘does what it says on the tin’ situation down in Brixton Village. At the Caribbean spot, the fish is of the salt fritter variety, the juicy wings come smothered in a sweet tamarind jerk sauce, and the ‘tings’ include huge portions of curried goat and a potent guava rum punch. It’s a one-stop serotonin hit with casual service, reggae tunes, and bright multicoloured benches that are perfect for those rare bursts of London sunshine.
Chuku’s is a Nigerian restaurant in Tottenham that will make your jolly little mouth troopers—formal title: taste receptor cells—very happy. The red pepper zing of the moi moi makes it the ultimate dinnertime entrance snack. The suya rub on the prawns and meatballs is a masterclass in steady spice and nuttiness. And the caramel kuli kuli chicken is the kind of crunchy peanut surprise that will make you say ‘hello poultry legend’ out loud. It’s a feelgood, bright pink space where locals full-body hug the host as they enter and the playlist is as strong as the Ginger My Swagger cocktail. Hot intel: you can also swing by for a plantain waffle brunch at the weekend.
We have no idea how the lobster tails at Trap Kitchen got so large and in charge. Presumably they’re hitting the gym twice a day and squat the juicy bang bang prawns in their spare time. The seafood at this slick and rum slushie-serving restaurant in Camden tends to be supersized and super satisfying. From smoky mac ‘n’ cheese and barbecue chicken wings to those XXL lobster tails, the food here arrives on a foil-covered tray that has convinced us Rihanna’s ‘shine bright like a diamond’ has many readings. Outside of red banquette seating and intimate little two-person booths, Trap Kitchen is also home to London’s most glamorous accessory: disposable lobster gloves. It’s called fashion baby, look it up.
Few restaurants have both food and feeling that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but there’s no doubt that Kaieteur Kitchen does. Owner and head chef Faye Gomes’ cooking and neighbourly hospitality will have you coming back to the excellent Guyanese restaurant in Elephant and Castle again and again. Staple dishes like oxtail and curry chicken are delicious enough, but it’s the specials you want to look out for. Pepper pot is a slow-cooked meaty puddle of brown deliciousness, with meat so tender it gives up before your plate is put down, and a sauce so rich with cloves, cassava, and cinnamon, that leaving even a drop is a crime.
Sharing is caring and there’s no doubt you’ll be doing lots of that when you eat at Zeret Kitchen. The Ethiopian favourite in Camberwell has excellent options for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. Warming shuro wot (roasted and blended chickpeas in a hot berbere sauce) and awaze tibs (lamb chunks marinated in peppers and berbere sauce) are regular orders from our side, but whatever combination you get, you’re bound to enjoy tearing and scooping with their excellent injera. It’s a roomy, casual space, just as good for a few mates as it is for a low-key date or a solo dinner.
You don’t go to JB’s for frilly service or a fancy environment. You go for one thing and one thing only, and that is the food. The best jerk spot in Peckham is an in-and-out kind of place, even though its portions are never anything less than generous. A jerk chicken meal is enough to silence even the most persistent of monologue deliverers—the char is present, the marinade spiced and fruity, and the plantain a satisfyingly sweet accompaniment. Go on the weekend or a Wednesday and you can share some of their excellent jerk pork as well.
The Somali lamb shank from Brothers Cafe doesn’t need much help falling off the bone. Its proximity to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium means that collapsing is in its DNA, but the vital point of difference between these two things in N17 is that the dish at Brothers is actually worth travelling for. The lamb and rice are both fragrantly spiced, mixing star anise, turmeric, and cinnamon with melt-in-your-mouth fat. Throw in some basbaas—a sharp Somali chilli sauce—and you have an enormous meal that’s easily fit for two people. Or one who likes a second dinner.
Wolkite’s godin tibs—sizzling lamb ribs with crisply rendered fat—is superb. Especially with a few spoonfuls of spicy awaze sauce and a cold bottle of St. George lager. In fact, it’s this combination that has got us through a few years of paying to enjoy distinctly less fantastic stuff at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium that’s a hop and a skip away from Wolkite. The Ethiopian restaurant is a true Great Little Place, tucked away on Hornsey Road, making generous and delicious food that insists on big groups tearing at its injera with reckless abandon.
Al Kahf is a low-key Somali restaurant off Whitechapel Road, not obvious to the eye and nor to Google Maps but a quick search will tell you it’s very much known about—and you’ll be able to taste why. Their lamb shank is so tenderly cooked that a cursory glance at it will cause the juicy meat to fall from its bone. Pair with a sharp whack of basbaas (Somali green chilli sauce), a tear of smokily charred flatbread, and a scoop of sweet and lightly spiced bariis iskukaris. The room itself is big, basic, and brightly lit—made for focusing on what’s in front of you. Which will likely be a 10/10 meal for around £10 or less.
This Goldhawk Road spot combines two godly creations. The fried dumpling and jerk chicken. The dumpling is so fluffy that you could very well eat a whole batch of them alone (which they do sell), but the Caribbean jerk spiced chicken inside is saucy and full of flavour. You can add more fillings to the dumpling burger like fried plantain, avocado, and cheese, or you can keep it simple. It’s a popular (and small) spot with limited chicken-shop-like seating, so if you’re in a rush taking it away is the better option. And get a bottle of their homemade fruit punch while you’re there.
Known for being Rihanna’s go-to Caribbean spot in London, this Shepherd’s Bush takeaway spot has everything from fish tea soup, to curry goat and oxtail, and excellent Jamaican patties. There are a couple of seats inside, but the move here is to get some jerk chicken (with extra sauce) and a couple of the peppery, warming meat patties for the road. You’ll always find a queue, but the wait is usually short and the food is definitely worth it.