In case you missed it, our guide to NYC’s Black-Owned Restaurants has 200+ spots you can support. If you’re looking to try something new, here are some exciting new Black-owned restaurants, bars, and cafes that have opened over the past few years. From a rum bar in Brooklyn and a Caribbean spot in Midtown to a BYOB Nigerian restaurant with a four-course menu, these are places you should know about.
The bakery/gelateria Avrilililly's just opened in Hamilton Heights with a floral theme, bright pink banquettes, and a ton of gelato. You can grab a scoop or a pint, or you can get your gelato in sandwich form. There are also a bunch of other treats available—like cookies and cupcakes decorated with flowers—and you can get a full tour of the space here.
This fantastic Bed-Stuy restaurant serves a rotating $75 prix-fixe meal inspired by the owner’s upbringing in the Nigerian state of Kwara. Before each of the four courses—whether it’s a scotch bonnet-heavy fish pepper soup, nutty mushroom suya, or pounded yam with efo—the chef/owner shares a personal story about the dish you’re about to eat. Coming here feels like attending a friend’s dinner party (most of the seating is at a communal table), and you can even BYOB—although you might see a server walking around with complimentary white wine. Make a reservation through their website.
What started as a Kickstarter campaign is now a full-blown cafe in Crown Heights with huge street-facing windows and a bunch of built-in banquettes that look like giant stones. In addition to serving pastries in the morning and wine and snacks at night, Daughter dedicates much of its energy to community-driven initiatives. They share free meals with individuals in need every day between 4-5pm and donate 10% of their monthly profits to non-profit organizations like Ancient Song Doula Services and The Water Project.
Starting in mid February 2022, you can also stop by their second annex location inside of a barbershop on Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, which will be open Wednesday through Sunday.
The Infatuation Celebrates Black History Month
If you spend any time in Astoria, get to know Nneji, a Nigerian grocery store and takeout spot serving a short but comprehensive menu of classics like jollof rice, okra and spinach, and egusi soup. Even if you’re a vegetarian, Nneji works well; the egusi soup, which typically contains beef, dried fish, or chicken, is usually made without meat. Instead, it contains chunks of tomatoes and caramelized onions that provide a sweet to contrast with the spicy and savory soup. The chef-owner, Beatrice Ajaero, also operates a West African food and gift stall at the Roosevelt Farmers Market called Ibari, and you can read all about Ajaero’s mission to share West African culture with NYC here.
Pig & Butter
In case your Saturday itinerary starts with “waffles” and ends with “a three-hour nap,” Pig & Butter on the Lower East Side will help you accomplish all of your goals. This Black-owned, diner-esque spot opened in 2021 on Ludlow Street with brunch served every day of the week. When you go, you’ll probably see bacon-topped waffles and parm-truffle shoestring fries in front of most people.
Rebel Restaurant and Bar
This new-ish Haitian spot on the Lower East Side is a party restaurant in almost every sense of the word. There are strobe lights flashing, live bands playing on Wednesdays, and DJs Thursday through Sunday—all in a big on the corner of Stanton and Clinton. Make sure to order the mussels in Rebel’s “secret sauce” (which tastes a lot like garlic, butter, and rum) plus some griot with fatty pieces of braised-then-fried pork shoulder and fiery pikliz.
Lady's Seafood & Soulfood
Despite opening in March 2020, this East Harlem soul food restaurant has operated through the pandemic with takeout orders of things like oxtails, fried shrimp, and jerk chicken wings. Things are casual here, and most platters come with a couple sides (like mac and cheese, collards, and candied yams). Stop by their location at 119th Street and 1st Avenue for breakfast starting at 8am, or pick up something quick for dinner.
33 Lafayette just opened in Fort Greene serving a Haitian menu with dishes like accra, fried plantains, and tassot turkey. This place is in soft-opening mode for now, serving food Thursday through Saturday from 5pm to 11pm. Follow them on Instagram to stay updated on hours, and be sure to stop by for a mango margarita during Happy Hour from 5pm to 7pm.
Adá Supper Club
If you still haven’t learned how to turn your apartment into a restaurant, it’s time to turn off the knife skills YouTube videos and order Adá Supper Club’s A Night In instead. This rotating dinner series features three-course meals from Black chefs and female chefs focusing on foods of the African diaspora. We loved Chef Kia Damon’s Southern creole, which came with rosemary lemonade, a pickle platter with pimento cheese, a comforting chicken creole with cured egg yolks, and calas (sweet rice fritters served with chicory powder and caramel sauce). Visit their website, and get on the waitlist for one of these experiences.
Not only is Roc-N-Ramen the first ramen restaurant to open in The Bronx’s Little Italy neighborhood, it’s one of just a handful of Black-owned restaurants in the area. All the Japanese food here is influenced by Caribbean ingredients and flavors, like oxtail buns, jerk chicken ramen or a BBQ rib noodle bowl with a mix of tonkatsu and BBQ broth. Roc-N-Ramen also has a location in New Rochelle, but their 187th Street location is their first NYC-based restaurant.
From red velvet ice cream infused with whiskey to spiced pumpkin pie, Dre’s Desserts specializes in sweets you won’t find anywhere else. It’s also a great place to order some excellent chocolate chip cookies that’ll far outshine the store-bought cookie dough cubes in your freezer. On Mondays, the restaurant posts a new menu on Instagram and starts taking pre-orders, which will all be delivered across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens the following weekend. Be sure to DM them your order, or add a few things to your cart on their website.
If you’re looking for great Haitian food, you’re bound to end up somewhere in Brooklyn. But if you want great Haitian food with a live DJ, head straight to Zanmi. This Prospect Lefferts Gardens spot serves dishes like goat tassot, codfish, and pork griot that will make you want to become a loyal supporter.
After operating two locations in Brooklyn, Peppa’s Jerk Chicken officially opened a third spot on the Lower East Side in early 2021. The chicken is just the right amount of smokey, and we highly recommend adding even more jerk sauce to your plate so that it coats every corner of caramelized plantains, and rice and peas.
Aunts Et Uncles
Aunts et Uncles is a vegan cafe and shop in Flatbush that has the soothing pastel color scheme one might expect from an upscale yarn studio. They sell everything from veggie burgers and mofongo to books and magazines, so if you’re looking for a gift to send to your cousin who is trying to become someone in LA, stop by their store on Nostrand Avenue between 10am and 10pm Monday through Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sundays.
On paper, Kokomo is a Caribbean spot in Williamsburg where you can get pastas, flatbreads, and more topped with things like jerk chicken and oxtail. But it’s also important to know that coming here feels like attending a party. They run a KokoHour from 4-7pm Tuesday through Thursday with discounted drinks and often have live DJs on weekends. Expect a crowd when you come by.
If you’re looking for a Black-owned restaurant to support near the Barclays Center—while simultaneously looking to support your unrelenting desire for guava-glazed wings—try Charm on Dean Street in Park Slope. This Caribbean restaurant opened in November 2020 with a menu of everything from pineapple and coconut fried rice to hibiscus sorbet.
This delivery and pickup-only Caribbean restaurant is making trips to the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn with a truckloads of their Jamaican and Haitian patties. Each one is filled with things like curried butternut squash and chickpeas, and if you check out their Instagram, you can find more information or place an order.
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of beer gardens—well, this is a rum garden on Rogers Avenue in Flatbush. When we first visited this spot, they served tropical drinks from a takeout window in their enclosed backyard. Now, Rogers Garden has guava margaritas and plenty of other cocktails (including frozen ones) available in their indoor and outdoor spaces until 12am Monday through Wednesday and 2am the rest of the week. If it's warm out, find a seat in the backyard, and try whatever food pop-up they have visiting.
This year, Harlem got a new Ethiopian restaurant on Frederick Douglass Boulevard just a couple of blocks from Central Park. Their menu has all of our favorite Ethiopian dishes, like crispy fried sambusa and gomen bisiga, and the leftovers only get better as the onions, collards, and beef sleep together in your fridge. If you want to order one thing, try Lalibela’s sampler platter or vegetable combo, so you can eat all of their different stews with a heap of injera.
Hibiscus Brew is a small, bright pink cafe on Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens where you can have breakfast, lunch, or weekend brunch. They’re open weekdays from 7:30am to 7pm and weekends from 9:00am till 7pm. Sit outside at one of their pastel blue patio tables with a Blue Power Smoothie, or take a chai latte and a vegan brownie to-go. This cafe is right around the corner from Prospect Park, so if you’re looking for a place to get coffee before walking in the park, check them out.
This seafood spot has two other Brooklyn locations that opened in 2019, but now they’ve expanded to Williamsburg too. The menu, of course, includes more lobster than a hypothetical lobster prom. There’s lobster mac and cheese, lobster rangoon, and something called the “Bed-Stuy Biggie,” which adapts the typical buttered Connecticut-style lobster roll by adding a lemon dressing.
Jasmine's Caribbean Cuisine
When you’re in Midtown and an overwhelming desire to eat Jamaican escovitch fish comes over you, check out Jasmine’s on West 46th Street. Other than the fish, this new-ish Caribbean restaurant specializes in rum drinks (which are all $15), empanadas, and coconut shrimp.