In case you missed it, our guide to the Bay Area’s Black-owned restaurants has hundreds of spots from Alameda and San Francisco to Vallejo. If you’re looking to try something new, here are 10 restaurants, bakeries, and cafes that opened over the past year. There are spots for blue corn waffles, charcoal lattes, and pizzas with biscuit crusts—read more about them below, and get to eating.
The Infatuation Celebrates Black History Month
Aman Cafe specializes in sweet and savory Malaysian roti canai, and they’re loaded with mostly vegetarian toppings, like mixed vegetables, plant-based sausages, and fruit. It all sits atop flaky, stretchy roti that soaks up all of the sauces really nicely (plus, each one runs around just $10). Come to this counter-service spot in Temescal to fuel up on a quick, filling breakfast or lunch.
Red Bay Coffee
The Oakland-based coffee company is now hard at work on caffeinating San Franciscans at the Ferry Building. The cafe’s got all of Red Bay Coffee’s usual espresso drinks, including the signature charcoal latte, as well as croissants, cookies, muffins, and other pastries. Swing by before a stroll along the Embarcadero, or after you get fruit sample fatigue over at the farmers market.
There’s a new West Oakland spot to add to your ever-expanding fried chicken sandwich Rolodex. It’s called Kowbird, and it’s from the same chef behind the famous Horn BBQ. They serve three different sandwiches—a Nashville-inspired Hot Bird, the Southern Bird, and Honey Bird—all of which are made with perfectly-fried chicken thighs and served on squishy potato rolls. They’re all fantastic, so we fully endorse ordering all three.
Yes Pudding started out as a dessert company, selling jars of banana pudding, croissants, and other baked sweets at farmers markets across SF. They’ve since landed a brick-and-mortar spot in the Ferry Building and expanded their menu to include seasonally-rotating bread puddings and fruit crisps.
Vegan Mob got its start serving fully-loaded nachos, lumpia, and barbecue plates out of their walkup spot by Lake Merritt. Now the people over in SF can get their fill of Vegan Mob’s plant-based soul food, too. The new Vegan Mob food truck regularly parks in the Mission, and has the same menu of dishes ranging from burger cheese rolls to spicy fried chicken, as well as desserts like peach cobbler and sweet potato pies.
Jolly-Jolly Coffee & Kitchen
The Bay Area’s newest African-Caribbean restaurant is called Jolly-Jolly Coffee & Kitchen and it’s located in West Oakland. The lunch and dinner menu covers Nigerian specialties like jollof rice, stewed oxtail, and egwusi soup, and for breakfast, expect things like fried eggs with plantain or akara burgers. The small spot has a few tables inside, or you can take your meal to go.
If you’ve never had a pizza with a biscuit crust, head to Soul Slice. The casual spot on the Emeryville-Oakland border specializes in pies topped with things like cornmeal fried oysters, Cajun shrimp, hot links, and more—plus other soul food dishes like baked cheese grits and oxtail stew.
A Girl Named Pinky
A Girl Named Pinky operated out of the UC Berkeley campus before closing in March 2020. The dessert shop is back, serving sweet treats like cakes, cookies, macarons, and eclairs out of a stall inside Emeryville’s Public Market. They also double as a lunch spot now, with daily-rotating soups, monte cristos, and salads.
Indigenous chef Crystal Wahpepah opened her eponymous restaurant in Oakland’s Fruitvale in the old Reem’s space. It’s now one of the only places in the Bay where you can get Native dishes like blue corn waffles, buffalo kabobs, and Kickapoo chili. The all-day spot also sells vegan and gluten-free Indigenous snack bars made with things like chocolate and chokecherries, all available for shipping.
Red Bay Coffee Cafe & HQ
An old historic bank in Oakland’s Fruitvale is now the home of Red Bay Coffee’s new headquarters. At the new outpost, you can sip on espresso drinks, charcoal lattes, and Vietnamese cold brews on one of their lounge chairs. The SF Chronicle reports that the space will host events and operate as a production studio for Red Bay Coffee’s YouTube videos.