If you’re looking for a snazzy new date spot, to get a late night snack, or a comforting diner to spend the afternoon, look no further. The greater Boston area is overflowing with a wide array of Black-owned restaurants that are perfect for any occasion. It’s more important than ever to support small, Black-owned businesses. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of them dropped by 41% last year due to the pandemic.
We rounded up the best Black-owned restaurants in the greater Boston area, ranging from a vegan soul food eatery to a diner with the best fried chicken in town. Between a live music venue that’s been around since 1935 and an upscale Italian cafe, you’ll be overwhelmed with options to try in downtown Boston all the way across the river to sunny Cambridge. They’re all accessible by train and some offer heated outdoor seating.
1096 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02134
Vegan food tastes so much better when you can’t tell it’s vegan. Even if you’re an omnivore, Rhythm ‘N Wraps offers all your favorite comfort foods — creamy mac & cheese, double decker burgers, and meaty tacos — with a meatless, eco-friendly twist. With indoor and outdoor seating options year round and a direct order option, this Allston restaurant will not disappoint.
180 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111
Located in Boston’s Leather district, Savvor Lounge offers a menu of plates that are an upscale fusion of Southern dishes with Caribbean flair. The Lounge offers specialty cocktails like the Bush Wackah, a Caribbean take on a chocolate martini. It’s the best place in town to have a romantic evening.
600 D St, Boston, MA 02210
With the motto “quality, quantity, and consistency,” Larry J’s is the place to be if you’re looking for a Texan barbecue experience. Nestled in Boston’s Seaport district, this BBQ Cafe serves up Texas Chili Cheese Fries and spicy meatballs known as Fire Balls. They also have indoor and outdoor seating.
746 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Flames is the perfect spot for a flavorful lunch, offering traditional Jamaican dishes like curried goat and stewed oxtails, and a variety of food smoothies. With their affordable prices and large, protein-packed portions, you’ll likely have leftovers to eat for your next meal. A college student’s dream!
334 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Conveniently located next to the Symphony T train stop, this cafe serves up warm Ethiopian meals such as kik aletcha tikl (yellow split pea stew) with vegan and vegetarian friendly options. Lucy is known for its homey ambiance, welcoming service, and flavorful food. With cozy indoor dining, this spot is a must visit for steamy miser wot (red lentil stew).
604 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118
At Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, the ambiance and entrees are engineered to evoke “soul, spice, and all that jazz.” This restaurant has an extensive all-day menu and a Southern brunch buffet, accompanied by live music on certain days.
782 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
Owned by Douglass Williams, one of Food & Wine’s top 10 Best New Chefs in America 2020, this Italian-inspired neighborhood restaurant is a fine dining experience. MIDA is on the pricier side, offering entrées such as seared scallops and roasted duck priced at around $20-25, with lovely outdoor and indoor dining. This restaurant makes for the ideal romantic date night spot.
2 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
Established over 25 years ago, Highland Creole Cuisine emphasizes Creole-style cooking in all their dishes. This spot offers daily specials such as salted red snapper on Fridays, and an impressive array of blended juices.
84 Spring St, Medford, MA 02155
This restaurant is redefining fusion by incorporating Asian and Italian-inspired flavors into Haitian recipes. Known for brunch items such as Haitian spaghetti and creole shrimp & grits, Neighborhood Kitchen will provide you with an Instagram-worthy brunch experience.
288 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145
Looking for a warm, home-cooked meal with affordable prices and generous portions? Pikliz is one of the most popular Caribbean takeout restaurants in Boston, with customers usually coming back for more of their classic fried pork and Jamaican-style jerk chicken. Make sure to stop by for the “$5 Chicken & Rice All Day Everyday” deal!
233 River St, Cambridge, MA 02139
The Coast Cafe is a cozy hidden gem that prides itself on having the “best fried chicken and mac & cheese in New England.” With a menu offering Southern-cooked soul food, this spot is family-friendly and has various vegetarian lunch and dinner options like candied yams and creamy mac & cheese.
145 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145
This family-owned restaurant is a cozy spot to grab Ethiopian goodies in a welcoming environment. Fasika owner and chef Befekadu Defar and his wife hope to bring some variety to the Boston restaurant scene with some of their family favorites, according to their website. They offer classics such as dulet (lamb liver, tripe, and beef) and vegetarian entrees like vegetable curry. Fasika’s entrées cost around $13-15, making it a reliable, fancy spot to bring parents or a date.
225 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130
Originally a food truck and catering business, Jamaica Mi Hungry packs a ton of flavor for affordable prices. Each entrée comes with two sides and is priced at a modest $15 a plate. This restaurant is a great option to get big portions, delicious food, and guaranteed leftovers.
389 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Located deep in the South End of Boston, Blue Nile Restaurant offers Ethiopian fare and a sophisticated ambiance. They’re best known for their house-made honey wine as well as many vegan and vegetarian options like tikil gomen (cabbage veggie medley) and shiro wat (chickpea stew). Another cozy date spot!
2387 Washington St, Roxbury, MA 02119
Forget overpriced brunch: all you need is this trusty, bustling diner serving comfort food in generous portions for low prices. Silver Slipper Diner is low-key; they only take cash and don’t have a website. A neighborhood favorite for decades, this diner is a must-visit spot for any college student in Boston.
958 Tremont St, Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120
Slade’s Bar & Grill has been a figure for live music and southern food in Boston since its opening in 1935. This lively place has entertainment every night and boasts an extravagant menu ranging from fried okra poppers to fried catfish sandwiches. If you’re ever looking for a fun weekday night outing, this is the place.
257 Norfolk Ave, Boston, MA 02119
Known for its slogan, “traditional bar food but with a twist,” Top Mix is a delightful mixture of Caribbean and Southern cuisine. The establishment offers entrees such as buttery Puerto Rican pastelón along with crispy chicken wings. Their most unique offering is their Caribbean flight, which is a serving of four different colorful cocktails based on passionfruit, mango, guava, and lychee.
185 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA 02119
Suya Joint is an African restaurant named after suya kabobs, a Nigerian street food made of thinly sliced pieces of meat peppered in a special blend of Nigerian spices. Owned and operated by Nigerian chef Cecelia Lizotte, this spot offers entrees like moi moi and fufu, difficult dishes to find in the greater Boston area.
304 Dudley St, Boston, MA 02119
Looking for a reliable po’ boy, cup of jambalaya, and hearty grits? Look no further than this Southern sanctuary in Boston. Maxine’s serves iconic Southern plates with two sides each, traditionally mac and cheese with cider-braised cabbage. They serve to-go meals and offer dine-in.
2306 Washington St, Roxbury, MA 02119
Soleil is a casual neighborhood restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner items with a Southern twist. You simply can’t beat large portions of beef brisket or chicken salad with affordable prices, especially when you’re balling on a budget. Soleil also offers catering services and indoor dining.
208 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA 02119
Beef patties and homemade ice cream? P&R is a one-stop shop for an unconventional combination of two beloved comfort foods. Serving Jamaican food and ice cream as an homage to the owner’s grandmother, P&R is affordable and provides a cozy indoor dining experience.
838 Blue Hill Ave, Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Boston Country Kitchen is famous for its signature jerk chicken and drunken crab entree, which sells out quickly on the weekends. Home-cooked Jamaican cuisine in large portions is definitely hard to beat. Their seating is limited though, but you can always enjoy their food through UberEats.
855 Washington St, Boston, MA 02124
Established on Bob Marley’s birthday in 1999, Irie is a cozy, family-owned restaurant in the Boston community. Irie is iconic in the neighborhood of Dorchester. Many of Irie’s dishes, such as the Shrimp Rasta Pasta and Jamaican beef patties, sell out early in the day. While they specialize in seafood and meat, there are various vegetarian options available.
266 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02122
The only thing better than a buffet is a buffet with live music! Cesaria offers Cape Verdean dishes – the ultimate surf and turf mixture – in buffet style every day. These plates include shrimp cajun penne pasta and bife mocambique (seared beef with Mozambican sauce). On weekends, the restaurant lights up with the sounds of live music and the delicious aromas of seafood. They offer outdoor and indoor seating, as well as delivery and pick up options.
2255 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124
Located in Dorchester, BRED specializes in extravagant sandwiches and loaded truffle fries. With 11 different kinds of burgers to choose from, it’ll be a difficult choice for any meat lover stopping by. For herbivores, they offer multiple salads and a good variety of smoothies.
25 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Want to go to Paris but can’t afford the airfare? Sauvage’s french menu is sure to transport you to the culinary paradise of France. A new small business located in Back Bay, Sauvage gets packed for Sunday brunch with their offerings of mushroom omelets and duck eggs benedict. If you can’t get a seat (since they don’t take reservations), you can always grab a hazelnut latte to go from their coffee bar.