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10 Incredible Black-Owned Restaurants to Dine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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In Philadelphia’s culinary scene, the number of exceptional black-owned restaurants in the city is a reflection of its diverse culture and rich history.

In addition to serving delectable and inventive dishes, these black-owned restaurants serve as important social centers for the black community. 

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These restaurants offer both locals and visitors a flavorful journey celebrating the art of cooking and the spirit of entrepreneurship. And this is from soulful food that pays homage to tradition to innovative fusions that redefine culinary boundaries.

People Also Read: Black Excellence: 12 Best Black-Owned Restaurants in Washington DC

Top 10 Black-Owned Restaurants to Dine in Philadelphia

The restaurants are arranged alphabetically.

Aksum Cafe

Aksum recipe. Image source: Aksum Cafe licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On Baltimore Avenue, Aksum Cafe serves Mediterranean, Afro-centric cuisine, including marinated Lebanese chicken over rice or mashed potatoes.

The restaurant also serves Moroccan spicy shrimp, Mediterranean-style red snapper, and weekend brunches with chicken and waffles. 

They also have shrimp and grits. You can find this black-owned restaurant in Philadelphia at 4630 Baltimore Avenue. 

All the Way Live

One of All the Way Live Menu. Image source: All the Way Live licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nyeisha and her mother, Sister Beverly, opened Philadelphia’s first Raw-Food Vegan Cafe in October 2008.

It has the best raw vegan food you’ve ever tasted, including kale, quinoa, and BBQ mushrooms. You will most likely be waiting awhile for your order, but it’s well worth the wait. Your body will appreciate this healthy food.

On the menu are nut burgers, quinoa salads, chickpea chili and more.

You’ll find All the Way Live Cafe at 6108 Germantown Avenue.

Amina

Anima menu. Image source: Amina licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in Philadelphia’s historic Old City neighborhood, Amina combines Southern food with a dash of Nigerian influence.

Among the house specialities are 

  • Grilled Lamb Lollipops
  • Down Home Gumbo (rice, shrimp, crab, oysters, chicken wings, spicy chicken sausage in a rich broth)
  • Flaming Lobster Bisque
  • Nigerian Hot Chicken sandwiches (on brioche rolls with bread and butter pickles, soul slaw, and peanut butter). 

Besides brunch and cocktails, Amina serves brunch with chef-partner Darryl Harmon. 

Locate Amina at 104 Chestnut Street.

Barkley’s BBQ

Barkley’s chicken menu. Image source: Barkley’s BBQ licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Barkley’s Barbecue was established in memory of an old friend of the founders who was born and raised in Missouri, USA. He taught them how to make his special rubs and recipes. They chose to share their love of smoked American barbecue through Barkley BBQ.

Tank Barkley, the restaurant’s owner and pitmaster, offers hefty soul food and barbecue platters. Consider half or entire slabs of pulled pork, yams, apples, baked mac and cheese, garlicky string beans, potato salad, and St. Louis ribs with sauce slathered all over them. 

The restaurant also serves chicken platters. On other days, you can find the Barkley’s BBQ food truck at various locations around the area. However, the restaurant is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can locate Barkley’s BBQ at 2017 N. 29th Street.

Butter’s Soul Food to Go

The entrance of Butter’s Soul Food to Go. Image source: Butter’s Soul Food to Go licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

You experience a bit of class and a sense of home when you go to Butter’s Soul Food To Go. Butter’s Soul Food, a neighborhood restaurant in the Brewery Town of North Philadelphia, operates like a well-oiled machine.

Fried chicken and sides are in high demand, and you can get hot pies and cakes straight from the oven of the mother of business owner Kevin Bell.

Butter’s also provides catering for all events with qualified staff that can meet all of your catering requirements. They serve the most joyful occasions, like the celebration of a new baby at a shower, the heartbreaking loss of a loved one at a repast, and everything in between.

Locate Butter’s Soul Food to Go at 2730 W. Girard Avenue

Cray Taste

Cray Taste. Image source: @ChefSmith licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Chef and owner Saquan Smith uses the words “creativity, revolutionary, artistry, and youth” as an acronym for CRAY, along with his own Jamaican heritage, to bring mouthwatering Southern cuisine to Philadelphia. 

The menu is filled with chef’s specials like Mumbo-Glazed Salmon and chicken breast stuffed with spinach and tomato, which combine Caribbean flair with American soul food. On the other hand, weekend brunch specials like chicken and waffles with red velvet, half-and-half, or French toast options are available. 

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The fact that Cray Taste emphasizes hiring young people in need of mentorship and employment opportunities is one reason to patronize this black-owned restaurant.

Locate Cray Taste at Old City, 118 Market Street.

Dahlak

Dahlak menu. Image source: Dahlak licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nestled in the heart of West Philadelphia, Dahlak is a family-owned Eritrean-Ethiopian concept that transports your taste buds thousands of miles away to East Africa. 

It serves traditional dishes like beef tibs, sambussa, and beef okra sauce, plus a healthy assortment of vegetarian options. 

Food aside, the restaurant remains a social hotspot for all those looking to dive into– or you could simply dive into the bar and relax.  Keep the party going with hookah available on-site, and DJs on weekend nights add even more pizzazz to the flavors in your food.

You can find Dahlak at 4708 Baltimore Avenue.

Level Up Bar & Lounge

Clients having fun at Level Up Bar & Lounge. Image source: Level Up Bar & Lounge licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As one of the few Black-owned and LGBTQ-welcoming businesses in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood, Level Up has been open since 2020. 

Aside from hosting great cocktails, the club also hosts events. There are DJ shows, karaoke nights, drag performances, and trans-specific shows, all designed to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

You can find Level Up Bar & Lounge at 1330 Walnut Street.

Suya Suya West African Grill

Shrimp suya. Image source: Suya Suya West Africa Grill licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In Northern Liberties, Dera Nd-Ezuma’s restaurant uses authentic, imported Nigerian spices to craft traditional suya, a spiced, smoked meat skewer from West Africa.

Additionally, the fast-casual eatery offers customizable bowls topped with steak, shrimp, or Brussels sprouts, as well as rice and plantains. 

The restaurant serves whole tilapia marinated in Nigerian tomato stew and suya tacos, along with house-brewed beverages like Zobo, a Nigerian-style hibiscus-ginger tea.

You can find SUYA SUYA West African Grill at 400 Fairmount Avenue.

48th Street Grille

Macaroni menu. Image source: 48th Street Grille licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the heart of West Philadelphia, 48th Street Grille offers full-service dining and catering. In the recipes, fresh, local ingredients represent the true taste of the Caribbean. 

Carl Lewis owns the restaurant and offers soul and American cuisines with a soulful Cajun twist. 

You’ll find healthy portions of their signature Island Wings, New Orleans-style blackened salmon topped with shrimp scampi and jerk lunch options.

You’ll find the 4th Street Grille at 310 S. 48th Street.

People Also Read: 10 Best Black Bars to Explore in Jacksonville, Florida

Philadelphia’s Black-owned restaurants offer more than a culinary experience; they also support local entrepreneurs and celebrate cultural diversity. 

Restaurants like these reflect the city’s rich history and the resilience of Black communities. As you savor flavors prepared with passion and care, you contribute to a more inclusive and equitable dining landscape. 

Nearly 80% of consumers visit directories with reviews to find a local business. List your business for free in our exclusive Spotcovery Black-Owned Business Directory.

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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