Black-owned restaurants in the Twin Cities to support right now (and always)

Rashad West opened Dragon Wok in the former Funky Grits space a little over two months ago. He's been serving takeout and delivery throughout the pandemic.

Rashad West opened Dragon Wok in the former Funky Grits space a little over two months ago. He's been serving takeout and delivery throughout the pandemic. Sarah Brumble

Aside from expressing the pain and anger born of profound, systemic injustices that claimed the life of George Floyd and too many black community members before him, what can be done to change things on a microlevel?

We’re talking in the here-and-now, not reinventing superstructures at play (that's a topic for another day). What’s within ordinary citizens’ immediate reach? 

Well, we can intentionally invest in black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities community…. To quote chef, artist, and author Tunde Wey from a conversation about rebuilding a more equitable restaurant industry, “I don’t think money is a solution. I do believe that not having money is a problem.”

Consciously choosing to put money directly in the hands of the individuals who are more likely to suffer at the hands of a broken system seems like a baby step to tipping (or balancing) the scales of power. This can be as simple as ordering food from black-owned restaurants, like those listed below. Though a few have closed either for the safety of their staff and customers during protests, or to mourn the loss of George Floyd, they’ve been open and serving food throughout the pandemic.*

Did we miss crucial restaurants* to the community, and would we appreciate you dropping those we omissions in the comments so we can update this appropriately? Please, with a heaping side of thank you! We'll update this list accordingly. 

Afro Deli

Home to some of the best lunches in town, Afro Deli whips up spiced stews, delectable rice bowls, sambusas, and their special "Chicken Fantastic" from their multiple locations, satisfying everyone from neighborhood regulars, skyway suits, and college bros to David Letterman.

Angelea’s Soul Food Kitchen

The Rogers siblings honor their mother’s legacy by serving food steeped in love.

B'beri Desserts

This online pastry shop run by Diane and Fritz Ebanda specializes in French pastries, including classic cakes, tarts, eclairs, quiches, and more. Look for B’beri at the Maple Grove Farmers Market, or arrange personal delivery of items throughout the Twin Cities as well. 

Bella Nava Creations

Baker Brandie Itman whips up Kosher gourmet desserts like cheesecakes, sugar cookies and smash cakes, all sold and delivered within Minnesota.

Breaking Bread Cafe

The north Minneapolis community-based nonprofit uses healthy, global comfort food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in conjunction with Appetite for Change. Currently they’ve partnered with Feeding the Frontlines in addition to their ongoing work on the north side. 

Capitol Cafe

Owner Tsegaye Sombo founded Capitol Cafe in the Seward neighborhood as a East African-American Somali fusion hang, serving everything from spiced tea and smoothies to crepes, zedbebe, habash, and Somali-style sambusas.

Cheesecake Funk

Baker Vanessa Drews provides cheesecakes to restaurants throughout the Twin Cities including Crave, School of the Wise, The Minikahda Club, and can also be preordered for pickup up directly from Drews.

Daughters and Sons Bakery

Baker Nneka Sederstrom specializes in organic, gluten-friendly cakes, macarons, and her signature “babycakes,” which grew a following at last year’s Linden Hills Farmers Market. Reach out for custom orders at

Dilla Ethiopian Restaurant

Dilla is one of the Twin Cities' finest treasures, serving Ethiopian specialties (and spaghetti) to Minneapolis's West Bank neighborhood well past the witching hour.

Dragon Wok 

At Dragon Wok, Rashad West combines traditional Cambodian dishes, Americanized Chinese takeout favorites, and wildcards like Golden Biscuits (stuffed with chocolate and peanut butter) to amazing effect. 

Golden Thyme Coffee & Cafe

Though the pandemic caused the jazz-themed St. Paul cafe to close as a community gathering space for the time being, owners Stephanie and Mychael Wright continue to serve snacks and drinks in a to-go capacity.

Handsome Hog

Star chef Justin Sutherland turned St. Paul into a destination for contemporary southern cuisine with Handsome Hog, which is leaving Lowertown to assume new, more expansive digs at the (former) Fitz.

Jambo Africa

This relaxed cafe specializes in serving traditional, from-scratch West African and Kenyan cuisine, while having a small grocery attached.

Mama Sheila's House of Soul

After laying low until early June, this gem has just (thankfully!) reopened, returning a taste of its extensive soul food menu to Minneapolis’s southside.

Mama Ti's African Kitchen

Mama Ti's is known for dishing up traditional, (too) hard to come by Liberian comfort foods like jollof rice, cassava leaf, and their signature ginger beer.

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant

Though the family restaurant usually offers a buffet teeming with a wide-array of items, it's pivoted to a takeout, delivery, and curbside pick-up model for the time being.

Milton's Vittles, Vino, and Beer

Milton’s is a multi-generational family-run restaurant uniting friends, family, and loved ones though food – and they’re casting this net wide right now, from Crystal to Minneapolis, providing meals for the greater community.

PJ Murphy's Bakery

From cookies to wedding cakes, or loaves of bread to donuts, PJ Murphy's Bakery is a family-owned, full service neighborhood bakery in St. Paul that truly does it all.

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen

The purveyors of spice and rum have brought a touch of the Caribbean to the Twin Cities, with locations in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, the latter of which has reinvetned itself as a community resource hub and relief organization since the murder of George Floyd.

The Red Sea Restaurant & Bar 

The West Bank's only combined music venue, bar, and eatery has been cooking up authentic Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine since 1990.

Sammy's Avenue Eatery

Owner Sammy McDowell's role as host of a north Minneapolis coffee shop hangout are on hold thanks to COVID-19, but he's still slinging the sandwiches, sides, and hot breakfasts that helped launch a second Sammy's in Northeast last year.

Smoke in the Pit 

Since 1998, Smoke in the Pit’s served slow-smoked mains and Southern-style sides to Minneapolis’s south side, offering takeout and delivery via Bitesquad throughout the pandemic.

Soul Bowl

The food hall-based joint punches way above its weight class, with a menu melding Caribbean and traditional soul flavors, a chicken sandwich that’s been blessed by rapper Big KRIT, plus vegetarian and vegan options.

Ted Cook's 19th Hole BBQ

Since 1968, Ted Cook's has delivered pit smoked meats to crisp-yet-tender perfection to devotees in south Minneapolis.

Thigh Times Birdhouse 

The North Loop Galley’s reigning chicken wrib-star (and legendary proprietor of Funky Grits) Jared Brewington is weathering the pandemic courtesy of a pop-up residency at the Freehouse. 

Tommie's Pizza

Packing more than 30 years of restaurant experience, owner Tommie Daye slings New York-style pizza by the slice, wings, and a whole lot more from his eponymous pizza parlor in St. Paul.

Trio Plant-Based

Minnesota’s first black-owned vegan restaurant goes heavy on the comfort with dishes like the soul food platter, piled with plant-based ribs, collard greens, and mac and cheeze.

Wendy’s House of Soul

Swing by Wendy’s northside outpost to grab the unique, totally craveable SoulRolls – gluten-free egg roll wraps stuffed with fillings like “Nanny,” “Taco,” and “Cheeseburgerfry” – with a side of SoulSauce that have made her a legend.