7 Black-Owned Restaurants To Check Out While in ‘The Chi’

When it comes to Black-owned eateries, the Chi has plenty to choose from. In fact, according to Jeremy Joyce, creator of Black People Eats, the city has more Black-owned restaurants than any other city in the United States. The Windy City’s dining establishments are as diverse as its population, offering a variety of cuisines from across the diaspora. And it also helps that our July 2023 Cover Stars base their show around the city, too.

With so many great options, you’ll want to try them all, but where to begin? Take your pick of these seven Black-owned restaurants to try next time you’re in Chicago.

Taste 222

Taste 222 is an intimate and upscale restaurant serving Southern fare in a cozy and welcoming environment. Here, innovation in food and drink are celebrated and encouraged. In addition to original dishes prepared by its in-house chefs, the chic dining establishment serves as a supportive hub in which culinary entrepreneurs can experiment and test out their latest creations. Visit on a Sunday to experience the delicious brunch.

Kizin Creole

Chicago’s only Haitian restaurant has been a local favorite since 2013. Located on the city’s North Side, Kizin Creole serves authentic, fresh Haitian and West Indian food. Whether you’re a bonafide lover of the cuisine or you’re looking to try something new, you’ll relish in the unique flavors of the island. Try diri ak pwa (the country’s national dish of rice and beans), tasso (deep-fried goat) or the iconic soup joumou (pumpkin soup) served on Sundays.

Yassa African Restaurant 

Chicago’s very first Senegalese restaurant, Yassa African Restaurant, was founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Madieye and Awa Gueye. The couple offers quality food from their homeland, striving to live up to their Wolof legacy of generosity by serving large, filling portions. The eatery has welcomed celebrity diners like Gabourey Sidibe and Jussie Smollett.

Pearl’s Place Restaurant

At Pearl’s Place, community and people matter. The eatery is committed to providing not only quality Southern-style soul food with a Creole touch, but quality service to match. The restaurant is located in the city’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood, a short five minutes from Downtown Chicago. Customer favorites include Mary seafood gumbo, braised oxtails and smothered short ribs.  

Garifuna Flava

As one of the Chi’s top-rated Caribbean restaurants, Garifuna Flava shares the flavorful cuisine of the Garífuna people. This family-owned and operated eatery has two Chicago locations, in which it gives patrons a true “taste of Belize” through dishes that showcase their unique culture and culinary traditions. The restaurant also has a bar serving a variety of tropical beverages along with the Belizean Long Island.

Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine

The brainchild of husband and wife chefs Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel, Majani offers plant-based Southern comfort food. Vegan for more than 20 years, Chef Tsadakeeyah aimed to offer vegan dishes utilizing recipes that represented his heritage as well as provided a fresh and healthy dining option to the Windy City’s South Shore neighborhood.

Demera Restaurant

Award-winning Derema is the place to go in the Chi for traditional Ethiopian cuisine. Tigist Reda, the restaurant’s owner and chef, learned the secrets and techniques of Ethiopian cooking for her family’s elders. She opened Demera in 2007 to share her beloved dishes with others wishing to experience a taste of her native country and a community, family-style meal eaten with the hands. The restaurant has been recognized and recommended by Michelin Guide, Zagat, Eater and more.

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Updated: July 21, 2023 — 3:01 pm