NYC and NOLA Named Top Food Cities. Here are a Few of Our Favorite Black-Owned Spots in Each

When it comes to delicious, flavorful cuisine around the country, it’s hard not to mention New York and New Orleans in the conversation. With a melting pot of people and cultures present in each, many transplants and immigrants have also brought along the recipes of their ancestors and elders. That’s why when Food & Wine recently named them the top two ‘Best Cities for Food & Drink’ in the United States, respectively, we weren’t surprised. 

Over the years, both metropolises have seen an increase in award-winning eateries and Black chefs, restaurant owners, and mixologists planting roots and making their mark by way of food and beverage. If you’re ready to make a trip to indulge in the best each city has to offer, EBONY has put together this list of some of our favorite spots in each. Check out these  Black-owned restaurants the next time you’re in New York or New Orleans.

Editor’s Note: This is not a ranking by any means. 

New York

It’s hard to keep up with all the great food introduced in the Big Apple, but we try our best to keep our ears and palates to the streets. Below, check out our suggestions.

Ramen by Ra

Born out of her inability to get great ramen during the pandemic, Chef Rasheeda Purdie decided to take matters in her own hands. She began experimenting with the Asian-inspired noodles and infusing them with her favorite breakfast flavors and soon after, Ramen by Ra came to be. The reservation-only spot is one of the hottest seats in the city, and you can catch her in Bowery Market serving up popular menu items like her egg drop ramen or bacon, egg and cheese ramen. 

Image: courtesy of Deanna Taylor.

Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi

It seems that whatever Chef Kwame puts his hands on turns to gold. Tatiana is one of the latest concepts from the award-winning chef. It is also one of the most exclusive seats in NYC. Located in Lincoln Center, this restaurant is an ode to what the chef calls his “culinary muse”—his beloved older sister, Tatiana. The flavors largely pay homage to his West African roots, with standout dishes being the Egusi dumplings and sofrito roasted chicken.

Image: courtesy of Deanna Taylor.

Fat Fowl NYC

Chef Shorne Benjamin has been racking up awards and accolades lately, so it’s almost expected that his new-age Caribbean spot receives just as much attention. Fat Fowl NYC marries the bold flavors of Benjamin’s island roots with some of our favorite comfort foods. There are dishes like the in-demand oxtail grilled cheese and a curry shrimp burger with mango curry aioli. Whenever you go, just be sure to bring your appetite. 


Popular NYC-based food content creator Dom In The City is always putting us on to the best spots in New York. So, when we needed something sweet, we came across Black-owned bakery, Blondery on her page. Deemed ‘the best bakery in Westchester’, you can grab everything from cinnamon rolls, doughnuts and cookies here. We definitely were sold when the menu features a cookies n cream cinnamon roll and vegan options, too. 


Whether you catch him on his hit series, Just Eats, on CLEO TV or in action at popular food festivals around the world, Chef JJ Johnson is always honoring his roots. His latest book, The Simple Art of Rice, highlights the cultural beauty in the grain, and much of that is also reflected in the menu of his FIELDTRIP restaurants. With multiple locations across the city, your taste buds are in for a treat with dishes like his chickpea curry eggplant bowl or the jerk meatball bowl. 

New Orleans

Delicious cuisine and NOLA go together real bad. People travel near and far just to eat their way through the city. From beignets and gumbo to Po’Boys and more—our stomachs are growling just thinking about it. But, in the meantime, here are some places to add to your itinerary.

Compère Lapin

Chef Nina Compton truly has something special by way of her concept, Compare Lapin. In 2023, we got to experience a specially curated tasting menu by the St. Lucian chef and let’s just say, we were blown away. Whether you start with the buttermilk biscuits and bacon butter or skip straight to the curried goat and sweet potato gnocchi—you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to the Caribbean via flavor and special spices. 

Image: courtesy of Deanna Taylor.


Seeing a West African-inspired restaurant in NOLA may seem out of the norm for some, but it makes sense when you know that history always traces back to the Mother Continent at some point. Dakar is a Senegalese spot on the famed Magazine Street. Chef Serigne Mbaya has masterfully crafted a rotating multicourse tasting menu that brings the tastes of his homeland—Dakar, Senegal—to the Big Easy.


With a tagline of “where great food and dope vibes collide”, you know you’re in for an experience when you visit Morrow’s. One of three concepts from Morrow Hospitality, this spot comes highly recommended by folks across social media. The chargrilled oysters are a hit, but don’t skip the BBQ crab claws, crawfish pasta with fried fish, and the Hawaiian bread pudding. You can thank us later.

Lil Dizzy’s Cafe

When it comes to classic and historic Black-owned restaurants in NOLA, you have to mention Lil Dizzy’s. In operation since 2005, this family-owned spot serves up Cajun staples like red beans and rice, hot sausage, fried seafood platters, and, of course, all the sides to accompany your meal. For our order, we chose a fried shrimp platter with mac and cheese, dirty rice and greens. For something sweet, we added a side of bread pudding to go.

Image: courtesy of Deanna Taylor.

Chapter IV

Great chefs run in the Chase bloodline, and Chef Dook Chase simply wanted to keep his late grandmother’s legacy—Leah Chase—alive with the introduction of his restaurant, Chapter IV. Located in the Warwick Hotel, the walls of this breakfast, brunch and lunch-only eatery pay reverence to the Black men and women who paved the way in culinary. As for the menu, the BBQ shrimp omelet, oyster Benedict, smothered okra and crab fried rice are must-try. 

Updated: May 2, 2024 — 12:03 pm