Top 20 Black-Owned Restaurants You Want To Visit

The temperatures outside are climbing, and summer is certainly underway, but nothing says a Chi-summer like the munchies. We’ve compiled the perfect list to satiate that hunger, consisting of the top must-see black-owned restaurants on the premise of their originality, zesty food, and positive reviews. From soul vegetarian food to that juicy all-American cuisine, it’s needless to say, you’re going to find a taste of it all on this list.

Ms. Biscuit 5431 S Wabash Avenue

Walk into Ms. Biscuits and you’ll be walking out singing the Cheers theme song—”Where everybody knows your name”—because that’s just how things work here. And to mention the great food; here you’ll get your diner fix along with the namesake dish of grilled biscuits and gravy!

Mikkey’s Retro Grill 5319 S Hyde Park Blvd

Here comes Mikkey’s, whipping up salmon, turkey and veggie burgers in a neighborhood where you’ll find a “vegetarian, pescatarian, meatatarian and a vegan all on the same block,” according to the owner, Erik Nance. But of course, a retro shack like this comes with a menu of burgers, waffle fries, shakes and sundaes. Also, we recommend checking out Nance and his contributions to the Chicago community.

Sweet Maple Café 1339 W Taylor St 

In this quaint, brick building, have breakfast or lunch, whenever you step-into Sweet Maple Cafe—and when we say lunch, we mean the kind that reaches the soul and puts you right to sleep.

Batter and Berries 2748 N Lincoln Ave

If the name isn’t delicious enough? This cafe has you covered with creative pancakes, omelets & other breakfast eats, and it’s melee of sandwiches and lunch. Then there’s also the excitement of the 68-seat breakfast nooks and the mosaic-tiled tables, crafted by the owners themselves.

Original Soul Vegetarian 203 E 75th St

You’ve got your vegetarian and vegan foods, and then you’ve got your vegetarian and vegan southern/soul foods with health and spice, and everything nice, because that’s what real foods are made of. With a juice bar and local art works to show, the longevity of this hub speaks for itself.

The Bronzeville Jerk Shack 5055 S Prairie Ave

If you find yourself in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, and craving a menu centered around jerk, chicken and pork, freshly made to order, stop by the Jerk Shack. You’ll also be able to get a couple complementary sides and an assortment of island sweets.

Sip and Savor 5301 S Hyde Park – 528 E 43rd Street – 9920 S Western Ave

With three locations and the latter recently opening in Beverly, Sip and Savor is your grandiose coffee shop with music entertainment. Like the others, this place is for all patrons to come and mingle, read ans sip, write and type—well, we’re sure you get it by now.

CheSa’s Gluten Tootin Free Food Truck

This food truck is extremely special, not only because it’s pink and cuddly, but also because it specializes in a gluten free menu, with salad, rice and pasta bowls. Now that you’ll catch the truck back in the streets as great weather says hello, go and get your bowls served with chicken, shrimp or as vegetarian style.

Ja’Grill Harper court, 1510 E Harper Ct

Hello to Mr. President Obama’s Chciago neighborhood of Hyde Park, Ja’Grill is cooking up curries, jerks & other Jamaican specialties in a very upscale-casual space that has a lounge and, yes—weekend DJs.

Truth Italian 56 E Pershing Rd

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The truth is, Truth! is a five-star cuisine, offering dishes like ravioli Florentine, marinated grilled lamb chops, and more. This is an Italian affair to the T.

Mr. Brown’s Lounge 2301 W Chicago Ave

For one, this is just a very beautifully, zesty spot from head to toe, entangled in a casual setting of reggae album art and DJs. You can tell that it was truly designed with “vibe” with all the Caribbean cooking and tropical drinks.

5 Loaves Eatery 405 E 75th St

Currency Exchange Café 305 E Garfield Blvd



The cafe has a very unique design that was completely birthed from re-purposed materials and includes the original hand-painted signs of the currency exchange that formally inhabited the space. Did we mention there is a library? Serves a mix of American, Mexican & Filipino food.

Brown Sugar Bakery 328 E 75th St

Calling all sweet tooth’s: if a fix of Brown Sugar’s baked goods, sweat treats and custom cakes won’t do it, what will? If you check in on Yelp, you get a free cupcake. We recommend the caramel cake and the peach cobbler.

Akhirah’s Praline Candy 1845 S State St

Praline candy, beignets, and freshly roasted coffee…right in the South Loop. This is your run to French Quarter style coffee shop that brings New Orleans inspired treats up north to Chicago.

Peach’s Restaurant 4652 S King Dr

Just your breakfast all day, casual diner, peach coffee, duck bacon, and bourbon compote spot.

Vee-Vee’s African Restaurant 6232 N Broadway St

You may have spotted Vee-Vee’s at the Taste of Chicago a few times, but you can find their mainstay in the Edgewater neighborhood. Red beans and rice with jerk chicken, the jollof rice, the plantains, the goat; Vee-Vee’s is one of the best West African/Caribbean restaurants you’ll find in Chicago.

Luella‘s Southern Kitchen 4609 N Lincoln Ave

From the outside, Luella’s is a simple storefront in a narrow space. But the inside is as spectacular as they come. Find traditional southern favorites and a BYOB policy in Lincoln Square.

Norman’s Bistro 1001 E 43rd

What are you going to dive into at Norman’s Bistro? For appetizers, (get it?) this high-end eatery is recognized by locals as one of Chicago’s bests and the top restaurants in the Hyde Park and Kenwood area. There’s American Creole Cuisine with a Brazilian Flair, and an exquisite dessert menu with an elaborate wine bar and wine list.

Zberry 1368 E 53rd St

Your self-serve frozen yogurt shop with great yogurt selections that change frequently, and a super-awesome toppings bar. This too is right in Hyde Park, and promises to help you cool down in the scorching summer days ahead.







Eat, Get The List, Restaurants

Chicago’s Best New Eats for Spring 2018

Our friends at Tasting Table have rounded up the best new eats of Chicago for Spring 2018. And, of course, being Chicago, the food can range  as wide as All-American to a taste of Caribbean. The long winter months are almost inoperative, so let’s get ready now for several new and exciting eats.


Chicago’s Best New Restaurants for Spring 2018

From places that will serve Detroit-style pizza to spots slinging Chicago-style gyros, here’s where you’ll want to be eating


Winters in Chicago seem to last forever—and then, a little bit longer. So when spring finally does roll around, Second City dwellers couldn’t be happier—especially when the season brings with it a handful of exciting new restaurants and bars to experience. From ballpark-adjacent baked goods and beer to Caribbean vibes in Logan Square, here are six openings to get excited about.

Union Full Board and Tinker to Evers

For pizza, small plates and libations under one roof, it’s all about the Wheelhouse Hotel, a five-story property opening in Wrigleyville this spring. Fans of Union Pizza in Evanston can now get a taste of the team’s Detroit-inspired slices, in addition to surefire small plates like bruschetta, meatballs and salad. Cap it all off with a drink downstairs at Tinker to Evers, a tucked-away speakeasy lounge featuring an elevated portfolio of cocktails and local craft spirits.

Octavio Cantina & Kitchen

The team behind Lady Gregory’s and Wilde is at it again with this Andersonville opening, which will feature rustic, regional Mexican cuisine from chef Daniel Munoz. A dedication to local ingredients and bold flavors shows up in plates like the cochinita pibil, with slow-roasted pork, refried black beans and charred habanero, while tacos are served with chiles and potatoes and a medley of Baja fish varieties. Don’t miss the cocktails, including the mescal old-fashioned with Lapsang souchong tea and sweet grass smoke.

Fisk & Co.

Mussels and beer are the main event at this forthcoming Loop resto, where executive chef Austin Fausett will serve oysters on the half shell, hand-cut fries aplenty and steamed mussels with an array of fixings (from caramelized onions and nutmeg to Thai curry with coconut broth and coriander). Pair it all with drams from Melissa Carroll, whose selections will focus on Belgian-style and local brews.


Chicagoans can fully embrace warmer months with this forthcoming Logan Square spot, which will pride itself on laid-back island vibes and a beverage program focused on traditional Caribbean drinks. Credit that to lead bartender and partner Alexandra Wright’s menu of culinary-driven cocktails, featuring a selection of native rums, small-batch gins, cachaça and tequila, alongside flavor boosters like exotic fresh fruits, in-house grown herbs and rare spices. It’s a good way to kick off the bar’s other specialty: dancing, thanks to a regular lineup of local live music and DJs.

West Town Bakery & Tap

The West Town and River North bakery is heading to Wrigleyville this April, when it will open within the brand-new Hotel Zachary. Expect the baked goods you know and love (i.e., those iconic cake balls and doughssants), along with an array of other fun additions, from stacked breakfast sandwiches to the spot’s own take on soft-serve. And then, of course, there’s the real buzz factor—a full cocktail program from bartender Nikki Allen that will feature sips like seasonal mimosas and the Wingie’s Bloody Mary, complete with a chocolate-dipped chicharrόn.

Piggie Smalls

Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig, Chicago’s beloved wine- bar and restaurant, is bringing his spin on Greek street food to the upcoming Wells St. Market. Once the 10,000-square-foot food hall opens in a few months, look out for Bannos’s spit-roasted souvlaki and a Chicago-style gyro that swaps lamb for rotisserie pork.



Best Soul Food in Chicago

The Best Soul Food in Chicago

According to USA TODAY:

Soul Food Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois

S. Herlihy, Demand Media

Perched against the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois has many varied attractions for residents and locals alike. Catch a show at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre or listen to a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Shoppers can window shop along the Miracle Mile. When you’re done, grab a meal at one of the area’s restaurants. If you’re in the mood for a meal with southern flair, try one of region’s soul food restaurants.

Located in the heart of Chicago, MacArthur’s Restaurant serves authentic soul food the whole family can enjoy. MacArthur’s is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Menus include favorites such as baked chicken, barbecued turkey legs, liver and onions, and meatloaf. Available sides include macaroni and cheese, collard greens, sweet corn and lima beans. Dessert offerings include sweet potato pie and banana pudding. MacArthur’s is also open for catering and takeout.
MacArthur’s Restaurant 5412 West Madison St. Chicago, IL 60644 (773) 261-2316?

Army & Lou’s Restaurant has been a Chicago institution for decades. Diners can choose from many different southern specialties for breakfast, lunch or dinner in a casual setting. Breakfast options include traditional favorites like pancakes and more unusual possibilities such as catfish steak or baby beef liver. The extensive lunch and dinner menu is divided into several sections. Order a southern theme entree such as half a fried chicken or baby back ribs with homemade barbecue sauce. Other menu options range from turkey sandwiches to scallops. Light eaters may be happy with just a cup of gumbo. Catering is available upon request.
Army & Lou’s Restaurant 422 East 75th St. Chicago, IL 60619-2202 (773) 483-3100

Table Fifty Two is owned by Art Smith, formerly Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef. Today, diners can sample his interpretation of soul food in a restaurant that pays homage to his southern roots. Smith emphasizes soul food with upscale ingredients and varying presentations. Appetizers include low country shrimp and grits with tomato stew, fried green tomato napoleons and wood-fired pizza topped with Berkshire pork belly. Main courses include cornmeal crusted catfish, jambalaya with crawfish, Amish chicken and sausage, and duck leg confit with braised fennel. Relax and enjoy a dessert of pecan pie or hummingbird cake.
Table Fifty Two 52 West Elm St. Chicago, IL 60610 (312) 573-4000?


S. Herlihy has been a freelance writer since 2001. Her work has appeared in many publications, including “USA Today,” “The Women’s Independent Press,” “Big Apple Parent” and “ComputorEdge Magazine.” Herlihy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the City University of New York.