With roots dating back to the 1800s Black history and culture have been an integral part of San Diego. Dining at minority-owned, locally-owned restaurants is just one of the great ways to support the community. Below is just a sample of some of the best Black-owned dining options the city has to offer.
1. Ackee Tree the real Jamaican Cuisine
5712 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115
Ackee Tree gives you a fusion of traditional Jamaican flavors with a unique soul food twist. For breakfast, you can indulge in fried dumplings, or an egg and bacon sandwich or you can dig your teeth into an Ackee and saltfish – a quintessential Jamaican breakfast that pairs the fruit with fish. The lunch menu is a little more expansive with jerk chicken, and jerk chicken wings making the menu along with Oxtail so you can enjoy some incredible flavors that are rich with history. For dinner, the portions get larger and the curry goat shines – absolutely enriched in flavors and aromas. As for the sides, this is where the soul food comes in with collard greens, and delicious mac and cheese making an appearance. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional to Jamaican cuisine get an order of plantains and a Jamaican soda.
2. Bowlegged BBQ
4255 Market St., San Diego, CA 92102
Texas barbecue meets San Diego in this family-owned restaurant with sensational flavors. Bowlegged BBQ is the work of three generations of the same family, with 3 siblings currency running the restaurant. The food speaks for itself with fantastic options all around the menu and the vibe the moment you step inside the restaurant to pick up your order is that you’re amongst family. The brisket and brisket sandwich is great, and the tri-tip plate and one side give you incredible flavor and an incredible value, while the ribs are fall off the bone delicious. As for the sides, you can’t go wrong with the mac and cheese that is cooked to sheer perfection. Top off the meal with their lemon cake for an awesome end to a great meal.
3. Flavors of East Africa
2322 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92104
From the humble beginnings of catering out of his apartment to now having his own restaurant, Flavors of East Africa transports you to a place of authentic flavors and aromas that can only be associated with East African cuisine. The lamb curry is sensational with heaping amounts of perfectly cooked and seasoned lamb in a curry sauce, while the African jerk chicken brings a tantalizing bit of heat to a flavorful dish. The Mbuzi curry and Mbuzi Choma are both great goat meat options absolutely laden with spices and flavors, while the Oxtail is everything you would want in East African cuisine. The Ugali pays homage to the owner’s Kenyan background – absolutely nailing the Kenyan traditional dish. And what’s East African cuisine without lentils? The Dengu will satisfy the lentil craving and can be eaten with traditional Kenyan flatbread, chapati, or traditional Ethiopian bread, Injera.
4. Hanna’s Gourmet
2864 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
Hanna’s, a neighborhood staple, has returned to action and brings a global, ever-evolving menu to the table for its patrons to enjoy. You place your order by no later than Thursday and it’s ready for you to pick up on Sundays to enjoy whenever you’d like. Enjoy an order of meat lasagna with perfectly cooked bolognese sauce, while you indulge in an order of her Moroccan chicken that’s been simmered in Moroccan spices, apricots, dates, and olives. The world is your oyster at Hanna’s and you never know what might grace the menu that week. Whatever you order, if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to indulge in one of her desserts because they are fantastic.
5. Le Parfait Paris
555 G St., San Diego, CA 92101
This award-winning bakery consistently nails it with sensational pastries, crepes, macarons, and great brunch options. Their french pastries are done exceptionally with a wide variety of options such as the Lemon and Yuzu tart with an almond yuzu cream, lemon jelly, lemon custard and topped with a pillow-soft meringue. For you bread lovers, the walnut and rosemary loaf is filled with incredible flavors and is cooked to absolute perfection along with their flaky Croissant Aux Almonds. The crepes are fantastic as well with the Galette du Jardin leading the pack as it’s filled with goat cheese, and their house-made ratatouille. For those looking to satisfy a sugar craving, for brunch, their Pain Perdue is marinated french toast with house-made whip cream, fresh berries, berry sauce, and maple syrup!
6. One World Beat Cafe
2100 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
Converted from an old water tower, One World Beat Cafe is just one of the incredible offerings that the building has to offer as it is also home to a multicultural art and event center that promotes unity and love. As such, when you visit the One World Beat Cafe you are introduced to a massive selection of Vegan food from all over the world done very well. The entrees have everything from Louisiana Creole Gumbo to Jamaican Red Curry to African Peanut Coconut Curry. The Jerk Rasta Burger takes a veggie burger that’s been marinated in Jamaican jerk sauce and places it on a pretzel bun with a side of sweet potato fries, while the Vegan Chili Dog puts a Vegan sausage and places it on a pretzel bun and tops it with Costa Chica chili, Vegan cheese, red onions, microgreens sprouts, and diced tomatoes. You can also order one of their “Fresh From the Garden” options whose greens come from their own Ethnobotany garden. Whatever you eat, you’re giving back to a great program.
7. Rhythm’s Chicken and Waffles
1136 Garnet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109
Food truck turned restaurant on the beautiful Pacific Beach, Rhyth’s Chicken and Waffles checks all the boxes for chicken and waffles. They are known for their original chicken & waffle sandwich takes a juicy, crispy chicken breast and dips it in syrup with bacon and cheese, and is placed between their famous Belgian waffle. But that’s not all they have to offer – as their sandwiches, sliders, and their standard spicy chicken sandwiches are all fantastic options to choose from as well. But as San Diego’s first chicken and waffle restaurant – the original chicken and waffle sandwich is something you have to try at least once.
8. Sabor Piri-Piri
8360 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92111
Sabor Piri-Piri takes the deliciousness of authentic Mozambique cuisine and delivers it straight to your door. Their chicken meals include a chicken peanut curry which takes sauteed chicken with green peas, carrots, and onions in a creamy coconut peanut sauce, and the spicy chicken stew which is cooked in their Piri-Piri hot sauce. They also have vegan options with absolutely delicious broccoli and sweet potato curry in a creamy coconut and peanut sauce. Your other option to enjoy Sabor Piri-Piri includes visiting them at Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers Market, North Park Thursday Market, and the Little Italy Mercato Super Market – make sure to pre-order and to check the menu as well as the Instagram to find out where they happen to be that day!