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African American-Owned Restaurants in Baltimore

Baltimore's Black-owned restaurants and African American chefs are worth a visit.

Baltimore’s culinary scene is known for its diverse influences, including the city’s talented African American chefs and entrepreneurs. Enjoy soul food favorites, vegan dishes, tasty desserts and more at some of the Black-owned restaurants that help forge Charm City’s distinct flavor.

Hop Around

Cozy Cafés

Dovecote Café

Dovecote Café owners Aisha Pew and her partner Cole

Owners Cole and Aisha Pew created Dovecote Café with the motto “community first, café second.”

This charming little café in Reservoir Hill started as a passion project for owners Aisha Pew and her partner Cole, who were looking to create a community gathering spot. At Dovecote Café, you’ll find artists serving up locally roasted coffee, activists discussing politics over homey desserts like the upside-down peach cake and foodies indulging in grown-up grilled cheese and spinach pie.

 

 

Dovecote Cafe Deserts

Dovecote Café is known for its delicious peach upside-down cake—it can’t be missed!

Teavolve

Teavolve is an urban tea house in Harbor East that serves a variety of loose leaf teas, coffee, espresso, house-made sangria and tasty eats for any time of day. Live music is regularly hosted in the lounge with open mic nights every Monday.

Terra Café

Terra Café takes great pride in cooked-from-scratch meals made on the premises and carefully selects the best and finest ingredients. Plus, the menu is as eclectic as the community they serve, featuring everything from jerk chicken and cream of crab soup, to Belgian waffles and paninis.

Beloved Bites

Breaking Bread

Founded by husband-and-wife team Kimberly and Edward Ellis, this beloved Black-owned Pigtown eatery has a casual, neighborhood vibe, with food so tasty you’ll wish you were a local. Breaking Bread’s specialties include finger-licking sticky chicken wings and made-to-order burgers.

Fishnet

There’s no shortage of fresh food at Fishnet, located in Mount Vernon Marketplace. Owners Ferhat and Keyia Yalcin are committed to keeping things simple and local, sourcing fresh ingredients like bread and produce directly from Maryland. They don’t cut corners either, using every part of the fish to produce deep, natural flavors straight from the sea.

Green House Juice Cafe

Ayoluwa Hogans opened Green House Juice Cafe in 2012 with the desire for quality and tasty vegan food. Her all-vegan menu features fish filet, barbecue ribs, macaroni salad and more. And, of course, Green House’s specialty is the fresh-pressed juices and smoothies.

Serenity Wine Bar

As Baltimore’s only self-serve wine bar, Serenity is the go-to spot for all things red, white and rosé. In Locust Point, they also serve a selection of dishes such as pizza, wings and desserts that are sure to pair perfectly with your drink of choice.

Water for Chocolate

This comfort food favorite has been loved by locals for years and has even gained fame with the likes of Queen Latifah. The Upper Fell’s Point restaurant opened in 2006 and expanded in 2019 to make room for more diners. Expect dishes like barbecue shrimp and grits, raisin bread French toast and stuffed breakfast burritos.

Soul Food

Connie’s Chicken & Waffles

Connie’s Chicken & Waffles has been serving the Southern-style favorite inside the historic Lexington Market for years, and now they have a few more locations across the city. Here you’ll find the highest-quality chicken paired with just about every type of waffle you can imagine—from classic buttermilk to cinnamon, red velvet, Oreo and more.

A plate of fried chicken and waffles topped with whipped cream

Chicken and waffles make the perfect pair.

Royal Sauce Food Truck

While the savory melts and smashburgers coming out of Malik Robertson and April Bebel’s food truck would be swoon-worthy in their own right, it’s the duo’s selection of sauces that really set them apart. Pick from variety of flavor profiles including roasted garlic aioli, blackberry chipotle, mango tango, honey bourbon barbecue, maple butter mustard and their signature Royal Sauce. While a formal rotation is still in the works, you can track the truck’s movements on Instagram.

Land of Kush

Couple at the Land of Kush square.

Chef Gregory Brown and Naija Wright-Brown opened Land of Kush in 2011.

Land of Kush serves vegan and vegetarian soul food so savory that you’ll forget it’s also healthy. Everything on the menu is vegetarian-friendly but tastes like the real deal, from the crab cakes and BBQ ribs to the curry chicken and sweet potato cake.

 

Next Phaze Café

Located in downtown Baltimore, Next Phaze Café puts a Charm City twist on the Southern dining experience for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. Try the crab cakes, baby back BBQ ribs, catfish fritters, collard greens, buttery cornbread and extra cheesy mac and cheese.

Sweet Treats

The Avenue Bakery

Since 2011, The Avenue Bakery has brought owner James Hamlin’s family recipes to his childhood neighborhood along Pennsylvania Avenue. Stop in for the signature “Poppay’s Roll,” an enormous buttery bun so good you won’t be able to stop at just one. You can also pick from a selection of cookies, sweet breads, decorated cakes and pastries. After placing your order, learn about the history of African Americans in Baltimore from plaques and photos hanging on the walls, and check out the murals outside the bakery.

Man standing in front of bakery building

Owner James Hamlin shares his delicious family recipes with Baltimore.

Berries by Quicha

LaQuicha Brown, owner of Berries by Quicha, opened her second location in Federal Hill in 2017 after great success at her first location in East Baltimore. Her gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries are irresistible with flavors like bacon, vodka-infused and cheesecake-stuffed.

Cloudy Donuts

Cloudy Donuts, a Black-owned vegan doughnut shop with locations in Lauraville and Federal Hill, operates with the goal of transcending stereotypes about vegan diets and provide cleaner food alternatives to communities of color. Their selection changes seasonally, but recent delicacies have included brown butter chocolate chip, chai sugar, blood orange and mango chili lime. This 2021 Best of Baltimore winner sells out quickly on weekends, so we recommend getting your donut fix on a weekday.

Cajou Creamery

Send your taste buds on a trip with a scoop from Cajou Creamery! Wife and husband duo Nicole Foster and Dwight Campbell bring bold, bright flavors to their plant-based ice cream made from cashew, almond and hazelnut milks. Cajou offers a range of flavors—horchata, baklava, sweet potato, kulfi—inspired by the couple’s global travels.

Charm City Chocolate

Todd and Michelle Zimmerman learned to create confections at a chocolate shop in South Carolina before starting their own operation in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. They put love into each batch of their handcrafted artisan chocolates, including their delectable chocolate-covered cherries and fun, local flavors like Old Bay chocolate with peanuts.

Ice Queens

Us Baltimoreans take our snowballs seriously. The Ice Queens of this Locust Point shop do too, serving up New Orleans style snowballs and other delicious desserts. Next time you’re in the area, stop by for a refreshing treat and snap a pic in front of Ice Queens’ picturesque storefront.

Colorful snowballs from Ice Queens

Grab a New Orleans-style snowball from Ice Queens in Locust Point.

Aunt Kelly's Cookies

Growing up in Baltimore, Kelly Simmons spent any spare change she had on butter crunch cookies. Eventually, with the help of her grandma, she perfected her own recipe and opened Aunt Kelly’s Cookies to share her love for baking with her hometown. Located on the historic Antique Row of Mount Vernon, this Black-owned business is the only local bakery offering the famous butter crunch cookie, among other flavors, fresh baked daily.

Kora Lee's Gourmet Dessert Café

Owner Kora Polydore makes beautiful cakes, cookies, cupcakes and tarts at Kora Lee’s Dessert Café. If you’re craving something savory, the café serves sandwiches, soups and pot pies for lunch or dinner.

Visit Baltimore Merch

Show off your Baltimore pride in style with t-shirts, hats and hoodies featuring the Visit Baltimore logo. Plus get your hands on our one-of-a-kind posters.