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 restaurateurs and chefs. Explore some of the original options you can find at our favorite black-owned eateries, including soul food favorites, charming cafes and tasty desserts.
This charming little cafe 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 Cafe, 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.
Teavolve is an urban tea house 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 takes great pride in cooked-from-scratch meals made on the premises and takes great care in selecting 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.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Kimberly and Edward Ellis, this beloved 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.
Grind House Juice Bar
Ayoluwa Hogans opened Grind House Juice Bar 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, Grind House’s specialty is the fresh-pressed juices and smoothies.
The Urban Oyster
When Chef Jasmine Norton opened The Urban Oyster’s brick-and-mortar location at McHenry Row in Locust Point, it was the first black-owned and female-owned oyster bar in Maryland. The restaurant’s menu includes plenty of oyster dishes—think char-grilled, cheese-topped oysters and zesty oyster tacos—as well as non-seafood classics like burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Water for Chocolate
This comfort food favorite has been loved by locals for years as well as 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.
Ida B’s Table
Chef David Thomas may have snagged some nationwide fame when he won the Thanksgiving Day challenge on Food Network’s Chopped, but Baltimoreans have been digging his food for decades. In 2017, he opened Ida B’s Table with his wife Tonya. This downtown hot spot serves up modern soul cuisine, with a focus on sustainable and local ingredients, and is named after the early civil rights activists and journalist Ida B. Wells.
Connie’s Chicken & Waffles
Connie’s Chicken & Waffles has been serving the southern-style favorite inside the historic Lexington Market for years. 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.
Land of Kush
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kora Lee's Gourmet Dessert Café
Owner Kora Polydore makes beautiful cakes, cookies, cupcakes and tarts at Kora Lee’s Dessert Cafe. If you’re craving something savory, the café serves sandwiches, soups and pot pies for lunch or dinner.