15 Essential Black-Owned Restaurants in Baltimore You Need to Know About
From Caribbean and soul food to African and vegan cuisine.
Baltimore may be known for being home to Domino Sugar, Natty Boh, and the best crab cakes in the country. But, if you do your homework you’ll see that there’s so much more under Baltimore’s gritty surface. From Caribbean and soul food to African and vegan cuisine, the city’s Black-owned restaurants offer an option for every discerning palate.
“As a city with one of the highest concentrations of Black people in the country, Baltimore has a long history of Black-owned restaurants—from carry outs to caterers and sit-downs,” says John-John Williams IV, a reporter with The Baltimore Sun. “The entire diaspora is represented in Charm City. There are so many hidden gems and popular options in plain sight.”
Indeed there are a ton of options in Baltimore, but we decided to narrow it down to 15 of the essential Black-owned restaurants to enjoy while you’re in town. Be intentional with your dollars and support these small Black-owned businesses year-round.
The Corner Bistro & Winebar
Located just a few blocks from Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, Corner Bistro serves some of the best chicken wings you’ll find in Baltimore. While the menu is largely seafood-focused serving items such as crab cake sliders, blackened salmon and shrimp & grits, the mac and cheese angus and bleu cheese burgers are customer favorites, too.
How to order: Dine in or order takeout via storefront by calling 410-727-1155.
Crust By Mack
The savory treats from Chef Amanda Mack have quickly become a cult favorite. Open Thursday through Sunday, this family-run bakery serves pastries made from scratch with ingredients based on seasonality. You especially don’t want to miss their savory pastries, served only Sundays, like their famous Bmore Crust Crab Pies. Be sure to place your order online at 9 am before everything’s sold out. And they will definitely sell out.
How to order: Go online to shop the daily menu and then head to Whitehall Market to pick up your order.
Ice Queen Snoballs
While not exactly a restaurant, Ice Queens snowballs are a must in the warmer months. Newly opened in the summer of 2020, the corner shop serves New Orleans-style snowballs made from a 1920s New Orleans-style ice machine that makes fluffy style of ice. The spot also offers “Hawaiian-style” snowballs and more than 100 flavor combinations. Be sure to try one of the beignets, inspired by Café Du Monde.
How to order: Stand in line and wait your turn.
Anything on a Blacksauce Kitchen buttermilk biscuit is delicious. Be sure to try Damian Mosley’s beef short ribs with a free-range egg or coffee stout-braised chicken with onion jam sandwiches. And while his handmade biscuits are literally his bread and butter, Blacksauce also offers smoked beef, pork, and chicken.
How to order: Order online for parking lot pickups or visit Blacksauce every Saturday morning at the 32nd Street Farmers’ Market in Waverly.
Kora Lee’s Gourmet Dessert Cafe
Kora Lee’s Café serves in-house, handcrafted cupcakes and brownies made from fresh ingredients. But if sweets aren’t your thing, try the savory items—like a delectable bowl with cheese grits, eggs, and a balsamic glaze. Open on Thursday through Sunday, Kora Lee’s menu changes daily and offers fresh breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner options.
How to order: Order online or call 443-620-0167 for takeout.
Located inside of the Black-owned Ivy Hotel in Mount Vernon, Magdalena offers French and English-inspired dishes with a Baltimore flair. Their menu features a sophisticated take on classics driven by the seasonality of the region. Whether you order the ribs or the steak, you’ll enjoy their classically prepared options.
How to order: Order takeout or delivery online.
Miss Carter's Kitchen
Restaurant owner and chef Cia Carte has been cooking since she was a little girl and started her business out of her own kitchen to help pay for culinary school. Now with two locations, Miss Carter’s Kitchen is well-known around Baltimore for its delicious wraps, fried fish, and homemade pastas. (And Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is a fan of the banana pudding!)
How to order: Order takeout in-person or by calling 443-630-8255. Order delivery from Grubhub or Uber Eats.
While well-known for its crab cake egg rolls, Papi Cuisine also offers all the comforts of island-style and soul cuisine. House specialties include jerk lamb, stuffed lobster, and mac and cheese.
How to order: Order takeout from their website or call 410-246-2166. Order delivery via Door Dash.
Peppa Flame Restaurant and Lounge
If you close your eyes, Peppa Flame will transport you straight to Jamaica with its Caribbean inspired offerings. And the wings? *chef’s kiss* If you’re going in person to pick up your order, ask about their Hennessy strawberry lemonade. Thank us later.
How to order: Order takeout by calling 410-646-8364. Order delivery via Grubhub, Seamless, or Uber Eats.
Since 2015, Soul Kuisine Café has been serving home-style, high-quality soul food. The restaurant has a ton of wraps and platters, and the grilled salmon imperial platter is a standout. Or try one of the sandwiches named for musical greats like Patti Labelle, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, and Baltimore’s own Billie Holiday.
How to order: Order takeout or delivery online.
Sunset Raw Juice Bar
For a healthier kick, try these raw juice drinks infused with fruits, natural grains, and vegetables. Sunset’s acai bowls are a crowd favorite and packed with antioxidants. With locations in Owings Mills and Fulton, Sunset is the perfect place to start if you’re looking to get back on track this year.
How to order: In-person.
Get a taste of Tashes Ankh’s authentic Jamaican ackee and saltfish, fried dumplings, curry chicken, oxtail, and more. The stuffed snapper and escovitch kingfish are also outstanding. If you’re in need of Jamaican cuisine for a party, Tashes Ankh provides catering, too.
How to order: Order takeout via their online or by calling 410-922-9196. Order delivery from Grubhub or Door Dash.
Open for more than 15 years, this corner cafe has become a Baltimore staple. You can’t go wrong with anything on its brunch-centric menu. Teavolve’s shrimp and grits, croissant sandwiches, omelets, and red velvet pancakes are not to be missed. The brunch also features $5 glasses of Bloody Marys, mimosas, and house-made sangria. Or, for the literal teetotalers, order a pot of one of its many loose-leaf varieties.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast or delivery via Grubhub.
Land of Kush
The power couple behind the brand, Naijha Wright-Brown and Gregory Brown, have been educating Baltimore about veganism for a decade now, even founding the city’s annual Vegan Restaurant Week. In addition to vegan cuisine, Land of Kush also offer sa 100% plant-based menu with popular dishes like ChickUn fajitas, BBQ “ribs,” a chickpea burger, lentil patties, and vegan crab cakes.
How to order: Order takeout online or call 410-225-5874. Order delivery via Grubhub or Uber Eats.
The Urban Oyster
Located on the first-floor restaurant space of Hotel Revival, The Urban Oyster is famous for its raw bivalves as well as its oyster tacos and baskets. Chef Jasmine Norton also offers incredible burgers, salads, and soups—and our personal favorite, the seafood nachos.
How to order: Order online for takeout or delivery.