A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that black-owned businesses have been almost twice as likely to fail compared to other businesses during this pandemic. In a city where diverse culture — and cuisine — is celebrated, we should continue to support the businesses that make this city so unique. Here are five locally-owned black restaurants that New Orleanians can support during these unprecedented times:
234 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112
8227 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118
14Parishes is a family-owned business run by Chef Charles Blake, who was born and raised in a Spanish town in Jamaica. Learning to cook by following his mom around in the kitchen, he now offers Jamaican classics at two different locations. The jerk chicken and sweet plantains are a must-have to experience that traditional Jamaican flavor, and I definitely suggest ordering extra jerk sauce. The curry chicken will also leave your mouth watering. Although the menu consists of a lot of meat and seafood-centered dishes, the sweet plantains, rice and peas, cabbage, and Jamaican rice are vegan friendly.
(Photo: https://www.14parishes.com/ )
442 S Broad Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Relatively new to the scene, opening only last spring, Addis Nola is a family-owned business that inspires to bring a little taste of the owner’s homeland Ethiopia to New Orleans. Biruk Alemayehu stresses the importance of a dining experience that deepens your relationship with not only the food, but also the people you are dining with. You can fully immerse yourself in the Ethiopian culture by partaking in the ritualized coffee ceremony that aims to bring everyone together. The menu offers various vegetarian options and Alemayehu has recently made the injera, Ethiopian flatbread, 100 percent gluten-free. The injera essentially serves as the utensil in Ethiopian cuisine and offers a fun experience by eating differently than most of us are used to. If you want to support this business further, here is a link to its current fundraiser: https://sageplus.com/campaign/AddisNolaFundraiser
1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
One of the oldest restaurants on this list, Bennachin has been bringing a taste of Gambia and Cameroon to New Orleans since 1992. Offering a range of dishes without meat, Bennachin is very vegetarian and vegan-friendly. I have had dreams about their Mburu Akara, better known as black-eyed pea fritters, served with a tomato stew on French bread. The restaurant’s several takes on African jambalayas offer a new way to enjoy a New Orleans classic. The moug drinks are very refreshing, and I wish they sold their African Herbal Tea by the bottle.
6514 Congress Dr, New Orleans, LA 70126
What’s better comfort food in New Orleans than creole comfort food? The Munch Factory offers unique creole-inspired dishes brought to you by a family-owned business. They offer curbside pickup, takeout and are also on uber eats. Their shrimp and grits are some of the best I have had in the city, which is saying a lot. They say the world is your oyster, but the best are in New Orleans, and The Munch Factory’s buffalo oysters dusted with parmesan cheese is a must-try. That this restaurant is fantastic is supported by such famous fans as Beyonce and Jay-z.
2511 Jena St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Now it’s time for dessert. Michael Southhall opened Ice Cream 504 in 2011, but he has been making ice cream since he was a child. Inspired by his Aunt Ruby, Michael uses only the finest ingredients to bring a refreshing and natural taste to his ice cream, which is hand-crafted in the store. Most of the flavors are gluten-free and there is a great selection of sorbet flavors for those who are lactose-intolerant. As summer is about to begin, these treats are exactly what is needed to keep you cool; I definitely recommend getting more than one scoop. My favorite is one of their newest flavors, The Proprietor, which offers a rich cream with a pistachio base and is filled with layers of dark chocolate, caramel, and pistachios.