Oakland has a proud and resilient Black history/community that celebrates the influence on cultures past, present and future. This is certainly reflected and embraced in its food. With everything from Caribbean jerk chicken and plantains to Ethiopian injera with wat and comforting Southern fried chicken, Oakland’s culinary scene is inherently vibrant, flavorful and Afrocentric. Next time you’re in The Town, be sure to stop by and support a few of these delicious restaurants by Black chefs and entrepreneurs.
This list does not include every black-owned restaurant in Oakland, so please add any of your favorites we may have missed in the comments.
Black-owned Restaurants in Oakland
- The Cook and Her Farmer
- Oeste Bar & Kitchen
- Brown Sugar Kitchen
- Everett and Jones BBQ
- Kingston 11
- Lenas Soul Food Cafe
- Miss Ollies
- Souley Vegan
- More Black-owned Eateries
100 Grand Ave.
alaMar - (“to the sea”) brings mouth-watering seafood boils and unique eats to the thriving Uptown Oakland restaurant scene. Chef Nelson German helms the kitchen of this chef-driven eatery which was awarded 2019 Winner of Best Seafood Restaurant and Michelin Recommended rating for 3 consecutive years.
The Cook and Her Farmer
510 9th Street
Discover this oyster and wine bar tucked away in Swan's Market, Old Oakland's historic community market. The Cook and Her Farmer feature local produce, seafood and natural wines, and seek to enhance the quality of food, strengthen the fabric of community, and to celebrate the beauty and vitality that is present in the city of Oakland by cultivating a needful spirit of generosity and gathering around the table for honest foods. This restaurant fosters a creative environment that supports the growth and development of future cooks and farmers.
Oeste Bar & Kitchen
722 Clay Street
Oeste is one of the newest additions to Old Oakland, serving up daytime eats, multicultural dinner plates & the highest quality spirits, wines and beers. They provide a warm, inviting and inclusive atmosphere and offer exemplary dishes by focusing on fresh, organic and sustainably farmed California ingredients. Grab your friends and get to brunchin’ and sippin’ on their chic rooftop deck.
Brown Sugar Kitchen
Brown Sugar Kitchen, an iconic West Oakland brunch hotspot, has relocated to Uptown! Tanya Holland, well-known chef, cookbook author and contestant on Top Chef, brings you updated renditions of soul food classics in a lively and comforting atmosphere. The cornmeal waffles, paired with buttermilk fried chicken, brown sugar butter and apple cider syrup are a must.
357, A, Grand Ave
On Grand Avenue by Lake Merritt, you'll find Enssaro, a simple and cozy Ethiopian eatery serving a small menu of spicy specialties, plentiful vegetarian options, plus tej, beer and wine. Many ingredients and spices are brought directly from the town of Enssaro in Ethiopia providing the adventurous diner with unique flavors not experienced anywhere else.
Everett & Jones BBQ
Everett and Jones is a favorite of Bay Area rapper, entrepreneur & community organizer, Mistah Fab and has been recognized as one of the best barbeque joints in the Bay. They have two locations in the Town, near the entrance to Jack London Square and in the Laurel District of East Oakland. Don’t forget to take home a jar of their famous barbeque sauce!
2270 Telegraph Ave
Kingston 11 Cuisine is an environmentally friendly, community-oriented, innovative restaurant bringing you high-quality, Californian inspired Jamaican fare and using locally sourced and organic ingredients. Their menu features a variety of options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with nut, dairy, or gluten allergies. They believe that Jamaican food can equally accommodate palettes that prefer spice or milder tastes without ever compromising fullness of flavor. Their Fern Gully rum bar features the largest selection of rums in Oakland and an evolving rotation of craft cocktails.
Lena's Soul Food Cafe
6403 Foothill Blvd
Lena’s Soul Food Cafe is a family-owned eatery that has received high praises from locals and travelers alike. They serve classic soul food, Cajun & Southern favorites like smothered chicken, candied yams, mac & cheese and rice & beans for affordable prices in a laid-back, counter-serve setting. For traditional, hearty, and always fresh soul food in Oakland, Lena’s Soul Food Cafe is the go-to.
3725 MacArthur Blvd
Miliki is the only authentic Nigerian restaurant in the Bay Area. It features traditional dishes with herbs and spices imported from Africa, weekly live musical performances and serves as a gathering space for the community. If you’re a fan of spicy, authentic West African food in generous portions, head over to Miliki!
901 Washington St
Miss Ollie’s Caribbean counter-serve cafe is a popular eatery in Old Oakland’s booming Swan’s market. Their amazing, soulful food, colorful decor & island vibes are sure to bring you to the Caribbeans. It has been featured by the late and great Anthony Bourdain in his show, No Reservations. With plenty of outdoor seating, it makes a great spot for people-watching on a sunny Friday afternoon during the farmer’s market.
It’s no surprise that Souley Vegan is one of the highest rated soul food restaurants in the city of Oakland or that it has been featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Chef Tamearra Dyson has been cooking up plant-based soul food since she was 18 years old and continues to stun with her Southern-inspired meals like okra gumbo with grits and the NOLA quintessential seitan shrimp po’ boy. Clear your Sunday morning and grab a sworn meat-eating friend for brunch, because you won’t want to miss out on their delicious sweet potato waffles and bottomless mimosas.
More Black-owned Eateries in The Town