As demonstrators locally and beyond continue to protest police brutality following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, you might be wondering how you can support the struggle for racial equality.
We have rounded up different ways to make your voice heard, learn about racial injustice and spend money at black-owned companies. Black business directory Green Book of Tampa Bay is a great resource, offering a database full of everything from boutiques and caterers to barbershops and artists in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
To keep the momentum going, we put together a list of Tampa Bay black-owned restaurants and other food businesses you can support with your wallet. Some of them are newer arrivals, while others are longtime favorites.
7th + Grove
Part nightclub, part restaurant, this Ybor City spot sports a menu heavy on “Neo soul” fare, featuring contemporary twists on Southern and soul classics. Read our review of the restaurant here.
1930 E Seventh Ave., Tampa; (813) 602-0960
Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que and Soul Food
Al Reynolds’ barbecue business and his Tennessee-style smoked meats have been a staple on Tampa’s barbecue scene for more than a decade. His latest restaurant, also in Ybor City, has garnered a fast following for soul food favorites like fried pork chops, oxtails, baked chicken and pot roast.
Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que: 1609 Angel Oliva Sr. St., Tampa, (813) 956-0675; Al’s Soul Food: 2302 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, (813) 405-8920
Eric Atwater runs the St. Petersburg restaurant at 22nd Avenue S and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, but the corner eatery was started by his late parents, and was a place where politicians once made pilgrimages to court black voters. Recently, Atwater has gotten involved in the COVID-19 response, providing free lunches to children in the community. Read more about that here.
895 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 520-3030
Cephas Gilbert’s juice bar
After running a Jamaican restaurant for nearly four decades, Kingston native Cephas Gilbert now runs a juice hut inside Tequilas Ybor on E Seventh Avenue. His signature blended aloe shakes aren’t so bitter anymore — customers can now opt to have fresh sugar cane juice added as a sweetener.
1613 E Seventh Ave., Tampa; (813) 241-9555
Chief’s Creole Cafe
Elihu and Carolyn Brayboy run this Louisiana-inspired restaurant in a corner building on 22nd Street S in the heart of St. Petersburg’s historically African-American neighborhood. Creole specialties like red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo, po-boys and shrimp and grits highlight the menu. Read our review here.
901 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 498-8979
Brothers Maxim and Sebastien Thuriere run this lively wine and hookah bar on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. An eclectic menu draws inspiration from the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia with dishes like tostones topped with mojo pork and Haitian pikliz, yucca fries and shrimp and grits.
1047 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 623-9199
The Hall on Franklin
Jamal Wilson’s multivendor food hall in Tampa Heights operates a little differently than other food courts. Though diners can pick dishes from multiple food concepts, a full-service element mirrors traditional restaurant service. Note: The Hall on Franklin is currently closed but will reopen on June 12.
1701 N Franklin St., Tampa; (813) 405-4008
Hogg Batch Coffee
Brothers Duane and David Hogg launched Hogg Batch Coffee in 2019. The St. Petersburg-based small-batch roaster specializes in whiskey barrel-aged coffee. Read more about the brothers and the business here.
2327 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 210-5029
Island Flavors and ’Tings
A grocery store, sit-down restaurant, takeout and catering operation all in one, this Jamaican mainstay in Gulfport is the place to find Caribbean-inspired dishes like braised oxtail, jerk chicken and the shop’s specialty: mango bread.
1411 49th St. S, Gulfport; (727) 804-1849
Andrew Ashmeade runs several locations of his popular Jamaican restaurant, each one featuring his signature smoky jerk chicken as well as a collection of West Indian and Caribbean favorites, including yellow curry goat with smothered cabbage, brown stew chicken, oxtail and sweet plantains. This restaurant is one of Tampa Bay’s 25 most iconic restaurants, as chosen by our food critic.
1045 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, (813) 542-5375; 4495 W Gandy Blvd., Tampa, (813) 835-5375; 1241 E Fowler Ave., Tampa; (813) 977-5777
Lorene’s Fish House
Lorene Office has run this tiny cubby of a restaurant on 22nd Street S in St. Petersburg since 1994, specializing in mussel and shrimp boils, pork chop dinners with mac and cheese, and smothered cabbage, collard greens and fried grouper sandwiches. This restaurant is one of Tampa Bay’s 25 most iconic restaurants, as chosen by our food critic.
929 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 321-7297
Mama’s Southern Soul Food Restaurant
The Tampa restaurant has been a longtime favorite for soul food fans, specializing in dishes like Southern-fried pork chops, chitterlings, catfish nuggets, hush puppies and smothered chicken dinners.
3701 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa; (813) 769-9552
Pop Goes the Waffle
Sara Fludd launched her St. Petersburg-based waffle company and mobile waffle truck in 2017, specializing in liege-style sweet and savory waffles, waffle doughnuts and waffle pops. Go to popgoesthewaffle.com for more information about where you can buy her waffles.
Ray’s Vegan Soul
The popular plant-based comfort food concept from chef Ray Milton has been doing soul food dinners to-go during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prepackaged meals are available for curbside pickup in downtown St. Petersburg and include dishes like vegan biscuits with vegan sausage gravy, vegan tuna casserole and vegan meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Check raysvegansoul.com for ordering details and pickup locations.
Tampa Blue Crab & Seafood
Though this seafood market sells all manner of ocean delights, the biggest draw is the blue crabs, which owner Emmanuel Hagins serves smoked fresh off the grill, boiled with spicy Old Bay seasoning, coated in a garlicky buttery sheen and deep-fried, doused in a fiery and tangy buffalo sauce. Read more about the Tampa spot.
3113 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa; (813) 512-7033