In honor of Black History Month, we rounded up 15 Black-owned restaurants and food businesses to support not just this month, but all year long.
If you’re looking to support Black-owned businesses, the 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.
Here is our list of restaurants to check out. Some of them are newer arrivals, while others are longtime favorites.
Roam Steakhouse and Bar
Named best new steakhouse in our food critic’s best new restaurants list, this globally-inspired spot is from brothers Christian and Joshua Jackson, who ran the popular food truck Red’s BBQ for several years. Their sophomore endeavor opened on St. Petersburg’s 34th Street in April. Highlights include Louisiana-style chargrilled oysters, truffle-laced lobster mac and cheese and an Angus prime tomahawk ribeye that’s big enough for two.
3405 34th St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-346-5242. facebook.com/roamsteakhouse.
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
Coasis Restaurant, Bar and Suites
Chef Melissa “Melly” Gardner of Three Generations Food Truck is opening a new bar and restaurant with her partner, Brandi Gergle. The large Seminole Heights restaurant is featuring a special Valentine’s Day dinner soft opening and a grand opening on Feb. 25. A peek at the restaurant’s Instagram account teases chargrilled oysters with truffle chimichurri butter, a whole fried snapper cut into nuggets with citrus herb fried okra and many enticing signature cocktails.
7701 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. facebook.com.
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.
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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
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
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. The restaurant recently closed its Gulfport location but the truck continues to roll. 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 offering soul food dinners to-go on Sundays in St. Petersburg. The meals are available for curbside pickup on a first-come, first-served basis and include dishes like vegan biscuits with vegan sausage gravy, vegan mac and cheese and vegan country fried steak. Check raysvegansoul.com for ordering details and pickup locations.
Mitmita Ethiopian Restaurant
Ter Mehari and his wife, Athena Dulle opened this Tampa spot in 2018, offering spongy injera (a type of bread) made fresh daily paired with platters of hearty vegetarian stews and grilled meats.
4901 West Linebaugh Ave., Tampa. 813-415-2183. ethiomitmita.com.
Grant’s Crabs Seafood and Grille
This Largo spot serves up blue crab, snow crab, shrimp and mussels slathered in their signature garlic Stuttah Buttah sauce (which they also sell) in combos and trays. Will and Ginger Grant began the business in 2011, selling the trays from a friend’s carport for four years until they opened in a strip mall, and now have a food truck that tools around Tampa Bay.
13030 Starkey Road, Largo. 727-584-2722. grantscrabs.com.