Cincinnati is fortunate to have loads of great restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries, many of which are owned and operated by the city's black community. From West African cuisine to all-American baked goods, here are 7 restaurants, cafes, and bakeries we've personally enjoyed over the last several years and know you will, too.
As we're all used to doing since mid-March, give each of these places a ring before going to ensure they're open for business. Phone numbers and addresses are provided.
975 E McMillan Street (45206)
Phone: (513) 452-6328
Just Q’in, the high-quality BBQ restaurant that began as one of Cincy’s premier food trucks nearly a decade ago, has a great location in Walnut Hills. With his faith as one of the main tenants driving the theme of the business, owner Matt Cuff offers a variety of delicious smoked dishes including brisket, ribs, chicken sandwiches, pork sandwiches, and a slew of different sides to complement each dish. All of it is smothered in BBQ sauce you can't get anywhere else. That special sauce is the key to differentiating it from every other BBQ joint in town.
Pata Roja Taqueria is a Mexico City street food-inspired pop-up that is currently offering taco kits for delivery. Their kits come in a variety of sizes including Individual (feeds one to two), Family (feeds four to five), Fiesta (feeds four to five and includes a six-pack of Rhinegeist), and Grande (feeds six to eight). The kits come with a variety of fresh meats and toppings needed to make excellent tacos at home. Since it's a pop-up without a brick and mortar restaurant, check out patarojatacos.com to place an order.
2826 Vine Street (45219)
Phone: (513) 498-0680
Island Fridays has an excellent Jamaican menu with delicious classics like jerk chicken. The owner, Leo Morgan, is a UC grad and former captain of the UC Football Team. Guy Fieri visited the restaurant in 2014, raising its profile significantly. It also features a pick-up window for easy ordering and carry out.
2733 Vine Street (45219)
Phone: (513) 376-8781
Alabama Que is a Southern-style smoked meats BBQ restaurant owned and operated by Dwan Ward. He was raised in a small town in Alabama and learned to cook during his time as a fireman. The food rules, and it's right near Island Frydays on Short Vine.
824 Elm Street (45202)
Phone: (513) 802-5228
BlaCk Coffee Lounge is a Downtown coffee shop on the corner of Elm and 9th Streets that whips up delicious pastries and beverages in a vibrant atmosphere dedicated to the culture of hip hop. Portraits of Biggie and Tupac adorn the walls, and a small stage is set in the back of the shop for hosting live music, spoken word, and more. The shop also sells clothing, crafts, and other items from local makers.
1426 Race Street (45202)
Phone: (513) 443-5094
Sweet Petit Desserts is the maker of all things mini. It has all the finest cookie bars, cake pops, macaroons, tartlets, and cupcake bites you could want (and if you're anything like us, you'll want them all).
8434 Vine Street (45216)
Phone: (513) 821-1300
Teranga's portions are enormous, its flavors are robust, and the dining experience is lively and fun. It serves authentic West African and Jamaican fare, including some extraordinary fried fish as well as a bevy of rich sauces. Don't leave without ordering one of their homemade juices, either.
For a complete directory of black-owned Cincinnati businesses, check out this list by The Voice of Black Cincinnati.
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