21 BAME-Owned Restaurants Leading Change in American Cuisine

Embark on a culinary journey with these top 21 BAME-owned restaurants across the U.S. Each spot not only serves up delicious dishes but also tells a story of resilience, cultural pride, and entrepreneurial spirit. From family-run eateries to high-end dining experiences, there’s something for every palate and budget. Discover these gems and support the dreams and hard work of their visionary owners.

1. The Grey, Savannah, GA

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Mashama Bailey draws on her African American heritage to transform Southern cooking, turning a segregated bus terminal into a celebration of Black culinary excellence.

2. n/naka, Los Angeles, CA

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Chef Niki Nakayama’s n/naka offers an exquisite Kaiseki experience, blending her Japanese roots with California flavors, overcoming gender biases to lead in a traditionally male-dominated cuisine.

3. Compère Lapin, New Orleans, LA

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Chef Nina Compton, originally from St. Lucia, infuses Caribbean influences into her dishes, telling her immigrant story through vibrant flavors and local ingredients.

4. Red Rooster, Harlem, NY

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Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson showcases his Ethiopian and Swedish upbringing in Harlem, creating a vibrant cultural hub that honors the historic neighborhood’s African American culinary scene.

5. Poi Dog, Philadelphia, PA

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Poi Dog treats diners to a unique mix of Hawaiian and Filipino cuisines, reflecting owner Kiki Aranita’s heritage and her journey from academic to celebrated chef.

6. JuneBaby, Seattle, WA

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Chef Edouardo Jordan explores his Southern roots through JuneBaby, delving into the history and influence of African American foodways, which he brings to the Pacific Northwest.

7. Tagalog, San Francisco, CA

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Chef Charleen Caabay brings Filipino cuisine to the forefront with Tagalog, celebrating her cultural heritage while overcoming challenges as a queer woman of color in the culinary world.

8. Miss Ollie’s, Oakland, CA

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Sarah Kirnon, from Barbados, uses her Caribbean background to infuse Afro-Caribbean influences into local, sustainable dishes, promoting community and cultural storytelling.

9. Surati Farsan Mart, San Diego, CA

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This family-run establishment brings a taste of India to San Diego, showcasing traditional snacks and sweets while adapting to new cultural surroundings and maintaining authenticity.

10. Xelina’s, Dallas, TX

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Xelina’s offers a taste of Mexican gourmet in Texas, where owner Alejandra Bigai has overcome the struggles of immigrant life to share her rich culinary traditions.

11. Jambo Café, Santa Fe, NM

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Chef Ahmed Obo combines his Kenyan heritage with Caribbean spices at Jambo Café, creating a unique fusion that highlights his journey from Kenya to the American Southwest.

12. Benne on Eagle, Asheville, NC

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Chef Ashleigh Shanti pays homage to African American culinary traditions while highlighting modern Appalachian ingredients, creating a dialogue between past and future.

13. Merkado, Chicago, IL

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Owned by a Nigerian immigrant, Merkado brings West African flavors to Chicago’s vibrant food scene, providing a taste of home for diaspora communities and introducing others to its rich flavors.

14. Chai Pani, Asheville, NC

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Meherwan Irani’s Chai Pani reflects his Indian roots and his American journey, bringing street food from India to the heart of North Carolina, promoting cultural understanding through food.

15. Marjie’s Grill, New Orleans, LA

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Inspired by Southeast Asian markets, chefs Marcus Jacobs and Caitlin Carney serve up bold, southern dishes with a twist, celebrating local produce and diverse culinary techniques.

16. Oxomoco, Brooklyn, NY

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Mexican flavors shine at Oxomoco, where Chef Justin Bazdarich celebrates his passion for Mexican cuisine, translating traditional recipes with modern twists into award-winning dishes.

17. Buna Ethiopian Market and Café, Los Angeles, CA

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At Buna, Loi Almeron honors her Ethiopian heritage by serving traditional coffee and dishes, creating a gathering place for expatriates and a cultural learning space for new patrons.

18. Saffron De Twah, Detroit, MI

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Moroccan bistro Saffron De Twah, run by Chef Omar Anani, has become a local favorite by combining Moroccan techniques with Detroit’s rich culinary landscape, overcoming economic challenges to achieve success.

19. Mimi Blue Meatballs, Indianapolis, IN

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Blending her diverse Armenian and Turkish background into every dish, owner Gerry Kosene offers a comforting yet adventurous take on classic meatballs at Mimi Blue.

20. Maydan, Washington, D.C.

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Maydan’s owner, Rose Previte, draws on her Lebanese and Russian ancestry to create a fiery, communal dining experience that mirrors her family’s tradition of gathering around food.

21. Africana Restaurant & Lounge, Cincinnati, OH

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Africana offers a slice of East African culture in the heart of Cincinnati, where owner Yetunde Olagbaju uses her culinary skills to bridge cultural gaps and educate her community about African traditions.

More Than a Meal

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Each of these restaurants not only offers mouth-watering dishes but also serves as a testament to the resilience and creativity of their owners. By dining at these establishments, you’re not just enjoying a meal; you’re participating in a story of triumph and cultural celebration.

The post 21 BAME-Owned Restaurants Leading Change in American Cuisine first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.