Jackson Mclarty channeled his passion for dining out into Black Eats LDN, the UK's first Black-owned restaurant directory, which also hosts a market for Black-owned businesses. These are a few of his favorite Black-owned restaurants around London.MoreLess
"The owner of this upscale Caribbean spot is Chef Roger Shakes, who was a head chef for 19 years at Mango Rooms before taking over this venue," says Mclarty. "It's white-tablecloth, but not pretentious. The ingredients are high quality, without the major price tag. The vibe is very chill—you come out feeling very relaxed." Top dishes: curry goat, ebony wings, mango and banana crème brûlée.
"This is the only Senegalese restaurant in London! They have locations across Paris; it's quite popular in France. Their meat quality is high—they cook it so it's succulent. The price point is affordable, the portions are large, and the restaurant is fully Halal. (They don't serve alcohol.) It's a perfect casual spot for a group of friends." Top dishes: akara (fritters), suya lamb, bissap drink.
"Located in Buck Street Market, this place sells juice in a fruit, like a pineapple, dragonfruit, or watermelon. They blend it right in front of you and add their homemade syrups. They also sell 100-percent vegan waffles!" Top dishes: pineapple topped with strawberry and mint homemade syrup.
"Papi's is owned by a Nigerian guy named Femi (which is why the signature dish is called Femi's fish). It's not strictly Nigerian, though; it takes inspiration from across West Africa, and it's a bit fancier than your typical West African restaurant. It's mostly seafood dishes, and there are great cocktails, so it's a good place for a bottomless brunch or a celebration." Top dishes: Femi's fish, asun, sautéed prawns, Chapman cocktail.
"This is a northern Nigerian restaurant, which is very different from typical Nigerian cuisine: They don't sell jollof rice; they don't sell pounded yam. It's quite a small, cozy spot, and only opened in 2020. The owner Joké is really taking Nigerian cuisine somewhere it hasn't been before." Top dishes: Bavette steak, goat ayamase, seabass with cornbread.
"The kitchen here is inside a shipping container, facing a courtyard with wooden benches, plenty of plants, and fairy lights dangling above: It's a very picturesque setting. The portion sizes here are ridiculously huge. Their main item is the jerk fried chicken burger, which is marinated in jerk seasoning, breaded, and fried—and you can top that with plantains, or halloumi, or chili jam, or (if you're me) all of the above." Top dishes: jerk fried burger, jerk halloumi, fried plantains.
"The jerk chicken at this West Indian spot is some of the best I've tried in London. It's mostly a takeaway, but there is a small dining area. They serve seafood as well as jerk chicken; you can buy platter boxes, which contain multiple sides in one tray. It's a super-good value for the money, everything is made fresh to order, and the customer service is great." Top dishes: jerk chicken, fried prawns, pepper prawns.
"In Pop Brixton, you'll find this a new woman-owned Congolese fusion restaurant, Brazza. They serve a variety of Congolese dishes; the ntaba is a top dish for me, and I also like the super saucy wings, which may not be traditional but are definitely a tasty side order. They have happy hour too, and you can get a cocktail within a pineapple." Top dishes: pili prawns, ntaba (grilled goat meat), brazza wings.
"Run by a couple, one of whom is Jamaican, and one of whom is Iraqi, this place is very community-focused; that's at the heart of what they do. They're mostly open in the morning and mid-afternoon, and serve a nice fusion of dishes that you don't see that often: You can get falafel, but also jerk chicken." Top dishes: baba ghanoush, jerk chicken salad bowl, latté with date syrup.
"This Ethiopian restaurant has a nice setting, with plants hanging from the ceiling and East African ornaments and decorations. They serve vegan food as well as meat. I went for the vegan dishes, like the we't, which has caramelized onions, chickpeas, and green peppers. That's a really tasty dish that doesn't leave you feeling like you need to eat meat (coming from a meat-eater!)." Top dishes: shiro we't, vegan platter with gluten-free injera.