Houston boasts some of the best Black-owned restaurants in the country. Some earned food critics' top nods, while others are cult favorites that draw long lines. While there are plenty others, dive into 14 of the best.Less
Marcus Davis' Breakfast Klub in Midtown has been a Houston institution since 2001, serving hearty breakfast favorites like chicken and waffles and catfish (or rather, katfish) and grits. Whether in a long line outside or the colorful dining room, the crowd is always an eclectic mix, from community activists to courthouse goers.
Originally opened in 1973 by Roy Burns Sr., who died in 2009, Burns Original BBQ was reopened in 2012 by his grandsons, Cory and Carl Crawford — their father, uncle and aunt are also involved in the family-owned business. At this Acres Homes staple, expect East Texas-style barbecue rounded out with other specialties: spareribs, chopped beef, boudin links and more.
Chef Shannen Tune, a "Chopped" winner, launched his Craft Burger food truck in 2015, serving gourmet burgers, sandwiches and sides. The menu at the brick-and-mortar spot offers the same decadence that earned the joint its following: a truffle butter juicy Lucy and loaded sweet potato fried with pulled pork, jalapeño and cheddar-jack cheese are highlights.
There's no shortage of great Texas barbecue in Houston. But at Fainmous BBQ, Knoxville natives Jamie and Karen Fain bring East Tennessee-style 'cue into the mix.
Frenchy's has come far in the last 50 years. Percy "Frenchy" Creuzot and his wife Sallie opened a po' boy shop in 1969, and shortly after added fried chicken to the menu, based on a family recipe from his native New Orleans. It's since become a Houston favorite for Louisiana Creole food, serving its signature fried chicken.
Pitmaster Greg Gatlin opened his barbecue spot in 2010 in a small space in the Heights. In 2015, he moved it to its current, larger location in Oak Forest. It's still a family affair: His father, Henry, and mother, Mary, are deeply involved in the business. Gatlin blends Central Texas, East Texas and Louisiana Creole styles, resulting in food that restaurant critic Alison Cook called "keenly Houstonian."
Believe it or not, Houston has a burgeoning vegan scene for a city with such meat-centric cred. Among the dozens of vegan businesses in Houston, a large share of them are Black-owned. Matti Merrell and Rodney Perry opened Green Seed Vegan in 2012 after running a food truck for a year.
The oldest joint on this list, and one of the oldest African-American restaurants in Houston, This Is It Soul Food has been around since 1959. Frank and Mattie Jones opened the original location in Freedmen's Town in Fourth Ward, inspired by the cooking Frank's mother served at the boarding house she ran there in the '20s and '30s, serving the likes of Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway.
On a mission to end food apartheid and food insecurity, Chef Jonny Rhodes and his wife, Chana, opened the small community-focused grocery store, and are working on building up their own farm to supply and expand the operation. They formerly owned Indigo, the fine-dining, 13-seat spot sought to teach diners about the Black experience through food.
Inspired by his great-grandmother Lucille B. Smith, a food entrepreneur famous for her hot roll mix and chili biscuits, chef Chris Williams opened his Museum District restaurant in 2012. Lucille's became celebrated for its refined Southern cuisine, influenced by Williams' travels and kitchen experience in Europe.