5 must-try Black-owned San Diego restaurants

Jun 04, 2020 -

San Diego’s diversity of life, businesses, and opportunity is part of why it’s such a great place to live. In the span of a day, you can start with an Instagram-worthy plant-based brunch in the East Village, experience more than 80 inspirational murals at Barrio Logan’s seven-acre Chicano Park, and wrap up with all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ. We don’t always take the time to highlight the diversity of San Diego experiences, so we’re starting today.

Here are 5 of our favorite Black-owned restaurants in San Diego:

Spoiled Vegans Cafe

If you’re not hungry right now, you will be – just check out their Instagram. With a focus on plant-based breakfast and brunch in the East Village, Spoiled Vegans serves up all kinds of decadent waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and omelettes. They recently reopened for curbside pick-up, but have been selling out quickly – sometimes in less than 15 minutes. Find more information on their Instagram page – and be sure to set your alarm!


Cane Patch Kitchen

Cane Patch Kitchen serves up authentic Southern cuisine using owner Tony Smalls and Ebony Broadway’s family recipes dating back to the early 1900s. Stop by to enjoy classics like jambalaya, seafood gumbo, and Po’ Boys, with homemade sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, and beignets, then explore Liberty Station‘s galleries, shops, and plazas.


Awash Ethiopian Restaurant

Awash is one of those locally-loved hidden gems that’s off the beaten track and popular with its regular clientele. Its menu is extensive and delicious, and local favorites include the combos – samplers served on injera (Ethiopian flatbread) that let you try a little of everything. The restaurant itself is tucked away inside a market in North Park – you can start your evening there, then head to one of the many breweries along the boulevard.


StreetCar Merchants

Launched in North Park in 2014, owners Ron Suel and RaVae Smith serve up Southern classics like Southern style fried chicken, waffles, fried green tomatoes, grit fritters, and indulgent cakes. Its name an homage to the historical local streetcar system that once connected North Park to the rest of San Diego, StreetCar’s interior also features vintage photos and reclaimed wood. If you’re downtown, you can try sister restaurants SuckerFree, or Shotcaller Street Soul Food, which opened in late 2019.


Café X: By Any Beans Necessary

El Cajon-based Café X is a worker-owned coffee shop and co-op that aims to enrich its member-owners, pass on communal wealth and knowledge, and provide a welcoming space to organize and learn. Café X is part venue for delicious coffee and baked goods, part local art gallery, part event space – and all equitable and cooperative community relationship-building. The cafe hosts community events and local educational support for community members, run by those who are committed to equalizing knowledge.

You can find many more Black-owned businesses to support through Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, Buy Black SD, San Diego Magazine, & Travel Noire.


If you are a Black entrepreneur or business owner in San Diego and we can help connect you to resources, programs, or other assistance, please contact San Diego Regional EDC here.

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