From Linden's longtime Caribbean restaurant Ena's to Olde Towne East newcomer Lifestyle Café, show your support for Central Ohio's black entrepreneurs by patronizing these restaurants.
This is not a comprehensive list. Find more black-owned restaurants around Central Ohio at blackoutcoalition.org.
Ethiopian | 3750 Cleveland Ave., North Side, 614-269-8680
The injera here is about as good as it gets with traditional Ethiopian dishes like tibs, kitfo and doro wot.
Bake Me Happy
Café & Bakery | 106 E. Moler St., Merion Village, 614-477-3642
This 100 percent gluten-free coffee shop and retail bakery is an extension of Bake Me Happy’s growing wholesale business. The cheerful café offers coffee from local roasters, nostalgic treats and some savory offerings.
Barbecue | 1114 E. Main St., East Side, 614-252-7017
Some of the best barbecue in town is served from this small East Side spot operated by military veteran James Howell. The menu includes fall-off-the-bone ribs, pulled pork, turkey ribs, wings and great mac ’n’ cheese.
Cajun/Creole | 1052 B Mt. Vernon Ave., East Side, 614-372-3333
This family-owned restaurant founded by chef Henry Butcher serves Louisiana classics like gumbo, po’boys and crawfish etouffee.
Donna’s Delicious Dozen
Doughnuts | 5322 N. Hamilton Rd., Gahanna/New Albany, 614-245-4859
At Traci Lukemire’s year-old doughnut shop, customers can adorn warm doughnuts with a variety of toppings, drizzles and icings.
Ena’s Caribbean Kitchen
Caribbean | 2444 Cleveland Ave., Linden, 614-262-0988
Founded more than 20 years ago by matriarch Vinell “Ena” Hayles, a native of Jamaica, this Linden area restaurant offers authentic Caribbean fare like jerk chicken, callaloo and goat curry.
Crepes | 1500 Polaris Pkwy., Polaris, 614-906-2815
Located inside Polaris Fashion Place Mall’s food court, Fay’s offers French-style crepes with a variety of toppings such as strawberries and cream, and banana and Nutella.
Flavor 91 Bistro
Burgers | 5186 E. Main St., Whitehall, 614-845-8840
This family-owned craft burger joint on the border of Whitehall and Reynoldsburg is dedicated to serving local, organic and fresh ingredients. Go for the flavorful salads, the berbere-rubbed chicken wings, the Flavor Burger and the friendly atmosphere.
The Good Kitchen 614
American | 1485 Sunbury Rd., Northeast Columbus, 614-258-4663
A carryout-only spot serving affordable soul food classics like smothered pork chops, fried fish (whiting, perch or tilapia), collard greens and more.
Somali | 5788 Columbus Sq., North Side, 614-899-8800; 59 Spruce St., Short North, 614-745-3943
Hoyo’s Kitchen offers Somali cuisine with authentic dishes inspired by the owner’s mother. Don’t pass on a combo plate with goat and a berbere-spiked sauce or the daal soup, a hearty lentil dish. Hoyo’s added a fast-casual location inside North Market last year.
Vegan | 891 Oak St., Olde Towne East, 614-754-1444
Olde Towne East’s new plant-based café is run by chef Shanna Dean. The menu ranges from plant-based pastries to vegan chicken and waffles to sliders.
The Pit BBQ Grille
Barbecue | 3545 Cleveland Ave., North Side, 614-826-8671; 1542 Parsons Ave., South Side, 614-824-1879
Four college friends launched this Cleveland-style barbecue joint in 2016 on the city’s North Side and expanded this year to Parsons Avenue. In addition to ribs, pulled pork, candied yams and mac ’n’ cheese, don’t miss the Polish Girl sandwich: sausage, pulled pork, fries and coleslaw crowded into a bun.
Upper Cup Coffee Co.
Café | 79 Parsons Ave., Olde Towne East, 614-220-0206; 121 Mill St., Gahanna, 614-383-7496
Since 2011, Micael Habte’s coffee shop in OTE (a second is in Gahanna) has been a friendly constant, connecting with neighbors through house-roasted coffee, art and live music.
Way Down Yonder New Orleans Finest Restaurant
Cajun/Creole | 3847 S. High St., South Side, 614-662-8623
Down-home cooking is served at chef Yonder Gordon’s restaurant, which relocated to the South Side in 2019. Expect shrimp and grits, seafood gumbo, po’boys, etouffee and more.
Kenyan | 2492 Home Acre Dr., Northeast Side, 614-772- 3461
The gregarious and charming Wycliff Nduati is usually on hand to guide diners through the menu at his Kenyan eatery. Dishes such as the karanga mbuzi (goat stew) make Wycliff’s a worthy destination. Be sure to pair dinner with notable sides like pilau (seasoned rice with meat) and kabeji (cabbage).