Cultural Cuisine

Houstonia’s Guide To Dining for Black History Month

From cajun to West Indian cuisine, Houston's got it all.

By Shelby Stewart and Geneva Diaz

Burns Original BBQ. 

Houston’s rich Black history ENCOMPASSES the city’s storied neighborhoods, from Freedmen’s Town in Fourth Ward, St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Sunnyside, to Texas Southern University in Third Ward. And with a historical exploration comes appetizing cuisine that helps tell the story. In 2022, Black History Month’s theme is Black Health and Wellness, according to ASALH, and healthiness begins with a great meal. 

In a culturally diverse city such as Houston, you can enjoy the savory tastes that make up the diverse range of Black-owned restaurants. From Jamaican food at Cool Runnings to rib-sticking soul food from This Is It!, take your taste buds on a gustatory trip this month.

Below, find 20 Black-owned restaurants to support. 

Cream Burger

There’s a reason the Third Ward mainstay has been in Houston for over 60 years. Sitting at the corner of Scott and Elgin Streets, the burger stand is so old-fashioned, that the company still maintains its cash-only policy, and has only had two menu additions since its founding in 1961 一 just to give you an idea of how good the food is. The burger joint, famous for craft burgers made to order, instantly brings feelings of nostalgia through their menu, which takes you back to a much simpler time. 3481 Elgin St.

Dream Wings

For a more casual dining experience, Dream Wings has a mix of fresh seafood, savory pasta, salads, and of course, their signature, chicken wings. Whether you like your wings with dry rub seasoning, classic buffalo sauce, or both, any option is finger-licking good. 3425 Ella Blvd. 

The Greasy Spoon in Houston. 

 

The Greasy Spoon

The Greasy Spoon lives up to its name 一 in the best way possible. The Southern American eatery serves up some of the city’s best soul food. At the cafeteria-style restaurant, guests can order hearty Southern dishes, or if you desire something less traditional, try their fusion plates. 636 Cypress Station. 

Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill

A taste of the Caribbean lies right at your fingertips at Cool Runnings. Located in the Southwest area of Houston, the restaurant and lounge serve up authentic West Indian cuisine that’s packed with flavorful spices. To get the full Jamaican experience, visit on a Saturday, where you can enjoy live music. 8270 W Bellfort Ave. 

Burns Original BBQ

If there’s one thing Texans know how to do, it’s make some darn good barbecue 一 good enough to make you want to slap your grandma. The Acres Homes outpost, headed by pitmaster Roy Burns Sr., brings people from near and far to the Bayou City to taste the succulent meat and hefty baked potatoes. 8307 De Priest St. 

Soul Taco

Parked outside of his Throughgood Coffee shop, is Pastor Rudy Rasmus’s Soul Taco food truck. Rasmus, who doubly served as Beyoncé’s former spiritual advisor, has merged soul food 一 and music 一 with original tacos, having names on the menu like “The Diana Ross” or for a vegan option, “The Miss Tina.”  732 W 27th St. 

Twisted Grilled Cheese

It is possible to make a typical grilled cheese at home, but Twisted Grilled Cheese is anything but ordinary. Serving up gourmet-style grilled cheese sandwiches with an impressive cheese pull, the menu is loaded with all of your cheesy-loving needs. 2829 Chimney Rock Rd. 

LIT Chicken

Houston’s fried chicken craze has shown no intentions of slowing down, and more and more people are getting in on the action. LIT Chicken, the family-owned restaurant located inside of Finn Hall, is placing its customers into a crispy euphoria. No matter what you order, you’re in for a tasty meal that’ll have you shaking your tail feather. 712 Main St. 

Taste of Nigeria

Houston is home to a massive Nigerian population, and the large community brings plenty of culture and cuisine to the city. The classic Nigerian fare doesn’t cut any corners 一 Taste of Nigeria is where many locals visit to get their authentic West African dishes. 5959 Richmond Ave Suite 160.

Trill Taco

Trill Taco is so good, that it received a cosign from the King of The Trill himself, Bun B. The culture-forward restaurant has tacos named after Houston rappers such as Slim Thug, Thee Stallion and Trae Tha Truth, and tacos made with meat, seafood, and fruit. The vibrant tastes continue when you add their signature Trill Sauce.  2887 Dulles Ave. 

Soulfood Vegan

Third Ward’s Soulfood Vegan is changing how we feel about soul food. The fully vegan menu offers some of your Southern favorites, free of meat. The menu will turn even the biggest of meatless skeptics into a believer, with their okra gumbo, dirty rice, and a cajun pasta melt that makes you forget you're eating healthy. , 2901 Emancipation Ave. 

The Breakfast Klub

An all-morning breakfast joint with a line around the block, The Breakfast Klub, known for their chicken and waffles,  is a community staple to the Midtown neighborhood. On any given day, you’re likely to see the owner, Marcus Davis, of this 20-year-old restaurant, laughing with customers and talking politics. The menu's offerings surely make the line that feels a mile-long, worth the wait.  3711 Travis St. 

Blue Nile 

Ethiopian fare is both vibrant and distinctive. Never bashful when it comes to color and spice, you can taste true and authentic food from the Horn of Africa at the Blue Nile. The quaint restaurant’s menu includes classics like Fitfit and Shiro Wot, and emphasizes Ethiopian heritage through its indigenous traditions of feasting on family-size portions, plus eating with your hands. Blue Nile’s friendly waitresses will never offer a bad recommendation, and anything you choose will surely get you full.   3030 Audley St. 

Crumbville 

If you’re looking for something sweet to top off a satisfying meal, look no further than Crumbville Texas. The bakery, located in the heart of Third Ward,  feels like a warmth that only a mother can provide 一 maybe it’s because of the friendly owner, or even the tasty treats on display when you walk inside. Either way, you’ll be able to please your sweet craving. As if there wasn’t anything else that could sweeten the deal, Crumbville also has a selection of vegan-friendly desserts, like their Netflix and Chill cookie. 3409 Emancipation Ave.

Gatlin's BBQ

Together owner Greg Gatlin and Chef Michelle Wallace of Gatlin’s BBQ are serving up the exceptional deep South barbecue classics that are living up to Texas’ reputation. Their newest breakfast menu has everything from belly stuffing chicken biscuits and BBQ breakfast sandwiches, to BBQ and Tex-Mex fusion offerings.3510 Ella Blvd., Building C, Suite A. 

Phil & Derek’s

There’s a reason Phil & Derek’s maintains its title as Best Brunch in Houston. Made popular for the Creole brunch and live music, the unassuming restaurant is an all-encompassing dining experience that makes you want to dance 一 of course, because of the live music, but equally, because the food is just that good. 1701 Webster St. Call, 

Trez Art And Wine Bar 

Trez Art And Wine Bar provides a platform for local artists to display their artwork on the walls for customers to enjoy (and purchase) while also studying their extensive wine list. With great wine, also comes perfect food pairings. The artistic experience at Trez only begins with the ambiance and decor, as the food, like the Tajin Butter Popcorn, and Rosemary Jerk Lamb Chops is truly a work of art. 920 Studemont St Suite #150.

Esther's Cajun Cafe & Soul Food

Owner Esther Lewis-Bernard came from a family of cooks known for their country-style cooking and Cajun cuisine. Dining in at Esther's Cajun Cafe & Soul Food is a home-cooked meal that will not disappoint. 5204 Yale St.

Thirteen

Owned by former Houston Rockets player James Harden, Thirteen’s menu is a mesh between traditional and modern. Get your southern comfort food fix with their top-shelf meat and seafood. Whether you keep it simple or go all the way, you’re in for an evening of luxury. 1911 Bagby St. Suite 100. 

Green Seed Vegan

Owners Matti Merrell and her husband Rodney Perry have paved the way towards vegan eating. Unlike other vegan options, meals served at Green Seed Vegan are free of soy and processed vegan meats, and they offer fresh juices daily. The menu offerings are so good, you’ll be going back for seconds. 4320 Almeda Rd.

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