Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Five black-owned restaurants to try in San Diego

As George Floyd protests continue, some diners seek to support African-American restaurateurs

In better times, customers enjoy the music-filled dining room of Bowlegged BBQ.
In better times, customers enjoy the music-filled dining room of Bowlegged BBQ.

I’m witnessing something this week I never imagined I’d see: local restaurants, already hurting due to the covid-19 shutdown, are openly promoting other restaurants.

It’s due to the fact that injustice against African-Americans is on everyone’s mind right now. And while the demonstrations calling attention to the issue have dominated the news, local restaurant owners and social media activists have begun circulating lists of black-owned restaurants in San Diego, encouraging diners to patronize these businesses, as a show of solidarity.

A graphic making the rounds on social media, listing black owned restaurants in San Diego

There are dozens of such restaurants throughout the county, and I’ll include some of the circulating lists below. I intend to go out and properly feature the few I haven’t yet tried myself. However, in case you’re not sure where to start, here are five of the best black owned restaurants I’ve tried, guaranteed not to disappoint.

Please note that none of these restaurants have yet re-opened to dine-in service, so plan your take-out or delivery accordingly.

Place

Bowlegged Bar B Que

4255 Market Street, San Diego

Bowlegged BBQ

I tried more than 200 new restaurants last year and can tell you without reservation Bowlegged BBQ was among the best of them. The siblings who operate the restaurant are warm and friendly, and when dine-in service is available, fill their Mt. Hope dining room with music, joy, and a prideful expression of black culture. During the pandemic, Bowlegged has only been open for take-out and delivery, but that only more pointedly highlights the family’s by-way-of-Texas recipes, including a sumptuous house BBQ sauce that makes everything better — no small feat considering the ribs, brisket, and hot links already taste great without it. Don’t sleep on the chicken though; that’s the best saucy bird in town.

Place

Coop's West Texas Barbecue

2625 Lemon Grove Avenue, Lemon Grove

Coop’s West Texas BBQ

I’m not giving anything away to tell you Brad Cooper’s Lemon Grove restaurant serves arguably the entire county’s best BBQ. The pulled pork makes it a must-try destination, and I’m not even sure a crispy pile of breakfast bacon could compete for my affections. I should probably mention that Cooper’s fried chicken and waffle restaurant, Da Chicken Coop, is right next door. However, chef Coop might be his own toughest competition here, because it’s genuinely tough to maintain a fried chicken craving when you get a whiff of the smoker next door. Both are open for take-out and delivery only for the moment, and if I’ve learned just one thing from their proximity, it’s that between pork ribs and fried chicken, I choose ribs.

Place

Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

4651 Park Boulevard, San Diego

Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

In my experience, there are two types of people: those who love Ethiopian food, and those who have never tried it. To the latter I say: don’t waste any more of your life missing out. We can’t dine in the University Heights mainstay right now, which is a shame, because the spicy, stewed meats and vegetables that highlight the North African cuisine set the table for some of the world’s greatest family-style feasting. The individual dishes are served together on a large sheet of injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread (think savory pancake). Rather than utensils, you tear off a piece of injera, and use it to pinch off a piece of tender braised beef, chicken, lamb, or seafood, then pop it in your mouth like a miniature taco. Muzita is an excellent vegetarian or vegan choice, featuring chick peas, mushrooms, fava beans, stewed tomatoes, and braised leafy greens.

Place

One Love Island Cuisine

4225 K Oceanside Boulevard, Oceanside

One Love Island Cuisine

You need to go about five miles inland from the Oceanside pier to find what has become my favorite Jamaican restaurant in the county. The colorful little strip mall restaurant stays true to its owners’ Jamaican roots, including the authentic island heat of Scotch bonnet peppers, which burn hotter than habañeros, and bring more distinctive fruitiness. But of course, the top draw here has to be the jerk chicken, which (and I may be biased) is the top regularly served example of the dish in all So Cal. If you feel like deviating, try the also spicy jerk beef, dip into the succulent braised oxtail, or sink into the more complex spices of curry goat, or coconut curry chicken.

Place

Surf and Soul Spot

7229 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

Surf & Soul Spot

It’s only a few weeks since I wrote about the new La Mesa location of this So Cal-styled soul food restaurant opened by a local football star and his talented chef partner, Sarajevo Petty. But it bears repeating: the tiny business brings two excellent eateries to the neighborhood. Monday to Wednesday, it’s a fish shack specializing in popcorn shrimp and grits and a blackened shrimp and crab roll. You’ll want to return Friday or Saturday for fried pork chops and side dishes such as baked mac and cheese and smoked turkey collard greens. Ask for fried chicken wings all week long.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Fabian Nunez fails to work magic for Mercury lobbying firm

Santee's Mayor Minto can't write his column
Next Article

Waiter at La Jolla's Tapenade, toilet cleaner at Spanky's

San Diego's candy salesman, transient nurse, ups and downs of fishing
In better times, customers enjoy the music-filled dining room of Bowlegged BBQ.
In better times, customers enjoy the music-filled dining room of Bowlegged BBQ.

I’m witnessing something this week I never imagined I’d see: local restaurants, already hurting due to the covid-19 shutdown, are openly promoting other restaurants.

It’s due to the fact that injustice against African-Americans is on everyone’s mind right now. And while the demonstrations calling attention to the issue have dominated the news, local restaurant owners and social media activists have begun circulating lists of black-owned restaurants in San Diego, encouraging diners to patronize these businesses, as a show of solidarity.

A graphic making the rounds on social media, listing black owned restaurants in San Diego

There are dozens of such restaurants throughout the county, and I’ll include some of the circulating lists below. I intend to go out and properly feature the few I haven’t yet tried myself. However, in case you’re not sure where to start, here are five of the best black owned restaurants I’ve tried, guaranteed not to disappoint.

Please note that none of these restaurants have yet re-opened to dine-in service, so plan your take-out or delivery accordingly.

Place

Bowlegged Bar B Que

4255 Market Street, San Diego

Bowlegged BBQ

I tried more than 200 new restaurants last year and can tell you without reservation Bowlegged BBQ was among the best of them. The siblings who operate the restaurant are warm and friendly, and when dine-in service is available, fill their Mt. Hope dining room with music, joy, and a prideful expression of black culture. During the pandemic, Bowlegged has only been open for take-out and delivery, but that only more pointedly highlights the family’s by-way-of-Texas recipes, including a sumptuous house BBQ sauce that makes everything better — no small feat considering the ribs, brisket, and hot links already taste great without it. Don’t sleep on the chicken though; that’s the best saucy bird in town.

Place

Coop's West Texas Barbecue

2625 Lemon Grove Avenue, Lemon Grove

Coop’s West Texas BBQ

I’m not giving anything away to tell you Brad Cooper’s Lemon Grove restaurant serves arguably the entire county’s best BBQ. The pulled pork makes it a must-try destination, and I’m not even sure a crispy pile of breakfast bacon could compete for my affections. I should probably mention that Cooper’s fried chicken and waffle restaurant, Da Chicken Coop, is right next door. However, chef Coop might be his own toughest competition here, because it’s genuinely tough to maintain a fried chicken craving when you get a whiff of the smoker next door. Both are open for take-out and delivery only for the moment, and if I’ve learned just one thing from their proximity, it’s that between pork ribs and fried chicken, I choose ribs.

Place

Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

4651 Park Boulevard, San Diego

Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

In my experience, there are two types of people: those who love Ethiopian food, and those who have never tried it. To the latter I say: don’t waste any more of your life missing out. We can’t dine in the University Heights mainstay right now, which is a shame, because the spicy, stewed meats and vegetables that highlight the North African cuisine set the table for some of the world’s greatest family-style feasting. The individual dishes are served together on a large sheet of injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread (think savory pancake). Rather than utensils, you tear off a piece of injera, and use it to pinch off a piece of tender braised beef, chicken, lamb, or seafood, then pop it in your mouth like a miniature taco. Muzita is an excellent vegetarian or vegan choice, featuring chick peas, mushrooms, fava beans, stewed tomatoes, and braised leafy greens.

Place

One Love Island Cuisine

4225 K Oceanside Boulevard, Oceanside

One Love Island Cuisine

You need to go about five miles inland from the Oceanside pier to find what has become my favorite Jamaican restaurant in the county. The colorful little strip mall restaurant stays true to its owners’ Jamaican roots, including the authentic island heat of Scotch bonnet peppers, which burn hotter than habañeros, and bring more distinctive fruitiness. But of course, the top draw here has to be the jerk chicken, which (and I may be biased) is the top regularly served example of the dish in all So Cal. If you feel like deviating, try the also spicy jerk beef, dip into the succulent braised oxtail, or sink into the more complex spices of curry goat, or coconut curry chicken.

Place

Surf and Soul Spot

7229 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

Surf & Soul Spot

It’s only a few weeks since I wrote about the new La Mesa location of this So Cal-styled soul food restaurant opened by a local football star and his talented chef partner, Sarajevo Petty. But it bears repeating: the tiny business brings two excellent eateries to the neighborhood. Monday to Wednesday, it’s a fish shack specializing in popcorn shrimp and grits and a blackened shrimp and crab roll. You’ll want to return Friday or Saturday for fried pork chops and side dishes such as baked mac and cheese and smoked turkey collard greens. Ask for fried chicken wings all week long.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mexico's Green Angels cut back

What to do if stranded in Baja
Next Article

Craft & Commerce gets fast foodie

The Little Italy restaurant re-opens by riffing on fast food mainstays
Comments
6

Ian Anderson: I hate to break this to you but the Surf and Soul Spot is located in SAN DIEGO not La Mesa. Look it up and you will find that the address is 7229 El Cajon Blvd. San Deigo, CA 92115. The La Mesa city limits began at 73rd st.

June 4, 2020

Felix BBQ With Soul is great food!

June 4, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 7, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 8, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 9, 2020

you are suggesting that I choose a restaurant based upon the race of the owner?

June 14, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close