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Welcome to sunny San Diego! Arguably one of the best cities in the United States,  SD is famous for its historic Gaslamp District, beautiful beaches, and proximity to Mexico.

One quality that it’s not known for is its diversity–especially for African Americans, who only make up 6.4% of the entire city’s population. Here are 11 black-owned eateries for you to hit during your trip to support the warm, Southern comfort, cornbread-fed pockets of familiarity we do have in the area. I also post about them on my travel Instagram account.

Tip: Scroll all the way to the bottom for an interactive map to easily find them.

1. Rhythm’s Chicken and Waffles

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Located only 4 blocks from Pacific Beach, this black-owned beachside restaurant is the hot spot to get your chicken and waffles for brunch, lunch, dinner, or an almost-midnight-snack as they are open from 11AM – 11PM.

Grab your tray and some syrup to-go, and hit the boardwalk!

Website

1138 Garnet Ave San Diego, CA 92109

2. Bowlegged Barbeque

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Bowlegged BBQ is a Black family-owned food spot, which makes it extra special. Three siblings co-run it—a sister is one of the head cooks, a brother is the business-savvy behind the scenes, and the last brother… well, he’s Bowlegged. Seriously, that’s his name!

And astonishingly, many of their children work there as well. This extended family is almost as sweet as their BBQ sauce, and any review you find will comment on the warm energy in this joint.

Website

4255 Market St. San Diego, CA 92102

3. Street Car Merchants

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Can you say African American family-owned and operated? Situated in North Park, come by to find classic southern dishes and Louisiana favorites on their all-day menu of brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Website

4002 30th St. San Diego, CA 92104

Black people only make up 6.4% of the population of San Diego, and even less of the primarily Italian and American food scene. so Supporting the black-owned businesses that do exist is vital—start by visiting these food spots! Click To Tweet

4. Da South In Ya Mouth

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Situated in Chula Vista and the closest in the list to Mexico this black, woman-owned spot truly puts ‘da south in ya mouth’! Owner Andra Riles was born in rural Georgia where she learned to cook not with quality utilities and measurements, but with her 5 senses and intuition. Her grandmother was the main cook for their church and with Andra always tagging along, it wasn’t long until cooking became her sanctuary.

Southern soul food is truly her passion, and she says Da South In Ya Mouth is not just a business—it’s the culmination of a culture, and her goal is for you to come here and sense the Southern hospitality that values its customers above all.

Website

902 3rd Ave Chula Vista, CA 91911

5. Coops West Texas BBQ

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For authentic slow-smoked barbecue in San Diego, you have to stop by Coop’s. They take their time smoking their meats, crafting their sauces, and serving their sides, and all with some Southern customer service on the side.

Website

2625 Lemon Grove Ave. Lemon Grove, CA 91945

6. Breakfast Bitch

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Established by Owner Derrell Hustona in Hillcrest, and operated by San Diego’s baddest bitches. Breakfast Bitch’s menu is full of light, yummy bites, and the restaurant’s energy is positive, fun, modern vibes.

Website

3825 Fifth Avenue San Diego, Ca 92103

7. Sucker Free South Plate and Bar

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“Unapologetically southern in their food, drinks, and attitude”

This establishment is owned by the same Black entrepreneur of StreetCar Merchant. If you’re in the historic Gaslamp District come by for some of your Southern favorites: shrimp and grits, chicken gizzards, frog legs, fried okra, oxtail, and cream sodas.

Website

751 Fourth Ave San Diego, CA 92101

8. Bankhead Mississippi Style Cooking

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In Spring Valley, only 20 minutes away from the Gaslamp District, this southern spot brings together three generations of Mississippi chefs! They claim to keep the traditional down south flavors and comfort feelings, with slight adjustments to make these recipes a lot more healthy.

Website

8300 Paradise Valley Rd Spring Valley, CA 91977

9. Rock Steady

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Listen… I’m half-Jamaican. And Jamaican’s know that any good Jamaica house doesn’t market traditionally with Instagram or Twitter—they are word of mouth.

Well, I had so many local Black San Diegans tell me I had to include Rock Steady in this list, I knew they must be good! At Rock Steady Jamaican Restaurant they serve all of our island favorites like Curried Chicken, Jamaican Patties, Jerk Wings, Soup, and even a fusion Jamaican Southern Fried Chicken, and you can even order online for carryout.

Website

2820 Market Street San Diego, California 92102

We're supporting black-owned businesses all 2020. If you're in San Diego, make sure you give your dollars to these black, family-owned, women-owned, and multi-generational restaurants. Click To Tweet

10. Cane Patch Kitchen

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Hop off your flight and head straight to the Cane Patch Kitchen! Minutes from SAN inside Liberty Station Market, get your cajun and creole fix by ordering a po boy, jambalaya, beignet, fried oysters, or chicken basket, and float away into their soft buns and cajun fries.

The experience is only made better by walking outside, sitting by the water, and watching planes take off!

Website

2820 Historic Decatur Rd San Diego, California 92106

11. The Morning After

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The Morning After is a breakfast, brunch, and bar in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. From their stacked Bloody Mary’s to the waffles and Oreos, this restaurant’s menu is bold, creative, and delicious.

I have to personally recommend their Late Night Happy Hour: Friday and Saturday from 9PM to 1AM they have a late-night menu that’s to die for. Kobe beef sliders… $5 shots… What more could you want?

Website

531 F Street San Diego, California 92101

Map of Black-Owned San Diego Restaurants:


Ever visited one of these spots? Which one are you going to first?
Let me know in the comments!

11 black-owned restaurants, food spots, and cafes in San Diego! Help out multigenerational minority in this seaside city and and feel good, AND eat good. #SanDeigo #California #CaliforniaTips #SanDiegoFood #Food
11 black-owned restaurants, food spots, and cafes in San Diego! Help out multigenerational minority in this seaside city and and feel good, AND eat good. #SanDeigo #California #CaliforniaTips #SanDiegoFood #Food
11 black-owned restaurants, food spots, and cafes in San Diego! Help out multigenerational minority in this seaside city and and feel good, AND eat good. #SanDeigo #California #CaliforniaTips #SanDiegoFood #Food

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One thought on “11 Black-Owned Restaurants in San Diego to Patron For the Culture

  1. Erin

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “SPAM”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    Love this list and can’t wait to try these places!! But just so you know, Spring Valley is most definitely IN San Diego County. It’s just another “town” like LG.

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