Trip Ideas - 19 min read

27 BEST Black-Owned Restaurants In Tampa (Cafes, BBQ, Food Trucks!)

Jessica Langille

Jessica Langille, Updated October 9, 2022

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Tampa has the best (and most diverse) food scene in Florida. When taking a look at the restaurants throughout this city, there are several black-owned restaurants that are essential to Tampa’s food scene. If you’re in Tampa, you might be wondering what the best black-owned restaurants to support are.

One of the most talk-about black-owned restaurants in Tampa is 7th + Grove. This popular restaurant serves southern favorites along with creative signature cocktails. Some other black-owned restaurants that are essential to the community are Rose Bar Tampa, Ladies of the Sea & Soulfood, and Yuppi. When you’re in the mood for something sweet, stop by The Cake Drip.

Are you looking to explore more of the black-owned restaurants in Tampa? Today, we’re going to introduce you to some of the best black-owned restaurants in this city.

Contents

1. Rose Bar Tampa

Credit: Black Restaurant Week

Rose Bar Tampa celebrates the history and cuisine of this city. When you eat at this establishment, you can expect local ingredients along with consistent and quality cooking.

What To Eat At Rose Bar Tampa

Soho wings and egg rolls are popular choices. There are 3 types of egg rolls, Philly cheesesteak, salmon, and veggie. For the main entree, guests love the voodoo pasta and Caribbean Atlantic salmon.

Why Should You Eat Here?

At Rose Bar Tampa, you can experience wonderful flavors from all over the world. This restaurant pulls influence from French, Asian, Latin, African, and many other cultures when creating dishes for the menu.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Voodoo Pasta
  • Cuisine: Fusion

2. 7th + Grove

Credit: 7th + Grove

7th + Grove is known for its elevated southern-style menu and craft cocktails. Tampa residents love this place for its friendly service and warm ambiance.

What To Eat At 7th + Grove

D’evils (deviled eggs) and Cry Me a River (catfish nuggets & fried muffins) are top-choice starters. For dinner, we suggest the Rude Boi (oxtail & veggies with mashed potatoes) or Choosey Lovers (linguine with fried chicken and housemade alfredo).

Why Should You Eat Here?

The menu at 7th + Grove is very impressive. You can choose from dishes made with fresh ingredients and housemade recipes. This is how they bring the authentic taste of the south to your table.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Rude Boi
  • Cuisine: American, Southern

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Florida

3. Yuppi

Credit: Yuppi

Yuppi originally opened in 2020 under the name The Black Chef Eatery. They went from selling meals out of their house to opening up their own restaurant and food truck within 2 years.

What To Eat At Yuppi

Yuppi is famous for its fried fish dinner, which features crispy catfish and seasoned fries. The 10 Yuppi wings special is another popular order. For something sweet, you must try banana pudding.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Yuppi has delicious food. If it’s your first visit, the owner will be more than happy to explain the menu to you. They strive to cook and season the food to perfection.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Fried Catfish
  • Cuisine: American, Soul Food

4. The Cake Drip

Credit: WFLA

When you want something sweet to eat, The Cake Drip is one of the best spots in Tampa Bay To check out. You can even make your own chocolate bar at this eatery.

What To Eat At The Cake Drip

The Make-Your-Own-Chocolate-Bar is one of the main highlights of The Cake Drip. This place is also known for having excellent cheesecake, pound cake, and other desserts. The desserts are even served with a chocolate spoon.

Why Should You Eat Here?

The Cake Drip strives to create a fun experience for all of its customers. Along with dessert, you can enjoy drinks and fun activities. They also host events, like brunch and champagne tasting.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: N/A
  • Specialty Dish: Make-Your-Own-Chocolate-Bar
  • Cuisine: Desserts

Related Read: 20 Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Florida

5. Ladies Of The Sea & Soul Food

Credit: Yelp

Ladies of The Sea & Soul Food is a hidden treasure in Tampa. It’s one of the best places where you can find crispy fried seafood with just the right amount of flavor.

What To Eat At Ladies Of The Sea & Soul Food

If you’re in the mood for seafood, you can enjoy dishes like garlic snow crab, fried basa fish, or dirty shrimp. Some other comfort food items include baked or fried chicken, candied yams, and turkey wings.

Why Should You Eat Here?

This small business has made a great impression on customers throughout Tampa. It’s a great place for takeout orders, but there is also a small seating area to dine in.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Garlic Snow Crab
  • Cuisine: American, Seafood, Soul Food

6. Main Course Restaurant & Lounge

Credit: Uber Eats

Main Course Restaurant & Lounge is an upscale bar and restaurant. This location has an adult-appropriate atmosphere, so guests under 12 years of age are not allowed to dine here.

What To Eat At Main Course Restaurant & Lounge

The chef’s specials are what Main Course is all about. Some of the best picks are lobster & waffles, seafood grits, and chicken wings (with your choice between 20 different flavors).

Why Should You Eat Here?

Main Course Restaurant & Lounge creates a vibe that customers enjoy as much as the food. There’s beautiful wallpaper and trendy decor. This location also has fun attractions, like the photo-op area and the “tell us your dreams” manifestation wall.

  • Yelp Rating: 3
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Seafood Grits
  • Cuisine: American, Soul Food

7. Cask Social Kitchen

Credit: Travel Pockets

The late NFL player Vincent Jackson was a co-owner of Cask Social Kitchen. Today, the restaurant still lives on in his memory, serving food to the community of Tampa.

What To Eat At Cask Social Kitchen

Cask has some very tasty starters, like truffle deviled eggs and candied bacon. There are many delicious entrees to choose from, like St. Louis ribs, smokehouse chili, and obsession-worthy mac n’ cheese. The bourbon apple chop will also have your mouth watering.

Why Should You Eat Here

This place serves excellent food for both brunch and dinner. If you’re running late for brunch, you don’t have to worry here. The brunch menu is available until 4 pm.

  • Yelp Rating: 3.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Truffle Deviled Eggs
  • Cuisine: American, Southern

8. Thee Burger Spot

Credit: Tripadvisor

Thee Burger Spot has been voted as one of the best burger places in Tampa Bay. This family-owned restaurant serves the juiciest burgers in Florida.

What To Eat At Thee Burger Spot

There are 12 different burgers to choose from here, and some other sandwiches for when you’re not in the mood for beef. Some of the best burgers to try are the thee cheeseburger one, thee big boy (triple cheeseburger), and the pizza burger.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Burgers are an all-American menu item. At Thee Burger Spot, you can find a selection of gourmet burgers that will have your mouth watering. The burgers at this joint are never boring.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $
  • Specialty Dish: Thee Cheeseburger One
  • Cuisine: American, Burgers

9. Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

Credit: Yelp

If you want Tennessee-style bbq in Tampa, you need to visit Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que. Al has been serving his famous bbq dishes to the city since 2003.

What To Eat At Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

With so many delicious bbq classics, it’s hard to choose just one meal here. Customers love Sparky’s pulled pork, smoked sausage dinner, and Uncle Abe’s turkey leg.

Why Should You Eat Here?

The best bbq meals are always prepared low and slow. That’s what you can expect when you order bbq here. All meats are seasoned with a dry rub, then smoked for several hours to get the best flavor and juiciness.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Sparky’s Pulled Pork
  • Cuisine: American, Barbeque

10. Ben & Jerry’s

Credit: That’s So Tampa

The Gramercy Lane spot is the first black-owned Ben & Jerry’s in Florida. You can find all of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s treats at this shop.

What To Eat At Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is all about the ice cream. You can find all of your favorite flavors, like chocolate fudge brownie and half baked. They also serve dairy-free ice cream in the same flavors you’ve known and loved.

Why Should You Eat Here?

When it comes to ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s never disappoints. They use high-quality ingredients to guarantee every batch of ice cream meets customers’ expectations.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Ice Cream Pint
  • Cuisine: Ice Cream, Dessert

11. Burnz Restaurant Bar & Grill

Credit: Burnz Restaurant Bar & Grill

Burnz Restaurant Bar & Grill is where you can find Caribbean dishes with an extra level of flair. On top of excellent food, this location also hosts many fun events, like karaoke and brunch.

What To Eat At Burnz Restaurant Bar & Grill

Chicken wing lollipops is one of the best-selling appetizers. They are coated in a sticky Asian glaze. For the main entree, you can’t go wrong with the gumbo, 14 oz ribeye, or herb-roasted chicken.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Burnz is a fantastic location for a fun night out. The food and service are excellent. After your meal, you can enjoy spending time in the cigar bar and lounge.

  • Yelp Rating: 3.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Seafood Gumbo
  • Cuisine: Caribbean, Latin American

12. Blue Flame Southern Restaurant

Credit: Top Brunch Spots
  • Address: 210 E Fowler Ave Tampa, FL
  • Phone Number: 813-280-9865
  • Michelin Rating: N/A

Blue Flame is where you can find some of the best-tasting Southern-style comfort food in Tampa. Everything from the flavor, to the presentation, and portion sizes are perfect at this restaurant.

What To Eat At Blue Flame Southern Restaurant

Customers can’t get enough of the mac and cheese from this hotspot. Some of the most-loved entrees are the cream of mushroom soup turkey wings and the oxtails. There are Sunday specials every week, that include chitlins and cornish hen.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Blue Flame is a great restaurant, but at night it turns into a lounge. Guests should check the event calendar on the restaurant’s website to find out when live music and theme parties will be hosted.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Oxtails
  • Cuisine: American, Southern

13. Heavy’s Food Truck

Credit: Heavy’s Food Truck

Heavy’s Food Truck is making a name for itself as one of the best food trucks in Tampa. Soul food is always a treat, but it’s even better when the food arrives in your neighborhood.

What To Eat At Heavy’s Food Truck

Heavy’s has a great selection of food. Choose from casseroles, like shepherd’s pie or broccoli and cheese. There’s a delicious selection of meat entrees, like ham, bbq ribs, or chicken pot pie.

Why Should You Eat Here?

The menu is led by chef Kenrick Scott who has nearly 15 years of experience in the kitchen. He is one of the most creative chefs in the city and has put a lot of effort into perfecting his recipes.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $
  • Specialty Dish: BBQ Ribs
  • Cuisine: American, Southern, Food Truck

14. Jerk Hut Restaurant

Credit: Yelp

Jerk Hut is one of the top places in Tampa to find authentic Caribbean food. The chef uses some of his favorite traditional Jamaican recipes to share with the community.

What To Eat At Jerk Hut Restaurant

The jerk recipes are the most popular at this restaurant. Many guests’ go-to orders are jerk chicken and jerk pork. Other popular choices are the curry goat and brown stew chicken.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Jerk Hut is where you can find all the essential flavors of your favorite Jamaican meals. There is a wide variety of menu selections to choose from and some new favorites too.

  • Yelp Rating: 3.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Jerk Chicken
  • Cuisine: Caribbean

15. Saucin Wings

Credit: Yelp

Since 2017, Saucin Wings has been the top place to get wings in Tampa. Not only do they offer a great selection of wings, but they also specialize in vegan options.

What To Eat At Saucin Wings

The chicken wing combo is the most popular thing to order here. It comes with your choice of side, which includes seasoned fries, seared cauliflower, or asparagus. Chose from a great selection of wing flavors, like peach whiskey, golden smoke, and guava bbq.

Why Should You Eat Here?

The selection of sauces and dry rubs at this food truck is worth stopping by to try. They have classic flavors, like lemon pepper, and flavors you can’t get anywhere else in the city.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: 10 Wing Combo
  • Cuisine: Food Truck, Chicken

16. Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant

Credit: USA Restaurants

Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant says it all in the name. People can order soul food that was prepared with a mother’s love.

What To Eat At Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant

You likely won’t have trouble finding your favorite southern favorites here. Some popular choices are smothered pork chops, baked turkey, and fired wing dinner.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant is all about traditional recipes. When you want a meal that tastes like home, this is the place to visit.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Smothered Pork Chops
  • Cuisine: Southern, Soul Food

17. Big John’s Alabama BBQ

Credit: Gubhub

Big John’s Alabama BBQ was established in the 1960s. Today, it’s managed by his wife and children, who continue his tradition of southern hospitality.

What To Eat At Big John’s Alabama BBQ

One of Big John’s best recipes is his sweet potato pie. However, before you dig into this sweet dish, you need an entree. Some of the best-sellers are the rib dinner and the sausage sandwich.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Everything is wonderful about this BBQ restaurant. Guests are greeted by friendly employees. The food is amazing and the smell of the bbq meals leaves the restaurant smelling fantastic.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $
  • Specialty Dish: BBQ Rib Dinner
  • Cuisine: Southern, Barbeque

18. Ya Mon

Credit: Tripadvisor

If it’s your first time trying Caribbean food, you should go to Ya Mon. This is one of the best-reviewed restaurants in Florida for Caribbean food.

What To Eat At Ya Mon

Some of the most popular dishes here are jerk chicken and Janise’s jerk chicken pasta. People also love the oxtail dinner and the wild-caught mango salmon.

Why Should You Eat Here?

The staff at Ya Mon goes above and beyond to create a warm and inviting experience for guests. You will be treated with great hospitality and delicious food here.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Jerk Chicken
  • Cuisine: Caribbean

19. Bruh Man’s BBQ

Credit: Yelp

Bruh’s BBQ is a small-owned business that goes big with BBQ flavor. People all over Tampa can’t resist this place’s barbeque specials.

What To Eat At Bruh Man’s BBQ

We suggest the meat combo if you want a taste of all of your favorites. Other popular choices are the cajun sausage, pulled pork, and beef brisket.

Why Should You Eat Here?

People enjoy the sweet and savory flavors that come from this restaurant. It has a nearly perfect rating and every day more satisfied customers discover its delicious food.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Pulled Pork
  • Cuisine: American, Barbeque

20. Mr. B’s Cafe

Credit: Yelp

Mr. B’s Cafe is a place that believes good food can bring people together. The owner opened the doors to create a place where friends and family can gather together for a good meal.

What To Eat At Mr. B’s Cafe

Honey Hot Fried Chicken is one of the best-rated dishes at this restaurant. However, the entire menu will make your mouth water. There are chicken and waffles, shrimp and grit, and turkey meatloaf.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Enjoy your favorite comfort foods with Mr. B’s signature flair. The chefs in this kitchen are proud to make delicious food with stunning presentations.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Hot Honey Fried Chicken
  • Cuisine: American, Soul Food

21. Mitmita Ethiopian Restaurant

Credit: Yelp

Mitmita is the best place to find authentic Ethiopian food in Tampa. This restaurant is proud to share traditional meals with the local community.

What To Eat At Mitmita Ethiopian Restaurant

A favorite menu item here is the chicken ye-doro wat. Shrimp tibbs and fish tibbs are also popular choices here. This is also one of the best places in the Tampa area to get sambusas.

Why Should You Eat Here?

This is one of the best-rated Ethiopian restaurants in Florida. You can enjoy healthy food that is prepared from scratch. This place also has a delicious selection of vegan and vegetarian options.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Ye-Doro Wat
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian

22. Sandwichi

Credit: Sandwichi

Sandwichi is a food truck that specializes in artisan sandwiches. There are so many tasty choices, you’ll want to order more than one.

What To Eat At Sandwichi

The great thing about Sandwichi is that every item on the menu is an excellent choice. Some of the most popular choices are Brotherly Love (steak & cheese with veggies) and Brooklyn Bridge (pastrami & horseradish).

Why Should You Eat Here?

If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, you may as well grab one from the best. Sandwichi has a perfect Yelp score with amazing reviews from many guests.

  • Yelp Rating: 5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Brotherly Love
  • Cuisine: Food Truck, Sandwiches

23. Konan BBQ

Credit: Yelp

Konan BBQ is where you can find tasty grilled food at low prices. Many locals will argue that this is the best BBQ spot in all of Tampa.

What To Eat At Konan BBQ

Konan BBW specializes in bbq chicken, ribs, sausages, and more. However, if you don’t want to settle on just one meat, you can order the Big Pig (2 meat combo), Big Hog (3 meat), or Real Big Hog (4 meat).

Why Should You Eat Here?

Konan BBQ never disappoints. People can expect great service and even better food. On top of tasty meats, they also serve scrumptious sides and have a delicious section of sweets to choose from.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $$
  • Specialty Dish: Big Pig Combo
  • Cuisine: American, Barbeque

24. Janniemaes Cafe

Credit: Groupon

Janniemaes Cafe is a black-owned restaurant that is receiving great reviews in Tampa. People love this place because the food they receive looks exactly like the picture.

What To Eat At Janniemaes Cafe

There are a lot of great choices at this cafe. Many guests enjoy the chicken and waffles, jumbo shrimp and fries, and the cheeseburger meal. There are also daily specials with different menu items.

Why Should You Eat Here?

There are many handmade specialties at this restaurant. The owner uses recipes that she learned from her late-mother Janniemae. She’s proud to keep the memory of her mother alive through these dishes.

  • Yelp Rating: N/A
  • Cost: $
  • Specialty Dish: Chicken and Waffles
  • Cuisine: American

25. Lorene’s Fish & Crab House

Credit: Yelp

Lorene’s Fish & Crab House is one of the best seafood spots in the Tampa area. They always keep visitors impressed with their mouth-watering menu.

What To Eat At Lorene’s Fish & Crab House

One of the best-selling items here is the catfish sandwich. People also come in for the garlic crabs and the garlic shrimp. If you’re not interested in seafood, you can enjoy chicken tenders.

Why Should You Eat Here?

The reviews for this small-owned business speak highly of what you can expect. Lorene’s offers 5-star service, tasty food, and great experiences.

  • Yelp Rating: 4.5
  • Cost: $
  • Specialty Dish: Catfish Sandwich
  • Cuisine: Seafood

26. Ray’s Vegan Soul

Credit: Ray’s Vegan Soul

One of the top vegan restaurants in Tampa is Ray’s Vegan Soul. You can enjoy vegan-friendly meals that are comforting and healthy.

What To Eat At Ray’s Vegan Soul

This place has a great reputation for vegan soul bbq with jackfruit. You can enjoy tasty sides like creamed spinach, cabbage, vegan mac n’ cheese, and more.

Why Should You Eat Here?

Vegans can impress their meat-eating friends with the delicious food at this restaurant. It has received a perfect 5-star rating on Yelp from happy Tampa customers.

  • Yelp Rating: 5
  • Cost: N/A
  • Specialty Dish: Soul BBQ
  • Cuisine: Vegan

27. Ti Bamboo

Credit: Yelp

Ti Bamboo is a trendy Caribbean restaurant and lounge in Tampa. This family-owned business aims to impress guests with its authentic recipes.

What To Eat At Ti Bamboo

The Ti Bamboo jerk burger mixes an American classic with real Caribbean flavors. This place also serves delicious fried plantains. Other popular choices are jerk chicken, oxtail and beans, and curried shrimp.

Why Should You Eat Here?

This restaurant serves a wide selection of Caribbean favorites. To keep customers coming back for more, they also offer everyday specials that look as good as they taste.

  • Yelp Rating: 4
  • Cost: $
  • Specialty Dish: Ti Bamboo Jerk Burger
  • Cuisine: Caribbean

 

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