In the wake of the death of George Floyd, many people are looking for ways to support the Black community. Towards that end, a number of Houston’s social media influencers have bee sharing lists of Black-owned bars and restaurants.
In the spirit of amplifying those efforts, CultureMap assembled this list with some of our favorites. Consider it a starting point for someone who wants to offer a tangible display of support for the Black community at a difficult time. It’s missing a couple of sophisticated options — downtown restaurant Kulture and Mark Holley’s Davis St. at Hermann Park — that remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries: Chef Jonny Rhodes has converted his acclaimed restaurant Indigo into a grocery store that serves a variety of meat, seafood, produce, baked goods, and prepared items. Recommended items include bacon, biscuits, and Rhodes’ signature yellow barbecue sauce.
Gatlin’s BBQ: Beyond its excellent Texas trinity of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage, what sets Greg Gatlin’s Oak Forest barbecue joint apart are the special dishes created by chef Michelle Wallace. In cold weather, that means seafood gumbo with smoked crab; now, it means creative sandwiches with smoked meat as one component or the recently-introduced breakfast menu that includes everything from cinnamon rolls to wings and waffles.
Frenchy’s Chicken: Whether at its home in the Third Ward or any of the other locations across Houston, diners can count on Frenchy’s for spicy, Creole-style fried chicken, alongside can’t-miss sides like dirty rice and jambalaya. Cool it all off with a slice of sweet potato pie and always order at least a couple extra biscuits.
The Turkey Leg Hut: With almost 300,000 followers on Instagram and a nearly constant line of people waiting for tables, Lynn and Nakia Price operate arguably not just the city’s highest profile Black-owned restaurant but one of its most popular single location eateries period. The signature turkey legs — smoked and stuffed with ingredients like dirty rice or mac and cheese — more than live up to the hype. Beyond the food, regular visits by celebrities add excitement to any visit.
Lit Chicken: Former Kitchen 713 chefs James Haywood and Ross Coleman reunited to open this concept in downtown’s Finn Hall. Fried chicken is the obvious way to go; it’s crispy, juicy, and a little spicy. Make sure to sample an order of jollof rice, the signature West African dish that’s related to jambalaya.
Craft Burger: Located in Finn Hall, chef Shannen Tune brings a fine dining pedigree — and his status as a Chopped champion — to this elevated burger concept. Yes, it’s entirely possible to order a properly made basic cheeseburger, but the decadent truffle butter juicy Lucy has become Craft Burger’s signature sandwich. Memorable milkshakes and loaded fries round out the offerings.
Lucille’s: Chef Chris Williams’ Museum District restaurant has become a staple for its creative interpretations of Southern cuisine. A menu update at the beginning of this year brought a number of new dishes, including grilled octopus with green coconut curry, Tennessee hot duck, and braised oxtails over serrano-cheddar grits. Of course, the restaurant’s brunch remains popular.
The Breakfast Klub: The Midtown restaurant has become a Houston classic on the strength of signature items like wings and waffle and catfish and grits. Yes, the line can be long, but it always seems to move quickly. Late night hours on the weekends make it an appealing stop after a night of bar hopping.
Fainmous BBQ: Having just opened its new location in Sawyer Yards this week, the Tennessee-style barbecue joint will bring its pulled pork, pork ribs, and homemade pork sausage to a whole new audience. Sweet and savory baked beans and a classic potato salad are among the recommended sides.
Mico’s Hot Chicken: In less than a year, proprietors Kimico and Chris Frydenlund turned their food truck into a brick and mortar restaurant on the border of The Heights. The signature chicken sandwich features an oversized patty in a crispy batter with a sauce that packs a definite wallop (regular hot is plenty spicy for all but the most determined chiliheads), although a little slaw does help keep things from being overwhelming.
Bar 5015: The Third Ward Sunday funday favorite has been given a comprehensive makeover courtesy of new owner Steve Rogers, who expanded the patios and decorated the interior with images of Black superheroes. A generous happy hour — built around discounts of cocktails created by veteran Houston bartender Ryan Perry — has been designed to appeal to a neighborhood crowd.
Taste Bar + Kitchen: Chef Don Bowie puts his creative spin on wings and waffles at his Midtown restaurant. Start with a cheeseburger waffle before moving on to a General Tso's chicken and waffle or a Nashville hot chicken and waffle. Creative cocktails and a lively atmosphere enhance the experience.