The newest Black-owned spots in Seattle.
In case you missed it, our guide to Seattle’s Black-Owned Restaurants has 150+ spots all across the city and beyond. But if you’re looking to try something new, this guide has 11 Black-owned restaurants, bars, and cafes that opened in the last year. From a waffle shop in the Central District to a speakeasy in West Seattle, these are the new spots you should know about.
When Communion showed up in the Liberty Bank Building, it was an instant sensation. Kristi Brown (of catering company/black-eyed pea hummus purveyor That Brown Girl Cooks) opened this spot with her son Damon Bomar, and the menu is full of exceptional soul food influenced by countries around the world. You’ll find dishes like smoky berbere-rubbed grilled chicken with lemony lentils as an homage to the Central District’s Ethiopian population, “hood sushi” stuffed with cornmeal-fried catfish and remoulade, a trio of spreads (the aforementioned hummus, creamy collard green dip, and zippy Yemeni zhug) with hoe cakes, and their finest invention: the po’mi, a.k.a. a beautiful cross between a po’boy and a bánh mì. The cocktails are refreshing yet balanced (hello perfect apple mint julep), the space is lively yet warm, and even though it’s only been around since December 2020, it’s hard to imagine the neighborhood without this place.
Melo Cafe in the Central District specializes in fresh-pressed juice and waffles that come topped with everything from white chocolate and Fruity Pebbles to strawberries and whipped cream. While that’s a fantastic breakfast combo, their egg sandwiches with waffles for buns are even better. We’re fans of these fluffy Belgian rounds complete with an egg patty, gooey cheddar cheese, and curry-kicked chicken sausage as-is. But dunked in a side of spicy-sweet maple hot sauce? It’s really f*cking tasty. And if liquified fruit isn’t your thing, Melo also serves espresso drinks made with Boon Boona beans.
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There’s green juice, and then there’s RōJō’s green juice. After operating as a pop-up, owner Rhonda Faison has a stand set up at Pike Place Market behind the counter at Corner Produce. If you don’t grab a cup to guzzle all day while browsing the market, you’d be making a mistake. RōJō’s blend of celery, fennel, lemon, parsley, spinach, and apple is ice-cold, bright, and herbal with a touch of sweetness—officially the best green juice we’ve tasted in Seattle. Also in her lineup are cold brew lattes made with ras el hanout-spiked pepita milk, aloe vera cucumber coolers, and Granddaddy’s Nightcap: a cider made with apple, ginger, and warm baking spices like cardamom and clove.
Catfish Corner was a Central District institution, serving the neighborhood fried fish and Southern sides from 1985 until they shut their doors in 2018. Fast-forward three years, and now they’re back in a brand new CD space with plenty of big booths to scooch in as many friends as possible while you split pounds of light and flaky cornmeal-dredged catfish and hush puppies.
We first fell in love with Tres’ ever since our first bite of Tres’ Caliente, a stunning sub filled with shaved beef, pepper jack cheese, jalapeño, a shake of spicy seasonings, and chipotle mayo. This cheesesteak operation is set up at Lamplighter Public House every day of the week, except Wednesday, from 3-9pm (3-8pm on Sundays). In addition to these Philly-style sandwiches, you can get burgers and fried appetizers like onion rings and mozzarella sticks.
Shewa-Ber is a welcome addition to a neighborhood that’s already packed with Ethiopian restaurants. It has a fun space perfect for groups, a full bar, and a menu of combination platters and a la carte options, from doro wat to gomen besega. We love the Shewa combo, which comes with your choice of three entrees (go with the tangy lentils, tender tibs, and spicy doro wat), along with plenty of injera to soak everything up.
Formerly a pop-up, Karachi Cowboys has set up shop permanently on Capitol Hill in the former Glinda space. They mash up Texas flavors with Pakistani/Indian staples—like aloo sliders with tamarind BBQ sauce—alongside natural wine. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with a friend over a glass or two of pèt-nat and some snacks, like the aforementioned sliders, spicy hummus with papadum dippers, and curry popcorn. Our favorite’s the Molten Gold, a salty mixture of crunchy nuts and treats that we wish was sold in Costco-size sacks.
Owner Hana Yohannes opened Shikorina Pastries in the Central District after completing baking training at The Pastry Project, an organization that provides pastry education to those with barriers. At Shikorina, you’ll find a ton of baked goods and other treats—like browned butter vanilla cake, strawberry toaster pastries, salty chocolate chunk cookies, fruit pies, and beverages like fresh-squeezed lemonade and Eritrean pour-over coffee.
This Cuban sandwich shop in Shoreline serves a stellar example of a classic Cubano, with layers of ham, roasted pork, molten Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and pickles pressed on Cuban bread flown in from La Segunda Bakery in Florida. And if you’re on Team Tampa, you can grab yours packed with Genoa salami as well. But, no matter what, don’t miss a side order of El Cubano’s pork tamal, full of creamy, garlicky, corn-y comfort and tangy braised pork. They’re proof that the excellence here goes far beyond squished sandwiches.
Shopping and drinking a cocktail should ideally be achievable at the same location, and In The Heart understands this. It’s a speakeasy hidden within Lika Love, a clothing boutique in West Seattle. Inspired by New Orleans, the bar bites here range from gumbo to jambalaya, with classic drinks like daiquiris, sazeracs, French 75s, and ramos gin fizzes—as well as some original creations involving ingredients like carrot juice and cucumber bitters.
We already were smitten with Boon Boona after frequenting their original Renton location. But now, they have a new outpost in the CD right across from Seattle University. This roastery sources their coffee beans exclusively from Africa and roasts them in-house—and the result is a rich, bold cup that you should gulp regularly. While their espresso is terrific as is, they’ll often have a berbere-kicked mocha available (our favorite drink there), and we also love an iced latte infused with a pump or two of homemade lavender syrup. Grab a cup and people-watch on 12th while sitting at their outdoor counter.
Our running list of Black-owned spots in Seattle.
Communion is an excellent restaurant in the Central District featuring soul food staples influenced by Ethiopian, Vietnamese, and PNW cuisine.
Jackson’s Catfish Corner is the newest location of a Central District classic that serves fried seafood and Southern sides.
Our conversation with owner DarNesha Weary of soon-to-be-opened Black Coffee in Shoreline.