64 Black-Owned Food Businesses in Central & Western Pennsylvania

Supporting independent, Black-owned businesses has always been important. Due to systemic racist structures, securing capital investments, loans and property have long been disproportionately difficult for people of color. Add to that the razor-thin margins of food-related businesses, and you’ve got an extra-steep uphill climb for Black entrepreneurs in the culinary industry.

After the Black Lives Matter protests in the Summer of 2020 and the intense moment of awakening  for white Americans about the deeply rooted injustices facing our country’s communities of color, it is even more essential to support Black-owned food businesses.

There is no shortage of Black-owned food businesses in Pennsylvania! We’ve divided our list up into the eastern and western parts of the state, and will be adding to the list frequently as we learn of more places that should be included!

Bakeries & Sweets

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Strawberry Shortcake Pull Apart #60 🍓✨

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Black Girl Bakes: Baker Jass Conners crafts gorgeous pastry creations, like strawberry shortcake pull-aparts, cheesecake-stuffed apples, cheesecake jars, over-the-top decadent cupcakes, and more. Order any of this fabulousness through Instagram DM. no listed address or phone, York

Cakery Square: Former Pittsburgh Steeler Wes Lyons partnered up with Amber Greene to open a bakery that empowers local youth by employing students who are involved in The Pursuit Program at schools in Pittsburgh. The menu includes treats like cake pops, cookies, donuts, custom cakes and more. 142 W. Bridge St., Pittsburgh; (412) 514-9443

Cobbler World: Owner Terina J. Hicks founded Cobbler World in 2014 after a job layoff. Cheesecakes, pudding cakes and pound cakes are all on the menu, but clearly Hicks’ now-famous cobblers are the stars of the show, with dozens of flavors on offer. Order on UberEats for delivery. 1059 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 403-2158

Dana’s Bakery: With over 30 years of experience, Dana’s makes custom decorated cakes, donuts, cookies, bars, cupcakes, pies and many other sweet delights. To order, call ahead. 720 N Homewood Ave. Pittsburgh; (412) 731-0929

Fudge Farm: Home to some of our favorite milkshakes in PA, this sweet-tooth’s paradise offers inventive and heavily accessorized shakes in signature flavors, or choose your own adventure with flavors and toppings customized to your exact cravings. Popcorn, marshmallows, cookies, pretzels, fruit, sprinkles, waffles and so much more are on offer to make the shake of your dreams! 142 W. Bridge St., Pittsburgh; and 1503 E. Carson St., Pittsburgh; (412) 689-2500

Happy Day Dessert Factory: Brighten up your day with one of the treats from Happy Day, which, in addition to ice cream and water ice, include unique, imaginative creations, like Stackers (frozen custard layered with water ice), Ice Shakes (blended mix of water ice and custard) and Twisters (a blend of water ice, ice cream or custard and cookie pieces). 906A Western Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 872-0117

Just Baked Cakes & Pies: This bakery’s slogan is, “Desserts that remind you of grandma.” That means homey, comforting treats, like cheesecake, cupcakes, sweet potato pie, strawberry shortcake and so much more. 270 Verbeke St., Harrisburg; (717) 236-3626

Wild Rise Bakery: Since his start in 2019, baker Oliver Pinder has been wowing his fans with gluten-free breads and treats that can go toe-to-toe with their gluten-full counterparts. Pinder’s line of goods ranges from bread loaves and rolls, to chewy bagels, to spiced coconut rolls, to Aloo pies. Wild Rise’s wares are available at the Lawrenceville Farmers Market on Tuesdays, at BOOM! Concepts on Friday mornings, and for local delivery on Friday mornings. no retail location. 

Cafes & Coffee Shops

Arnold’s Tea: Chef Claudy Pierre took over this charming tea shop in 2018. Arnold’s Tea is known for its amazing tea program, ethically sourced coffee, and great food. The tea selection goes far beyond English Breakfast and green tea, with white, green and black tea blends, herbal tisanes, oolong and more. Order tea online or visit the cafe for takeout food and beverages. 502 E Ohio St., Pittsburgh; (412) 322-2494

Everyday Cafe: This comfortable modern cafe is a social enterprise owned and operated by Bible Center Church. It offers a variety of hot and cold coffee and cafe drinks, breakfast sandwiches and wraps, lunch items, like panini soup and salad, and tarts, muffins and other coffee-friendly pastries. 532 N. Homewood Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 727-2169

Griff’s Grounds: Fresh-pressed coffees and teas are made to order for each customer at this cozy shop. Additionally, various flavors of affogato (espresso over ice cream), health and wellness teas by the bag, and gourmet flavored coffee beans are on offer. 1817 Leechburg Rd., Penn Hills; (412) 668-6062

Live Fresh Juicery: Specializing in fresh-pressed, nutrient-packed juices and smoothies, all through June, this community-minded cafe is donating 10% of all cleanses purchased (match dollar for dollar up to $1,500) to the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch. ⁣14 E. 8th Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 530-2640

Love Rocks Cafe: With an emphasis on sustainable and local food at a fair price, this cafe borrows from different cuisines, with menu items like chicken Parmesan, turkey burgers, beef tacos and so much more. Call to place an order for pickup. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks; (412) 770-4642

Catering & Food Trucks

Blowfish BBQ: Since 2012, this food truck has been slinging wood-fired Pittsburgh-style barbecue at competitions, catering events and at other mobile vending opportunities. Follow along on social media to find out when and where Blowfish will be each weekend. no listed address or phone; Pittsburgh

Café 301, LLC: Chef/owner Laurie Myers is known for Southern home cooking, with ingredients sourced from local family farms. Call or email ([email protected]) to discuss private event catering. Columbia; (717) 925-7882

Culinary Services by Chef Oliver: With decades of experience, Liberian-born, Lancaster-based Chef Oliver Saye offers catering, cooking demonstrations and private dinners with a focus on the ingredients and food traditions of the West African Diaspora. Contact him through his website to discuss ordering. no listed address, Lancaster; (717) 615-6255  

Happy Dishes Food Trailer: After 25 years in the food and beverage industry working for some huge brands like Hilton and TGIFridays, Chef Michael Johnson opened a comfort and soul food truck that roams the State College area. The signature dish is the Happy Burger, a beef burger topped with pulled brisket, bacon, blue cheese, barbecue sauce and coleslaw Word has it that brick-and-mortar locations are in development in State College and Milesburg. no listed location or phone, State College

Mark & Val’s Wines: Every Saturday, you’ll find longtime married couple Mark and Val Rhodes at the Penn St. Market, in downtown York, PA, sampling their wines, chatting up guests and making new friends. Mark makes a variety of wines, including unusual fruit flavored blends, in a converted space in his home, and all of the bottles feature work by Black artists! 380 W. Market St., York


Pure Grub: Clean eating rules at Pure Grub, a meal service offering pick-ups at Tupelo Honey Teas. The menu is 100% organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and plant forward, and celebrates world cuisine with at least one dish every week. Order online for Tuesday or Thursday pick-ups. 211 Grant Ave., Millvale; (412)583-4291

Rafiki Taste of Africa: Rafiki dishes up healthy, balanced African food will all profits supporting charities, both local and in Africa. Rafiki Africa, which works in Western Kenya to provide sustainable development and end physical and spiritual poverty, is the main beneficiary.

Soulcialize Catering: Chef and owner Corey Woods offers quality, fresh and local southern style soul food with the aim of bringing people together with every bite. Soulcialize’s hearty dishes include specialties like Michael’s Mamma’s Meatloaf, Southern-style chicken fried steak and Shrimp n Chedda Bacon Grits. 31 S. Duke St., Lancaster; (717) 826-1119

Veggies N’At: Every week, a different menu is posted to Veggies N’At’s Instagram page, with the prepared vegan meals available for pick-up. These plant-based dishes go way beyond stir-fries and veggie burgers, with inventive options like baked General Tso’s cauliflower, deconstructed lasagna and Cajun red skin potato hash. DM to order. no listed address or phone, Pittsburgh

Restaurants & Bars

A Concrete Rose: This community-minded micro-winery, bar/restaurant, indie book store and live performance venue wraps up all of these elements into one beautiful hybrid concept. The book selection features works by Black authors, and the menu reflects both the flavors of the African diaspora and the agricultural bounty of Lancaster County. Be sure to try a pour of the housemade wine, like Billie’s Holiday or Poet’s Potion, and check the events schedule for upcoming happenings. 910 S. Duke St., Ste. 105, Lancaster; (717) 208-3494.

Aunt Cheryl’s Cafe: Hearty, home-cooked food is the focus of this cafe and caterer. Popular menu items include breakfast platters, cheesesteak hoagies, Aunt Cheryl’s signature turkey salad sandwich, and loaded cheese fries. Vegan and dairy smoothies are also available. Order for pick-up or delivery through GrubHub or Seamless. 416 Library St., Braddock; (412) 727-6011

Back to the Foodture: File this under A+ restaurant concepts: A burger joint is also a museum dedicated to the retro American pop culture! (Read more about them in this Pittsburgh Magazine article). Co-owners Angel Randolph and Eddie Barnz serve up over 100 chicken wing variations and 30 types of burgers with a side of vintage video games, action figures and photographs. 378 Broadway Blvd., Pitcairn; (412) 372-3100

Beckett’s Rib Joint: For over 30 years, this soul food and Southern food restaurant has been serving the community quality, delicious food. Fried chicken sandwiches and seafood dishes are the house specialties. Order online through UberEats. 324 Walnut St., Reading; (610) 375-1857

The Big 5 African Cuisine: Since 2017, this restaurant has been dishing up authentic African cuisine, like beef and chicken stews, pilau rice and pork sausage and beef samosas. Its owner, Laurah Musembi, was inspired to open The Big 5 by her mother, Julian Musembi, who once ran her own African food stand at Eastern Market. 630 N. Plum St., Lancaster; (717) 208-6035

Big Ray’s Burgers and Dogs: The definition of a classic burger joint, Big Ray’s family-friendly restaurant makes everything fresh to order. The burgers and fries are customer favorites, and many other menu items are offered, too, including wings, wraps, subs, salads, ice cream and more! 3619 Simpson Ferry Rd., Camp Hill;  (717) 695-7023

Blazin J’s: Obliterate your friend chicken cravings at this casual spot, where chicken is the name of the game, and it’s a game played with true expertise. The menu is short, but sweet: chicken sandwiches, chicken and waffles, chicken bites, chicken tenders and chicken salad.  15 E King St., Lancaster; (717) 945-7197; 1228 Park City Center
Park City Mall Food Court, Lancaster; (717) 696-4203

Brrat’s Deli: All the deli deliciousness you crave is at Brrat’s, with creative signature sandwiches like the Monongahela Monster Sandwich with kosher corned beef, roast beef, provolone, mozzarella, red pastrami and bacon. Order online through UberEats and GrubHub1703 Monongahela Ave., Swissvale; (412) 243-4444

Capow Jamaican Restaurant: This teeny two-table restaurant serves up authentic, scratch-made Jamaican favorites, like stew beef, rice and pea, curry shrimp and jerk kitchen. Hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 .m., and closed on Sunday. 1403 Market St., Harrisburg; (717) 238-1543

C&Ds Kitchen: This casual restaurant serves family-friendly American foods, like chicken, fish, pizza, hoagies, salads, sandwiches and more. Call to place orders for pick-up! 4901 Second Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 224-2658 

Cafe on the Corner: Michael and Lateresa Blackwell started this welcoming cafe in a former nuisance bar. It offers New Orleans gumbo, sandwiches, wraps, soups, desserts and more. They also founded a restaurant workforce development program called Kitchen of Grace. Order online for local delivery. 2700 Shadeland Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 415-3672

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We’re wrapping up our first month with a customer favorite, Chef Kevin’s “almost” famous Dutch Kapsalon Blackened Chicken Salad! Stop in for lunch or dinner or call ahead and take it to go! ~ ~ ~ Blackened Chicken on Belgian steak fries with melted Gouda, topped with LTRO, crispy pancetta, and served with a spicy avocado ranch dressing • • • For reservations call 412-821-8100 #pittsburghrestaurants #pittsburgh #pittsburghfood #pittsburghfoodie #newtopittsburgh #chefkevinwatson #goodeats #finedining #pittsburghfinedining #pittsburghpenguins #pittsburghsteelers #pittsburghpirates #pittsburghbyob #chefstable #pittsburghchef #northhills #northhillsrestaurants #pittsburghbrunch #foodie #food #foodstagram #foodphotography #cheflife #chefsofinstagram

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Chef’s Table: Erie, Pa.-born Chef Kevin Watson puts a healthy, natural twist on dishes from all over the world, like shrimp carbonara, grilled chicken bowls and Greek pizza. You can also nominate someone in need in the community for Chef’s Table to prepare a meal. Order online for takeout. 2193 Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh; (412) 821-8100

Cornbread: Co-founders Adenah Bayoh and Elzadie Smith started Cornbread, a fast-casual chain, as a way to offer healthy “farm to soul” food. Order online to try breakfast specials like whiting and grits, combo platters, vegetable-forward sides, and drinks like lemonade and sweet tea. 2351 Century Dr., West Mifflin; (412) 853-3019; 2010 Village Center Dr., Tarentum; (724) 826-1796; 2200 Greengate Center Cir., Greensburg; (724) 989-5909

Crabs R Us: Every day is a seafood feast at this Homewood spot. Po’boys, seafood pots, crab cakes and clusters and lobster tails share the menu with American fare like hoagies, wings and loaded fries. Delivery is available through smartphone sites like UberEats764 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 871-5740

Crawdaddy’s: Southern soul food meets New Orleans flavors at this sit-down restaurant and live jazz venue. Sunday brunch is a can’t-miss affair, with unique dishes like Breakfast Po’Boy, cereal-crusted French toast and sweet potato pancakes. 1500 N. 6th St., Harrisburg; (712) 232-7374

Divas Have to Eat: For all those times you don’t feel like cooking, Divas Have to Eat in the Lebanon Farmers Market offers fast, tasty food, like soul rolls, vegan loaded nachos, scalloped cheesy potatoes, cucumber salad, and more! 35 S. 8th St., Lebanon; (717) 769-2602

Feed Your Soul: Soul food, made with love, is this Harrisburg spot’s aim. Specials include oven baked ham sandwiches, fried fish platters and sweets like banana pudding pies. During COVID-19, they’ve also been offering kids meals and family bundle meals, like eight pieces of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, coleslaw and rolls. 421 Friendship Rd., Suite 4, Harrisburg;  (717) 970-3055

Flavors Famous Street Food: Pretty much any kind of American street food you can imagine, from chicken tenders to walking tacos to gyros to Chicago-style pizza puffs are available at Flavors. Order online for carry-out or local delivery. 3231 Brighton Rd., Pittsburgh; (412) 761-3663

Got Jerk Island Grill: Tucked surreptitiously into a Sunoco gas station, this spot is beloved for its bold Caribbean flavors and creative dishes, like loaded jerk fries, Caribbean-style burritos and Jerkburger subs. You can take home its signature bottled sauces, sold in-store or online.! 4220 Union Deposit Rd., Harrisburg; (717) 540-5375

Harris Family Brewery: Pennsylvania’s first Black-owned brewery, Harris Family Brewery was founded by Timothy F. White, Jr., Shaun P. Harris, Sr. and Jerry Thomas. After exploring in homebrewing, this trio struck out to turn their venture professional. While their brewery and taproom are still in development, you’ll find this new brewery at beer festivals and events around the region (once those begin happening again!). no listed address or phone, Harrisburg

Leon’s Caribbean: This casual cafe offers authentic Caribbean fare, with all sorts of jerk and curry meats dominating the menu, with daily specials like beef patties, jerk wings and plantains. The lunch specials are an amazing value! 823 W. Warrington Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 431-LEON.

Lettuce Eat: Located in the food court of the Monroeville Mall, Lettuce Eat brings a fresh, healthy take to fast-casual food. Menu items include signature salads, fresh soups, wraps and sandwiches. 200 Mall Circle, Monroeville; (412) 380-9999

Lily’s at River Forest: Lily’s is the restaurant at the River Forest County Club, which offers affordable, flexible memberships to help make golf accessible to everyone. Its menu features fresh, vibrant takes on country club classics like caramelized brussels sprouts, chicken salad wraps and shrimp scampi. A full bar means post-golf cocktails like peach-spiked mules, Lemon Drops and classic Old Fashioneds. 130 Club House Dr., Freeport; (724) 295-2298

Mecca Caribbean and Soul Food: Tucked into a small storefront in West Reading, Mecca serves a revolving menu of soul food dishes from a hot bar; mix and match dishes like jerk chicken, candied yams, collard greens and rice and beans to make your perfect platter. Order online through GrubHub or UberEats. 166 Franklin St., West Reading; (610) 396-5584

MexiSoul Smokehouse & Taqueria: What happens when Soul Food and Mexican cuisine come together? Delicious dishes, like habanero BBQ wings, pulled pork quesadillas and shrimp chilaquiles share space on the menu so diners can enjoy the best of both of these culinary worlds. Temporary hours are Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. 1426 Pennsylvania Ave., Monaca; (724) 777-5176

Ms. Jean’s: This southern food buffet restaurant has been in action since 1999, serving up down-home dishes like chicken, corn, greens, ribs and so much more. Ms. Jeans is temporarily closed. 807 Wallace Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 723-2042

Naka EndZone BBQ: Barbecue that falls off the bone is the promise at this Crafton spot, which started as a mobile food cart and is now a brick-and-mortar. Slow-smoked meats, delectable sides and tempting desserts fill the menu. 1310 Crafton Blvd., Pittsburgh; (412) 875-5522

Nelz Chill Spot Food and Wings: This casual Jamaican restaurant knocks out all the classics: jerk chicken and shrimp, oxtail and beans, curry chicken, mac and cheese and 10 types of wings in tantalizing sauce flavors like mango pineapple and bourbon whiskey. 401 N. George St., York; (717) 600-9868.

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Nic Nac’s Kitchen: A straightforward selection of burgers, fries, sandwiches, wraps and wings is what you’ll find at this eatery tucked inside World Class Tavern. Call to place an order for pick-up! 625 Long Rd., Pittsburgh; (412) 242-7000

Pauline’s Caribbean Soul: This family-owned restaurant serves authentic Caribbean dishes, like brown stew chicken and curried goat, as well as Caribbean-infused specials, like jerk shrimp fettuccine and vegetable fried rice. Order online through GrubHub. 1204 Federal St., Pittsburgh; (412) 231-2000

PB’s Kitchen with Southern Smoke: This tiny roadside BBQ shack serves up big flavors. Walk up to the window to order subs, burgers and dinner platters featuring expertly-smoked meats, like brisket and chicken. Call in an order, or use UberEats for delivery. 814 Newville Rd., Carlisle; (717) 315-0016

Pineapple Eddie’s Southern Bistro: Chef Jean Paul serves up Southern regional cuisine with a Caribbean flair, like catfish tenders, Jamaican black pepper shrimp and Southern fried chicken. Order online for takeout. 1402 W. 10th St., Erie; (814) 454-0700

Queen’s BBQ & Southern Cuisine: This sweet spot in Midtown, which opened in January of 2020, specializes in Southern home style BBQ and comfort food cooked from scratch. It also has a strong community focus, with homeless outreach efforts, a pay-it-forward program and an honor roll program for local school students. 912 N. 3rd St, Harrisburg; (717) 526-9998

Ribs N Bread: As the name implies, it’s all about ribs here. Owner Rander “Randy” Thompson channels his lifelong love for cooking and BBQ into each platter of ribs and chicken, sauce and sides. Order online through GrubHub4707 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 760-7446

Savoy: Upscale dining in a sophisticated setting is this wine bar/hookah lounge’s MO; it also includes Savoy Cannabis Cafe, the nation’s first cannabis cafe and bar. Savoy is currently selling vintage bottles of wine from its cellar; email [email protected] for the list and to order. 2623 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 281-0660

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How these nice ribs

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Showcase BBQ: This popular BBQ joint routinely sells out of its perfectly grilled meats (often grilled outside the shop on a huge smoker). The chicken, brisket and ribs are not to be missed! 6800 Frankstown Ave., Pittsburgh; (412) 361-7469

Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro: Hearty, fresh and delicious Southern-style food is on the menu at Skillet2Plate; think brisket sandwiches, fried whiting, grilled salmon, mac and cheese and more. Takeout and delivery are available, and in mid-June, their room reopened on a modified schedule, with reservations and walk-ins welcome. 30 Eberts Lane, York; (717) 893-2111

Soul and Sea: It’s all about fresh, delicious seafood here, with specials like golden tail lobster, fried salmon and the epic crab lover’s feast. Order online through Postmates. 10718 Frankstown Rd., Pittsburgh; (412) 223-5700

Soul Burrito: Homestyle soul food meets Mexican street classics at this popular community-focused restaurant (which also operates a food truck). That means burritos stuffed with mac and cheese, fried chicken and greens or meatballs, marinara, onions and peppers and mozzarella sticks, smoked brisket tacos with coconut curry sauce, and so much more. 314 S. Progress Ave., Harrisburg; (717) 497-8343 

Soul House Cafe: Authentic Southern food is what’s on the menu at Soul House. For lunch, find wings, subs, wraps and sandwiches; dinner means larger plates, like shrimp and steak salad and the tilapia dinner platter. 1852 North St., Harrisburg; (717) 236-3500

The Spot: Hearty home-cooked favorites, like rasta pasta, fried chicken, baked mac-and-cheese and potato salad, as well as Dominican fare, like chicken stu and Pasteloni, are available from this casual cafe. Call to place orders for pick-up. 438 1/2 Locust St., Columbia; (717) 449-5808

Walter’s Southern Kitchen: “Drink beer, eat BBQ” is the slogan at Walter’s! This happening spot, complete with a great outdoor patio, just reopened for outdoor seating. Food is still available for takeout, like catfish sliders, smoked brisket and garlic mashed potatoes, as well as growler-fills of beer. 4501 Butler St., Pittsburgh; (412) 683-7474

This is in no way an exhaustive list and we hope to keep adding to it! Please let us know who we missed, and we’ll add them to this list right away. Chime in and let us know in the comments here, or on the PA Eats Facebook page.

  • Feature photo: Fudge Farm