Black History Month is a time where we recognize and celebrate the achievements, contributions, and history of the Black community. It is important that we take this opportunity to do research and educate ourselves while listening to and amplifying Black voices. Let’s not only celebrate and learn more this February, but actively continue to do so all year round.
One great way to consistently and actively support Black creators is to consciously spend your yen at Black-owned businesses. Since we are foodies and culinary tourism experts, we’ve put together this list of some wonderful Black-owned restaurants across Japan! Be sure to check them out!
Kyle Sexton, originally from York, Pennsylvania, has been living in Japan for 35 years. He shares genuine American home-cooked products in his Nakano City bakery. Each bite transports you to America, whether you grew up there and are looking to taste nostalgia or you’ve always wanted to try American baked goods, then this is the place for you. He offers various flavors of bagels, cakes, cookies, pies, and lots more! Even if you don’t live near Tokyo, he also ships his baked goods!
Bringing ingredients straight from Africa into Nakameguro, Japan, Queen Sheba offers an array of Ethiopian cuisine. With so many options to choose from, the restaurant makes it easy for those who want to try a variety of food during their visit. Alongside the regular a la carte options, Queen Sheba offers different sets that include a variety of Ethiopian plates so that you are able to taste a little bit of everything. They also offer live African and traditional music from all over the world!
Located in Azabujuban, LaTonya and David Whitaker have created a home and a family within the walls of Soul Food House. Together, they wanted to bring authentic American Southern and Cajun cuisine to Japan. Their homemade menu includes options such as gumbo, sliders, jambalaya, catfish, grits, chicken and waffles, ribs, buffalo-flavored options, and much, much more! Not only that, but they offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Named after the all-purpose gourd, Calabash focuses on sharing African culture through its food in Hamamatsucho. It’s a restaurant made for exchange. Ingredients are imported directly from Western Africa and made into delicious meals that taste just like your grandma’s homemade food. Come try dishes such as akara, thieboudienne, chicken yassa, and mafe stew with rice while listening to African music!
Opening Hours: Lunch time: Tuesday-Saturday 11: 30-14: 00 (Last order 13:30) Dinner time: Monday-Saturday 17: 30-23: 00 (Last order 22:00)
Address: 2 Chome-10-1 Hamamatsucho, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0013
Serving real Ethiopian cooking in Higashiyotsugi, this restaurant focuses on making all of its food traditionally. It has a friendly atmosphere, amazing service and a full menu! Some Ethiopian dishes you can try include dullet, mahiberawi, and key wot!
‘Simplicity at it’s finest.’ Addis Restaurant, located in Nakane, prepares its food fresh each morning using just the right amount of ingredients needed to bring out the perfect scent and flavor of their dishes. Their menu includes items such as t-bone steaks, falafel pita sandwiches, and more. Addis Restaurant is also passionate about beer. They offer classic flavors in addition to new and unique options. Be sure to take a look at their party plans as well!
Sasha, the owner of Yumm Cupcakery, has been in the cake decorating business for six years. Her goal is to bring joy to each person she bakes for! Although the bakery is based out of her home in Chiba, she ships all across Japan, so you can get Sasha’s cakes, cookies, and cupcakes delivered straight to your door! Yumm Cupcakery offers a wide variety of flavors so even the pickiest of eaters can find something they’ll love here! Some flavors include yummy rummy, red velvet, matcha, and nutty choco. Be sure to order a custom cake from Yumm Cupcakery the next time someone you know is celebrating!
Richard Petty, an award-winning chef and cookbook author, recently opened a restaurant in Shizuoka where he serves up contemporary American Southern and Creole dishes. He offers many options such as lamb, jerk chicken, ribs, and jambalaya. There is also an array of homemade desserts and California wine! Circa 1888 prides itself on serving food straight from the farm to the table. Reservations are required and can be made through their website.
Al Shipp, the owner of Cafe Orleans in Okinawa, started as a marine and then worked in IT. Looking for a way to stay and live in Japan with consistency, he decided to open this restaurant so that people could experience his home. Thus, Cafe Orleans was born. Serving New Orleans style food and atmosphere, this restaurant awakens all five senses. Some popular menu items include the spicy chicken sandwich, gumbo, voodoo rolls, and wings!
Make sure you go try out some of these fantastic Black-owned restaurants! Become a regular and go all the time! Especially during Coronavirus, it is important to go and support local businesses!