Classic Black-Owned Restaurants

12 Classic Black-Owned Restaurants Every True Black Chicagoan Knows

Every Black Chicagoan, whether you are a native or a transplant, should have eaten at these top classic Black-owned restaurants. Do you agree? Add your favorite in the comment section.

1. South siders boast of Harold’s Chicken Shack

Founded in 1950, the historic and iconic Harold’s Chicken Shack was established by the late Harold Pierce. This is an indisputable choice right from the start. And this may be the most complicated one. There are several locations throughout the city. Not only has a true Black Chicagoan eaten at various Harold’s but you must have one you prefer and one you advice your friends and family to stay away from. “Go to Harold’s A because they are the best, but stay away from the the one on X street because they don’t fry their chicken hard enough.”  There are now several Harold’s Chicken Shacks throughout the country. Another tip. Special note: Do not brag about Harold’s while amongst authentic west siders. 





2. West siders boast of Uncle Remus

Before we get booed off the internet, let’s make this clear. If for a second you doubt that there are two classical fried chicken places on this list, then you are not from Chicago. Born and raised Chicagoan’s know this coming out the womb, but transplants have to learn this. West side is the home of this iconic restaurant. Uncle Remus is a successful Family-Owned and Operated business that has survived 50 years in the Chicagoland area.  Special note: Do not brag on Uncle Remus while amongst authentic south siders.



3. Around for 50 years, Taurus Flavors continues to please

Taurus Flavors, launched in 1966 by Edward and Bernice Perkins has been serving their now famous supreme steak hoagies for 50 years now. The Supreme Steak is a Chicago style philly steak with the signature sweet peppers and the unmistakable often imitated but never duplicated, Taurus Sweet Sauce.

supreme steak by Taurus Flavors

Taurus Flavors


4. Lems Bar-B-Cue on 75th street draws residents from all over

Launched in 1954, Lem’s, the famous Bar-B-Q House, is known for its rib tips and hot links. Since all Black Chicago’s don’ eat pork, we encourage you to get your preference (meat or fries) Lem’s original Bar-B-Q sauce and its magical spices on it. Once people had a taste of the secret sauce, they kept coming back for that unique flavor.


5. Steak “A meal on a bun” from  Home of the hoagy 

Now, this spot is in the hood, so you get bragging rights just of going to get you a popular sandwich from Home of the Hoagy which has been in business since 1969. You can see various celebrities such as Empire’s Taraji P. Henson, R. Kelly or Jeremiah.

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6. Original Soul Vegetarian on 75th street is Black Chicago’s OP: Original Plant-based cuisine 

Whether a person is vegan or not, a true Black Chicagoan has sat just north of Chatham and enjoyed the ambiance of the Original Soul Vegetarian and their tofu Wingz. One of the most consistent restaurants in Chicago, they have been serving delicious food as medicine for more than 30 years now.


7. MacArthur’s Restaurant is that southern cuisine spot that celebs love to visit 

Many celebrities hit this spot when they visit Chicago. Cafeteria dishing up hearty Southern comfort food such as fried chicken, meatloaf & collard greens.

8. Jamaica Jerk Villa on 79th Street

You can smell the jerk a block away. Located right across the street from The Final Call administration building owned by the Nation of Islam is one of Black Chicago’s best kept secrets.

With locations on 87th street on the southside and multiple spots at O’Hare International Airport and frozen pizzas in grocery stores in over 37 states, Reggio’s Pizza is the king of pizza in the Black community.


10. Josephine’s (Captain Hard Times) offers delicious, affordable food

Captain’s Hard Times Dining, now known as Josephine’s was established in December of 1990 on Chicago’s southside. An award winning facility features delicious and mouth watering Soul, Creole, and Continental Cuisine. 

11. Hecky’s Barbecue in Evanston 

For more than 30 years Hecky’s Barbecue has been serving up some of the best barbecue in the nation. It is a long-standing popular spot for barbecue fare available for delivery or takeout only. It’s the sauce!



12. Dusties Southern Style Buffet located in Matteson

Established in 1997, Dusties Southern Style Buffet’s original location in Matteson, IL turned a facility that used to be a Red Lobster and made it known for great southern food.



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