6 Black-Owned Vegan Restaurants That Are Too Delicious to MissNov 04, 2021 09:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
Veganism and plant-based foods are becoming much more popular, with most cities now having multiple plant-based eateries. You can get everything from raw, plant-based cuisine to carbed up, cheesy, comfort foods. If you’re in need of a new favorite vegan place to frequent, look no further, as we highlight seven amazing Black-owned vegan restaurants in the US and the UK.
Even during the pandemic, Georgia-based eatery Slutty Vegan has remained extremely popular, with customers willing to wait outside in huge lines for their delicious food. Slutty Vegan was founded by Pinky Cole who still loved fast food when she turned vegan but couldn’t find a good vegan alternative. The restaurant now has multiple locations throughout Georgia. "We made it cool, which is the most beautiful thing of it all," said Cole in an interview. "We've been able to infuse veganism and the food into the culture."
In June 2019, Jewan Manuel, a sports model from Michigan, set up his first taco pop-up in front of Workshop Vintage at the Williams District Night Market. Fast-forward to June 2020, Plant Based Papi celebrated its one-year anniversary with a taco pop-up at Poa Cafe that drew a socially distanced line that wrapped around the block. Manuel’s vegan comfort foods pop-up has taken Portland by storm with its towering jackfruit nachos, truffle mac and cheese, and spicy fried “chicken”. What sets Plant Based Papi’s menu apart from many other vegan comfort foods in Portland is that Manuel doesn’t use faux meats. The chef has been developing a house-made burger patty with mung beans and walnuts rather than using seitan, a typical base for vegan burgers.
All Nations Caribbean Vegan House was relaunched by Atreka Cameron in 2017. After setting up her own catering company Vegan Food Planet, Atreka has decided to set up roots in the heart of Dalston, East London, sharing her passion for healthy, vegan Caribbean food. "My Caribbean vegan food gives them the same big flavours," said Cameron in an interview. “Sometimes you say to people it's vegan - especially Caribbean people - and because they like the taste of their natural spices and herbs they shy away 'cause they think the food will be bland.”
Azla Vegan serves exclusively dairy- and meat-free Ethiopian fare. Omitting meat options, Azla’s menu focuses on the rice and lentil side of the traditional cuisine. The children of its founder, Chef Azla, chose a plant-based lifestyle over a decade ago, and she decided to begin modifying traditional recipes to please them, without sacrificing flavor or heartiness. “Our values reflect our core belief that in today’s fast-paced world, the proverbial dinner table holds the potential to help us find our way again,” says Chef Azla on their website. They even had award-winning filmmaker Ava Duvernay come and taste their delicious vegan food.
UK-based Marli’s Kitchen was founded in 2019 when founder Belinda Manfo spotted a gap in the market for her really good vegan fried chicken and veganized dishes from her Ghanian heritage. You don’t even have to be based in London to get a taste of this delicious vegan food as the business is currently delivering its frozen chicken meal kits nationwide.
Plant-based chef Makini Howell opened Plum Bistro in Seattle, Washington, in 2009. A lifelong vegan, Chef Makini is passionate about creating stunning dishes from organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables. She has created Plum Restaurants to answer the need for complete, plant-based meals focused on organically-grown seasonal vegetables, non-GMO soy, and organic and local fruits and herbs from family-owned farms. Plum has a food truck, a pantry, and Sugar Plum, a vegan creamery and sweet shop.
With an entirely vegan menu inspired by both Caribbean Ital food and European dishes, the popular Eat of Eden was borne out of the needs of the local community in Brixton. The restaurant now has six locations in total, with each offering a selection of tasty plant-based platters. “We aim to inspire vegans to be creative with the taste and presentation of plant-based food,” they say on their website.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies. She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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