Inspired by Black Business Month and the Bay Area’s Black Restaurant Day, Portland’s annual Support Black-Owned Restaurants Week event takes place every August and encourages patrons to visit Portland’s more than 80 Black-owned eateries. The most recent edition was held Aug. 24–30, 2020, but there’s no need to wait — these restaurants are worth a visit any (or every) day of the year.
Know Before You Go
For a full list, visit Support Black-Owned Restaurants, which includes updates on opening status amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another list of Black-owned restaurants is available here. To find more Black-owned businesses in Portland, visit the Mercatus Directory.
Deadstock Coffee & Gallery
Old Town Chinatown has become a hub for creative people of color, and Deadstock Coffee brings a much-needed caffeine boost to the scene. With a dual focus on sneakers and coffee, the café was founded by former Nike employee Ian Williams as a space to showcase art and hang out with fellow “sneakerheads.” Boasting an ever-changing menu, Deadstock is conveniently located near sneaker consignment store IndexPDX, vintage streetwear shop Laundry and hip retailer Upper Playground.
Passersby are often lured into Northeast Alberta’s Bole Ethiopian after catching a whiff of their spicy lamb, beef and veggie wats (stews). Never experienced Ethiopian food before? Expect spoonfuls of several traditional dishes (including ample vegan options) served atop a large sourdough flatbread known as injera, made from gluten-free teff flour. It’s customary to use your right hand to eat your meal, and to end the evening with a cozy cup of cinnamon tea.
Olive or Twist
Swanky Pearl District bar Olive or Twist is a great place to grab an elegant cocktail, martini or glass of rosé. Relax on a comfortable couch inside the bar or outside on the breezy patio as you nibble on small plates and snacks such as bruschetta, curried potato wedges and rock lobster ceviche. Craving something sweet? Indulge in a molten “chocolate sinkhole” or a dessert martini made with Bend Distillery’s hazelnut espresso vodka.
Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine
One of the few of its kind in the Portland area, North Killingsworth Street’s Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine is a friendly spot to grab excellent and authentic Jamaican food such as oxtail, curry goat and jerk salmon served with rice, beans, vegetables and fried plantains. Customers can wash it all down with Jamaican ginger beer or Ting, a grapefruit-flavored carbonated beverage that’s popular in the Caribbean.
Black Food and Culture in Portland
Are there vegan options at Black-owned eateries?
Where can I learn more about Portland’s Black history?
How can I support Portland’s Black-owned businesses?
Po’Shines Cafe De la Soul
With a shelf of board games lining the front entrance, Po’Shines Café offers a true community feel coupled with contemporary soul food. Try the zesty bayou breakfast burrito, which is filled with eggs, blackened catfish, white beans and melted cheese. Don’t leave without a plate of piping hot beignets: delicate, sugary, perfectly fried dough squares that let out impressive gusts of steam as you rip into them.
Kee’s Loaded Kitchen
A silver trailer food cart parked on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Kee’s Loaded Kitchen has earned a loyal fan base for its full “loaded lunch,” which includes an entrée, several home-cooked sides, a drink and a dessert. Whether it’s beef enchiladas, flank steak, shrimp salad, collard greens or a slice of New York cheesecake, Kee’s cooking always has a special touch. Check the cart’s Facebook page for the current menu, which changes daily, and make sure to arrive early; the cart almost always sells out before closing time.
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