New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Feast at these 5 iconic Black-owned eateries in honor of Black History Month

From the delicious spices of Ethiopian cuisine to the comforting bites of soul food, these Black-owned restaurants are fitting for a culinary celebration of Black history.

New York City is the place to be if you’re looking to try cuisines from all over the world and learn more about a culture with every bite. As such, this Black History Month is the prime time to explore the various Black-owned restaurants around campus and discover their delicious dishes and rich histories. Whether you’re craving something savory or sweet, there’s a Black-owned eatery with a tasty meal that’ll keep you satisfied. As the month winds down, use this guide to find delicious spots to not only celebrate Black history, but appease your appetite year-round. 

Scarr’s Pizza 

35 Orchard St.

Exterior shot of a pizza shop with multiple people and picnic tables in front of it. Above the entrance is a blue and yellow neon sign that says “Scarr’s Pizza.”
Scarr’s Pizza on Orchard Street. (Allison Zhu for WSN)

Scarr Pimentel, owner of Scarr’s Pizza, is a New York native who has mastered the artistry of creating the perfect slice. Whether you order a Regular, Sicilian or Grandma style slice, each piece of pizza is perfectly charred with a thin crust, which is only enhanced by the shop’s classic toppings. This Lower East Side pizzeria even has a reputation for having the best pizza in New York City.

If you enjoy your pizza at the parlor, you will also be treated to its vintage decor. With dark wood paneling, pedestal bar stools and stained glass pendant lights, the retro-style pizzeria creates a cozy ambiance for those patrons looking to stay and savor their slice. The prices are also affordable, ranging from $3.75 to $5.75 for a slice and $26 to $36 for a whole pie. Whether you’re looking to grab a quick slice to go or have a casual sit down dinner, Scarr’s Pizza is the spot. 


Omar’s Kitchen and Rum Bar

29A Clinton St.

A storefront of a restaurant decorated with flowers, leaves and red, yellow and green lights.
Omar’s Kitchen and Rum Bar on Clinton Street. (Andy Lin for WSN)

Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, Omar’s Kitchen is a Caribbean restaurant that is great for anyone trying to venture beyond their usual brunch at Little Ruby’s or The Smith. Drawing from his Jamaican heritage while living in the vibrant culinary scene of New York, chef Omar Walters effectively gives Caribbean flavors a distinctive New York twist.

From the Fried Catfish with Waffles to the Curry Shrimp Plantain Gnocchi Rasta Pasta, the kitchen serves up fusion that is both unique and delicious. For wing lovers, the menu also features a wide variety of flavors from the classic Jerk BBQ Wings to the sweet Honey Appleton Glazed Wings. There are even a number of vegan dishes for any plant-based patrons wanting to indulge in a savory meal. While the dishes are on the pricier side, this restaurant is still worth a visit.



182 Ave. B

Exterior shot of a restaurant with large windows and the words “haile” and “ethiopian cuisine” written on top.
Haile on Avenue B. (Kevin Wu for WSN)

Haile is only one of two Ethiopian restaurants in the East Village, and it is not to be overlooked. With hearty dishes and a welcoming ambiance, it seeks to bring authentic Ethiopian flavors to the neighborhood. The combination entrees — which include Meat and Vegetarian, just Meat or just Vegetarian — allow you to try an assortment of homestyle dishes, perfect for anyone who may be new to the cuisine.

For meat eaters, there are chicken, lamb and beef dishes, including the must-try Ethiopian speciality Doro Wot — chicken legs and boiled eggs simmered in a creamy, spicy stew. Plant-based foodies can also enjoy the menu with seven vegetarian entrees, like Yemisir Wot, a spicy red lentil stew, and Fasolia, a mix of sauteed string beans and carrots in a garlic sauce. If you are craving a warm home-cooked meal, you’ll want to give this place a try. 


Seasoned Vegan Real Quick

128 Second Ave.

A purple storefront of a restaurant with the name “Seasoned Vegan REAL QUICK” placed above the entrance. Black chairs and tables are placed in front of it.
Seasoned Vegan Real Quick on 2nd Avenue. (Kevin Wu for WSN)

This family-owned restaurant located in the East Village prides itself on maintaining an entirely vegan, organic menu. Its menu may be small, but it features comfort food classics, like mac and cheese and collard greens.

A must-try menu item for any visitor is the Harlem Chopped “Cheese” Burger. The burger is made from chopped oat meat, which is then cooked with ketchup and vegan cheddar cheese before paired with lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo on a crisp pretzel bun. For the seafood-inspired dishes, the kitchen also uses fried burdock root to innovatively mimic crawfish in dishes, like the BBQ Craw Sandwich or Craw Pretzel Boy. If you are on a budget, be sure to take advantage of their combos, especially if you plan on ordering more than one main dish — with The Regular combo, you can get a main, fries and drink for $23.50.


Whipped – Urban Dessert Lab

95 Orchard St.

A storefront with a red flag reading “U.D.L. urban dessert lab” and “Break The Mold.”
Whipped – Urban Dessert Lab on Orchard Street. (Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

For days when you’re drained from class or just craving a sweet treat, check out Urban Dessert Lab in the Lower East Side. This Black-female-owned eatery is the “world’s first-ever oat milk ice cream shop” and every Ice Crème is as delectable as it is instagrammable.

The mouthwatering menu of sweets ranges from its famous Artisanal Cones to its Sea Salt Sweet Crème Brûléesant, a croissant with a slightly charred coating of creme brulee. While there are a variety of Hand-Selected Fusion ice cream cones, you can also make your own with your choice of a signature base, like vanilla or chocolate, a sauce and a crumb coat. A must-try item is the Coffee Waffle Crunch — the sweet creme base paired with waffle cone pieces and coffee sauce is a combination that’ll have you craving more.

Contact Chinara Dorancy at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kevin Wu
Kevin Wu, Digital Director
Kaiyu (Kevin) Wu is a senior double-majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication and Journalism. He directs everything digital at WSN. You can directly reach him digitally at [email protected].

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  • K

    Karen KarenFeb 27, 2024 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you for the list!! Very much needed and appreciated!