With Black History Month just around the corner, Yelp is celebrating the occasion by making it even easier for users to support Black-owned businesses. In June of last year, the popular review site added a filter that allows people to search for businesses that have identified themselves as Black-owned. But with so many options to choose from, Yelp has decided to highlight the cream of the crop across a variety of categories with its list of Black-Owned Businesses to Watch in 2021.
"Supporting local businesses has always been core to the mission of Yelp and we're seeing our users increasingly search for Black-owned businesses to support. There are so many amazing Black-owned businesses to discover and we created this list of Ones to Watch as a guide to use throughout the year," says Yelp's trend expert, Tara Lewis.
Considering that Yelp first gained its notoriety through user-based restaurant reviews, it's no surprise that one of the categories on this list is food, honoring Black-owned restaurants and eateries across the U.S.
To create this list, Yelp selected businesses who have self-identified with the Black-owned attribute on Yelp, and who have been included in business collections with "Black-owned" or "Black owner" in the title. These businesses have also shown increases in average ratings and review counts in 2020 compared to 2019, or opened in and after January 2019. Yelp then narrowed down the list by looking at a combination of average rating and number of reviews. To make sure the list would be geographically diverse, Yelp limited the list to two businesses per metro area per category.
From the bakery treats at Sweet Brown Suga in Georgia to the soul-food-meets-Mexican menu at Nacheaux in Oregon, this list features a wide scope of eateries for every taste. Other noteworthy businesses on the list include Baltimore's Gangster Vegan Organics, Washington's Métier Brewing Company, and New York City's Teranga Harlem, which offers dishes from a variety of African countries and culinary traditions.
Here are the top food businesses to watch, according to Yelp:
- Purple Gurl's – Glendale, AZ
- Cafe Desta – Tucson, AZ
- Crumble & Whisk – Emeryville, CA
- Tribute Coffee – Garden Grove, CA
- LeeVonYe Treats – Hayward, CA
- Barsha – Hermosa Beach, CA
- West of Orleans – Thousand Oaks, CA
- Nola Voodoo Tavern – Denver, CO
- Konjo Ethiopian Food – Edgewater, CO
- Cane – Washington DC
- Here's The Scoop! – Washington DC
- Mixed Fillings Pie Shop – Jacksonville, FL
- Red Rooster Overton – Miami, FL
- Chicken Fire – Orlando, FL
- StreetWise Urban Food – Orlando, FL
- Hot Chicks House of Chicken – Pembroke Pines, FL
- Southern Kitchen & Grill – Atlanta, GA
- Kupcakerie – East Point, GA
- Sweet Brown Suga – Grayson, GA
- Love That Spice – Highland Park, IL
- Island Vybz Mobile Rasta-rant – Iowa City, IA
- Addis Nola – New Orleans, LA
- Gangster Vegan Organics – Baltimore, MD
- Ingera Rock Ethiopian Cuisine – Rockville, MD
- Steve's Hot Dogs – St Louis, MO
- The Coffee Class – Las Vegas, NV
- Grays Banana Pudding – Las Vegas, NV
- Lighthouse Coffee – Sparks, NV
- Freetown Kitchen – Maplewood, NJ
- Ras Plant Based – Brooklyn, NY
- Teranga Harlem – New York, NY
- Leah & Louise – Charlotte, NC
- Smallcakes Steele Creek – Charlotte, NC
- Cream Sugar Coffeehouse – Cincinnati, OH
- Donna's Delicious Dozen – Columbus, OH
- Black Coffee Lounge – Cincinnati, OH
- Black Walnut – Oklahoma City, OK
- Grey Sweater – Oklahoma City, OK
- Mumbo Gumbo PDX-Sellwood – Portland, OR
- Nacheaux – Portland, OR
- Brown's Bar-B-Que – Austin, TX
- Scoop and Score – Cedar Park, TX
- Shoals Sound & Service – Dallas, TX
- Cookie Society – Frisco, TX
- Binge Kitchen – San Antonio, TX
- Della J's Delectables – Springfield, VA
- CLTRE vgn jnt – Virginia Beach, VA
- Happy Cafe – Virginia Beach, VA
- Métier Brewing Company – Woodinville, WA
For the full list of Black-owned Businesses to Watch in 2021, including those in the beauty and home categories, visit Yelp's blog.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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