Black-Owned Restaurants Tampa: Your Ultimate Guide to Top-Rated Dining

In the vibrant city of Tampa, there’s a growing trend that’s adding a rich layer to its culinary scene – Black-owned restaurants. These establishments are not just businesses but lounges where culture meets cuisine, offering an array of flavors that mirror the diversity of the African diaspora.

However, their importance extends beyond tantalizing our taste buds. They’re also catalysts for community growth and cultural preservation. But with so many options available, you might be wondering which ones to visit first?

Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. In this post, we’ll guide you through some Top-notch Black-owned eateries in Tampa that feel like home while serving up mouth-watering dishes.

Spotlight on Top Black-Owned Eateries

Tampa’s food scene is rich, diverse, and full of flavor. Let’s take a closer look at some award-winning black-owned restaurants that are making waves in the city.

Award-Winning and Highly-Rated Spots

When you think about top-rated spots, “7th + Grove” tops the list. This eatery has been a game-changer for Tampa’s culinary scene, earning rave reviews from diners. It’s not just about the food here; it’s also about the vibe. The restaurant’s unique blend of southern comfort food with a modern twist has won over many hearts (and stomachs!).

Another favorite is “Mama’s Southern Soul Food”. This spot is famous for its soulful dishes that have guests coming back for more. Their fried chicken wings are legendary – crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Unique Dishes That Stand Out

Every great restaurant has its specials – those dishes that make them stand out from the crowd. At “Mr. B’s Southern Cuisine”, their BBQ Ribs are a popular choice among diners. Slow-cooked to perfection and slathered in their secret sauce, these ribs are finger-lickin’ good!

Over at “Chief’s Creole Cafe”, their Gumbo is all the rage. Made with love and packed with flavors of New Orleans, this dish will transport you straight to Bourbon Street.

History Behind These Favorites

Many Black-owned restaurants in Tampa have fascinating stories behind them. Take “Ray’s Vegan Soul” for instance – it was started by Chef Ray who wanted to introduce vegan options into Tampa’s culinary scene after his own health transformation.

Contribution to Tampa’s Culinary Scene

These Black-owned eateries have significantly contributed to the culinary diversity of Tampa. They’ve brought unique flavors, introduced new dishes, and shared their rich cultural heritage through food.

From the soulful southern dishes at “Mama’s Southern Soul Food” to the vegan delights at “Ray’s Vegan Soul”, these restaurants have played a key role in shaping Tampa’s food landscape. Their popularity is evident from the glowing reviews they receive online and the long lines of eager diners waiting outside their doors.

Traditional Southern Cuisine in Tampa

Tampa Bay’s Black-owned restaurants are a treasure trove of southern favorites, each rich with history and flavor. Let’s dive into the world of traditional southern cuisine in Tampa.

Influence of Southern Cooking

Southern cooking has left its mark on the Tampa area, especially in Black-owned restaurants. These establishments take pride in serving dishes that have been passed down through generations. For instance, Rose Bar Tampa is renowned for their collard greens and pulled pork – a classic dish from the South.

Popular Traditional Dishes

You can’t talk about southern food without mentioning fried chicken. But it’s not just any fried chicken; it’s seasoned to perfection and fried until it’s golden brown and crispy. And let’s not forget about sweet potato pie – this dessert is a staple at many family gatherings and holidays in the South.

Other popular dishes include oxtails and jerk chicken. These Caribbean dishes add an exotic twist to the traditional southern menu, creating a unique fusion of flavors.

Fusion of Southern Flavors

The fusion of southern flavors with modern techniques is what sets these eateries apart. Take egg rolls for example – you might be thinking, “what’s so special about egg rolls?” Well, imagine biting into one filled with slow-cooked pulled pork or juicy jerk chicken… now we’re talking!

Another great example is the oxtail sandwich at some spots around town. They’ve taken a classic dish like oxtails and turned it into a mouth-watering sandwich – talk about reinventing tradition!

Preserving Cultural Heritage

But it’s not all just about good food; these Black-owned restaurants play an important role in preserving cultural heritage through food. By serving up these traditional dishes, they’re keeping alive the culinary traditions that have shaped African American communities for centuries.

In essence, when you eat at one of these establishments, you’re taking part in an age-old tradition. You’re experiencing a piece of history, and that’s something you can’t put a price on.

Unique Tampa BBQ and Burger Spots

Tampa’s food scene is a melting pot of flavors. Let’s focus on two of its most unique offerings: specialty BBQ joints and gourmet burger spots.

Specialty BBQ Joints in Tampa

BBQ isn’t just about slapping some meat on the grill. In Tampa, it’s an art form. Places like Thee Burger Spot have turned BBQ into something truly special.

Thee Burger Spot doesn’t just serve your typical barbecued fare. Their menu boasts a variety of unique flavors and styles that you won’t find anywhere else. From their finger licking good bar to their jerk hut, every item on their menu is a culinary masterpiece.

Their use of locally sourced ingredients ensures freshness and quality in every bite. This commitment to local sourcing not only enhances the flavor of their dishes but also supports local farmers and producers.

Gourmet Burgers Pushing Boundaries

Burgers are another area where Tampa restaurants shine. Traditional burgers? Sure, they’ve got those. But why stick with tradition when you can push the boundaries?

Gourmet burger spots in Tampa are doing exactly that – pushing the boundaries of what a burger can be. Take Pizza Burger for example; who would have thought that combining pizza and burgers could result in such a delicious concoction?

And let’s not forget about other innovative creations like bay fries or ribs burgers which combine classic American staples in new ways.

Impact on Local Fast-Food Industry

These unique food offerings aren’t just tantalizing taste buds; they’re also making waves in the local fast-food industry.

Fast-food chains may offer convenience, but they can’t match the creativity, quality, or freshness offered by these Black owned restaurants in Tampa.

As consumers become more aware of where their food comes from and how it’s prepared, places like Thee Burger Spot are gaining popularity for their commitment to quality and innovation.

Black-owned Seafood restaurants in Tampa

Rush Hour Chicken & Waffles

Another Black-owned seafood restaurant in Tampa is “Rush Hour Chicken & Waffles”. While it may be renowned for its chicken and waffles, this restaurant also offers a variety of seafood dishes that are sure to satisfy any seafood lover.

Their menu highlights include the Seafood Mac and Cheese, which is a creamy blend of lobster, crab, and shrimp, and the Fried Shrimp Basket served with a side of their famous waffle fries.

Mr. B’s Southern Cuisine

“Mr. B’s Southern Cuisine”, as mentioned before, is a Black-owned restaurant that specializes in seafood and Southern cuisine.

Located in the heart of Tampa, their menu is filled with a variety of seafood dishes including the Seafood Gumbo, which is a hearty stew filled with shrimp, crab, and sausage, and the Fried Catfish, which is served with a side of their signature collard greens and cornbread.

Celebrating Diversity in Tampa’s Cuisine

A Melting Pot of Flavors

Tampa’s food scene is a vibrant mix, heavily influenced by African and Caribbean cuisines. This fusion creates a unique flavor profile that sets the city apart.

We’re talking about delicious food that makes your taste buds dance. Think spicy jerk chicken, aromatic jollof rice, or tangy goat curry.

Black-Owned Restaurants Setting the Pace

Black-owned restaurants are at the forefront of introducing these new flavors and dishes to the community. They’re not just serving up dinner; they’re offering an experience.

For instance, take “7th + Grove,” known for its great selection of soul food and killer cocktails. Or “Mama’s Southern Soul Food,” where you can get mouth-watering waffles dripping with syrup for lunch.

These eateries are rolling out recipes steeped in tradition while also pushing culinary boundaries with innovative dishes.

Enhancing Tampa’s Culinary Reputation

The impact on Tampa’s reputation as a culinary destination is undeniable. These Black-owned establishments have helped transform the city into a hotspot for food lovers from all over.

People flock here day after day to sample different dishes and flavors. It’s no wonder Tampa is gaining recognition as one of America’s top cities for foodies!

The Spice of Diversity

Diversity plays a crucial role in creating a thriving food culture. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life – and this couldn’t be truer.

The more diverse our restaurants are, the richer our gastronomic experiences become. Imagine savoring chocolate cake one day and digging into a plateful of spicy curried goat the next!

It’s this variety that keeps us excited about dining out, always eager to try something new.


Tampa’s food scene wouldn’t be the same without these vibrant Black-owned eateries. From mouth-watering Southern dishes to unique BBQ and burger joints, there’s a spot for every foodie. Seafood lovers will find plenty to rave about, and even vegans won’t feel left out with an array of plant-based options. Not forgetting the cozy cafés offering that much-needed caffeine fix!

These establishments aren’t just places to grab a bite; they’re a celebration of diversity in Tampa’s cuisine.


What are some top-rated Black-owned restaurants in Tampa?

There are several highly rated black-owned restaurants in Tampa including Mama’s Southern Soul Food, 7th + Grove, and The Jerk Hut.

Can I find traditional southern cuisine at these restaurants?

Absolutely! Many Black-owned restaurants in Tampa specialize in traditional Southern dishes like fried chicken, collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, and more.

Do these restaurants offer takeout or delivery options?

Most of them do offer takeout and delivery services. However, it’s always best to check their official websites or call directly for the most accurate information.

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