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Sky-high plates of chicken and waffles in Youngtown. Crispy catfish po’boys in south Phoenix. Bites of Hoppin’ John that would transport you to the muggy outdoor cafe tables in the French Quarter. The Valley is lucky to have a wide variety of black-owned restaurants offering incredible food in vital spaces.

We have many suggestions. Here are several restaurants in greater Phoenix we recommend for today and well beyond.

Jupiter Rings Wings and More

4700 North 12th Street

If you’re looking for a new restaurant, try Jupiter Rings Wings and More. Jason Higgins came to Phoenix with just a buffalo sauce recipe. He has since created a popular vegan version and opened a restaurant — and will soon be selling his product in grocery stores nationwide.

The artfully plated chicken chicken and waffles dish from Rag's.EXPAND

The artfully plated chicken chicken and waffles dish from Rag’s.

Lauren Cusimano

Rag’s Real Chicken & Waffles

12242 North 111th Avenue, Youngtown

Tucked away in the northwest Valley city of Youngtown, Rag’s Real Chicken & Waffles is a small, family-owned restaurant that plates sky-high chicken and waffles — truly, the dish has to be about six inches tall off the surface of the table. Aside from the huge portions, there is much more to appreciate here — like the sides, the live music, and the BYOB policy.

Mingo's serves a variety of po'boys, including the classic catfish po'boy.EXPAND

Mingo’s serves a variety of po’boys, including the classic catfish po’boy.

Samantha Pouls

Mingo’s Louisiana Kitchen

3424 West Southern Avenue, #180

We have a few good spots for Cajun food in the Valley, but we recommend Mingo’s Louisiana Kitchen in south Phoenix. It’s backed by a New Orleans-rooted chef, and offers old-school and “new school” po’boys, like an oyster and bacon or confit pork and slaw. There’s also a brunch menu with an andouille and shrimp omelet paired with a morning daiquiri.

Get them ATL style.EXPAND

Get them ATL style.

Lauren Cusimano

ATL Wings

Multiple Locations

For some seriously, seriously good wings, go to ATL Wings. Many wing options in Phoenix are pretty good, but these are some of the best. If you love a good dry rub, ATL Style should definitely be your order. Each piece, drum, or wing is hefty and evenly coated with that heavy, oily blend of herbs and spices. It’s no surprise they won a Best of Phoenix award in 2018. (Personal note: I’ve eaten myself sick on ATL Wings many times.)

How Honey Bear’s BBQ was excellent to the cast and crew of Bill & Ted in 1987.EXPAND

How Honey Bear’s BBQ was excellent to the cast and crew of Bill & Ted in 1987.

Lauren Cusimano

Honey Bear’s BBQ

Multiple Locations

Many restaurant owners have stories, but not all can recall a time they catered the crew of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It’s true. Honey Bear’s BBQ owner Mark Smith remembers the first time this group of highly energetic and friendly young people walked into his barbecue restaurant in 1987. The next three months would be filled with some excellent adventures. Also, you can drink the sauce here, and many do.

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café is one of the top restaurants in town.EXPAND

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café is one of the top restaurants in town.

Jacob Tyler Dunn

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café

808 East Jefferson Street

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café is one of the city’s top restaurants. Named for founder Elizabeth White, it serves utterly timeless food. The writing on the wall literally informs you this 50-year-old restaurant is where you’ll find one of Phoenix’s most famous Southern dishes: the golden brown Southern fried chicken (with suggested sides of cabbage and black eyed peas). Mrs. White has spinoffs everywhere, including her grandson, Larry “Lo-Lo” White’s spot, Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles.

Stephen Jones of the Larder + the Delta in the permanent location.EXPAND

Stephen Jones of the Larder + the Delta in the permanent location.

Chris Malloy

the Larder + the Delta

200 West Portland Street, #101

Operated by chef Stephen Jones, the Larder + the Delta is also one of Phoenix’s top restaurants. We reviewed the restaurant in 2018, and we stand by it. The restaurant’s second location is in sleeker digs, but the menu is still killer Southern fare. Entrees include pork ribs and chicken fried chicken, but smaller plates are the main draw here. The cauliflower is made with sauce from Cutino Sauce Co. (another black-owned business), the Hoppin’ John makes you feel like you’re in NOLA, and the crispy pig ears are dusted in Cheetos. We could write a poem about the chicken skins.

An order of the fried chicken at Stacy's Off Da Hook BBQ and Soul Food.EXPAND

An order of the fried chicken at Stacy’s Off Da Hook BBQ and Soul Food.

Lauren Cusimano

Stacy’s Off Da Hook BBQ and Soul Food

1804 West Glendale Avenue

We think Stacy’s Off Da Hook BBQ and Soul Food has some the best soul food in town. In addition to offering a well-decorated (but not yet opened) dining area, this casual soul food restaurant serves “ole fashion” barbecue, fried chicken, and chitterlings, and has Kool-Aid on tap. That crispy fried chicken is some of the best in town; it comes from a secret recipe concocted by owner Stacy Phipps himself — who most likely will be in the restaurant when you visit. We also gave it a Best of Phoenix award in 2019 for its food in general.

Anibal Abayneh and and Salem Beyene own Cafe Lalibela in Tempe.EXPAND

Anibal Abayneh and and Salem Beyene own Cafe Lalibela in Tempe.

Jacob Tyler Dunn

Café Lalibela

849 West University Drive, Tempe

Metro Phoenix has several standout African restaurants and coffee shops. But one is a cut above, and we’ve deemed it one of the Valley’s top restaurants. Located in Tempe, the husband-and-wife-run Café Lalibela is a cozy Ethiopian restaurant that has occupied a strip mall suite for decades. The eatery specializes in vegetarian dishes, though several meat items are on the menu like the key sega wat. Injera, or a crepe-like sourdough bread made with teff, is served with most meals.

Monroe's Hot Chicken has the best lunch in downtown.EXPAND

Monroe’s Hot Chicken has the best lunch in downtown.

Chris Malloy

Monroe’s Hot Chicken

45 West Jefferson Street

Remember when hot chicken was all anyone could talk about around here? One place has done it extra well — but not extra well done. The sandwiches are juicy and hot at Monroe’s Hot Chicken, which we discovered in a very early visit. But we had such a good time on follow-up visits we gave the restaurant, owned by Larry White (also the man behind Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles), a Best of Phoenix 2019 award for best downtown lunch.

James Lewis of JL Smokehouse philosophizing about wood and smoke.EXPAND

James Lewis of JL Smokehouse philosophizing about wood and smoke.

Chris Malloy

JL Smokehouse

1712 East Broadway Road

Our food critic, Chris Malloy, is a big barbecue fan. He’s dedicated countless hours to his series Smoke Rings. Along this journey, smoke master James Lewis claimed “I got the best pulled pork in the country.” Lewis’ barbecue joint, JL Smokehouse, uses oak and mesquite in service of exceptional menu items like the Chicago sausage sandwich, the brisket, pulled pork, rib tips, and sides like the coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese (goosed with smoked gouda), and beans (flavor halfway between barbecue and Cajun). Just to name a few.

The Jumbo Philly Crack Wings from Trapp Haus BBQ in downtown Phoenix.

The Jumbo Philly Crack Wings from Trapp Haus BBQ in downtown Phoenix.

Chris Malloy

Trapp Haus BBQ

511 East Roosevelt Street

Roosevelt Row is known for cocktails, galleries, and maybe a craft beer spot, which is what makes Trapp Haus BBQ all the more worth a visit. Proprietor Phil “the Grill” Johnson is a “seasoned barbecue master,” and he plies his trade on standout items like the Jumbo Philly Crack Wings, which we gave a Best of Phoenix award in 2019. Other memorable menu items include the St. Louis ribs and Trappetizers like burnt ends and the hot chicken skins.

Editor’s note: We will continue to add to this list as new restaurants open and we’re reminded of other great places in town.

Where to Find Outstanding Food From Black-Owned Restaurants in Greater Phoenix
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