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Top Historic Black-Owned Restaurants

Busy Bee Cafe (Atlanta, GA)

Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders still meet at Lucy Jackson's diner, which opened in 1947.

Ben’s Chili Bowl (Washington, DC)

Washington's top restaurant is 1958's Ben's Chili Bowl. Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and others visited Ben Ali's eatery.

Melba’s (Harlem, NY)

The restaurant, which opened in 2005 and was named for its owner, Melba Wilson, is focused on the community, and Melba herself meets people as they come in.

Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (California)

Herb Hudson opened Roscoe's in 1975, and stars like Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, and Redd Foxx have made it a staple in Los Angeles.

The Beautiful (Atlanta, GA)

Since 1979, the "Healthy Soulful Taste of the South" restaurant has been an important part of Atlanta's food scene, serving customers and food with love, respect, and care.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room (Atlanta, GA)

Since 1945, Mary Mac's Tea Room, also known as "Atlanta's Dining Room," has been on Ponce De Leon Avenue.

Dooky Chase’s Restaurant (New Orleans, LA)

Emily and Dooky Chase opened a sandwich shop and lottery ticket store called Dooky Chase's Restaurant in 1939.

Hawkins House of Burgers (Los Angeles, CA)

 James Henry Hawkins opened the restaurant in 1939 as a small store. He had moved from Arkansas during the Second Great Migration.

Brenda’s Bar-B-Q Pit (Montgomery, Alabama)

Brenda's Bar-B-Q Pit has good barbecue. Jereline and Larry Bethune opened the Siesta Club in 1942. It was first called Brenda's.

Sylvia’s (New York, NY)

Sylvia Woods started Sylvia's Restaurant in 1962. Its soul cuisine is southern. For the house, her mother Julia Pressley mortgaged her land.

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