How to support black-owned restaurants in Seattle and around the Sound

Now is a great time to show our support for black-owned cafes and restaurants in our community. Here's how to find them.

June 3, 2020
Black restaurateur shows off her cuisine

Wavebreakmedia / iStock / Getty Images Plus

I'll admit to feeling this way, and maybe you do too:

When it comes to the turmoil and racism that we're encountering in our country and our community right now, I want to be helpful, supportive, and on the right side.

But in this quarantined and curfewed and socially-distanced world, it can be tough to walk the walk in what feels like a meaningful way.

Friends post reading lists on Facebook -- read these and get woke. Appeals for donations to advocacy groups pop up in my feed and my mail all the time. Do the right thing -- send us money. Say this, do this, don't ever say this, never do this. I know -- or I hope -- the day will come when we sort all of this out. 

In the meantime, you gotta eat!

I discovered an easy way to do two of my favorite things: Be a supportive and socially responsible ally to our African American community, and eat great food.

There's a robust list of great restaurants all around the Sound that happen to be owned by black restaurateurs. You can get a good overview from these three posts: Black-owned Business & Restaurants in Seattle That You Can Support Right Now on Seattle Refined, How to support black-owned restaurants in Seattle in the Seattle Times, and Support Seattle's Black-Owned Restaurants, running down options from Everett to Woodinville to Tacoma on the food site The Infatuation.

I think these articles might be using this incredible tool -- a website called Intentionalist that helps you locate restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and bakeries, as well as gyms, yoga studios, salons, and boutiques, all of which are owned by black people.

As a longtime Seattleite, I can rattle off half a dozen places on the list that I love, from the incredible Marjorie on Capitol Hill owned by the effervescent Donna Moodie, where (back before social distancing) every occasion felt like a big cheerful dinner party with friends you haven't actually met yet, to my son's favorite ice cream spot right here in Madison Park, Scoop Du Jour, where owner Edward Washington has a lot more tolerance for screaming sugar-buzzed kids than I would, all summer long.

La Spiga and Plum Bistro on Capitol Hill, Cafe Soleil in Madrona, the legendary Island Soul on Rainier Avenue in Seattle . . . all longtime favorites and all black-owned. And speaking of Rainier Avenue, there's a black-owned spot called King Philly Cheesesteaks that I haven't tried yet, but as the former spouse of a Philly native, I think I know my way around a cheesesteak, and this place is rumored to be the best in the Northwest, so that's next on my list.

These places are all doing takeout and/or delivery and like every restaurant on the planet now, they need our support, but as African-American-owned spots, they give us a bonus opportunity to do some good and put our money where our mouths are. Bon apetit!

(Once again, the website to visit: Intentionalist)