After days of emotional protests in honor of Houston-native George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, many are looking for ways to continue to show support in their own community. One small way you can do that in Dallas is by patronizing black-owned businesses, including food and beverage institutions — which are already in dire need due to the pandemic.
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New East Dallas gourmet sandwich, burger, and veggie bowl spot, Invasions, comes from personal chef Airric Heidelberg. After restaurants were shut down because of COVID, the restaurant‘s physical opening date was pushed back, but Heidelberg and co-owner Agon Raka were determined to give back to the community. Support them by trying one of their Cardi B fried chicken sandwiches or Berry Good burger available for takeout.
Another Dallas bakery favorite, Val’s Cheesecakes was founded by Val Jean-Bart in 2012. He was inspired by his mom (who passed away from cancer shortly before) and love of baking. The first walk-up window version of Val’s opened on Maple Avenue, and a bigger, second location followed in Lower Greenville. Support Val’s by picking up cheesecake slices, jars, or whole pies to-go.
Owner of BurgerIM, Wes Williams’s West End location of gourmet burger chain was vandalized during this past weekend’s rioting. Windows were broken in, but Williams has since reopened. To support the restaurant, order pickup or delivery from the West End spot.
Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que
“Smokey” John Reeves founded Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que in the 1970s and has been serving hickory-smoked BBQ in the Medical District ever since. Owned by his sons, Brent and Juan, the barbecue joint is popular for its hot links, brisket, and more. Support the business by ordering pickup here.
Sisters Darla McCuen, Nita Briggs, and Kim Haynes opened Oak Cliff dessert shop Kookie Haven in 2017. Offering every kind of cookie from butter toffee crunch to oatmeal cranberry, and even vegan options, the bakery is well-known for the “stuffer” — a glorious cookie and cupcake hybrid. To support Kookie Haven, order for pickup by calling 972-373-4084.
The Island Spot is a Jamaican kitchen and bar in Oak Cliff. Family owned and operated, recipes for jerk chicken and curry were originally passed down from Mama Joyce. Order mango juices, coconut shrimp, or Jamaican rum bread pudding to support the local spot.
Award-winning chef Dwight Harvey opened Off the Bone Barbecue in The Cedars after running a successful catering business for several years. The barbecue joint is known for its smoked brisket, baby back ribs, and family-friendly atmosphere. You can even get tacos with the smoked meat of your choice and sides like spiced pasta, con queso mac and cheese, and honey spiced baked beans. The restaurant is currently offering dine-in services, as well as delivery and pickup.
At Trinity Groves, The Cake Bar is still offering its famous cakes to-go for pickup and delivery. Opened by longtime baker Tracy German, The Cake Bar sells “cakes you grew up with” with a Southern Flair. Support the local bakery by ordering by the slice (or who are we kidding these days? By the cake) by calling 972-684-5801.
Founded in 2017 by Omar Yeefoon, Shoals Sound & Service has become a hotspot for Southern Rock ‘n Soul vibes in Deep Ellum. The bar is currently closed, but you can still help by donating to the “Help Shoals Ride the Storm” GoFundMe.
TLC Vegan Kitchen
Recently opened in Lake Highlands as a new vegan ghost kitchen (meaning dishes are only available for takeout), TLC Vegan Kitchen was founded by chef Troy Gardner. The chef is also co-owner of V-Eats, another vegan spot in Trinity Groves. Favorite dishes include the Sausage and Mushroom pizza and Chicken Fried Steak. Both are made with Impossible meat, but you can hardly tell the difference (even if you’re usually a carnivore).
Opened by Keith Fluellen in 2013, Fluellen’s Cupcakes has some of the best cupcakes in Dallas. Cupcake flavors include Wedding Cake, Red Velvet, Chocolate Cream Cheese, and more. Order pickup orders online.
Inspired by her Aunt Irene, Dresha Harrison opened Aunt Irene’s Kitchen after a land-owning friend converted his mechanic garage into her first location in South Dallas. The diner quickly grew a massive social media following for its lobster boxes, seafood gumbo, potatoes, and more. Support the iconic spot by ordering takeout.
One of the best soul food restaurants in Dallas, Sweet Georgia Brown was founded by Walt Williams about 30 years ago. Located in South Dallas, the restaurant serves ribs, pork chops, hot links, and other barbecue staples. They’ve also got specials like meatloaf, fried chicken, and turkey wings. Order takeout to support.
Hall’s Honey Fried Chicken
Founded by John Hall, Hall’s Honey Fried Chicken is a spinoff of his grandfather’s Henderson’s Chicken Shack. Originally named the Chicken Shack in 1948, the spot was rebranded and in 1989, John’s father gave him his blessing to use the family recipe to open his own spot on Lancaster Road. Since then, John and his siblings have expanded to several locations throughout Dallas, offering some of the best fried chicken in the city. His daughter, MacKenzie Hall, owns the Medical District spot.