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Jason Higgins and his son Rashaad operate the new Jupiter Rings Wings and More restaurant.
Jason Higgins and his son Rashaad operate the new Jupiter Rings Wings and More restaurant.
Jupiter Rings

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

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. Check out thoughts from our first taste in June 2020.

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. At the moment, it's best you follow the Facebook page to see where the Mingo's food truck will be located.

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.

The amber-hued hot sauce from Island Sensation Cuisine brings a tropical rush.EXPAND
The amber-hued hot sauce from Island Sensation Cuisine brings a tropical rush.
Chris Malloy

Island Sensation Cuisine

830 East Indian School Road


We’re big fans of quality, inexpensive lunches, which is why we also recommend Island Sensation Cuisine. We recommend you start with the house-made ginger beer brew and then work your way down the menu. Chef Lloyd Campbell offers classically Jamaican food, which he fine-tuned in culinary school in Kingston. Plates include classic stewed oxtail with gravy and rice, jerk chicken thighs, and sides like “island” coleslaw.

Stewed chicken, house-made cheese, cabbage, and greens on injera from Authentic Ethio African Spices.
Stewed chicken, house-made cheese, cabbage, and greens on injera from Authentic Ethio African Spices.
Chris Malloy

Authentic Ethio African Spices

1740 East McDowell Road


Spotted by the colors of the Ethiopian flag at 18th Street and McDowell Road, Authentic Ethio African Spices is another one of the Valley’s outstanding African restaurants. Injera is easily accessible, as is ginger-spiked chicken stew, and fresh cheeses, and vegetarian options. We also gave this cozy African café a Best of Phoenix award in 2018 after a couple mesmerizing visits.

Ribs and brisket smoked over almond wood in West Alley's concrete pit.
Ribs and brisket smoked over almond wood in West Alley's concrete pit.
Chris Malloy

West Alley BBQ

111 West Boston Street, Chandler


We’ve been fans of West Alley BBQ in downtown Chandler since it opened in 2018. After attending Chandler’s Great American BBQ & Beer Festival in early 2017, owners Bardo and Christian Brantley decided to spring for a storefront in the east Valley. The barbecue joint specializes in St. Louis-style ribs, Tennessee-style barbecue, and more. It also had its own installment in our Smoke Rings series.

Brad and Laurita Carr of Ezekiel’s give the east side an extra sprinkle of soul.EXPAND
Brad and Laurita Carr of Ezekiel’s give the east side an extra sprinkle of soul.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Ezekiel’s Restaurant

4825 East Warner Road


Lucky for us, soul and comfort food isn’t hard to come by in this ever-sprawling metropolis. Around since 2012, Ezekiel’s Restaurant is a mom-and-pop soul food eatery in the Ahwatukee Palms Shopping Center at 48th Street and Warner Road. We recommend the fried chicken or barbecue ribs dinner, as well as the crab cakes and sweet potato pie. We also recommend you check out our 2016 restaurant review.

The Original Pancake House has been around since 1988.
The Original Pancake House has been around since 1988.
New Times Archives

The Original Pancake House

6840 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale


Some restaurant recommendations hardly need to be stated. If you want pancakes, The Original Pancake House in downtown Scottsdale is where you go. The breakfast chain has been around since 1953, and our Scottsdale location has been open since 1988, when the griddle was first overseen by owner Ron “The Pancake Man” Horton. The Midcentury vibe, coupled with house specialties like the apple pancake, Dutch baby, and Ron’s Special Southwest Eggs, make this place a real first meal gem. Read our 2012 ode to its 49’er FlapJack here.

Gojo Restaurant

3015 East Thomas Road, #101


Gojo Restaurant is named after the Amharic word for hut, and the place is indeed cozy and homelike. Like most quality Ethiopian restaurants, Gojo serves a variety of flavorful stews, like doro wot (chicken), key wot (beef), and alitcha wot (lamb). It also hosts bunna — an Ethiopian coffee ceremony — on Mondays when the dining room is open. For a deeper dive, check out our piece from our 2015 visit.

The Cutting Board Bakery and Café

2235 South Power Road, Mesa


The Cutting Board Bakery and Café is one of the most welcoming spaces in the east Valley, in addition to being a vegan and vegetarian-friendly eatery. We visited early, just before its 2013 grand opening, and highlighted a few breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and juice concoctions. Today we’d recommend the Caribbean Bowl, the Chickun n Waffles, and the Bacon Lover Burger — a black bean burger with tempeh bacon, jerk barbecue sauce, and all kinds of other stuff.

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.

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