Thursday, June 1, 2023

3 Best Black-owned Restaurants in Tampa, Florida

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3 Best Black-owned Restaurants in Tampa, Florida- In the month of February, United States people celebrate Black History Month. During this month everyone is called to remember all the important events, people, sacrifices, accomplishments and so much more. Kids National Geographic sums up the premise of the month well, saying, “Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month…Today Black History Month continues the discussion of Black people and their contributions through activities such as museum exhibits and film screenings, and by encouraging the study of achievements by African Americans year-round.”. With this in mind, one of the easiest ways to support and celebrate Black communities is through uplifting black-owned restaurants. The attention black and minority-owned businesses get directly impacts and empowers so many important communities. When minority-owned businesses are given a platform not only does everyone involved succeed, but also the local economy. Black History Month shouldn’t limit those to one singular month of support, but rather act as a stepping stone for the public to find new, tasty restaurants that they’ll visit year-round. Residents and tourists alike should consider visiting one or all of the following 3 Best Black-Owned Restaurants in Tampa, Florida. 

Here are the 3 Best Black-owned Restaurants in Tampa, Florida

Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant 
7th + Grove 
Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

Each establishment was chosen based on personal experience and online reviews. If you’re looking for a delicious new restaurant to try out this February and beyond, continue reading to learn more.

Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant 

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Image Captured from Mamas Soul Food Restaurant Website

Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant is located in Tampa, Florida. This family-oriented restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Reaves and Katrina. The vision for this establishment was born in the hearts, kitchens, and dining rooms of Mama’s owners. Decades in the making, Reaves and Katrina have been preparing every dish by hand with love thrown into every homemade recipe. When you enter Mama’s it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, once you’ve sat to be fed, you’re family. 

For 15 years Mama’s Southern Soul Food has been the hot spot for Southern cooking, raising the standard for southern focused restaurants to follow. Regardless of the dish ordered, Mama’s kitchen creates authentically flavored meals seasoned with love and soul. Each dish is made from scratch and cooked to perfection. Individuals who plan on visiting Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant, don’t be surprised if Chef Reaves and Katrina visit your table with open arms and big smiles. Consider stopping by one of Tampa’s best soul food restaurants today!

Location of Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant 

Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant 
3701 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard 
Tampa, Florida 33610
(813) 769- 9552
Home – Mama’s Soul Food (mamassoulfoodfl.com) 

Review of Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant 

“Having spent time as a youth in the deep south on the poor side of the tracks, I know soul food. Mama’s has it in spades. Small and unassuming Mama’s does a booming takeout business. Call ahead and get your meal to go. Fantastic fried chicken, roasted turkey, collard greens, lima beans, corn on the cob, gizzards and rice with gravy. You order and pay before you sit if dining in. All the food is served in a take-out containers. I just keep going back when nostalgic and want a happy tummy.” – Robert N.

7th + Grove 

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Image Captured from 7th + Grove Website

7th + Grove can be found in the heart of Tampa, Florida in the Ybor City Historic District. This aesthetic restaurant/lounge concert establishment offers elevated southern cuisine through yummy meals and creatively crafted cocktails. 7th + Grove is an adult-friendly space inviting individuals looking for a warm ambiance, exceptional service, and full bellies. The mission of 7th + Grove is to harbor a culturally immersive environment that allows the spirit and soul to be nourished. 

When you visit 7th + Grove you’re not only signing up for a delicious meal, but also an unforgettable dining experience. The owners at 7th + Grove are committed to their community and use food as their storytelling medium. They believe that good food with rich flavors has the ability to connect those around them, regardless of their background. 

Accompanied by being a full-service restaurant, 7th + Grove also offers a unique, versatile venue space perfect for weddings, private functions, art shows, etc. At 7th + Grove creating good food is just as important as uplifting and empowering the community around them. They partner with different organizations, affiliations, and events, in order to celebrate diversity, and inclusion and support economic development. When you eat at 7th + Grove you’re not only feeding your soul, but also the soul of the community around you. 

Location of 7th + Grove 

7th + Grove
1930 East 7th Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 649- 8422
Visit Our Ybor City Location | Southern Restaurant in Tampa, FL (7thandgrove.com)

Review of 7th + Grove 

“This place is the freaking bomb!!!  Good vibes, excellent service and phenomenal food.  We had 7 dishes and all were out of this world flavor.  For apps we had Cuban Egg Rolls, Jalapeño Cornbread and Fried Green Tomatoes and all were awesome!  For entrees we had the “Tell Me Something Good” seared salmon & shrimp and “Rock The Boat” Creole catfish.  Both were unbelievable!  For dessert we had “Rock Steady” pecan banana pudding and “Hit Different” Cuban bread pudding which are out of this world!  Kudos to the chefs!  This place is special!!!” – Carey S.

Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

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Image Captured from Als Finger Licking Good Bar B Que Website

Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que is a family-owned and operated restaurant found in the Ybor City Historic District in Tampa, Florida. However, the brick-and-mortar business we know today wasn’t always there. In 2003, Al began his BBQ business out of a concession stand, working his way up to a sit-in restaurant. Come 2009, Al and family found themselves opening Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que in Ybor City. 

The way Al cooks his meats is in the Tennessee style. Meaning each type of meat is coated in a dry rub and tossed in a tomato-based barbecue sauce to finish them off. Regardless of the type of meat, ribs, chicken, pork butt, or beef, each is smoked to perfection daily. In conjunction, Al’s delicious sides are made fresh daily for customers to enjoy. And don’t forget about the tasty pies, banana pudding, and Dwayne’s OMG cake to finish off the meal. Al, his wife Jackie, daughter Tia and the phenomenal staff look forward to serving you soon!

Location of Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

Al’s Finger Looking Good Bar-B-Que
1609 Angel Oliva Senior Street
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 956- 0675
Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que (alsybor.com)

Review of Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

“Everybody has that cousin who can cook. I mean COOK! Yeah, Al must have been THAT cousin who took his skills and said he was going to make some money from it too! Great BBQ spot, moist and properly smoked meats (chicken, turkey, beef, etc), delicious sides, and sweet team and lemonade that taste like THAT cousin did their thing! Great, friendly staff who are down to earth and fun. Word on the street, they also own a Soul Food restaurant not too far from this location. Good times, thanks “cousin”!” – Jamie M.

Find a Black-owned Restaurant near you in Tampa, Florida

I hope that this article helps you when choosing where to eat your next meal. Consider supporting one or all of the previously mentioned black-owned businesses this black history month. For more black-owned restaurants visit the Creative Loafing. 




Lilly Cardoso
Lilly Cardoso
I’m an Interior Design Student at the University of Georgia with a minor in Photography. A large passion of mine has always been creating something, whether in the design, art or writing world that makes an impact on people. My aim with my content is to construct a space that cultivates new ideas for many.

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