Jun 30, 2023 - Food and Drink

10 Black-owned restaurants in downtown New Orleans

Photo shows Chris Hannah pouring a drink out of a shaker a customer seated at the bar of Jewel of the South.

Legendary bartender Chris Hannah pours a cocktail behind the bar at Jewel of the South in the French Quarter. Photo: Courtesy of Denny Culbert

New Orleans’ deep culinary history has been shaped by Black chefs and kitchen staffers since its very beginnings.

Why it matters: That history has not always been kind, but in today’s New Orleans, you can find Black-owned restaurants, bars and coffee shops across every neighborhood.

The guide: With the return of Essence Fest to New Orleans, we rounded up a list of Black-run establishments for those who are looking to support Black businesses while attending the massive, weekendlong event.

  • We focused this list on downtown spots to make it easy to stay close to the fest.
  • New Orleans loves its neighborhoods, but we defined “downtown” as between Esplanade Avenue and Calliope Street, and between the river and I-10.


  • 1200 Poydras St., Suite 102.
  • A downtown outpost for the legendary restaurant known for its fried catfish.

Chapter IV

  • 1301 Gravier St.
  • Breakfast, brunch and lunch from the family that brought you Dooky Chase’s.
Photo shows Chef Nina Compton smiling and holding a coffee cup on the sidewalk outside Compere Lapin.
Chef Nina Compton runs Compere Lapin with her husband, Larry Miller. Photo: Courtesy of Compere Lapin

Compere Lapin

  • 535 Tchoupitoulas St.
  • Caribbean food with a touch of New Orleans from celebrity chef Nina Compton.

Li’l Dizzy’s

  • 1500 Esplanade Ave.
  • Creole classics in a family-owned neighborhood joint.
Photo shows a tables covered in white tablecloths on a balcony in the French Quarter. It's night and there are candles and roses on the tables.
Cafe Sbisa opened in 1899 and is the third-oldest fine-dining restaurant in the French Quarter, the owners say. Photo: Courtesy of Cafe Sbisa

Cafe Sbisa

  • 1011 Decatur St.
  • Creole cooking in the French Quarter from chef Alfred Singleton, who started as a prep cook and now runs the kitchen as co-owner.

Jewel of the South

  • 1026 St. Louis St.
  • Home to renowned bartender Chris Hannah and his classic and creative cocktails.


  • 412 Girod St.
  • French flavors in the Warehouse District from a family with deep New Orleans history.

Backatown Coffee Parlour

  • 301 Basin St.
  • Coffee, pastries and sandwiches on the edge of the Quarter.


  • 1212 Royal St.
  • Tuck into dishes with roots in Gambia and Cameroon.
Photo shows a plate of rice and Haitian food with a bottle of Fritai's special hot sauce
Fritai makes Haitian dishes and specialty drinks at its Basin Street location. Photo: Courtesy of Fritai


  • 1535 Basin St.
  • Haitian cuisine from chef Charly Pierre.

Go deeper: If you’re open to extending your geographical boundaries, there are additional lists of Black-owned businesses you can check out.


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