Best Takeout Dishes from Black-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia

Caribbean Feast Business

The Philadelphia food scene has been getting a lot of attention on the national stage over the past few years. From James Beard nominations and awards to being named by publications like National Geographic and Travel + Leisure as a top-tier dining destination, Philadelphia is making waves. But us locals know that our culinary offerings have always been something special, thanks to our diverse communities and our long history of Black restaurateurs and hospitality.

Philadelphia is home to a bounty of cuisines from across the African diaspora that have taken root in the city and flourished. Celebrated cuisines that crossed the Atlantic—like the Ethiopian feasts you’ll find at Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant and the aromatically spiced Caribbean dishes at Reggae Reggae Vibes—have become integral parts of our culinary landscape. Same goes for traditional American cuisines like BBQ, fried fish, and homemade potato salad that have been carried on by restaurants like Barkley’s BBQ.

Black chefs have not only spent generations perfecting their culinary crafts, they provide space to gather, engage with culture, and share traditions within the community. There are so many outstanding Black-owned restaurants to visit in Philadelphia. It was hard to keep this list concise, but this roundup plays like a greatest hits of comforting foods, nostalgic dishes, storied traditions, and meals meant to nourish the body, mind, and soul.

West Philly
The joy of an Ethiopian meal is its communal nature and how it ignites all of the senses. Eating with your hands adds a whole new dimension to the dining experience. There’s something about feeling the sponginess of the teff-filled injera as you scoop up yebeg tibs, perfectly tender bits of lamb sautéed with vegetables, and spicy azifah, brown lentils blended with jalapeño and aromatic spices. Every bite is intentionally built with a wide variety of textures and flavors. Order one or two of Abyssinia’s combo platters and enjoy a night in while sharing a meal with those you love.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

Mount Airy
When it comes to ordering takeout, breakfast doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Think about how awesome it would be to get French toast with a fresh, seasonal berry compote, a ham and cheddar cheese Western omelet, and a hot cappuccino delivered straight to your door. You get all of the perks of breakfast in bed with none of the dishes. In addition to serving up your breakfast favorites, Alena’s Cafe offers a menu of savory and satisfying lunches, including its turkey and cheddar panini and a hearty roasted beet salad.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

North Philly
The art of BBQ has deep roots in Black culture, and at Barkley’s the tradition is carrying on. Owners Tank and Nicole Barkley cook up some of the best BBQ in North Philly. You can’t go wrong with the restaurant’s pulled-pork sandwiches, succulent ribs, and brisket smoked to perfection. And don’t forget the sides, including a mac and cheese loaded with five kinds of cheese, delicious collard greens, and an unforgettable potato salad made from their grandmother’s recipe. They sell out fast so order early!
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

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Photo by Brent Hofacker

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North Philly
Jamaican cuisine is an important part of the African diasporic cuisines, rich in spices, stewed meats, and flavorful seafood. Caribbean Feast Restaurant is a North Philadelphia favorite and has even been featured on the Cooking Channel’s Road Trip with G. Garvin. This is the spot for traditional Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken (a customer favorite), fried fish, curry goat, and oxtails. If you’re ordering out for the whole family, get the Family Combo House Special, a feast of chicken, rice, vegetables, and a drink to share with four to five people.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

North Philly
Dishing out some of the city’s best Detroit-style pizzas is Down North Pizza, a pizza shop on a mission to employ and empower formerly incarcerated people. At the helm of it is owner Muhammad Abdul-Hadi and Chef Michael Carter who are breaking the stigma of incarceration one pizza at a time. Order a meaty I’m a Boss pizza loaded with turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, mushrooms, and green peppers slathered in its Bodega sauce, along with its legendary wings (Thai chili is a customer favorite). Don’t forget to treat yourself to one of its indulgent milkshakes, like the apple pie shake that brings together two classic desserts. On their own, the pizzas are outstanding, but everything always tastes better when it’s going toward a good cause.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

East Kensington 
Franny Lou’s Porch is more than just a coffee shop. Named after two influential Black women from the Civil Rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer and Frances E.W. Harper, this cafe is a platform for activism. Franny Lou’s Porch invites customers to get their daily coffee along with a helping of community engagement and radical values. In addition to a menu of delicious coffee drinks, Franny Lou’s Porch offers up a menu of bites with inspired names, including the Anti-Capitalist, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, and the vegan Pro-Community sandwich made with fresh greens, bell pepper, tomato, and cucumber.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

Mt. Airy Deli
Mt. Airy Deli

Mount Airy
Hoagies and cheesesteaks are cornerstone dishes in Philadelphia’s collective culinary identity, and Mt. Airy Deli has been serving some of the best since 1995. Abdul-Raheem Thomas, the restaurant’s owner and founder, has perfected the hoagie-roll-to-deli-meat ratio and the art of a steak sandwich dripping with cheese, but he’s got more going on than just the classics. The Shrimp Po Boy is packed with Cajun-season-fried jumbo shrimp, and the Mad Club is a tower of honey BBQ chicken, tomatoes, and onions piled high on toasted bread. But the glory of Mt. Airy Deli is the Surf n’ Turf cheesesteak, a seafood homage to a Philly classic made with salmon, fried shrimp, and its homemade tartar sauce.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

Hunting Park
For halal meats and seafood, Paprika Halal is the place. Every dish is generously seasoned and cooked to perfection. Try the chicken kebab slathered in a choice of sweet chili, barbecue, teriyaki, or mango habanero sauce, or dig into the succulent rack of lamb. Regardless of what you choose, adding an order of grilled shrimp is a must. And don’t forget dessert—Paprika Halal’s sweet potato cheesecake is the perfect sweet note to end your meal.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

Northern Liberties 
Reggae Reggae Vibes brings true Caribbean flavor to Northern Liberties through inventive dishes made with fresh ingredients, natural and fresh pressed juices, and spices sourced directly from Jamaica. The menu features traditional Caribbean favorites, like curry chicken, jerk chicken, oxtails, and fried whiting fish, but there are also fusion dishes with an American twist, like its veggie wraps and veggie burgers seasoned with Jamaican Callaloo. The jerk chicken cheesesteak is a must! It brings the flavors of the Caribbean to a classic Philadelphia sandwich.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

The Sweet Life Bakeshop
The Sweet Life Bakeshop

South Philly
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and are on the lookout for dessert, you can get sweets delivered straight to your door from The Sweet Life Bakeshop. Since 2010, this South Street bakery has been churning out cupcakes and other delicious treats, but it’s really known for making some of the wildest banana pudding creations in the city. Strawberries and bananas are a perfect pair in the Strawberry Banana Pudding while the salted caramel adds a savory sweetness to the Salted Caramel Banana Pudding. The Magic Pudding is a dessert lover’s dream: It’s a banana pudding packed with peanuts, chocolate chips, wafers, chocolate ganache, and salted caramel.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

West Philly
Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice is a water ice so good you’ll want to enjoy it not just in the summertime, but all year round. In 1995, Siddiq Moore transformed a classic Philadelphia dessert by infusing water ice with 100% real fruit. Since then, customers have come to Siddiq’s for creative flavors like white grape, cantaloupe, and mango berry. In addition to his lineup of popular water ice flavors, Siddiq’s offers amped-up funnel cakes, like the apple cinnamon funnel cake, and cereal-flavored ice creams and milkshakes, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Pebbles.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

West Philly 
Vegan cuisine is not about restriction—it’s about abundance and demonstrating just how bountiful plant-based cooking can be, and Veganish expresses that perfectly. Its team are experts in transforming mushrooms into hearty sandwiches, creating satiating salads with fresh fruits and vegetables, and turning cauliflower into the tastiest barbecue and buffalo bites. But don’t worry, meat eaters, it’s got you covered with pescatarian options, like its salmon burritos and, a fan favorite, the Creole shrimp burger.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub.

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Kae Lani Palmisano is an Emmy award-winning television host and a food and travel writer exploring the journey that food takes to the plate. As an edu-tainer, she weaves her infinite curiosity and love of history and culture into every project she works on. When she’s not writing or filming, she’s creating quirky and eccentric outfits from thrift shop finds, developing recipes, and eating her way around the globe. You can follow her antics at @KaeLaniSays.