London is full of Black-owned restaurants with menus that span the African diaspora—you just need to know where to look.
Much like the African Diaspora itself, London is full of Black-owned restaurants, each celebrating their own identity, many with menus paying homage to various heritages and stories and all with a connection to something deeper than food. There’s always a story being told, and there are many reasons to eat your way through this city, from Nigerian-inspired tapas to African American soul food. These are the 12 best Black-owned restaurants in London.
What began as a pop-up restaurant experience has planted roots in Tottenham. Chuku’s is London’s only Nigerian tapas restaurant where diners can pull up a seat at the long communal tables to chop (a West African word for eating), chat, and chill. Dishes here range from plant-based options like the Moi Moi (a savory, steamed bean pudding made with red peppers and onions) to meat-only plates like Suya meatballs (grilled meatballs coated in suya spice, which is a blend of peanuts, ginger, and chilies).
WHERE: Elephant and Castle
Ethiopian food is already so easy to love, and at Beza, it’s done 100% vegan. Served in colorful, hand-woven baskets and with meals meant to be shared, Beza puts a vegan spin on Ethiopian classics like misir wot (red lentils cooked with red onion, garlic, and Ethiopian berbere spice). Of course, the best dishes here are served with a traditional flatbread called injera.
Eat of Eden
WHERE: Various Locations
Eat of Eden is a London legend. The 100% vegan eatery has been cooking up Caribbean-inspired dishes in the city for years. They put a meat-free twist (and an arguably better one) on famous dishes like Jamaica’s national dish, Ackee, and saltfish. At Eat of Eden, it’s Ackee, a fruit with a slightly nutty flavor and creamy, soft texture with sweet peppers.
INSIDER TIPOrder the Eden Platter to taste seven different menu options at once, and definitely order the macaroni pie.
Prince of Peckham
A South London staple, Prince of Peckham, is a homey pub with Caribbean bites, a cozy rooftop, and a karaoke room with regular events. It’s easy to feel the community-first atmosphere here, essential to owner Clement Ogbonnaya, who grew up in Peckham. Their menu offers everything from crispy okra to their signature jerk chicken served on a toasted brioche bun with coleslaw.
Saint Aymes Cafe
WHERE: Marble Arch
Often called “the prettiest cafe in London,” Saint Aymes is a floral and pastel-themed bakery, cafe, and tea house with some delicious bites. Pull up a seat when you’re in the mood for something sweet. Saint Aymes goes beyond chocolate selling with its luxurious offers and packaging. There’s 24-karat-gold smothered hot chocolate and weekend brunch too.
Drums and Flats
As its name suggests, at Drums and Flats, chicken is the specialty. Wings here are covered in homemade sauces like sweet sticky BBQ and garlic parmesan. Owners Khamisi and Daniel built the recipes based on their love for the food and culture they grew up in South London. The small restaurant concept used to pop up all over the city and was previously based at The Smuggler’s Tavern on Warren Street. They’ve since moved on to revisiting their pop-up roots, with plans for events across the city. Don’t dismay though, you can still purchase their iconic wings through delivery app Gorillas or purchase DIY kits and sauces through their website.
INSIDER TIPTo stay up to date on Drums and Flats upcoming pop-up events, follow them on Instagram @drumsandflats
WHERE: St. James's
A combination of West-African and global flavors, there’s a delicious reason Ikoyi is Michelin-starred. The restaurant prides itself on using seasonal ingredients that are slowly grown and sustainable, so the menu is constantly changing. Ikoyi’s menu is rooted in West African favorites like plantains and scotch bonnet peppers in various dishes—think smoked jollof rice and plantain smoked kelp with blueberry.
A cozy South London favorite, Zeret Kitchen is one of the best places in the city to get a taste of Ethiopian cuisine. The family-run restaurant has been buzzing since 2004 and serving beloved dishes in an airy, communal space. They also pride themselves on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients from Ethiopia. Opt for the Zeret Surprise for a culinary adventure with a mix of veggies, lentils, stews, and injera.
Critically acclaimed chef, James Cochran, brings a blend of his Saint Vincentian and Scottish culture to 12:51’s eclectic menu. The Islington restaurant’s tasting menu covers five courses and has veggie options and complete drink pairings. And on Sunday, their £25 roast menu puts a twist on the classic British meal with items like char-grilled cabbage and smoked bone marrow gravy.
WHERE: Various Locations
Realizing there was a real need for Senegalese food in London, founder and head chef Khadim Mbamb started Little Baobab—a pop-up dining series with authentic food and live music from the West African coastal country. It’s an intimate experience that gives a nod to traditional Senegalese communal eating practices and will have everyone dancing by the end of the meal. Order the thieboudienne, Senegal’s national dish with fish, rice, and stewed vegetables in a tomato sauce.
INSIDER TIPFollow Little Baobab on social media to stay up to date with their upcoming dining experiences or for a festival or event they’re popping up.
Head to Ayanna’s for Caribbean flavors with a subtle European twist. Located in the Poplar neighborhood, this fine-dining restaurant is apparent from the start with a black and white theme dotted with gold accents. Their menu is à la carte and serves elegance with its dishes, like boneless curry goat simmered in ginger, onion, thyme, and garnished with assorted colorful peppers and served over rice and peas.
WHERE: Various Locations
Though not quite as much of a sit-down restaurant as the others on this list, Dark Sugars is a can’t-miss cocoa house in London—especially if you’re visiting in the coldest months. Inspired by the rich chocolate-making industry in Ghana, Dark Sugars sells a wide range of chocolate, including edible pearls and their well-loved hot chocolate with fresh shavings on top.