14 Black-owned Businesses to Visit in New Orleans — From Jazz Clubs to Creole Restaurants

They're some of the best spots in the Big Easy.

Buildings along Chartres Street in New Orleans on a sunny blue sky day
Photo: Maxine Weiss/Getty Images

Beyond the raucous joy of Bourbon Street, New Orleans offers vibrant and distinct culture that travelers come from all over the world to experience. This Gulf Coast port city is the birthplace of jazz and an ethnic melting pot. And the city's motto, "laissez les bons temps rouler," is French for "let the good times roll." From the rich cuisine to the Mardi Gras parades, the city relishes decadence.

Much of what is most beloved about New Orleans derives from the Black, Caribbean, African, and African American roots of the city, from the second line parades with soulful brass bands to the savory gumbo NOLA is known for. Even as gentrification and climate change disproportionately stress Black neighborhoods in New Orleans, Black businesses continue to thrive. On your next trip to the Crescent City, show some love to the communities who keep NOLA funky and flavorful by supporting these Black-owned businesses.

Discover Creole Cuisine

Exterior of Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans
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For some fine dining in the Warehouse District, visit Vyonne's for a weeknight dinner or Sunday brunch. It offers a seasonal menu inspired by owner Vyonne's AfroCreole heritage. Stop by for a happy hour cocktail in the courtyard before sitting down to dinner. Morrow's, located in the Marigny, serves classic New Orleans staples and authentic Korean dishes to locals and celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Dooky Chase has been considered an institution in the Treme community since 1941. Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have eaten at Dooky Chase, a go-to for traditional favorites like red beans and rice or shrimp Creole.

Shop on Bayou Road

A small stretch of Bayou Road, New Orleans' oldest street, is home to a variety of Black-owned businesses and restaurants. There's the Community Book Center, offering every genre of books by Black authors and literature about Black culture for readers of all ages. Across the street, you'll find the King and Queen Emporium International selling handmade soaps, candles, and body butters that make excellent gifts. Pick up a post-shopping snack like jerk chicken at Coco Hut Caribbean, and grab some bread pudding for dessert from Cupcake Fairies.

Sip Craft Cocktails

Mixology is a New Orleans art form, and Victory serves up impressive cocktails. Try classic New Orleans cocktails like the Sazerac, or experiment with Victory's specialty drinks, which use house-made syrups and fresh ingredients. Check out the back room, Secreto, with gorgeous, Instagrammable, Middle Eastern-inspired décor.

Catch Some Live Music

Kermit's Treme Mother in Law Lounge has been a hangout for local musicians and NOLA residents since the '90s. The self-proclaimed "shrine to New Orleans music" is owned by Kermit Ruffins, the local legendary trumpet player, who you'll also find on the grill serving up barbecue. It's open seven days a week with live music daily from some of the city's best artists.

Learn About the Free People of Color

Exterior of Le Musee de FPC in New Orleans
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Le Musée de f.p.c. is the only museum in the United States dedicated to preserving the history of free people of color. Free people of color, often abbreviated f.p.c., was the term used to refer to Black people who were born free or manumitted prior to the Civil War. Take a walk back in time through artwork and artifacts commemorating the thriving communities of free Black artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, and journalists in New Orleans.

Get Caffeinated

Backatown Coffee Parlour is named for its location; It's in a neighborhood formerly known as Backatown, the Black "vice" district of the jazz era. The cafe is part of a revitalization of the historic Basin Street where Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong used to play. Sit outside and tuck into a piece of crawfish quiche or a sweet potato scone with your cafe au lait.

Inside Baldwin and Co in New Orleans, a selection of book and coffee shop
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La Vie en Rose, a Creole coffee shop in the Lower Garden District, calls itself "a personal love letter" to the city of New Orleans. The baristas craft their syrups from 300-year-old family recipes and work exclusively with local bakers and coffee makers. Over in the Marigny, Baldwin & Co is a cafe and bookstore with delectable coffee and tea concoctions. It is named after prolific writer James Baldwin, and the specialty drinks are named after foundational books by African American authors. Sip on the "If Beale Street Could Talk," an espresso drink with cinnamon and cayenne, while you browse the book selection and in-store library.

Find a Unique Keepsake

Apartment 4 Lifestyle is a Black woman-owned boutique specializing in handmade, fair-trade, or vintage goods. Located in the heart of Treme, you can find textiles sourced from female artisans, one-of-a-kind furniture, jewelry, and other gifts for yourself or loved ones at home.

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