Updated: Feb 28, 2022
New York City is home to a diverse range of Black-owned businesses, from fine dining destinations to novelty shops and fitness studios. While there are simply too many to list in full, here are 15 you can find and support throughout the city, including recommendations from our BHS Agents and staff members.
A Victorian-era inspired dining room, as well as a heated front terrace and backyard garden, serve as the setting for Le Privé’s French fare.
In addition to classic French dishes like steak tartare, bouillabaisse, and magret de canard, you can also find beignets on the menu, a nod to owner Sanjay Laforest’s Creole roots.
One of the newest restaurants in Sutton Place, Narcisse blends an elevated culinary experience with an emphasis on communal dining and old-world hospitality. Recommended by Dina Foster-Osbourne, the menu features American Nouveau and French-fusion cuisine served in a fashionable setting inspired by its location—the former home of the famed Ford modeling agency. Dishes like flea mignon au poivre and branzino with marinated provincial tomatoes are served in large, shareable portions to create a convivial ambiance.
Find yourself transported to a seaside seafood spot when you go to LoLo’s, inspired by the eateries husband-and-wife owners Raymond Mohan and Skai Young frequented while living in the British West Indies. Island flavors come alive in Harlem through LoLo’s Belizean conch fritters, seafood boils, crawfish, crab legs, and pineapple chutney salsa.
Inspired by pop culture, Mikey Likes It features locally sourced ingredients in its fun menu, which includes flavors like Pink Floyd, Brady Bunch, Foxy Brown, and Ice Ice Mikey. Founder Mikey Cole has even created custom flavors for the likes of Hillary Clinton and Jay-Z.
A one-stop-shop for all things self-care and for “your sacred space,” Rituals + Ceremony’s shelves are lined with candles, oils and soaps, incense, crystals, self-care books, and much more. The unique items are also available online, if you aren’t able to visit the Crown Heights shop.
Only locally sourced ingredients make their way into the Little Pie Company’s small-batch treats. Some of their fan-favorite pies include sour cream apple walnut pie, Mississippi mud pie, and of course, their classic apple pie. If you’re in search of other delectable desserts, the Hell’s Kitchen shop (which also lets you ship around the country through Goldbelly) also has cakes, sweet loaves, and cookies on hand.
More than just a hair salon, Vanity Hair Studio's mission is to encourage clients to maintain healthy hair through education. This practice extends beyond the salon, with discussions regarding wellness, diet, and stress levels incorporated into consultations and sessions. Popular for its private styling rooms and expert staff, the studio has become highly sought-after destination for natural hair care and styling, attracting clients from around the country. It was recommended by BHS Legal Assistant Wanda Stratton.
A school for self-defense with a holistic focus, MAUSA teaches both traditional and urban martial arts to adults and children. The center not only equips students with self-defense training, but also strategies to be successful in every area of their lives. Grand Master Bill McCloud, who began studying Shotokan karate in 1967, was the late actor Chadwick Boseman’s sensei, helping to prepare him for “Black Panther.”
Stacked Yoga founder Natalie Cosby opened her studio with the intention of welcoming practitioners of all body types and skill levels, from complete beginners to seasoned yogis.
The intimate studio is a judgment-free zone, where you’re encouraged to focus inward and build on your own skill.
“Yam is an ode to my late mother, upcycled materials, and new nostalgia,” Morgan Thomas says about her Astoria-based jewelry brand. Her thoughtful collection includes delicate upcycled pearl earrings, whimsical bead details, and recycled brass rings and bracelets, all of which are handmade to order.
More than just an independent bookstore, Sister’s Uptown is a cultural center for the exchange of ideas and information, where community programs, performances, and book events take place. The uptown establishment was founded by Janifer P. Wilson two decades ago to preserve and share the ideas and works of Black thinkers in a community where this kind of center has traditionally not existed.
Harlem and Midtown East
Recommended by BHS' Director of Digital Advertising Jennifer Dividisi, NiLu is a Black-owned lifestyle brand dedicated to elevating Black presence in fashion and media, as well as creating a welcoming retail experience that is appealing to diverse backgrounds and races. With a wide range of curated accessories that celebrate Black culture and identity, as well as books, home decor, and artisan goods, it is a must-visit for anyone looking for quality gifts.
You might not expect to find New York’s best rugelach in Harlem, made by a Black man from South Carolina, but that’s what you get at Lee Lee’s. Beloved not only in his neighborhood but by rugelach enthusiasts worldwide, Mr. Lee encountered the Jewish pastry for the first time in his early 20s.
He experimented with a recipe he found in a newspaper until he perfected it, and then he brought his rugelach to Harlem, where he’s been operating for over 50 years.
Lower East Side
Behind the unassuming facade of Scarr’s Pizza is a retro setting where quality ingredients come before all else. Owner Scarr Pimentel even mills his own grains for his popular pizza, which is so nutrient-dense that he claims even gluten-free eaters can enjoy it.
American steakhouse and Chinese restaurant come together under one roof at Brooklyn Chop House, a lower Manhattan establishment that serves classic dry-aged steaks and lobster alongside pastrami dumplings, filet-mignon beef and broccoli, and Peking duck.