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A Guide to Durham's Black-Owned Businesses

Durham's wealth of Black-owned restaurants, shops, galleries, venues, inns and more make it possible to plan a trip to our city and support Black entrepreneurs throughout your stay.

Black Wall Street was a hub of Black-owned businesses in the early 1900s and
Durhamites are reclaiming history with present-day ventures. With 200 Black-owned businesses in Durham, it’s possible to seamlessly plan a fun and authentic 48-hour trip focused on supporting Black excellence. Plan your trip based on our guide to things to do, places to eat and drink, and where to stay while you're here, all supporting Black-owned restaurants, shops, inns and more. For a more comprehensive list of businesses, refer to our directory of Black-owned businesses.

Black-Owned Restaurants in Durham

Breakfast, Brunch and Cafés

Start your stay with some delectable chicken and waffles at the always-bustling Dame's Chicken and Waffles in the Central Park District. Missy Lane’s Assembly Room is a coffee shop by day and a new home for live jazz and other performances by night. For a Creole-inspired breakfast experience, head to Nzinga’s Kitchen in Hayti. Your mouth will water over its Creole shrimp & grits, croissants and Po’ Boys.

A hot plate of chicken and waffles fresh from the kitchen adorn a plate at Dame's Chicken and Waffles in Durham, NC.

A spread at Dame's Chicken and Waffles. Photo: Discover Durham

Lunch Spots

Head over to the Rockwood neighborhood where you’ll find the freshest fish you’ve ever tasted at Saltbox Seafood Joint. Say hi to Chef Ricky Moore, 2022 James Beard winner for Best Chef in the Southeast, and save room for dessert from Black-owned Durham bakery Chez Moi, known for their Brown Sugar Vanilla Rum Cake.

If seafood isn’t your thing, you’ll love Boricua Soul’s take on Puerto Rican food with a Southern twist at the American Tobacco Campus. The historic and nationally acclaimed Chicken Hut has served and supported the Durham community with their famously crisp fried chicken and soul food for over 60 years.

Check out East Durham’s South Driver Street, where you can enjoy juicy pulled pork or brisket and sides at the award-winning Mike D’s BBQ and make sure and stop at Proximity Brewing Company down the block for a beer.

A man serves two beers across a bar to two customers whose backs are to the camera.

Mike Potter serves beer at Proximity Brewing Company. Photo: Yuri Vaysgant Photography

Dinner, Drinks, Sweets and Snacks

Dinner at Lula & Sadie’s in the Lakewood neighborhood is a journey through Chef Harry Monds’ grandmothers’ Southern soul food recipes. Score a seat on the rooftop for a fun evening. Goorsha serves authentic Ethiopian food in the Brightleaf District. Take a group and order a combo platter or two for a festive evening. Ekhaya is a beautiful, intimate spot in American Tobacco Campus from chef and restauranteur couple Zweli and Leonardo Williams. Enjoy Bantu tapas and cocktails influenced by Zweli’s upbringing in Zimbabwe and East Africa.

Book a tasting at HERitage Wine, where founder Ashley Rawlinson has created an inclusive space for people of color to feel welcome in wine spaces. Boxyard RTP’s Meat & Graze is perfect for snacking. If you’ve saved room for dessert, try ooey gooey cookies from Ashleigh Bakes Daily or take home gourmet treats from East Durham Sweet Shoppe.

A woman looks excitedly at a meat dish in front of her at a table. The server describes it to her. She holds wine.

Dinner at Ekhaya. Photo: Walk West / Remedy / Chris Facey

Things to Do in Black-Owned Durham

Shopping and Souvenirs

Head downtown for a little shopping at Zen Succulent, a modern terrarium and plant business with cards and gifts, or at Exotique, a boutique filled with authentic, fair-trade artwork, textiles and personal care items from the owners’ travels through Africa and beyond. Stand out with a handmade bow tie or necktie from Jada’s Men’s Accessories, located in the Lakewood District.

Head over to the Lakewood shopping center where you’ll find Bright Black., a studio and candle showroom celebrating Black greatness. For FOMO-worthy Bull City souvenirs, check out Bull City Apparel for limited-edition streetwear that will show your Durham pride.

Bright Black candles and minis, including the "Durham" scent.

Bright Black. Photo: Discover Durham

History and Art

Take in history and be entertained with Whistle Stop Tours, where Aya Shabu incorporates the African dance and performance she learned under Baba Chuck Davis into her historic walking tours of the historic Hayti and West End neighborhoods. Meet at the Hayti Heritage Center to begin a tour, and be sure to check out the Lyda Moore Merrick gallery inside. Ella West Gallery is dedicated to rewriting art history by showing art by underrepresented artists in its beautiful Parrish Street space.

Two women look at a photography exhibit.

Ella West Gallery. Photo: Morgan Crutchfield Photography / Ella West Gallery


Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast is among less than 2% of inns in the U.S. that are Black-owned. Monica and Daniel Edwards’ passion for Southern hospitality makes a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the century-old mansion that makes it feel like home.

Two women and a man toast with wine over a fire pit.

Morehead Manor Bed & Breakfast. Photo: Eric Waters

Now that you've heard the highlights, it's time to hit the town! Use our map to navigate the spots in this guide.

More Ways to Experience Durham's Black Community and Culture