Destination, The Americas

How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Los Angeles, California

By Shontel Horne


Los Angeles, California is home to nearly four million black residents, but unlike cities like New York or Atlanta, finding black-owned businesses to support can pose a challenge for both locals and visitors. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles and the California African American Museum are two of the most recognizable institutions in the region, but this guide will tell you where to eat and what to see if you want to support lesser-known black entrepreneurs and organizations during your visit to the “City of Angels.”


Start the day with a juice at Green Grotto Juice Bar.


Singer-turner-CEO Kieran Roberts is creating a healthy lifestyle/juice empire with his shop in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.



Shop for books at Eso Won Books


Eso Won Books is one of the most celebrated black book retailers in the country. Here you’ll get hard-to-find titles and check the website for upcoming author events.


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Drop into an open class at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.


Award-winning actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen opens the doors to her famous studio dancers of all skill levels. If you’re lucky, Allen herself might pop in to show you a thing or two.



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Try the “Soul Food Lunch” special at Dulan’s on Crenshaw.


When anyone in Los Angeles wants authentic soul food, they head to Dulan’s for short ribs, fried chicken, candied yams and oxtails over rice.



Learn about L.A.’s little-known heroes at The African American Firefighter Museum.


For two decades the museum has helped raise awareness about the contributions of black firefighters which dates back to 1892.


Try progressive American cuisine at Native Restaurant in Santa Monia.


A Top Chef alum and one of the most popular chefs in Los Angeles, Nyesha Arrington serves up ambitious, chef-driven fare that reflects her multicultural, California roots.


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Visit the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum.


Spend a day browsing a collection of more than two million rare African American books, films, documents, photographs, artifacts, and works of art related to the black experience.




See a show produced by The Robey Theatre Company.


For more than two decades L.A.’s premier company for black theatre has produced award-winning plays like Yohen starring Danny Glover and The River Niger starring Margaret Avery.



Eat with your hands in Little Ethiopia.


There’s a good chance you’ll run into celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson at a nearby table if you dine at Messob. Just don’t forget to try a glass of Ethiopian honey wine.


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End your day with dessert at My Two Cents.


The entire menu at My Two Cents, which has everything from oxtail tacos to gluten-free mac & cheese, is delicious, but the tarts, cobblers and sweet potato cake desserts will leave you wanting more.


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Shontel Horne

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