Black-Owned Shops, Restaurants, Day Spas & More Boom In Philadelphia

African American culture runs deep among Philadelphia’s historic sites, artistic havens, cultural attractions — and in the region’s many Black-owned shops, restaurants, galleries and bars. Among Philly’s thriving brick-and-mortar businesses are: groundbreaking Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, bespoke suit shop Damari Savile from Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, music icons-themed Akwaaba Inn, beauty and wellness shops Marsh + Mane and Freedom Apothecary and a Center City boutique representing the revived American Hats factory.

The below list features standout Black-owned businesses in Philadelphia and the Countryside®:

Bookstores:

  • Black and Nobel Hakim Hopkins, owner. More than a bookstore, this cultural center offers also offers DVDs and an array of health and wellness products in a creative atmosphere with original art and live music. Delivery on electric bikes make this spot extra convenient. 410 South Street, (215) 965-1559, blackandnobel.com
  • Hakim’s Bookstore & Gift Shop Yvonne Blake, owner. One of the country’s oldest Black-owned bookstores resides at the same West Philly address where Dawud Hakim founded it 60 years ago. Historic, activist, welcoming, old-school and family-friendly, the shop belongs to Hakim’s daughter now. 210 S. 52nd Street, (215) 474-9495, hakimsbookstore.com
  • Harriett’s – Jeannine A. Cook, owner. Fishtown got this welcoming, women-centric, art- and activism-forward, frankincense-scented, named-for-Harriet Tubman bookstore in February 2020. On its shelves: Toni Morrison’s complete collection, works by Zora Neale Hurston, children’s books and more books that Cook herself loves to read. Girard Avenue & Marlborough Street, (267) 241-2617, harriettsbookshop.com
  • Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books – Marc Lamont Hill, owner. The columnist and Temple prof’s Germantown hangout is a bookstore that curates its books and living room vibe for communities that typically go underserved. The spot takes its name from Lamont Hill’s favorite uncle, who nurtured his love of reading. 5445 Germantown Avenue, (215) 403-7058, unclebobbies.com

Boutiques & Shops:

  • Amazulu Collections Charita Powell, owner. Seven days a week for more than 30 years, this Reading Terminal Market stall has represented international artists and lived the motto, “where cultures meet.” For sale: folk dolls, original paintings, body care, cultural clothing — including Urban Karma, Powell’s vibrant clothing collection — and sterling silver jewelry of her own design, made by Indonesian artisans. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 627-8667, @amazulucollections
  • American Hats LLC – Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas and Robert J. Morgan III, owners. A retiree from Harlem (Morgan-Thomas) rescued one of the country’s oldest hat factories in the city’s Bridesburg section and now operates a small retail outlet for its wares — all manner of old-fashioned and avant-garde styles for proper churchgoers, dapper gents and statement makers — in the Fashion District. 901 Market Street, (267) 758-6940, americanhatsllc.com
  • Blue Sole Shoes – Steve Jamison, owner. An Italian footwear specialist established his sunny Rittenhouse boutique in 2007 to cater to high-end tastes in men’s shoes, socks, accessories — and customer service. Among the designers in stock: Harris, Magnanni, John Richmond, Jo Ghost and Tateossian. 1805 Chestnut Street, (215) 496-9244, bluesoleshoes.com
  • Charlie’s Jeans – Sebastian McCall, owner. Old City spot is known for its staff of fit experts. Slim, distressed, dark, flare, pencil, straight and bootcut styles are all on the menu, so is the store’s eponymous denim brand. 311 Market Street, (215) 923-9681, charliesjeans.net
  • Cultured Couture Vintage – Erik Honesty, This Brewerytown bastion of timeless style is best known for its stock of smart designer vintage menswear — Hermes scarves, ties, coats and shirts, Louis Vuitton and Gucci luggage, with select women’s pieces and Honesty’s own line of royalty-inspired, sui generis capes. The boutique also hosts art shows and panel discussions. 2639 W. Girard Avenue, culturedcouturegallery.com
  • Damari Savile – Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles safety Jenkins founded this men’s and women’s boutique on Jewelers’ Row in order to redefine modern custom suiting (priced from $999) with creativity, styling and precise tailoring — all while keeping culture at the forefront. Also in stock: custom bowties, neckties and pocket squares. 709 Walnut Street, (267) 218-5760, damarisavile.com
  • De’Village – Joycelyn and Watson Parks, owners. Natural stone and wooden jewelry, shea butter, natural soaps and body washes from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria are for sale at this Reading Terminal Market standout. 12th & Filbert Streets, (215) 923-9860, readingterminalmarket.org
  • Dolly’s Boutique & Consignment – Shani Newton, owner. Women’s clothing for all sizes (extra small through triple extra-large), ages and budgets has become a destination among the stylish set, thanks to its stock of silky tops, stylish separates, maxi dresses and on-point accessories. Dolly’s also has a satellite location in the Fashion District. 6778 Germantown Avenue, (215) 668-5221; 901 Market Street, dollys-boutique.com
  • Perfectly Flawless Boutique – Crystal Jackson, owner. A combination apparel and makeup studio, this Germantown shop deals in jumpsuits, rompers, bodysuits and going-out wear, offers onsite manicures and makeup by esthetician Sade Jennine — and is committed to promoting overall body positivity among women. 5312 Germantown Avenue, (267) 269-1986
  • Philadelphia Diamond Company – Ken and Nicole Black, owners. Custom engagement and wedding rings, one-of-a-kind pieces and gemologist-certified appraisals are the reason clients call ahead to book appointments to see this Old City jeweler. 421 Chestnut Street, (215) 607-6710, philadelphiadiamondco.com
  • The Sable Collective (TSC) – Shanti Mayers, Relocated from North Philly to the Fashion District, this inviting, women-centric shop specializes in holistic body care, new and used books, Ankara-print socks, eclectic housewares, affirmation flag pennants (“I Am Brave” and “I Am Magic”) and locally made jewelry and clothing. 1101 Market Street, thesablecollective.com
  • Snapdragon Flowers & Gifts – Tolani Lightfoot, owner. Eco-conscious Baltimore Avenue gem features a range of hard-to-find botanicals, candles and Insta-worthy arrangements for homes and events. Lightfoot and company are known for their terrariums and vertical gardens and have a way with succulents and herbs. 5015 Baltimore Avenue, (267) 209-6066, snapdragonphilly.com
  • Yowie – Shannon Maldonado, owner. At this minimalist gift shop along Queen Village’s Fabric Row, former fashion designer Maldonado assures each limited-edition Domenic Frunzi planter, Tortuga bookend or Cold Picnic bathmat feels like a work of art. Maldonado also served as the creative director and interior designer of The Deacon, a circa-1906, Watson & Huckel-designed church now enjoying a second life as a gathering space and boutique hotel in Graduate Hospital. 716 4th Street, shopyowie.com
  • Common Ground – Phillip Moore, owner. Midtown Village consigner offers exclusive sneakers and vintage pieces — Pharrell Williams Adidas, Air Jordans from overseas — and features rare, sold-out merch from prominent sportswear brands like Supreme and Bape. 134 S. 11th Street, commonground12.com

Spas/Beauty/Wellness:

  • 3rd Element Spa – Tomika Branch and Chyvonne Shackelford, owners. Proving sisters make the best small business partners, this nail specialist and esthetician established their full-service day spa in their West Oak Lane neighborhood. Popular here: Oxygen facials, gel manicures, detox pedicures, plush waxing, lash and brow enhancements, massages and 3rd Element lip balm and body butter and wash. 7175 Ogontz Avenue, (215) 276-2633, @3rdelementspa
  • Duafe Holistic Hair Care – Syreeta Scott, owner. Stylist to Jill Scott, Ava DuVernay, Questlove and Janet Jackson holds court in North Philly, pioneering natural styles — locs, braids, two-strand twists, hair color, more — that definitely require advanced booking. 3129 N. 22nd Street, (267) 297-7636, duafehairsalon.com
  • Freedom Apothecary Morrisa Jenkins and Bonkosi Alyssa Horn, owners. Northern Liberties self-care shop and event space stocks holistic skincare and wellness products: CBD oil, books and divination Also on offer: facials, workshops and a blend bar of botanical extracts, oils and salts to make masks, oils, scrubs and bath salts. 736 N. 2nd Street, @freedom.apothecary
  • HolNest – Shannan Reese, owner. Co-op of licensed bodywork therapists offers holistic relaxation and rejuvenation within a private Center City fitness center. Services — Swedish, deep tissue, sports and hot stone massages, aromatherapy — are reasonably priced and available by appointment only. 1835 Market Street, 2nd Floor, (215) 668-5403, facebook.com/holnest.coop
  • Marsh + Mane – Jenea Robinson, owner. Society Hill boutique of natural products for Black hair and skin has a vibe and name inspired by the Carolina wetlands around Robinson’s grandparents’ homes. The store stocks from makers Zuresh, Bask & Bloom, Anita Grant, Angie Watts, Scotch Porter, more, plus candles, hair accessories, brushes and shower caps. 529 S. 4th Street, marshandmane.com
  • Ursula’s About Phace Rittenhouse Studio – Ursula Augustine, owner. By-appointment-only spot belongs to an industry vet whose 25-plus years in the business include stints with Bobbi Brown, François Nars and Aveda. Devoted clients swear by her award-winning (from Allure, Philadelphia magazine) brow sculpting, micro-blading, lash lifts, derma-planing — but especially her signature URS cosmetics line for note-perfect makeup 1700 Sansom Street, Suite 201, (215) 557-1562, aboutphace201.com

Cafes/Hangouts:

  • Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse – Ariell R. Johnson, owner. On Frankford Avenue, the East Coast’s first African American woman-owned comics shop stocks Marvel, DC, big-time and self-published books for grown-ups, kids and everyone in-between — and serves coffee drinks and locally made pastries, including comic-book-hero-themed cupcakes. 2578 Frankford Avenue, (215) 427-3300, @amalgamphilly
  • Atomic City Comics Darryl Jones, owner. Classic comic book store known for dollar comics, manga, back issues, horror, sci-fi and old-school arcade games such as Street Fighter has been a South Street mainstay since 2001. 638 South Street, (215) 625-9613, @atomiccitycomics
  • Bower Cafe – Thane Wright, owner. Colorful Washington Square West spot adds an element to the coffee-pastry-sandwich trifecta: house-cured meats, served on toasts or by the pound. Wright, a pro coffee consultant, also participates in Quaker City Coffee’s reentry by hiring employees who have been incarcerated. 263 S. 10th Street, bower-cafe.com
  • Franny Lou’s Porch – Blew Kind, owner. Cozy, plant-filled Kensington cafe names its espresso drinks after notable radicals, including Sojourner Truth, Angela Davis and Gil Scott Heron. Teas, smoothies, panini sandwiches, biscuits and muffins come with a side of activism, community gatherings and creative spaces — making the spot both a literal and a figurative source of community sustenance. 2400 Coral Street, (267) 596-6274, frannylousporch.org
  • Stripp’d Juice Khoran Horn, owner. Locally sourced, non-GMO ingredients combine for organic, fresh-pressed juices and acai bowls at this Old City spot. There’s also a brioche breakfast egg sandwich and chipotle guac toast. 263 N. 3rd Street (267) 550-7877, strippdjuice.com

Bakeries:

  • Denise’s Bakery – Denise Gause, owner. After a fire closed her 25-year-old North Philly homage to sugar, eggs and flour, Gause did what any strong baker would do: Rebuilt it. Today, lines once again form out the door and the phone rings off the hook for pound cake, pies, brownies, donuts, cookies and wedding cakes. 2916 N. 22nd Street, (215) 225-5425, cakesbydenises.com
  • Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen – Robin Broughton-Smith, owner. She’s gone from Jay-Z’s accountant to the creator of cookies, cakes, baked donuts, cupcakes and all manner of seasonal specialties in the Art Museum neighborhood. The shop also offers classes and private parties. 547 N. 20th Street, (267) 318-7143, sweetnectardk.com

Restaurants & Bars:

  • 48th Street Grille – Carl Lewis, Sr., owner. Beloved West Philly destination serves soul, Caribbean and American cuisines with a soulful, Cajun twist at low prices. On the menu: healthy portions of their signature Island Wings, New Orleans-style blackened salmon and Rasta Pasta. 310 S. 48th Street, (267) 244-4764, 48thstreetgrille.com
  • Aksum Cafe – John Neufvilles, owner. Mediterranean, Afro-centric bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) on Baltimore Avenue serves great vegetable tajines, Lebanese lemon chicken and shrimp, Greek lamb chops and weekend brunches of sweet corn griddlecakes, Turkish scrambled eggs, shakshuka and Monte Cristo sandwiches. 4630 Baltimore Avenue, (267) 275-8195, aksumcafe.com
  • Baby Buns – Sylva Senat and Uri Pierre-Noel, owners. International sliders (including of the Impossible burger variety) and fries star on the menu of one of The Bourse’s popular food hall operations, run by a Haiti-born chef (Senat) and art and design tech entrepreneur (Pierre-Noel). 111 S. Independence Mall East, (609) 200-2301, baby-buns.business.site
  • Barkley’s BBQ Tank and Nicole Barkley, owners. Heaping platters of soul food and barbecue — hickory-smoked, sauce-slathered ribs; apple-studded yams; five-cheese mac; garlicky collards; grandma’s recipe potato salad; fried fresh fish; green beans and, on occasion, pig’s trotters — draw a crowd. 2017 N. 29th Street, (215) 763-7427, @tankbarkleysbbq
  • Booker’s Restaurant and Bar – Saba Tedla, owner. Named after Booker Wright, a server who risked and later lost his life for voicing what it was like to be a Black waiter in the 1960s in an all-white restaurant in Mississippi, this West Philly destination draws families and more with Southern-inspired cuisine, weekend brunch, live jazz on Wednesday evenings — and a cool bar scene. 5021 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 883-0960, bookersrestaurantandbar.com
  • Butter’s Soul Food Kevin Bell, owner. Charming Brewerytown soul food eatery got took its name because their food is so good, it melts in your mouth. Fried wings and sides sell out fast; home-baked cakes and pies come directly from Bell’s mother’s oven. 2730 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 235-4724, buttersoulfood.com
  • Cloud Cups – Sierra Georgia and Galen Thomas, owners. A pair of entrepreneurs ­— she’s a graduate of Bologna Italy’s Carpigiani Gelato University; he’s a whiz with CBD infusions — teamed up to serve dairy or vegan, CBD-infused (or not) gelato in flavors that include white coffee, passion fruit, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and brown sugar Pop Tart. They’re now the dessert portion of Fishtown’s Pizza Brain. 2311 Frankford Avenue, thecloudcupscompany.com
  • Country Cookin’ Restaurant & Catering – Saudia “Saud” Shuler, owner. With an Instagram following bigger than her North Philly restaurant — almost 300,000 — Shuler draws customers from far and wide for jerk chicken, Buffalo shrimp, mac and cheese, fried fish, banana pudding, oxtail — and lots of personality. 2836 N. 22nd Street, (267) 625-3664, @countrycookin1
  • Green Soul, Relish, South Kitchen & Jazz Bar and Warmdaddy’s – Robert and Benjamin Bynum, owners. Two prolific brothers own five popular spots:
    • Green Soul For healthful, soulful comfort food, veggie burgers and all, on North Broad. 1410 Mt. Vernon Street. (215) 660-9600, greensoulliving.com
    • Relish – West Oak Lane’s favorite for modern Southern cuisine, live jazz Thursday through Saturday and a 40-foot weekend brunch buffet. 7152 Ogontz Avenue, (215) 276-0170, relishphiladelphia.com
    • SOUTH – North of City Hall, this spare, chic venue dishes up Lowcountry fare (wood-grilled oysters, fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, buttermilk fried chicken), old-fashioned hospitality, live jazz six nights a week and a 50-bottle bourbon and whiskey 600 N. Broad Street, (215) 600-0220, southrestaurant.net
    • Warmdaddy’s – The spot for soul, R & B, blues & contemporary Jazz — Urban Guerilla Orchestra, Jeff Bradshaw, Zeek, Point Blank or Amazin Grace Little — and the food to go with it: a massive menu of barbecue short ribs, skillet mac and cheese, gumbo Ya Ya and more. 1400 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 462-2000, warmdaddys.com
  • iMunch Café Roger Powe, owner. Chef Nicquan Church has created the good-for-you, halal menu at this popular morning-through-afternoon Brewerytown spot. On offer: stuffed omelets, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, salmon patties, chicken panini, fruit smoothies, big salads and more. 1233 N. 31st Street, (215) 236-8624, imunchcafe.com
  • Keven Parker Soul Food Café, Ms. Tootsie’s – Owner, Keven Parker. Restaurateur does double duty when it comes to soulful cuisine.
    • Keven Parker Soul Food Café – Fried chicken, mac and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, Southern-fried chicken wings, smothered turkey wings — great soul food — comes from this simmering stall in the Reading Terminal Market. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 625-0650, kevenparker.net
    • Tootsie’s – Sit-down restaurant and lounge, serves all of the above, plus cocktails, in a refined setting a few blocks South. 1312 South Street, (215) 731-9045, kevenparker.net
  • New Barber’s Hall Restaurant & Lounge Jake Adams, owner. In a 19th-century cycling clubhouse and 20th-century music hotspot where John Coltrane, Grover Washington, Jr. and The Temptations performed, this bar and event space serves lunch, dinner and drink specials daily. It’s a Cecil B. Moore landmark. 1402 W. Oxford Street, (215) 763-0369, barbershallphilly.com
  • Reggae Reggae Vibes – Denice Moore, owner. Northern Liberties find serves Jamaican and American fusion in the form of flaky chicken patties, homebrewed ginger beer and even a jerk chicken cheesesteak. 517 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 457-2970, reggaereggaevibes.com
  • Tasties –Barbara Dewan, chef and owner. Long known for casual, takeout soul food, Dewan has leveled up with a stylish setting for down-home wings, candied yams and 7Up cake and custom cocktails. 1214 N. 52nd Street, (215) 447-0281
  • W/N W/N Coffee Bar – Nikisha Bailey and Matthew Nam, owners. Coffee, cocktails and locally sourced comfort food highlight this popular coffee bar and creative collaborative space in Callowhill. 931 Spring Garden Street, winwincoffeebar.com

Inn:

  • Akwaaba Philadelphia –Monique Greenwood, owner. Prominent innkeeper turned a lovely 1879 mansion in West Philly’s charming Powelton Village into an intimate, elegant bed-and-breakfast. Each of the six suites is inspired by Philly musicians: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Jill Scott, Patti La Belle, The Roots, Teddy Pendergrass and Musiq 3709 Baring Street, (866) 466-3855, akwaaba.com

Art Galleries:

  • October Gallery – Mercer Redcross, owner. “African American art is good for everyone” is the motto of this longstanding repository of mostly contemporary Black art. This elder statesman of creativity has shared its mission from its Germantown flagships through kiosks and shows across town, long before pop-ups were cool. 6353 Greene Street, (215) 352-3114, octobergallery.com
  • Rush Arts Philly (RAP) – Danny Simmons, owner. The elder brother of the Reverend Run and Russell Simmons established an outpost of his famed Brooklyn art gallery and community space in the Logan neighborhood at the very top of Broad Street. RAP opened in 2016 with the exhibition Power, Protest, and Resistance: The Art of Revolution and continues to organize exhibitions and programs that give opportunities to artists, students, curators and the community. 4954 Old York Road, rushphilanthropic.org

Just Outside the City:

  • Girls’ Auto Clinic Repair Center – Patrice Banks, owner. Engineer turned mechanic (and author of Girls Auto Clinic Glovebox Guide) has established the city’s first and only women-run garage and has debuted Clutch Beauty Bar, featuring stations for nail 7425 W. Chester Pike, Upper Darby, (484) 461-4693, girlsautoclinic.com
  • Moody Jones Gallery – Adrian Moody and Robyn Jones, owners. Rich collections of paintings and sculpture by new and established artists draw observers and collectors to this boutique gallery in suburbs just north of city limits. 107 S. Easton Road, Glenside, (215) 582-4496, themoodyjonesgallery.com
  • Rose Petals Cafe & Lounge – Jania and Desmin Daniels, owners. Rose petals- and whipped cream-topped strawberry waffles? Yes, please, in this cozy refuge, serving breakfast and lunch six days a week. Rose Petals also offers a child-centered entertainment room, brunch, tropical smoothies and more. 8120 Old York Road, Elkins Park, (215) 690-4706, rosepetalscafe.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Related Post

Leave a Reply