Putting a spotlight on Tallahassee’s black-owned restaurants

by Tallahassee Table
Discover an intriguing selection of dishes from a growing number of venues

Black History Month is a good time to celebrate the achievements of our own local, black-owned restaurateurs, chefs, bakers, food truck owners and caterers. Lots of places prepare soul food from generations-old family recipes for dishes like oxtails, fried chicken or turkey legs. Many offer Caribbean fare or barbecue. Others create desserts and sophisticated global flavors. There are many milestones as well.

The Capital City celebrates the presence of JoEllen’s, the first black-owned restaurant in downtown Tallahassee.

Chef Leon C. Brunson was one of 10 chefs competing in the TV show, “Secret Chef” and he will soon be opening Leon’s at Lake Ella, his new cafe and event space on a full time basis (he’s been doing delicious pop-ups). (Photo / Leon C. Brunson)

Pineappetit owner Sam Burgess started out with an island-theme food truck and he now operates a restaurant and he’s the author of a cookbook. We now have a boutique and restaurant inspired by African cuisine called Halisi Africa in Railroad Square.

Rosa Levitt is a Tallahassee treasure. After her mother, Ruby passed away, Rosa took over her business — Ruby’s Bakery, Homemade Canning & Catering. You can buy her homemade meals (she also takes orders), pies, jams and jellies, salads and local produce such as fresh collards and mustard greens. She’s a treasure. (Photo / Tallahassee Table)

Shacafrica Simmons or Chef Shac, caterer and restaurateur, was the Food Network’s “Chopped” champion. (Photo / Chef Shac)

And Olean McCaskill’s restaurant, Olean’s, is still a dining institution in Tallahassee, visited by President Joe Biden and other dignitaries over the years.

I’d like to share this list of black-owned restaurants, with a big help from readers who made suggestions. If you think of some others, please email [email protected] or comment here. We’ll keep updating our list.

Sade Charleston of Above Board Catering and Sunday brunch at 926. (Photo / Sade)
Agapé’s Lemonade mobile beverage truck with flavored lemonades. (Photo / Tallahassee Table)
Auntie’s Kitchen & Catering restaurant serving soul food dishes including oxtails. (Photo / Auntie’s Kitchen)
Barb’s Southern Style Gourmet Brittles and homemade ice cream at Lake Ella. (Photo / Tallahassee Democrat)
Barnhart Farms from farmer Erik Barnhart, who grows vegetables and fruits, like these strawberries. (Photo / Barnhart Farms )
Big Easy Snowballs (Photo / Big Easy Snowballs)
Blackberry Mimosa
Blow’s Buss Down food truck from David Blow.
Alexis Conner of Boards by Alexis (Photo / Alexis)
Shishandra Devlin of Bougie With A Board (Photo / Shishandra)
Bourne Brilliant create handcrafted plant-based sweet and savory food & drinks. (Photo / Bourne Brilliant)
Cheesecakes by Sylvia (Photo / Sylvia R. Williams)
The Chocolate Dandies specializing in chocolate desserts. (Photo / Chocolate Dandies)
City Dogs Cafe on Railroad Avenue. (Photo / City Dog Cafe)
Conch King mobile food truck (Photo / Conch King)
Conchman Conway mobile food truck (Photo / Conchman Conway)
Crabs on the Run (Photo / Crabs on the Run)
Decadent Delights
(Photo / Decadent Delights)
Earley’s Kitchen in the Capitol building. The Monroe Street site is being renovated. / Photo Earley’s)
E&J 5 Buck BBQ
Fe-Nominal Cooking Experience, LLC (Photo / Fe-Nominal Cooking Experience)

G & G Caribbean Restaurant (Photo / Tallahassee Table)
Granny’s Fried Chicken food truck serves fried food including chicken, pork and shrimp plus desserts such as sweet potato pie and red velvet cake. (Photo / Grannny’s)
Gurlie’s Lemonade and Sweets, a catering food truck, known for its fried Oreos. (Photo / Gurlie’s)
Halisi Africa cafe presents African-inspired cuisine in a boutique in Railroad Square (Photo credit / Halisi)
Hemplade Vegan Cafe (Photo / Hemplade)
IrieIce850 (Photo / IrieIce)
JoEllen’s restaurant in downtown Tallahassee is owned by chef Joe and wife Teresa Nix. (Photo / JoEllen’s)
JMO’s SneauxBall Catering Co. (Photo / JMO’s)
Juice Bar Miami, a smoothie and juice bar in Railroad Square (Photo / Juice Bar Miami)
Keshia’s Kitchen food stand with pick up and delivery.
King’s Drive-Thru BBQ food truck from Mike King; on Thomasville Road in Midtown. (Photo / Tallahassee Table)
Leola’s Crab Shack known for its garlicky crab recipe. (Photo / Tallahassee Democrat)
Leon’s at Lake Ella
(Photo / Leon C. Brunson)
Ma’s Diner serving breakfast and lunch. (Photo / Tallahassee Table)
Nera Nera’s catering and food truck (Photo / Nera Nera’s)
Oh’ Lemonade on Adams Street (Photo by Tallahassee Table)
Olean’s Cafe soul food restaurant (Photos of Oleans / Tallahassee Democrat)
Pineappetit restaurant (Photo / Sam Burgess)
Q-Ti Cakes designer cake boutique (Photo / Q-Ti)
Right on ‘Que food stand, truck and catering (Photo Right on ‘Que)
Rocky Soil Family Farm with co-owner Kiona Wagner. (Photo / Tallahassee Table)
Ruby’s Bakery, Homemade Canning & Catering shop with Southern-style specials. (Photo / Tallahassee Table)
Ryder’s Water Ice from J’von Jennings (Photo / J’von)
Smackin’ Good Wings (Photo / Smackin’ Good Wings)
Smokin Lo’s BBQ food truck (Photo / Smokin Lo’s)
Smoothie Time serving smoothies and sandwiches, with delivery. (Photo / Smoothie Time)
Sunday Soul Food Pop Up specializing in barbecue plates. (Photo / Sunday Soul Food)
Sweet Boozy Cakes Bakery and Cafe in the former Crum Box Gastgarden in Railroad Square (Photo / Sweet Boozy Cakes
Tally Kombucha featuring a range of kombucha beverages. (Photo / Tally Kombucha)
Tastee Turkey Leg specializing in its smothered turkey leg and soul food. (Photo / Tastee Leg)
Tasty K’s Eatery and Catery known for its soul food. (Photo / Tasty K’s)
TC Bakery serving baked goods available at many venues. (Photo / TC Bakery)
V Treats prepares vegan baked goods for catering or at food stands. (Photo / V Treats)
509 Caribbean Cuisine restaurant serving lunch and dinner. (Photo / 509)
The Pudding Junkie providing pudding creations to different venues, including G&G Caribbean and items pictured here at Fresh 4 Less. (Photo / The Pudding Junkie)

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