Black-Owned Businesses to Discover in Chicago

Semicolon is a Black-owned bookstore in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Semicolon
Semicolon is a Black-owned bookstore in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Semicolon

In celebration of Black History Month, we've rounded up some Black-owned businesses in Chicago, including restaurants, shops, and boutiques. We’ve also included some information on local culture and history museums in Chicago to explore. With a city so rich in Black history, this list is just a sampling of the many great businesses throughout the city. 

And to celebrate Black History Month at home, check out this list of 30+ children's books.

Black-Owned Restaurants in Chicago

Batter and Berries 

Batter and Berries is the place for French toast. In fact, they actually have a French toast flight that’s perfect for sampling a little of everything. There’s Oreo French toast, sprinkled French toast, carrot cake French toast, and more for your little sweet tooth lovers. There are also amazing omelets, breakfast sandwiches, waffles, and rib-eye steak available. If you’d rather take your meal to go for little ones, there are convenient delivery and pick-up options available as well. 

 
Try this James Beard Award nominated bakery in Chicago. Photo courtesy of the Brown Sugar Bakery

Brown Sugar Bakery 

Brown Sugar Bakery specializes in sweet treats and custom cakes. This 2019 James Beard Award nominee has two locations on 75th Street and Navy Pier (walk-up only). If you love caramel, their infamous caramel layer cake is a must-try. You can also place special orders online for delivery or local pick-up. 

Chicago French Press

Chicago French Press offers flavorful and locally roasted brews for a much-needed pick-me-up. They specialize in custom roasts for any way you brew coffee at home. From the Keurig to a pour-over, you can choose your roast, how you make your coffee, and more. It doesn’t get much more parent-approved than locally roasted coffee. 

 
I'll take dat donut and dat donut and dat donut....Photo courtesy of Dat Donut.

Dat Donut 

Dat Donut on Cottage Grove is a fun spot to treat your kids (and yourself) to a delicious donut. These gems are hand-cut every day. You’ll find classic donut staples as well as fun kid-friendly donut varieties. You’ll also find breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, coffee, and tea. Stop by in person or call ahead for pick-up. 

 
Dine in or take out at Hecky's in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Hecky’s BBQ

Hecky’s BBQ 

Hecky’s BBQ is famous for its BBQ and its sauce. From the ribs to the sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, the whole family can find something on this menu to enjoy. Don’t forget peach cobbler for dessert. Dine at the restaurant in person, pick up an order to go, or order delivery online. 

Luella’s Southern Kitchen 

Luella’s Southern Kitchen has some amazing signature dishes that are worth a trip to Lincoln Square. This 2018 Michelin Bib Gourmand winner is open for dining in, take-out, and delivery. They are open for dinner during the week and dinner and brunch on weekends. 

 
Shawn Michelle's sells homemade ice cream in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream

Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream 

Shawn Michelle’s homemade ice cream is hand-churned and made fresh in-house daily. You’ll find this classic ice cream shop has classic flavors and some fun twists the kids will love. You can enjoy your ice cream while dining in, take it to-go, and even order a pint to take home. Vegan flavors are also available. 

Sweet Maple Café 

Sweet Maple Café is a Chicago icon. One look at their delicious breakfast menu and it’s easy to see why. There are plenty of kid-friendly breakfast options here. They are open daily serving breakfast all day, every day from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. 

 
Tesfa is a Black-owned restaurant in Chicago serving Ethiopian food. Photo courtesy of Tesfa Cuisine

Tesfa Cuisine

Tesfa Cuisine serves traditional Ethiopian food that is served family-style. This is a great spot to have your little ones sample some new flavors and try a little bit of everything their family-style meals have to offer. You can dine in the restaurant, order food for pick-up, as well as delivery. 

Black-Owned Stores and Boutiques in Chicago for Kids

 
Shop local for kid's toys and clothes at Kido. Photo courtesy of Kido

Kido 

Kido is an adorable kid's shop featuring toys, gifts, clothing, books, and activities. You can shop in-store at the Roosevelt Collection, online, or place an order online for in-store pick-up. This store has some really cool and unique toys and Chicago-themed items that make for great gifts. 

Mimi’s Tot Closet 

Mimi’s Tot Closet has tons of clothing and accessories for your little fashionista. Shop online or in-person at their Ashland Avenue location. You’ll find tops, bottoms, sets, jackets, dresses, and graphic t-shirts available in baby and girl’s sizes. 

Rep Chi 

Rep Chi has unique Chicago-themed gifts for adults, kids, babies, and the home. You’ll find Chicago onesies, pacifiers, holiday ornaments, puzzles, t-shirts, books, and more. Located in Jefferson Park, you can shop in-store, online, or place a pick-up order. 

 
Photo courtesy of Semicolon

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

Semicolon is a bookstore and gallery space with a mission to help the community. Semicolon’s Clear the Shelves initiative raises money to help literacy in CPS schools. Shop the kids’ section and get a few for yourself in person at the bookstore or online. You can also place orders online for pick-up. 

The Silver Room 

The Silver Room has been a Chicago staple in Hyde Park since 1997. You’ll find beautiful clothes, t-shirts, accessories, jewelry, and home goods for the entire family. Shop online or shop in-person at their Hyde Park location. 

Cultural Centers to Learn More About Black History Month

 
If you haven't been yet, use Black History Month as an opportunity to visit the DuSable Museum. Photo courtesy of DuSable Museum of African American History


DuSable Museum of African American History 

The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1961 as a dedication to the conservation and study of African American history, art, and culture. You can take a guided or self-guided tour of the museum.

 
Photo courtesy of the South Side Community Art Center
 

South Side Community Art Center

Founded in 1940, the South Side Community Art Center is the oldest African American art center in the United States. The South Side Community Art Center is also a Chicago Historic Landmark. Visit their current exhibits, take a tour, a class, or visit a virtual or in-person event. 


African American Cultural Center

The African American Cultural Center is located on the University of Illinois Chicago campus. You can see exhibits, performances, films, open-mic poetry, storytelling, workshops, and more. 

Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago Parks - various times Pick
Free Days at the DuSable Museum of African American History
The DuSable Museum of African American Art - 10:00 AM
Sentrock: The Boy Who Wanted to Fly
Elmhurst Art Museum - 11:00 AM
UniverSoul Circus
Washington Park - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides