February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate Black history and culture. In honour of BHM, why not support a local Black business and indulge in some of the best restaurants in Canada. Maybe you’ll try a different cuisine for the first time, or find a regular jaunt to frequent on the weekends!
Vancouver, British Columbia
For good vibes and delicious jerk plates, check out Calabash Bistro in Gastown. Not only do they serve tasty Caribbean food plus amazing cocktails, Calabash also hosts dance parties and special events that will have you grooving the night away with fantastic local musicians and DJs.
Gojo Little Ethiopia
Ethiopian cuisine is growing in popularity every day. At Gojo Little Ethiopia, you can enjoy classic injera (the big spongy pancake that acts as both a staple carb and serving platter) with savoury veggie and meat stewed toppings. These impressive dishes are perfect for sharing with friends. The more the merrier!
Juke Fried Chicken
For a little Southern hospitality in Chinatown, Juke Fried Chicken is the place to go. Juke’s serves juicy fried chicken, sticky BBQ ribs, and massive sandwiches. Don’t forget the hot sauce! Juke’s has a line of hot sauce collabs, as well as a bottle of signature BBQ sauce, that you can buy and bring home.
Leela’s Roti and Doubles
A popular spot in Mississauga that expanded to Scarborough (and later Scotiabank Arena under the Wicked Carib), Leela’s Roti and Doubles sells doubles, with popular options like jerk chicken, and lesser-known fish options. They also offer “bake and shark,” the Trinidadian national dish, that is made with haddock instead of shark.
Beach Hill Smokehouse
Offering mouth-watering platters of brisket, ribs, wings, pulled pork, and more, the Texas BBQ-style Beach Hill Smokehouse is the go-to spot for some serious carnivorous activity. The sides (smoky beans and warm cornbread) and dessert options (banana pudding and peach cobbler) are nothing to sneeze at either.
For a taste of Haiti, Boukan offers “exotic French Creole cuisine” in the east end. At brunch, enjoy omelettes, chicken and waffles, and beignets. Boukan’s fritays are glorious — heaps of fried dumplings, plantains, and a choice of meats. Watch out for the spicy pikliz (coleslaw with Scotch bonnet) on the side!
Going from a Caribbean food manufacturer and supplier to takeout restaurant with two locations, Lloydie’s has been a West Indies staple in Montreal since 1987. Order jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, poutines, macaroni pie, coco cake, and sorrel from the cute vintage counters. They also offer frozen patties to bring home.
Enjoy fusion fare at Resto Palme. Sweet potatoes, griot, plantains, shrimp, pikliz, calamari, and more are served with a Creole twist. For the adventurous and hungry, they offer two-person combos that include a bit of almost everything. Try the riz djon djon, a Haitian mushroom rice, and order a drink special on Wednesdays.
Fine African dining awaits you at Le Virunga where head chef Maria-José de Frias and her daughter Zoya fuse cuisines and flavours from across the sub-Saharan continent. Perfectly seared fillets, colourful stews, and wines sourced from Africa are all part of the menu. Expect a unique experience behind Le Virunga’s big yellow door.
Rose Ho | Contributing Writer