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Black-owned eateries and shops across Berkeley must be experienced by Berkeley locals and visitors alike.
Berkeley is known for being a progressive, diverse, and inclusive destination, which is emphasized in the culmination of culture and diversity showcased in our many BIPOC-owned businesses around Berkeley. These one-of-a-kind shops offer a peek into the communities, diasporas and culture, all in Berkeley. All year round, not just during Black History Month, make sure to support and shop the unique Black-owned businesses. Here are just a few to start!
The Alchemy Collective Cafe, a Black worker-owned coffee collective, is located at 1741 Alcatraz Ave, near South Berkeley. The collective sells their sustainably sourced, freshly roasted coffee beans, with intriguing names such as Espresso - Synthesis, or Decaf - Devotion. In addition to takeout and delivery options from their location, Alchemy Collective Cafe is offering a monthly subscription to get a bag of Alchemy-roasted coffee delivered to your door.
Lemat Ethiopian Restaurant and Café, an authentic Ethiopian restaurant at 3212 Adeline St, is located in the Lorin district. Offering vegetarian, vegan, and meat dishes served family style, Lemat brings a friendly, authentic experience to you, topped off with their gluten free sourdough flatbread: Injera. Additionally, Lemat serves their customers with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, as coffee is deeply rooted in Ethiopian history.
KC’s BBQ has been serving Berkeley and the Bay Area for over 50 years, located at 1235 San Pablo Ave, in the West Berkeley International Marketplace district. The family-owned business dishes all the best southern comfort through their authentic artisan barbecue cuisine. On top of offering all combinations of the best ribs, brisket, chicken and more that you can find, KC’s offers catering of their best meats, sides, and combos. For your next big bash, consider bringing some of that southern comfort right to you.
CupCakin’ Bake Shop has two locations in Berkeley, the original at 2391 Telegraph Ave, in the Telegraph Avenue District and the newly-opened store at Virginia and Shattuck Ave. in the North Shattuck District (the former Virginia Bakery location). These bake shops offers high quality cupcakes, baked daily from scratch. Every day, unique, delicious flavors are sold, offering everything from Vegan Black Forest to Funfetti. Their Cupcakin’ cares campaign sends donations to a new organization every week, announced on their Instagram page weekly.
Cali Alley, the sister company of California Rose Catering, is a pop up that is 100% outside, making it accessible as ever during these uncertain times. Located at 1012 Grayson St in West Berkeley, the eatery offers unique comfort food, unlike what you’ve seen before. Ranging from ribs to grilled chicken rice bowls, the small gem hidden in an alley brings you comfort foodthat’s truly one of a kind.
Bringing together spices of the Indian and Asian diaspora, Rasa Caffe provides unique, award winning tea and coffee that is truly a one of a kind in California. Located at 3140 Martin Luther King Jr Way, in the Lorin District, the small cafe provides a cozy atmosphere, topped off with house-blended chai spices and tea that you won’t forget.
Located at 3115 Shattuck Ave, in the heart of Downtown Berkeley, Bleu Honey was created by two Bay Area-based estheticians and aims to provide industry standard beauty services in a safe, diverse environment. From waxing to tanning to sugaring, the niche salon brings a premiere experience, using natural and organic ingredients wherever possible.
Revolution Books, run and operated collectively by multiple nationalities and genders, maintains a focus on furthering the narrative of Black history and power in literature. The store is at 2444 Durant Ave, near Downtown Berkeley. The bookstore is packed with history, science, art, philosophy; the perfect place for discovery, engagement, and of course, revolutionary ideas.
Located at 1955 Ashby Ave in South Berkeley, Lola's African Apparel is a shop that sells authentic African clothing, made in Nigeria; sewn by local seamstresses and tailors. The owner, Lola travels to Nigeria twice a year to hand select the fabrics used. Those vibrant patterns used appear on clothing for men, women, children, and recently have included masks as well. The shop not only portrays high quality, beautiful clothing, but a taste of the African diaspora.
Farmacy Berkeley is a newly opened cannabis dispensary providing sustainably produced cannabis products. Located at 3243 Sacramento St in South Berkeley, the dispensary offers curbside pickup and free delivery for customers (over 21), displaying their commitment to quality and thoughtful curation.
Spiral Gardens, a nonprofit urban garden center, is located at 2850 Sacramento St, in Southwest Berkeley. Their Community Food Security Project provides several programs including a community farm, in which harvests are given to volunteers, as well as those who need it around Berkeley. Their nursery is open to the public, specializing in herbs and plants for a myriad of uses. Their mission stays strong, as they also advocate for better food policy and health education in Berkeley.