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Facebook Group ‘518 Foodies’ Identifies Local Black- and Minority-Owned Restaurants to Support Right Now

A post to the group on June 1 drew hundreds of comments and Capital Region restaurant recommendations.

Kizzy Williams-Francisco (at right), owner and chef at Allie B's Cozy Kitchen in Albany, with Natasha Pernicka, executive director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District. (Allie B's Cozy Kitchen/Facebook)

Following the death of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25, supporters of a number of social justice groups, including the Black Lives Matter movement, have taken to social media to share information, resources and awareness about the state of racism and injustice in America. (It even compelled former president Barack Obama to take part a Zoom town hall on June 3.) One small piece of that effort has been a call to support black- and minority-owned businesses in towns and cities across the country—and it turns out that there are quite a few right here in the Capital Region.

So, how will you know where to place your next takeout order? In a June 1 post to the Facebook group 518 Foodies, a page where locals can post restaurant reviews and photos of their dinner or look for restaurant recommendations, a Facebook user wrote: “I’d like to support some black-owned businesses in the 518. Where do I start? Thanks!” More than 600 likes and 450 comments later, group members cobbled together a pretty comprehensive list of restaurants, from Albany to Saratoga Springs.

Below is a list of the Facebook group members’ recommendations. (Some may still be temporarily closed due to COVID-19.)

This list of minority-owned restaurants in the Capital Region has been shared widely on Facebook following the 518 Foodies post.

Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen
Albany
Southern/soul food

Alotta Empanada
Rotterdam
Empanadas

Artis Southern Cuisine & Steakhouse
Schenectady
Southern/steakhouse

Caribbean First Choice
Troy
Caribbean

D&M Jerk Center
Albany
Caribbean/Jamaican

Great Exbaketations By Chey
Albany
Bakery

Hamlet & Ghost
Saratoga
New American/Craft cocktails

Hot Spot Jamaican American Cuisine
Albany
Jamaican

Hott Stuff N Butta
Albany
Seafood and more

Irie Vybez
Albany
Caribbean

Juice Factory VII
Troy
Juice, smoothies and more

Juices Forever
Albany
Juice bar

Kenneth’s Taste Bud
Albany
Caribbean

Keobi Restaurant
Albany
African/Caribbean

Kitchen 216
Albany
Modern soul food

Natty’s Caribbean Cuisine & Pizzeria
Albany
Caribbean, pizza, chicken wings, fries and fish & chips

Roy’s Caribbean Restaurant and Sports Bar
Albany and Schenectady
Jamaican cuisine

Spill’n the Beans Coffeehouse & Bistro
Troy
Coffee shop/cafe

Stickies
Albany
Chicken wings/soul food

Troy Kitchen
Troy
Food court/lounge/bar/entertainment venue

Umana Restaurant & Wine Bar
Albany
Comfort food from around the world

VibeZ Bar & Lounge
Schenectady
Specializing in Caribbean

Ya Ya’s House Southern Cuisine
Schenectady
Southern/soul/comfort food

Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is the managing editor at saratoga living.

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