Where the Black Folks Are: Women In Your Favorite Cities Break Down The Hotspots You're Missing
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Have you ever traveled, and said to yourself, “Okay, so where are all my people at?”
Well, wonder no longer.
We’ve connected with Black women in some of your favorite cities that are in the know, to ask them for the lowdown on what’s happenings in their backyards right now. From brunch spots to museums to bars, you’ll always be in good company when you travel to these local-approved locations.
“Detroit is the epicenter of everything. We drive everything -- literally. From cars to music to culture. We’re going through a really dope renaissance where people are finally recognizing the gem of Detroit. It’s becoming ‘that thing.’ We’re recognizing the jewels and the gems that we have in the city. More people are taking stock in being from Detroit - we have Detroit Vegan Soul, where you can get vegan soul food, and other things where people have always felt like you need to go to New York or Chicago.” —Juanita Davis, 36, Communications Professional
You can go here to wind down and chill. After work, you might want a small bite, where you can have cocktails and conversation and a great vibe, and this is the answer to that.
This is a lowkey spot, where you go for the ambiance and the music. You feel like you’re going back in time, where they’re playing vinyl music. It’s a real basement vibe.
I do taste the love in these cupcakes. This is my sweet fix.
Everybody wants to be vegan. And what I love about this place is that they don’t omit the soul, in soul food even though they’re vegan.
People think you can only eat sweet potatoes during the holidays. The cool thing is you can soup, sandwiches, pie and more. It’s also a meet-up, that has a good vibe. They’ll host hair pop up shops, and seminars every month.
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“Atlanta is a city where African Americans can go and never feel left out of anything. It’s a place where you are celebrated, where you are always welcome, and where you can go and thrive on anything that you do. It feels like family.” -- Jennifer Ogunsola, 33, Writer
This is a place that hosts some of the hottest events that are perfectly curated for young black professionals. For instance, they just had a Black Panther party, the day after the film came out, where black people were able to dress up and celebrate their blackness.
This is a really cool brunch spot where you hear live music. People dance, they eat, and they just come out to have a good time. It’s a really cool atmosphere, and the food is a fusion of Jamaican and American.
This is a perfect area in Atlanta where all black people can go. It spans blocks and it’s filled with restaurants, shopping, record stores, etc. You have black hippies, professionals, artsy people, etc. Black people that have an assortment of interests can find everything that they love here.
This is an intimate club that gives you live bands and live music - everything from jazz, to hip hop, to soul, to open mic nights. It’s a cool spot to go if you’re into live music, poetry or looking for a dope spot to take a date. Each day is something different, whether poetry, music, soul food, or DJs spinning.
This is a bar where you get small plates and cocktails. It’s an industrial space, that turns into a dance club at night. It’s in Edgewood, which is important because it’s an area that is really a cool nightlife space for black people. You walk out the door and you are guaranteed to walk outside to find something that interests in on Edgewood Avenue.
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"New Orleans because it’s like a big small city. It feels like Cheers - where you go, you’ll run into someone you know. And that’s what I love about it. There’s always something to do. I love live music, so you get the traditional form of entertainment, mixed with modern." --Aaliyah Shareef, 33, Hotel Marketing & PR Manager
On Wednesdays, they have an open mic. You never know who will show up, so you’ll get a lot of underground artists. Solange might even show up. It feels quaint - not too big, not to small, and it’s always a good time.
At this spot, they have games and hookah. The vibe is modern contemporary - it’s class mixed with traditional New Orleans black culture.
When I want a rooftop type vibe, I go to NOPSI because it overlooks the city. Different promoters will have different events up there from time to time. During ESSENCE or any festivals, it’s a good time to go up there because you never know who you’ll see.
On Friday night, they have a partially outdoor area, with DJ Rockaway, one of my favorite DJs out here. If you ever hear that he’s at a party, you know it’s going to be a good party. The outdoor space area makes it so that people can enjoy the weather, and the indoor space gives you a club vibe, so you’ll have both all in one.
That’s where you’ll catch a lot of live music of artists who perform worldwide, and they’ll come to this one spot to have their event. It’s usually jumping on a Saturday. This kind of feels like a concert but has a lounge vibe.
If you like Reggae go here on Thursday nights. They have a deck on the top floor, that overlooks Frenchman street, which is the local's version of Bourbon. It’s a little more sophisticated but will give you the Bourbon feel. You don’t have to dress up, it’s very laid back in here.
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"With sunny, 60-degree weather year-round and that quintessential, carefree California vibe, San Francisco is an amazing place to live and work. With so many companies based here, the city is filled with lots of young professionals and great for meeting new people. Plus, with its champion sports teams, restaurant scene, and easy access to both Napa and Oakland—there’s always something fun and exciting to get into." --Whitley Donsereaux, 29, Marketing Manager
Brenda’s is hands down the best brunch spot in the city, and it’s apparent because there’s always a 20+ minute wait. The savory crawfish-filled beignets and fried chicken eggs benedicts with grits are crowd faves.
This lively rooftop bar is in the heart of The Mission and offers stunning city views and is the perfect place to share a pitcher of margaritas with your girls. It’s perfect day or night.
There’s no party in the city quite like this one. Set inside the 111 Minna Gallery, TrapxArt hosts Black artists from The Bay and beyond to showcase their paintings, jewelry and clothing designs. Each event is also dedicated to a certain music artist, with past nights featuring everyone from Solange to the Migos.
San Francisco’s weather is gorgeous year-round, which makes is it the perfect place to venture outdoors. Take in stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge while hiking the 3-mile cliffside path or tour the Sutro Baths along the beach at Land’s End.
With its stage and seating surrounded by a forest of towering sequoia trees, this free summer concert series is the ultimate California vibe. Grab a blanket and your favorite picnic bites, and take in performances by artists like Janelle Monae and The O’Jays.
"I’ve lived all up and down the East Coast and what I like about Chicago is that it is a great blend of city and suburb. It is one of the, if not the most active city in the Midwest as far as nightlife, restaurants, activities, and events that are always ongoing. It’s a lot more communal and family oriented, and people here have a bigger emphasis on staying close to their family. And the great thing is, Chicago surprisingly doesn’t stop because of the snow, so anytime is a great time to visit the city. But if you can come to Chi-town in like June or July, you’ll really enjoy it because of the street festivals, nightlife events, etc." --Amanda Spann, 31, App Founder
It’s both a restaurant and an events venue. Great for Afro-centric and hip-hop concerts, musical and comedy performances and parties. It’s also in proximity to the shops and restaurants of Hyde Park’s Harpers Square, making it a black Chicago staple.
These two are the go-to Friday after work spot for the young, black, Chicago professional. Anticipate cheap strong drinks, good music, and for everyone and their mama to be there.
This is a Tiki Bar, and it’s great for a casual date over drinks.
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"I’m a native Houstonian and I hated Houston and I absolutely love the city now. It’s one of the most diverse places you can find in the U.S. I love that there is always something going on for any different type of audience- family, young adults, singles. Outside of the hot summers, it’s really a great place. I encourage everyone to come at least once in their life." -- Jade Waddy, 31, Senior Media Relations Rep.
They have a really poppin’ brunch party on Sundays and they also have different special nights throughout the week. They have a black female chef who does it. It’s a good vibe, and when the weather is nice it’s great to be on the patio. It’s really chill and gives you the Southern hospitality that you hear about.
They have a really cool hip hop and R&B nights on Thursdays. It’s really chill - there’s no strict dress code, so you can come pretty casual. This is great if you’re looking for a house party environment.
Grande at Lucille’s
On 3rd Thursdays of the month, this party takes me back to college. It’s like Grits and Biscuits but on a smaller scale and not as sweaty. Southern music and hip-hop music plays, and they’ve had a live drummer.
They’re famous for their chicken and waffles, and they’ve been around for years. If you go Saturday or Sunday, you can wait up to two hours in line, but it’s so good and worth the wait. And the people that work there are just so genuinely nice and welcoming. It’s a must stop if you visit Houston.
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"I adore the DMV area. I’ve been in the DC area for 12 years now, and even with gentrification happening I still feel like this is the perfect city for millennials, especially millennials of colors and young professionals of color. It’s regarded as a very political town, but it still has a work hard, play hard vibe to it. Especially spring and summer in DC, which is the most lit. We have a rooftop, patio game that can’t be matched anywhere else because we have beautiful views and it just makes you feel so good. That’s why I feel like DC is so lit." --Simona Noce, 28, Event Planner
Marvin Mondays are what we like to call “Black night.” It feels good, it gives you very “I’m in the city, but still in someone’s backyard vibes.”
I love it because it’s black-owned and it gives me back what U Street used to be 7 years ago. U Street that used to be very Chocolate City no longer exists so it’s great to see all these black restaurants and bars popping up again. It’s owned by a Morehouse alum, and during happy hour they feature really food and cocktails - chicken wings and mumbo sauce (a DC staple). It’s the type of place you go with your friends for a good drink, and good eats and bites. It gives you total black high, black magic feel which is perfect after Wakanda.
It is actually connected to Hotel Monaco and it’s almost like an Alice in Wonderland. It’s an outdoor bar and has total good vibes.
It’s a quaint place on U Street where you can go for brunch and happy hour.
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"Brooklyn is hot because every day there is a new spot popping up. There’s always a new bar, restaurant or lounge that’s opening up that’s it’s so hard to keep up with! It’s exciting! The thing about it is that it’s self-sufficient - you can go and never leave the borough because you can hop around and go to a bunch of different things in each neighborhood. Every day you can literally find something to do." --C. Devone, 32, DJ
This has been a go-to spot, where any day of the week people can go there and have a glass of wine and just chill.
They have a lot of music, some art and they have a cocktail list. They’re very new and it just opened.
If you’re looking for a sexy rooftop where you can go on a date. They have a 360- view of Brooklyn and it’s really cute.
A good Saturday night spot. It’s a good bar scene and a mix of people.
A Brooklyn hotspot, “First Saturdays" at the Brooklyn Museum attract thousands of visitors who come for a free night out, to see the gallery exhibits, hear speakers and live music, watch free films.
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