A supporter of the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce for four years, United Airlines recently strengthened its commitment with a feature on its app promoting the organization’s fifth annual Buy Black campaign, which highlights Black-owned businesses, from restaurants to shops to theaters. Here’s a quartet of can’t-miss spots in the Bayou City.
Alfreda’s Soul Food
For more than 50 years, Alfreda’s has been an anchor of Houston’s Third Ward, serving a menu of soul-food classics: smothered oxtails, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and more. While the cuisine remains dependably delicious, the decor has been updated recently to reflect the neighborhood’s history, with a 150-foot-by-8-foot mural that depicts notable Black figures from the sciences, the arts, and public service. The restaurant also provides employment and coaching to people who are transitioning from homelessness and imprisonment, says co-owner Troy Williams: “It’s Alfreda’s mission to move beyond great food and service into the community, to do good deeds.”
B’s Wine Bar
Bonita Billings swapped a career in the legal field for her dream of opening a wine bar in the Houston suburb of Missouri City. Working with a sommelier, she has assembled a stellar selection of labels, from Cakebread to Caymus, which pair with a variety of charcuterie boards and other menu items. (Don’t miss the crab cakes.) For an extra-lively night out, be sure to stop by when there’s live music or karaoke.
The Breakfast Klub
Lauded by Esquire, The Breakfast Klub attracts everyone from politicos and CEOs to families and students. Beyond the award-winning food—such as the restaurant’s signature Katfish & Grits and Wings & Waffle—the crowds line up to experience a sense of community: “Family-run businesses tend to have a greater sense of accountability,” says The Breakfast Klub’s Christian Jordan, who adds that the model produces stronger relationships with customers while also training the next generation—“building Wakanda,” Jordan says, “one grit at a time.”
Camellia Alise Studios
Fans around the country are devoted to Camellia Alise’s beauty and skincare products—all of which contain the brand’s proprietary camellia oil—but Houstonians are fortunate to have the company’s only spa, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Treatments range from halotherapy-salt-sauna sessions and 24-karat-gold facials to a semipermanent ombré technique that imparts color into eyebrows. Plus, an on-site academy trains prospective professionals in Camellia Alise’s art of looking (and feeling) good.