Home Feature Black Owned Restaurants in Montclair: Food Good for the Soul

Black Owned Restaurants in Montclair: Food Good for the Soul

by Dani Mazariegos

The town of Montclair is a ‘foodie’ town. With so many restaurant options, it can be hard to pick which ones you spend an evening eating in. While deciding, maybe consider eating at one of Montclair’s Black-owned establishments.

1. Cafe Mobay

A Caribbean Cafe and restaurant that serves “authentic and contemporary” Jamaican cuisine. Immediately once entering, you are greeted by music. When I arrived, the song “She’s Still Loving Me” by Morgan Heritage, a Jamaican reggae band formed in 1994, was playing through the speakers. The colorful orange walls in the dining room gave the space a cozy feel. As I spoke to executive chef and owner Patrick Smith, a picture of Bob Marley hung above his head watching over us.

Patrick Smith Executive Chef and owner of Cafe Mobay.

Patrick Smith Executive Chef and owner of Cafe Mobay.

“This is one of the best Caribbean spots in New Jersey,” Smith said.

Some of their more popular dishes include curry goat stew, codfish fritters, cafe jerk chicken, island jerk pork and braised oxtails, which among customers is highly rated.

Cafe Mobay is located at 1039 Broad St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003.

2. Sweet T’s Southern Eatery

Soul food, with a twist. “Healthy and Authentic Soulfood.” One of the owners of Sweet T’s Southern Eatery, Dre Perrin, grew up on the taste of soul food but desired a healthier version. Along with co-owner Tonza Houston and chef Carlos Swepson, they brought their take on Soul food to Bloomfield Avenue, as well as to their other location in Teaneck.

The dining room is slightly more sophisticated than the Student Center dining hall, however, the staff is more than welcoming to anyone looking for good soul food.

“The food is great as it really reminds me of my family’s soul food, which I love,” Kyle Goldware, a senior journalism student at Montclair State University said.

“It’s always great to find a place outside of your family’s home, where you can eat a meal that reminds you of home, and tastes just like what you’re used to,” Goldware said.

Goldware shared that the cornbread is a must when ordering at Sweet T’s.

You can visit Sweet T’s Southern Eatery at 387 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042.

3. Cornbread

Cornbread is a chain restaurant focusing on authentic soul food. And yes, they specialize in cornbread.

The place is set up Chipotle-style, so for people in a rush and looking for a quick bite of soul, Cornbread is the place.

You can choose between fried chicken, classic baked (includes BBQ pork ribs, baked chicken, or turkey wings) or dried fish meal. Then, choose your sides with options like baked mac & cheese, collard greens, yams, potato salad, white rice with gravy, black-eyed peas, yellow rice and cabbage. To wash everything down, you can order one of their homemade signature drinks.

Dwayne Francis, General Manager at Cornbread Montclair. Dani Mazariegos | The Montclarion

Dwayne Francis, General Manager at Cornbread Montclair. Dani Mazariegos | The Montclarion

The menu items are sourced from local farms and businesses and are free of hormones and steroids. Not only is this a Black-owned business, but a Black women-owned business. The founders are Adenah Bayoh and Elzadie “Zadie” Smith.

Their locations include Brooklyn, NY, Maplewood, NJ, Newark, NJ, and of course Montclair, NJ.

You can find them on the corner of 372 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07024.

4. Montclair Diner

Finally, the Montclair Diner, open since 1923 in Upper Montclair, is currently owned by Eliot R Mosby, who acquired the spot in 2019. A popular spot for Montclair State students and known for the traditional diner classics, this is a staple spot if you are ever craving breakfast foods.

Some popular dishes include yummy french toast, the crab cake benedict and chicken and waffles,

It is located on 613 Valley Road Montclair, NJ 07043.

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