Hello, all! My name is Mya McKeown, and I am a junior at Temple University. I am studying Communications and love to write as a freelancer. I grew up right outside of Philly and my whole family is from the city, so I know it well—but am always looking to explore.
Guest-written by Mya McKeown
Explore some of these diversity-owned businesses in Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer
Home of the French Toast Bites, along with the corresponding ale and coffee, Lokal Artisan Foods is owned and operated by entrepreneur Charisse McGill. They have locations around Philadelphia and hold pop-ups at different events. Enjoy their unique sweets at any time of day at their Spruce Street Harbor Park or Cherry Street Pier locations.
Photo Credit: Jungeun Park’s Instagram
For the 21+ crowd: try scheduling a class with Jungeun Park of Cocktail Culture Co. Each night they offer classes from 6pm to 8pm, and go over a variety of drinks and time periods. You can hang out with friends and learn some new party tricks!
Located near the Edgar Allen Poe Historical Site, this café serves French and Lebanese-inspired dishes. Sisters Nicole and Natalie Richan, along with Natalie’s husband, Gabi, run this restaurant that’s known for its rich ambiance and delectable brunch. Get there quickly because they are open at 8am and close at 4pm.
Photo Credit: Affinity Confections
Affinity Confections is a bakery that also provides classes. Take your friends for a night out and learn how to bake some delicious treats. Owned and operated by Joe Green, a Temple graduate and Philly native, creations are seasonal and inspired by growing up with his grandmother. Make a day out of it by taking your friends to one of their classes.
Heavily inspired by Colombian, Caribbean, and Cuban fare cuisines, you get to try a variety of foods and drinks at Tierra Colombiana. It is a community staple in North Philadelphia that has been around for 30 years and was started by Mercy Mosquera and her brother, Jorge, after they immigrated from Ecuador.
Located in Northern Liberties, One Shot Coffee & Café offers brunch and handcrafted beverages in a rustic setting. The location used to be an old hardware store and is now the home of One Shot. The owner, Melissa Baruno, created this hip atmosphere and even has a library in the upper part of the restaurant!
Photo Credit: Neal Santos
Owned by renowned chef Marcie Turney and friend Valarie Safran, Barbuzzo offers fresh Mediterranean-inspired food, desserts, and drinks. Both women are also serial entrepreneurs and own several other local restaurants. Check out this location in Center City.
8. El Merkury
Photo Credit: Sofia Deleon’s Instagram
Owner Sofia Deleon started El Merkury to showcase the amazing taste of Central American street food. There are two locations in Philadelphia on Chestnut and Market streets. Their most popular item is their made-with-love churros. Come check it out with friends!
9. Cake Life
Founders (and best friends) Lily Fischer and Nima Etemadi appeared on, and won, Cupcake Wars three times before starting Cake Life. Cake Life is proudly trans-owned and woman-owned and located in Fishtown. They bake with love and offer trendy and creative cookies, cakes, and more.
Photo Credit: Uncle Bobbie’s Instagram
A slogan like “Cool people. Dope Books. Great Coffee.” really sums up the experience for prospective shoppers. Uncle Bobbie’s is a community staple that was started by Marc Lamont Hill to provide underserved communities with access to books. Now, it remains a staple within the community and has grown into a must-go for students in Philadelphia.
So, whether you just want to go for coffee and a pastry, a four-course meal, or happy hour, these restaurants have you covered. They provide food and ambiance to make a unique experience in each place. Check it out with your friends after going to a free event from Campus Philly!