Celebrate and Support Salt Lake’s Black Community

Salt Lake City has long been known as “the Crossroads of the West”—a place where people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and abilities can come together in one beautiful location.

The first Black settlers arrived on pioneer wagons all the way back in 1847; many of those early arrivals ended up working on the railroads. Today, nearly half of Utah’s Black community is based in and around Salt Lake, and the city continues to diversify.  

There are plenty of ways to connect with this small but mighty community, whether you want to dig into some soul food or settle in for a show written by a Black playwright. Check out some of our favorite Black-owned and Black-focused venues across the city.

Food & Drink

The city’s Black-owned restaurants showcase globe-spanning flavors, including Oromian Restaurant (Ethiopian), Diversion A Social Eatery (American), Horn of Africa Bistro (East African), Yoko Ramen (Japanese), and Jamaica’s Kitchen food truck (Jamaican). Need to satisfy a sweet tooth? Dominique Wilson’s pickup-only menu at Pies The Limit changes monthly—giving you ample reasons to make a return visit.


Mama Africa (Cathy Tshilombo-Lokemba) sells her African hot sauce—Mama Africa’s Pili-Pili hot sauce—at just one Salt Lake City store. Snag it at Caputo’s Market & Deli.

 

If you feel the need to burn calories while eating (yes, it’s possible), join Maurice “Moe” Egan on one of his guided food walking tours around downtown. You’ll learn a bit about the city’s history and architecture along the way.

Culture & Entertainment

Plan-B Theatre is focused on what it calls “socially conscious theatre” and supporting local playwrights; it’s the first professional arts organization in Utah to have a majority-POC board and to be led by an artist of color. The institution has committed to growing the POC community of playwrights through its Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop. Find the current season lineup here.


Michaëlle Martial, known as the Caribbean Nightingale, is a Haitian-born poet and spoken word artist. She hosts Relaxation Through Verse, Utah’s first poetry salon. (She’s also the chef behind the catering company Le Rossignol Caribbean Café.)

 

The Utah Black History Museum is an educational institution on wheels that spotlights important figures and Black life in the West; email to set up a visit.

#BUYBLACK

Support the Black community by supporting its entrepreneurs. The Utah Black Chamber and Living Color Utah both publish lists of Black-owned businesses, from boutiques to barbers.


You can also explore on your own. For an ever-changing experience, check out Strength In Shades’ pop-up events, which feature products from BIPOC- and women-owned businesses. Sisters Angelique and Jasmine Gordon run A ’La Mode, a women’s clothing boutique that also offers virtual styling.

Celebrate

In February, check out what the Utah Film Center is screening in honor of Black History Month.


Juneteenth became an officially recognized holiday in Salt Lake City in 2021. Visitors can expect concerts, festivals, film screenings, and unity events to mark the day each year.   


The Utah Black Business Expo is another great way to connect with Black business owners, sample delicious food, and partake in creative workshops.