There’s never been a better time to download EatOkra.

By Tim Nelson
June 04, 2020
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The current moment has focused renewed and rightful attention on American policing and its relationship with systemic racism. In addition to fundraising for local community efforts in cities like Minneapolis and Louisville, there’s been a renewed focus on how people can spend their money more mindfully and support black-owned businesses. 

And at a time when pretty much every restaurant has struggled to stay afloat, there’s been a particular focus on supporting local, black-owned restaurants as well. Social media is full of lists highlighting black-owned restaurants in various communities. But it’s perhaps worth specifically highlighting an app called EatOkra, which should-be a go-to resource for finding a black-owned restaurant near you. 

Founded in 2016 by New York-based couple Anthony and Janique Edwards, the app helps its users find black-owned restaurants in more than 30 cities from coast to coast. As the app’s founders tell it, EatOkra isn’t just a Yelp-style directory for a specific restaurant niche, but a way to support and uplift through the shared and communal experience of dining. 

“Nothing embodies this idea of community more than the act of feeding someone or coming together to eat or be fed,” EatOkra’s “about” page reads. “More than anything, our mission is to provide a food-themed directory that encourages a fellowship through one specific avenue, black food.” 

With restaurants grouped by city, EatOkra lets users filter their selections by what they’re in the mood for, covering cuisines ranging from African and Caribbean restaurants to soul food and even vegetarian/vegan options. Similar to other platforms, each restaurant listing includes photos, contact info, location details, ratings, and reviews. 

At a time of such invigorated interest in specifically patronizing black-owned restaurants, hopefully EatOkra and other similar tech tools can become an invaluable way for people to better align their money with their ethics. If you happen to know of or operate a black-owned restaurant that you think should be listed on EatOkra, you can make a submission here.