As restaurants and coffee shops shut their dining rooms due to Montreal’s re-entry into the red zone, students are increasingly turning to take-out meals. Whether as a special treat or a weekly habit, students often find themselves in a take out rut, ordering from the same restaurants instead of taking advantage of the wide range of delectable food Montreal has to offer. Here is The McGill Tribune’s recommendations of Black-owned restaurants to support throughout the city.
Black Ninja Pizza
After serving as a chef in the Canadian military for 11 years, founder James St-Louis created Black Ninja Pizza to reconnect with the kitchen. St-Louis was inspired by his love for Italian food, Black culture, and martial arts. With the spunky cartoon inspired mascot, Black Ninja Pizza serves up a wide variety of unique pizzas. The menu offers creative twists on the classic pie, from the Black Summer in Mexico pizza, topped with jalapeno cheese, corn, coriander, and ground beef, to their dessert pizzas, featuring toppings that include chocolate to marshmallows. Black Ninja Pizza is available for delivery through UberEats or Doordash.
Cuisine Lakay Lola
Cuisine Lakay Lola was founded by Lola Geneste, a proud mother, sister, daughter, and friend with a mission to promote Haitian culture in Montreal. Lakay Lola serves a wide range of traditional Haitian dishes, including pikliz, the classic riz collé, and Geneste’s famous “red sauce.” For a uniquely sweet and creamy alcoholic beverage, try the kremas, made with coconut and rum. Greneste started her business by selling Haitian Fudge and continues to grow her restaurant despite the pandemic.
“The goal was to really offer these amazing, nostalgic goodies from Haiti, for the connaisseurs and those wanting to discover Haitian food,” Geneste wrote in an email to the Tribune.
In 2019, Geneste began offering cooking classes and has transitioned the classes onto Zoom since the onset of the pandemic. Not only a fun activity for students during quarantine, these classes can also expand students’ repertoire in the kitchen.
With a degree from the International Culinary Center in New York City and a passion for everything pastry, Zuleica Joao founded Liya Fe bakery in 2018. Liya Fe offers pastries that are made to deliver, allowing customers to personalize their orders with a wide range of sizes and flavours, including salted gianduja for macarons and chocolate pumpkin bars.
Every order placed is made fresh upon request and is delivered directly to customers’ doorsteps by the bakery. From holiday goodies to breakfast treats, the sweets from Liya Fe are hard to beat. Additionally, gift cards can be purchased on the website—a great way to pass along the joy of Liya Fe’s baked goods to your friends and family.
Founded by Christelle Mbaya, DJ Poulet is inspired by a mix of African cultures. Mbaya was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and briefly lived in the Ivory Coast, but grew up in Montreal. She and Mohammed Toure, the head chef who is from Mali, came up with the perfect spice mix that is rich with a blend of different flavours.
“You can not find these flavours anywhere else in Montreal,” Mbaya wrote in a message to the Tribune. “It is inspired by our mix of African backgrounds and is flavoured by the charcoal added from the cooking process.”
Students can find more local businesses to support on this Google Document, which highlights a plethora of incredible looking Black-owned restaurants, grocery stores, and catering companies.