Carolina Smoke owner David Hayward packages up orders to go at his Bothell restaurant. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Carolina Smoke owner David Hayward packages up orders to go at his Bothell restaurant. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

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11 black-owned restaurants in Snohomish County

These eateries serve a wide range of African-American foods, from West Africa to New Orleans.

It may not seem like much, but showing support for black-owned restaurants in Snohomish County by ordering takeout and/or delivery means a lot to the restaurateurs involved.

We list 11 local restaurants here. Did we miss yours? Email and let us know about it. We’ll add it to this list. Snohomish County restaurants only.

Bantaba African Restaurant, 19417 36th Ave. W., Lynnwood, specializes in West African cuisine. Popular dishes include afra chicken, goat curry, yassa chicken, jerk chicken, and lamb, beef or chicken skewers. Owner Abdoulie Lowe, who is from Gambia, established the restaurant in 2012. Bantaba translates to “the meeting tree” — named for African villagers who like to gather in the shade of an expansive tree to pass the time. Call 425-678-0202 or find Bantaba African Restaurant on Facebook.

Carolina Smoke BBQ & Catering, 24118 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell, is owned and operated by David Hayward, who is originally from South Carolina. Although it has “Carolina” in the name, Hayward’s restaurant doesn’t serve Carolina barbecue. It’s Hayward’s very own style. On the menu you’ll find pulled pork, brisket, ribs, sausages and all kinds of sides. Hayward’s brisket is especially popular. Call 425-949-8672 or go to

Ezell’s Famous Chicken, a local fast-food chain that’s been around since 1984, has two Snohomish County locations: in Mill Creek, 18001 Bothell-Everett Highway, and in Lynnwood, 3925 196th St. SW. Founded by Ezell Stephens, Lewis Rudd and others in their families, Ezell’s is known for its house-made fried chicken, as well as its down-home sides and desserts. You can order your fried chicken spicy — they marinate it in a New Orleans-style seasoning — or not, or try half and half. Call 425-408-1855 for Mill Creek, call 425-640-8111 for Lynnwood, or go to

Gip’s Down-home BBQ is an Everett-based business that banks on festivals scheduled May through September. Owner Ron Gipson launched Gip’s Down-Home BBQ in 2005. Gipson’s motto is “Real smoke, real flavor.” He serves up ribs, brisket, Philly cheesesteak, pulled pork, bratwursts, hot dogs, corn dogs, curly fries, bloomin’ onions and more. Most festivals are canceled due to COVID-19, but you can still hire Gip’s Down-Home BBQ for private events. Call 425-501-6000 or find Gip’s Down-Home BBQ on Facebook.

Grandma’s in da Kitchen, 2831 W. Marine View Drive, Everett, is meant to comfort you. Chef-owner Sharon Tolbert opened her Southern-style restaurant in March. The menu is part soul food, part comfort food — which means some of her offerings aren’t necessarily African-American but what’s comforting. The name “Grandma’s” was chosen as a reminder of home and home cooking. Tolbert’s comfort food includes chicken livers, ribs, macaroni and cheese, fried catfish, okra and shrimp po boys. Call 425-322-4145 or go to

Heaven Sent Fried Chicken, 615 112th St. SE, Suite E, Everett, is owned by Ezell Stephens of Ezell’s Famous Chicken. Stephens started Heaven Sent after a legal battle with other founders of Ezell’s Famous Chicken, who got to keep the name and most of the locations. It was his family recipe, the basis for his original company, that caught the interest of Oprah Winfrey, who proclaimed the chicken one of her favorites. Call 425-267-9672 or go to

Jake’s Street Food can be found near the Everett Co-Op Supply, on the corner of Hewitt Avenue and State Street. Owner Jake Nolte’s hot dog cart is there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. He serves up hot dogs — all-beef, German or hot — plus burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, Rueben sandwiches and breakfast burritos. Nolte’s best-sellers are the German sausages and the Philly cheesesteaks. While Nolte isn’t black, his wife and co-owner is. Monica Meadows will sometimes man the hot dog cart in the summers when she’s not teaching history at Everett High School. Call 206-356-5961 or go to

Lew’s BBQ, 2703 Pacific Ave., Everett, has its roots in Louisiana barbecue and soul food. Owner-chef Avery Lewis opened his Southern-style restaurant in 2011 after a career at the Monroe Correctional Complex. The inmates there called him “Officer Lew.” On Lewis’ menu you’ll find brisket, pulled pork, ribs, hot links, macaroni and cheese, corn bread, black-eyed peas and collard greens. He even has a few barbecue offerings from south of the border: tacos, taquitos and quesadillas. Lewis gives back to his community by hosting Feed the Need events for the homeless at Christmastime. Call 425-760-6411 or find Lew’s BBQ on Facebook.

Touba Bakery, 11114 Evergreen Way, Suite C, Everett, is an authentic French bakery. Touba’s offers sweet and savory baked goods: ham and cheese croissants, baguettes, brioche, meringue lemon tarts, palmier pastries, muffins, chocolate croissants and more. Chef-owner Papa Seck, who has been making French pastries for 25 years, opened the bakery in April. (We didn’t get a chance to confirm, but Touba may get its name from the city in Senegal, a former French colony in West Africa.) Call 425-374-2498 or find Touba Bakery on Facebook.

Zoey’s Fried Chicken Sandwiches, 510 W. Casino Road, Suite G, Everett, has fans on Facebook who say hers is the best chicken sandwich in Everett. Owner Aissa M’baye, who moved here 10 years ago from Niger, opened Zoey’s Fried Chicken Sandwiches last year. She recommends the hot chicken sandwich, which gets its heat from cayenne peppers. Another reason to go: M’baye recently adorned her restaurant’s red walls with a series in pastels titled “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” by artist Julius Wilson. Call 425-374-3040 or find Zoey’s Fried Chicken Sandwiches on Facebook.

Zuri’s Donutz, 7600 196th St. SW, No. 850, Lynnwood, opened in February. Owners Zuri and Davis Vincent jokingly warn their customers that they’ll need 20 minutes to decide on one doughnut. Sure, you’ll find your French cruller, old-fashioned, maple bar, bear claw, cake and buttermilk doughnut offerings — but they all have flavor and icings combinations you’ve likely never tried before. Some ideas they’ve run with include caramel latte, garlic and chile, rose (wine), chicken and waffles, lavender and ube. The Vincents offer more than just sweet and savory doughnuts at their shop. You can also pick up cakes, macaroons, pastries, marzipan, breakfast sandwiches and Italian sodas. Call 425-582-8803 or find Zuri’s Donutz on Facebook.

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