Put your money where your mouth is: Black-owned restaurants in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area

  • 2.1K

Jerome and Briana Smallwood of Vivian’s Soul Food in Cedar Rapids — Jav Ducker/Little Village

The Eastern Iowa area is blessed to be home to a plethora of businesses owned and operated by black chefs and entrepreneurs. We’ve sung their praises in these pages before, but we haven’t covered them all yet—something that we aim to rectify in coming issues. In celebration of our black community, we’ll be focusing on reviewing these restaurants and cafes over the next approximately 18 months. If you’d like to join us by recommending additional restaurants or becoming a part of our fantastic food reviewing team, please email

Autry’s Veterans BBQ & Catering

Cedar Rapids

Caribbean Kitchen

Food truck, Cedar Rapids

Crab Attack Cajun Seafood Shack

1117 First Ave SE, Cedar Rapids

L’ocean crepes at the Crepes de Luxe Cafe table. Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. — Zak Neumann/Little Village
Crepes de Luxe Cafe

309 E College St, Iowa City

Dunn Brothers avocado toast. — Zak Neumann/Little Village
Dunn Brothers Coffee

3284 Crosspark Rd Ste A Coralville

E’s Gluten Free Bakery

Reviewed in Little Village issue 285
1328 Dover St, Iowa City

Emi’s Treats

2008 Mallory St SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-721-1408

For Cakes Sake

2727 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids 319-431-2056

Island Vybz

Food truck, Iowa City

Island Vybz food truck in downtown Iowa City. — Amanda McFadden
Jay’s Water Ice

1650 Matterhorn Dr NE, Cedar Rapids

Keepin Up with the Jones’s

Food truck, Cedar Rapids

M & M Food Truck

Food truck, Cedar Rapids

More Flavors

629 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids

Rodney’s Jamaican Jerk & BBQ

Reviewed in Little Village issue 284
1104 S Gilbert St, Iowa City

Rodney’s Jamaican Jerk & BBQ in Iowa City. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village
One More Bite Food Truck

Food truck, Cedar Rapids

Shawnniecakes and Mama Pearl’s Specialty Treats

1100 Third St SE, Cedar Rapids (NewBo City Market)

Sliced: A Bakery Emporium

Based in North Liberty, sold at Iowa City Farmers Market

A meal from Sugapeach — Kelli Ebensberger/Little Village

Reviewed in LV issue 213
650 Pacha Pkwy # 1, North Liberty

The Rewind

1010 Second Ave SW, Cedar Rapids

Fried chicken, candied yams and macaroni and cheese from Vivian’s Soul Food, 2925 Williams Pkwy SW, Cedar Rapids. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village
Vivian’s Soul Food

Reviewed in LV issue 279
Best of the CRANDIC winner: Best Soul Food, 2019
2925 Williams Pkwy SW, Cedar Rapids

Wadadly’s Island Flavorz

400 F Ave NW, Cedar Rapids (served inside Rumors Bar and Grill)

Willie Ray’s Q Shack

Featured in Little Village issue 286
288 Blairs Ferry Road NE, Cedar Rapids

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 283, and is updated regularly.

  • 2.1K
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.