Over the last week, as the reality of the next four years in America has set in, we at Eater have been inundated with requests from readers throughout the country for lists and maps of immigrant- and minority-owned restaurants to support. It's a request we're moved (but not surprised) to be receiving; we're proud that Eater's readers are caring, justice-minded people who know that patronizing independent businesses can be a powerful tool. Restaurants and other food-based businesses are among the largest employers of immigrants in America, and spending your money there is a simple and direct way of supporting people who, while always in a vulnerable position, right now may be in crisis.
For all that we agree with the spirit of solidarity and inclusion behind these requests, however, Eater will not be publishing lists specifically of immigrant- or minority-owned businesses. We feel that it would be irresponsible to publish guides specifically highlighting restaurants owned by people whose lives and livelihoods may right now be threatened, because of the very real possibility that they would double as cheat sheets to help intolerant actors find new people, businesses, and families to target. In this chaotic moment, we believe it would be indefensible to widely broadcast the cultural affiliations or immigration status of any individuals or their families without their explicit permission.
That said! There's an easy way for all of us to find our local immigrant- and minority-owned businesses: Go out and look for them. In virtually every city in America, there are dozens — if not hundreds or thousands — of restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars, diners, ice cream parlors, food trucks, corner stores, and street carts run by people who could use our support right now, both social and financial. Say hello, introduce yourself, and make sure they know that you're glad to have their restaurant — and them — in your neighborhood and your nation. It may be a cliche that food brings people together and forges bonds, but it's a true one. And we need that togetherness right now, and those bonds of friendship and family, perhaps more than ever before.
EDIT: Eater has always covered restaurants owned and operated by people of all cultures and groups, and we will proudly continue to do so. What we’re not doing is specifically rounding up lists of only immigrant- and minority-owned restaurants, under the banner specifically of their cultural and/or immigration status.
If you’re an owner or operator in an Eater city and you would like to give us permission to include your restaurant (or other food-related enterprise) on a potential list of immigrant- and minority-owned businesses, please let us know by filling out this form.