It hasn’t been easy but almost two full years into it, we’ve all learned how to find some semblance of “normal” amidst a global pandemic. But even with concerts, restaurants, travel, and movie theaters returning, many businesses have yet to bounce back. And smaller, immigrant/ minority-owned businesses have the toughest road to recovery.
So when we reached out to Grammy-nominated vocalist and musician Kah-Lo for a new travel guide, the Nigerian born, Brooklyn based artist hit us back with a guide that highlights some of her favorite minority and immigrant-owned businesses in New York City — in an effort to give some shine and help them build back stronger than ever.
Perhaps best known for her stunning collaborations with the likes of Riton, Idris Elba, Selena Gomez, and of course Diplo (“Give Dem” is still a banger), this summer brought the release of Kah-Lo’s debut EP The Arrival — and what an arrival it was. Across five tracks, Kah-Lo flexes her unique voice over club-ready bangers that fuse chest-rumbling house, disco, afrobeat, and sing-along vocal hooks, solidifying Kah-Lo as a musical force to be reckoned with.
So queue up The Arrival and dive into Kah-Lo’s favorite minority-owned businessess in New York City, from her go-to smoothie spot to med spas to beloved eateries.
This spot is known for its incredibly healthy and delicious sandwiches and shakes. All their food is named after iconic Brooklyn-isms and landmarks such as RED HOOK TOSS SALAD or Transfer at Atlantic Juice.
My fave combo is the NAVY YARD TUNA STEAK SANDWICH and BK NETS shake.
A full day spa, bathhouse, and wet lounge in one, this spot is the ultimate relaxation experience. The massages are an oasis away from the chaos that is NYC if you ever need to decompress. A big plus is having access to the wet lounge and sauna after a massage, to detoxify yourself afterward.
Vanessa Marc Spa
A black-owned full-service med spa in midtown, they get black skin. When my skin throws a tantrum or I just want a little one up in my maintenance routine, this is my go-to. I usually opt for the Oxygen Hydra Facial or the Justine Skye Glow named after another loyal client, Justine Skye.
They also offer laser hair removal that is best for thicker hair and darker skin tones.
I usually don’t like to order Nigerian food because I believe my mom cooks better, and I learned from her. However, this place beats anything I’ve ever tasted in the US hands down. The best Nigerian food in NYC in my opinion! They have an extensive menu of all types of Nigerian food, from Jollof rice to Efo Elegusi, and snacks like meat pie.
They also offer portions large enough to cater.
Nestled in the heart of Prospect Heights is this little bar with an outdoor patio. When night rolls around, and the music really starts bumping, I’m immediately transported back home. The crowd is always so incredible, you’ll find yourself a dancing buddy in no time if you know enough of the words to the songs the DJ is spinning.
I’d tell you about the drinks, but I can’t remember.
Suya is street food originally from the northern part of Nigeria. It’s very hard to get it right outside of Nigeria, and I usually don’t even bother to try. However, after lamenting on Twitter one day, this place came highly recommended, and it did not disappoint. Although served with a diaspora flair i.e. over a bowl with kale, avocado, and eggplant as options, they do not compromise on taste.
Also, when they say spicy, they mean spicy – just as suya should be!
A cute little store in Bedstuy that has everything you need to eat and live healthily. They make and stock their own oils, and sell those hard-to-find superfoods you read about in recipes. If you ever need a gut cleanse or just simply need to maintain your daily routine, this is the place to go
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