As a proud Wichitan, I appreciate the diversity my city has to offer. From its vibrant bar scene to its niche stores, you can expect a gumbo of experiences. I couldn't be more excited to share some of my favorite Black-owned spots. It's not just about supporting local businesses; it's about showcasing the incredible talent and creativity that can be found right here in our own backyard. From the mouth-watering flavors of Crigs To-Go to the stylish fashions inside Knockout Sneaker Boutique, I can't wait for visitors to experience the people and places that make Wichita truly special.

The owner of Lola Candle Co. smiles while smelling a candle

DIY Candle Experience

Lola Candle Co.

In Wichita’s Historic Delano District, you’ll find a delightful mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Stroll through the streets lined with restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops such as Lola Candle Co. The eco-luxe candle brand boasts more than 70 fragrances to choose from. Their soy wooden wick candles are hand-poured with love by the owners, a married couple who named the store after their daughter Lola.

With captivating scents like “For the Culture,” “Highly Favored,” “Sunday Brunch” and “A Whole Mood,” Lola Candle Co. is already a vibe. However, if you're seeking hands-on experience while in town, you can embark on a DIY Scentventure with a group of friends at the Lola Bar. During this interactive activity, you'll have the opportunity to stir, blend, and pour your own unique fragrance. Choose from an alluring selection of luxurious and colorful vessels to hold your creation. It's the perfect activity to enjoy with friends or loved ones, and you'll leave with a beautifully fragrant souvenir.

Comfort Food To-Go

Crig’s To-Go

Craving some homestyle cooking while away from home? Look no further than Crig’s To-Go. This restaurant serves soulful flavors and portion sizes that will leave you more than satisfied. From wings and fried shrimp to traditional catfish and New Orleans-style catfish, their menu is packed with mouthwatering options. For those of us who like to turn up the temp, the buffalo-style catfish raises the heat. Try their famous fried Oreos for a little extra indulgence.

Pro tip: Be sure to call ahead and place your carryout order. With their chef specializing in made-to-order dishes, you can expect piping hot and freshly prepared food, crafted with utmost care to be savored at its best. But don’t worry! Wait time is usually under 30 minutes.

Patrons who call ahead can request a callback when their order is almost ready. Should you decide to wait inside, you’ll be able to pick from an assortment of flavored soda drinks while watching music videos on the TV screen in the lobby area.

Georigio’s II BBQ

This family-owned restaurant is near Wichita State University. Before even stepping foot inside, the enticing aroma of flavors greets you. Their smoke masters strategically place the smokers outside to fill the air with the enticing scent of slow-cooked goodness, setting the stage for a truly appetizing experience.

Whether it's their perfectly cooked brisket, ribs, chicken, or flavorful sides like yams and baked beans, every bite is a treat. Their barbecue sauce complements their meats well.

Georigio’s II BBQ is open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. They close at 5 p.m. on Sundays. Their menu is swapped out on Sundays and two local chefs take over for what’s dubbed “Soul Food Sunday.” Have a taste of their meatloaf, smothered pork chops, liver, and onions, baked and grilled chicken with some hearty sides such as cabbage, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, and dressing.

As a heads up, Georigio's II BBQ is primarily a takeout spot, but trust me, their to-go plates are generously packed with goodness. You don’t have to call ahead, and the wait time is fairly low. It’s one of my favorite barbecue spots.

the exterior of the Wichita Cheesecake Co features an I heart ICT sign

For Your Sweet Tooth

Wichita Cheesecake Company

If you're looking for something sweet in town, then you have to swing by Wichita Cheesecake Company, located on the corner of Douglas and Rock Island Avenue in downtown. It's a family-owned bakery operated by Mark and Grace Daniels. Their award-winning business has gained quite a reputation for their rich and creamy cheesecakes offered by the slice. From classic flavors like New York and Cookies and Cream to seasonal flavors, they've got something for everyone.

There are also lunch options through Metro Grill, which they now own! So, grab a tasty sandwich or a Nathan’s Beef Hot Dog. Their kids’ menu includes hot dogs, hamburgers, and Baby Mia pasta. Wichita Cheesecake Company’s intimate location has recently added beer, canned margaritas, and wine to its menu. Dine in or order to-go Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Goods are displayed for sale at The Blackprint

Your Retail Fix

The Blackprint

The Blackprint is located at the corner of 1st Street and Cleveland Avenue right outside of downtown Wichita. This curated store showcases Black-owned brands and products like Bringing it Black, The Millennial Black Professor, Paris Jane Creates and Dope Coffee. From stationery and candles to books, t-shirts and jewelry, they offer a wide range of items that also make great gifts. It's a great place to support Black-owned businesses and discover products with a story behind them.

Beginning in February, the store will host social events like "Dip & Sip," "Brunchin’ at The Blackprint" and "The Blackprint After Hours." These events, organized by Owner Tasha Hayes, aim to transform the store into a vibrant cultural hub for the community.

2Beatz Boutique

2Beatz Boutique, in downtown Wichita, is the place to go for chic new looks and accessories. Their trendy fashion pieces, from casual wear to statement pieces, are ideal for various occasions. Whether you want to add some flair to your wardrobe or have barhopping or a concert in mind, they've got you covered.

Knockout Sneaker Boutique

For all you sneakerheads out there, Knockout Sneaker Boutique is a must-visit. The shop has a knack for snagging the trendiest shoes on the market. Located in downtown Wichita, this boutique offers a wide selection of colorful sneakers from popular brands like Jordan, Nike, Adidas and more. Plus, they also feature some locally owned brands by Black creatives, so you can rock unique styles and support local businesses at the same time. Talk about a win-win!

The Knockout Sneaker Boutique is a haven for local brands: One4Us Brand, YBG Studios and 2 AM Fits. One4Us brand is a premium athletic line worn by NFL stars Breece Hall, Davontae Harris, and STARZ BMF Series actress Sydney Mitchell. Shop sweatsuits, hoodies, t-shirts, leggings, tank tops and more. YBG Studios takes sustainability to a whole new level with its unique creations, using upcycled materials like crochet blankets to make stylish hoodies. And for all the vintage lovers out there, 2 AM Fits brings back the nostalgia with throwback fashion pieces from Guess, Dickies, and characters many grew up wearing.

A girl poses in front of a wall of shoes on display for sale at Knockout Sneaker Boutique

So, there you have it. There are so many fantastic Black-owned businesses in Wichita that deserve your attention. Whether you're in the mood for something sweet, savory, stylish, or unique, these establishments have got you covered. Enjoy exploring and supporting these local gems! Get even more inspiration with this guide to Black Wichita.