Attractions In Women-led Restaurants And Bars
In America, women have long been involved in public eating places. They have managed taverns and inns, worked as cooks, and run cafes and restaurants. They were prominent in public meetings on restaurant management, were able to speak at conventions and were officers of the National Restaurant Association.
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Early American women who had been trained as cooks and home economics instructors opened restaurants that were devoted to healthy food, cleanliness, and nutrition. They oversaw the first vegetarian restaurant in the United States, as well as the Baltimore Dennett’s lunch room chain known for biblical verses on its walls.
Today, women are helming some of the country’s most acclaimed kitchens and restaurants. While the number of Michelin-starred chefs and top-notch restaurants that have a female head chef is relatively small, women are making significant strides in the industry and changing the face of culinary and hospitality.
From Seattle to Chicago and beyond, there are several great restaurants that have women at the helm. Take a look at the list below and visit one (or all) of these restaurants for some delicious, tasty, and wholesome dishes!
Throughout history, women have been a prominent presence in the restaurant industry. From cafeterias to tea rooms, women have played a vital role in making restaurants a viable option for diners.
Women-led restaurants and bars should focus on the quality of their food, service, and atmosphere to provide a memorable dining experience.
Nobody’s Darling, USA #1
Located in Andersonville, Nobody’s Darling is the brainchild of Black queer entrepreneurs Angela Barnes and Renauda Riddle. They purchased the former lesbian wine bar Joie de Vine and transformed it into a cocktail lounge in May.
In their day jobs, they work as legal counsel and strategist for a tech-innovation accelerator. They also serve on the board of Center on Halsted and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
When they’re not busy fostering the LGBTQ community, the pair’s main goal is to create elevated cocktails that are reminiscent of Logan Square’s Whistler. They strive to source as many Black and queer-owned spirits as possible, like Playpen Vodka.
The aptly named cocktail list at Nobody’s Darling features a mix of classic and newly created drinks that are elevated with fresh ingredients and sourced from a variety of distilleries. The house Old-Fashioned is a great example of this: It’s made with Old Forester bourbon, orange bitters, walnut liqueur and cherry bark vanilla bitters.
With its smooth jazzy funk Nina Simone vibe and high-end cocktails, Nobody’s Darling is a good place to unwind after a hard day. Whether you’re a newbie or a regular, it’s worth checking out this Andersonville spot.
|Service options||Dine-in · Takeaway · No delivery|
|Address||1744 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, United States|
Brujas, Mexico #2
A great place to spend a night out with friends, Brujas is an all-women-led bar located in a historic building that was once known as the “Casa de las Brujas” or the house of the witches. The gabled roof resembles a witch’s hat and windows are said to give the illusion of eyes.
This women-led bar is a great spot for people who want to enjoy good music, delicious cocktails, and a diverse community. It also features a range of drinks that come with different concentrations of alcohol and zero-proof options. It’s not a very big restaurant, so you may want to make a reservation. You can book it on OpenTable.
Playa Brujas is a beautiful beach that is a popular destination for surfing and body boarding, but it’s also a nice place to go for a relaxing day. The beach is clean and there are two restaurants right on the beach that will set up a tent and chairs for you.
Bonjiri, Kuwait #3
If you’re looking for a taste of Japanese culture in the heart of Kuwait, then Bonjiri is the place to go. Helmed by Maryam ‘Mimi’ Al Nusif, the restaurant specialises in yakitori, which is basically chicken pieces grilled on a skewer.
Here you can get a selection of skewers from different parts of the bird, including breasts, thighs and drumsticks as well as lesser-seen cuts like knee cartilage or tripe. Its okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake) is also very good.
Founded in 2021, Bonjiri is the brainchild of Maryam ‘Mimi’ Al Nusif who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school and has a wealth of professional experience behind her. Using her love for Japanese culture and culinary traditions, she launched Bonjiri as a yakitori spot in Salmiya district.
|Service options||Dine-in · Kerbside pickup · No-contact delivery|
|Address||Baghdad St Block 9, Lane 9, Building 702 Salmiya, 20009, Kuwait|
|Phone||+965 9924 4178|
Bekeb, Mexico #4
One of the most unique rooftop bars in San Miguel de Allende, Bekeb is located on the terrace of the Casa Hoyos boutique hotel. Here, master mixologist Fabiola Padilla creates creative concoctions that celebrate the roots and flowers of Mexico.
Using local agave distillates, plants and flowers, Padilla’s confident vision sees endemic ingredients – such as the Lavender Sour, gin, aromatized wine, lavender flower (grown in the region), liqueur de violette, lemon and aquafaba – as the core of her drinks.
A relaxed space, dressed with cacti and neon, gives her refined creations the chance to sing. In her cocktail list, Padilla pays tribute to women who have broken down norms and fought for their ideas.
Her idiosyncratic, herb-led concoctions honour the likes of Pachita, a local shaman who was once possessed by Aztec spirits. She also features a medley of creative flexes on classics, including her signature Sorel drink, made with aged tequila, white vermouth, tangerine liqueur and clove bitters.
|Service options||Dine-in · No delivery|
|Address||Mesones 14, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico|
|Phone||+52 415 688 1355|
Opa, Israel #5
Tel Aviv, Israel is home to a thriving dining scene with an impressive number of female-led restaurants and bars. These restaurants offer unique experiences that are worth a visit and promote women’s equality in the restaurant industry.
Opa, located in the scruffy-but-hip Levinsky Market, is an award-winning eatery run by Israeli chef Shirel Berger. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2014, Berger worked at several top New York restaurants before returning to her home country and opening her own restaurant in Tel Aviv.
Berger’s acclaimed cuisine is rooted in the diversity of Israel’s terroir and a love for the plant kingdom, presenting vegetables, seeds and fruit in all their technicolour glory. This vision is embodied in the design of the restaurant, which was designed by Vered Kadouri and Craft & Bloom; Tel Aviv-based architects who specialise in minimal, clean design with an air of understated elegance.
The restaurant also offers a vegan menu, which features wholesome dishes such as macadamia milk, dehydrated mustard and oyster mushrooms. The interiors are minimalist, complemented by a rooftop garden that’s filled with organic produce and wild herbs from the Holy Land.
|Service options||Dine-in · Delivery|
|Address||Ha-Khalutzim St 8, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6652308, Israel|
CoChinChina, Argentina #6
The hottest spot on the Buenos Aires bar scene for a year and a half, CoChinChina is the first solo project of Argentina’s top mixologist Ines de los Santos. Drawing inspiration from French Indochina – specifically Vietnam – she creates nuanced tipples that harmonize with the gorgeously designed interiors.
Try Se-Sa-Hattan, a blend of whiskies and vermouths with banana oleo and sesame oil or the Chulita, dissolved cherry and eucalyptus candy gin blended with juices. Ines’ menu also offers a range of small plates for sharing, from bahn mi and empanadas to earthy Patagonian lamb tartare and roasted artichokes swimming in dreamy hibiscus cream.
The wine list is impressive, with 800 different labels paired with the food (a smorgasbord of Argentine wines is available for brunch). In addition to a stunning cocktail bar, CoChinChina is also home to an inventive cocktail-paired tasting menu on the top floor. There are several options to choose from, including the main hall, a box for smaller groups or an intimate 60 seat area on the terrace known as Arriba.
|Service options||Dine-in · No takeaway · No delivery|
|Address||Armenia 1540, C1414 CABA, Argentina|
|Phone||+54 9 11 2247-6452|
Potong, Thailand #7
Patong was once a place where most of the restaurants and bars were built on the beaches, offering cheap beach shack style food. But since the tsunami of 2004 there has been a big change in the kind of people that come to Phuket Town.
There are now loads of modern, trendy Thai eateries near Bangla Walking Street in Patong, all with fantastic views over the water and with excellent service. Some of them also serve Japanese and international dishes, too.
In the old Chinatown part of town is Potong restaurant, which has been transformed from a 100 year old Chinese medicine dispensary into a modern fine dining venue. It is named after Chef Pam’s great grandfather who had his own herbal shop here.
The menu is a progressive fusion of contemporary and traditional Thai-Chinese cuisine. A 20-course Tasting Menu is available, accompanied by wines and cocktails. Many of the ingredients are made in house, from the soy sauce to the miso. It’s the kind of food that’s going to get you talking about it for a long time after your meal.
|Service options||Dine-in · Takeaway|
|Address||422 ถนน วาณิช 1 เขตสัมพันธวงศ์, Samphanthawong, สัมพันธวงศ์, Bangkok 10100, Thailand|
|Phone||+66 82 979 3950|
Lankan Filling Station, Sydney #8
After years of popping up at market stalls and pop-ups, chef O Tama Carey found her first permanent home with Lankan Filling Station in 2018 on Riley Street. This narrow, buzzy eatery is a shrine to Sri Lankan cuisine in an East Sydney space.
A long queue snakes outside this restaurant, where lacy crisp hoppers, spicy curries and cooling coconut sambols fly out of the kitchen from lunch until late. This is the kind of place that you will want to visit over and over again.
Its do-it-yourself approach to everything – from ordering your hoppers to choosing your curry, dahls or snack – means you’ll never be bored. Plus, a Kalu Dodol (rice flour jaggery with coconut and cashews) is an unmissable dessert.
For the discerning diner, there are many options to choose from – including vegan vegetable curries and dahls. There are also a range of snacks, from pan rolls to string hoppers. It’s worth asking for a menu to see what’s available.
|Service options||Dine-in · Takeaway · Delivery|
|Address||Ground Floor/58 Riley St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia|
|Phone||+61 2 8542 9936|