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Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. First celebrated on June 19, 1866, the holiday also celebrates African-American culture and is often considered the “longest running African-American holiday.” On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, recognizing the day as a federal holiday. 

Real Salt Lake and Visit Utah encourage you to celebrate Juneteenth by visiting Black-owned businesses in your community. Here in Utah, we’re lucky to have plenty to choose from. Here are five places to check out this Saturday.

  • Sauce Boss

Julius Thompson, the Sauce Boss, learned everything about cooking from his grandmother who lived in both Chicago and Utah. His restaurant Sauce Boss brings a fresh flavor to soul food recipes passed down through generations. Based in Draper, you can taste some of your comfort food favorites from fried chicken to catfish to po’boys. Thompson is also an accomplished author writing his own autobiography that describes his fight out of poverty as well as 12 children’s books available for purchase. 

  • 11Hauz

Based in Park City, 11Hauz brings the taste of Jamaica to the Wasatch Mountains. Head Chef Sheron Grant brings her own touch to the authentic family recipes that she learned from her grandmother who single-handedly raised her in Mount Salem, Jamaica. 11Hauz divides its food into four sections, “Finga Tings, Full Yuh Belly, Green Tings, and Fresh From Yard” so there’s sure to be a food style for whatever you’re craving. From jerk chicken to curry tofu, 11Hauz has a taste of Jamaica for everyone. 

  • Miss Essie’s BBQ

Raised on a farm during the days of segregation in Arkansas, Miss Essie learned how to cook barbeque while feeding her seven children as a single parent in Arizona. She later passed her 100-year-old family recipe to her son and grandson Manuel and Marcus who created Miss Essie’s Southern BBQ, LLC. Located in Murray, Miss Essie’s has been featured in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News for its world-class BBQ, which is available in house and for catering.

  • Mahider Ethiopian Restaurant

Since 2008, Mahider has given Salt Lake a taste of flavorful Ethiopian cuisine. Mahider’s recipes have been passed down through generations, with dishes such as Kitfo and Shiro Wot. Their authentic menu will be able to transport you right to the streets of Ethiopia and give you a unique cultural experience. Mahider also has something for everyone, serving vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. 

  • Yoko Ramen 

Based in downtown Salt Lake City, Yoko Ramen brings a new take on the traditional Japanese dish. Named after the city of Yokohama, the restaurant has been critically acclaimed by the Salt Lake Tribune, USA Today and even won the City Weekly Best of Utah ramen award. Using only fresh, local produce, Yoko also serves salads, chicken sandwiches, gyoza, and wings.