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Yelp names Latinx-owned businesses “Ones to Watch” in Food and Beauty for 2021



Photo of Amaru by Tim M. on Yelp

In celebration of last year’s Latinx Heritage Month, Yelp announced the Latinx-owned business attribute in partnership with Momento Latino to help people support Latinx entrepreneurs in their local communities across the country. Since its 2020 launch, more than 24,000 businesses have self-identified as Latinx-owned on Yelp, making it easier than ever for consumers to find these local businesses. 

Over the last year, we’ve seen consumer interests for Latinx-owned businesses continue to grow. In fact, the rate of searches for Latinx-owned businesses jumped by 313% in June 2021 compared to the same period the year prior. In the beauty space, we saw search rates soar for nail salons (up 954%) and hair salons (up 5,154%) owned by Latinx people, for the same time period.

In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a list of beloved Latinx-owned food and beauty businesses across the country, found on Yelp. Businesses like Tacos Doña Lena in Houston, which opened in 2020 and has had Yelpers raving about their juicy, authentic birria tacos. Or, Terra Apothecary in Denver, where you can find locally sourced goods like beauty oils, bath and body scrubs and serums, and handmade candles. Through food and beauty, with flavors, colors, aromas, techniques and traditions, these small business owners share their sense of heritage and history. With this list of beloved Latinx-run businesses, you will find new favorites to enjoy this month and all year long. 

To determine the list of Latinx-owned businesses to watch, our data science team started by identifying businesses that have self-identified with the Latinx-owned attribute on Yelp in food and beauty categories. From the candidate businesses, we limited the list to two businesses per state, and narrowed it down by weighing a variety of factors, including a national online presence, average rating and review counts. Businesses featured are listed alphabetically.

Food 

Amaru – Chicago, IL

  • Named after the last indigenous leader of the Incas, restaurant and cocktail bar Amaru cultivates influences from Central and South America and the Caribbean. Owner and Chef Rodolfo Cuadros attributes his inspiration to his childhood years  in Cali, Colombia helping his mother and aunts in the kitchen. Reviews of the five-star restaurant rave about the impeccable flavors of its cocktails and cuisine, such as the pulpo and yuca frita, as well as the overall ambiance and incredible service.
Photo of Amaru by Jonathan Z. on Yelp

Dalia Cocina Mexicana – Los Angeles, CA

  • Located in downtown LA, Dalia Cocina Mexicana describes itself as “Mexican cuisine infused with LA spiciness.” With offerings spanning brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert, Dalia’s is a go-to spot throughout the day. Boasting a wide array of tacos made with homemade tortillas, including asada, fish, pork belly and veggie, there is something for every taco lover. Yelpers encourage enjoying your meal alongside Dalia’s refreshing signature agua fresca.
Photo from Dalia Cocina Mexicana on Yelp

Gardenia’s Cafe – Gaithersburg, MD

  • The Ortega family created Gardenia’s Cafe to spread joy through “no artificial flavors or preservatives, just love.” Guests can stop in for a savory meal, such as Salvadoran beef pasteles, or pop by for a fresh baked good like the coffee tres leches made with organic coffee and coffee whipped cream.

I Am Nacho Mama – Hicksville, NY

  • In 2016, a father-son team started I Am Nacho Mama in a 84’ Chevy food truck. In 2019 the venture went brick-and-mortar, serving up “nacho average” bites inspired by the duo’s Latino heritage, including a lineup of melty nacho options and food truck favorites like elote, grilled street corn. 

Jamon Jamon Tapas – Las Vegas, NV

  • Jamon Jamon Tapas came to fruition in 2020, offering traditional Spanish tapas and small plates like paellas and delicious cheese boards from owner and chef Rafael, a native of Alicante, Spain. Yelper Vilma G. describes the restaurant as “a veritable hidden gem in Las Vegas is the taste of Spain with the ambiance and service that is so authentic, from the proprietor and chef to the service that is second to none.”

Ro-Ho Pork and Bread Tortas Ahogadas – San Antonio, TX

  • As told by its name, torta ahogada, a classic tender and juicy pork sandwich hailing from Mexico, is the shining star at this San Antonio establishment. Yelpers recommend grabbing a creamy strawberry horchata or a refreshingly spicy michelada to accompany your meal.

Tacos Doña Lena – Houston, TX

  • In 1985, Doña Lena started selling her homemade tacos in her hometown of Salamanca Guanajuato, Mexico, and continued to sell from home after immigrating to the USA in the 1990s. In 2020, her dreams of opening her own restaurant came true with the opening of Tacos Doña Lena in Houston. Here you can find authentic Mexican tacos, handmade gorditas, sopes, tortas, tostadas and other delicious Mexican antojitos or “little cravings.” On Yelp you’ll find a plethora of 5-star reviews highlighting the quesabirria and birria tacos. Yelp forecasted birria, a juicy, spiced meat stew, as a top trend of 2021, with the rate of review mentions of birria up 235% between 2019 and 2020.

Tatiana’s Coffee and Tea – Ventura, CA

  • According to reviews, the fresh-baked pastries and coffee are as delicious as they smell, and at an affordable price. Standout offerings include the warm Cuban guava pastelito, Argentinian beef empanada, and cappuccino topped with cinnamon, perfect for grabbing on your morning commute or stopping in to work remotely in a welcoming, aromatic atmosphere.

The Modern Rose – Deerfield Beach, FL

  • Family owned and operated, the Modern Rose is a cafe featuring organic teas, locally ground coffee, and baked goods, including vegan and gluten free sweets and meals. The founder of The Modern Rose has a background in interior design, floral decor, and furniture refurbishing, which shines through in the comfy, eclectic style of the cafe, making it a prime spot to meet with friends and family or work and study. In addition to the quality taste, Yelpers love the photo-worthiness of the beverages, like the bright blue Mermaid Latte and rosy pink Dragon Tea.

Tlaolli – Indianapolis, IN

  • In 2020, Tlaolli made Yelp’s list of best tacos in every state, as the top spot in Indiana, but Yelpers also love the homemade tamales and soups. Tlaolli aims to reinvent traditional Mexican dishes “with a modern take on flavor, style, and for your health,” for meat-lovers, vegetarians and vegans alike. Yelper Niki B. shares that the popular NoNoNo taco, standing for no meat, no dairy, no gluten, is well worth the try, stating, “Listen up — I’m not even vegan and this is a go-to for me. I literally eat meat, dairy and gluten and love this.”

Beauty 

Brow Babes Denver – Denver, CO

  • Brow Babes Denver is on a mission to change “lives one brow service at a time.” Offering a range of options to keep your brows in check, including shaping, waxing, microblading and eyebrow lamination, multiple reviews refer to the brow artists as magicians. Yelper Marshall D. says, “I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my brows.”

Capitol City Barbershop – Austin, TX

  • Located in the heart of South Austin, Capitol City Barbershop provides an authentic barbershop experience, with a range of men’s grooming services from “trendy-classic” haircuts for men and kids, beard trims, hot towel and straight razor shaves. Owner and barber Oscar G., a native Austinite, has been mastering his craft for almost 30 years and says he loves building lasting relationships with loyal patrons coming back for years, and even has 3rd and 4th generation clients within families.

Chillhouse Soho – New York, NY

  • Whether you live in NYC or not, you very well might have seen the highly aesthetic nail art and plush interior design of Chillhouse on social media. For envy-worthy manicures, you can select from dozens of stylish designs, and customize your colors. Chillhouse’s services also include pedicures and a variety of facial and body treatments. If you can’t make it in person, you’re in luck – Chillhouse offers a variety of trendy press-on nail tips for purchase online, as well as candles, beauty oils and facial tools. 
Photo from Chillhouse Soho on Yelp

Mantra Massage – Austin, TX

  • Mantra Massage is an ultimate self-care destination in Austin, providing a range of massage, skincare and acupuncture services, suited to your specific needs. Whether you are in need of some relief from working from home, an athlete, or recovering from an injury, the massage therapists at Mantra Massage have you covered for a customized, relaxing experience.

Massage By Josie – Pasadena, CA

  • Owner and massage therapist Josie Morrison brings the spa right to your home. Massage By Josie is mobile only, offering a range of massage modalities to people in their homes in Pasadena, California and surrounding cities. Yelper Valerie J. says, “she is kind, responsive, and has magical healing hands. After just one visit, I am confident this is a relationship I want to continue.”

Massage Evolved – Chicago, IL

  • Massage Evolved provides innovative massage treatments, energy healing, chakra and aura clearing, and personalized facials. In addition to the relaxing services alone, reviews highlight Massage Evolved’s clean, serene and calming atmosphere.

The Muscle Relaxers – Atlanta, GA

  • When you’re in need of some TLC in Atlanta, The Muscle Relaxers will have your mind and body at peace. On Yelp, Hillary K. raved about her experience with owner Ofelia, saying “Ofelia’s technique is not only soothing, but takes a scientific approach to working on the other areas of your body that affect that particular muscle area with the overall goal of creating more long term balance.”

The Salt Lake Barber Company – Salt Lake City, UT

  • Barbers and friends Isaac Atencio and Eric Stone founded the Salt Lake Barbery Company together, and since have prided themselves on “honoring the tried and true classical theory of barbering.” Many reviews describe the mix of old school and modern vibes at the barbershop, as well as the quality and consistency of their experience.

The Social Cut – Pomona, CA

  • The Social Cut isn’t your typical barbershop. Owner Steve A. Nuñez began The Social Cut with his passion in men’s fashion and grooming, creating a space where you can get groomed with a top notch haircut, shave, and get your clothes tailored, all in one place.

Terra Apothecary – Denver, CO

  • Yelper Ashlee G. reviews local Terra Apothecary, saying “an amazing variety of products, like handmade candles, plants, essential oils, herbs, and local artisan goods. I love that they’re always changing things around and introducing new items to the store to keep things interesting!”
Photo of Terra Apothecary from Simone R. on Yelp

Is your home or office space in need of sprucing? We also identified standout Latinx-owned businesses for your home and decor needs. Check out the list of Latinx-owned Ones to Watch in home and decor, in our blog post here. 

What are your newly discovered or longtime favorite local Latinx-owned businesses? Share with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @Yelp!