Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Creole, Cajun, West Indian, and many, many more droolworthy flavours. They’re all mixed into a unique style of cooking that you’ll find in islands across the Caribbean. And yep, NYC is one of the best cities to try it.
Best Caribbean Restaurants in New YorkHow do these rankings work?
This old school, no fuss Caribbean restaurant at the north border of Central Park is a must-visit for tasty food. It’s inexpensive but full on flavour. Our top orders? Their Caribbean-style slow-cooked brown stew chicken with rice and peas and a side of callaloo with okra, coconut and garlic.
The jerk shrimp and curried goat is also divine.
This popular seafood shack is an essential spot when it comes to any list of the best Caribbean restaurants in New York. It’s a funky mash up of Cape Cod comfort food meets West Indies flavours. The result? Belizean conch fritters, jerk ribs and steaming pots of fresh seafood boiled with garlic butter or ginger butter and scallions.
There’s plenty of proper home cooking dishes in the kitchen.
The uber popular Miss Lily’s in the East Village is always busy, so reservation even if you’re showing up early for brunch. On the brunch menu you’ll find a fluffy callaloo and gruyère omelet with crisp potato wedges and a fried fish sandwich with scotch bonnet mayo and jerk-seasoned fries.
Be sure to grab an order of the roasted corn cobs rolled in jerk mayo and toasted coconut.
Craving Caribbean in Brooklyn? You’re spoilt for choice, and Pearl’s is a top spot. Their signature dish is bake and shark, a Trinidadian street food specialty. It’s delicious: a puffy, golden bread pocket stuffed with fried shark (also called dogfish), tamarind, pickled slaw, mango chutney, garlic and shado beni, similar to cilantro.
Order it alongside a tropical cocktail from the full bar for a real feast.
The dimly-lit, modern atmospheric restaurant is a lively place for a night out with friends. Amazing food and good vibes = the perfect evening.
You simply have to order the bronzed jerk chicken wings; they’re nice ‘n’ meaty, with a passionfruit mojo rub and a creamy mango sauce for dipping. It’s the ideal starter for a before moving on to rum-braised oxtail, dense macaroni pie and plantain-crusted red snapper.
Make your way to Crown Heights to sample this counter-service Caribbean restaurant with a build-your-own-bowl concept.
Options include jerk halal chicken (a must!), tender braised oxtail, panko-crusted salmon or pan-seared tofu with vegetables. You can then add on either white or brown rice, flavoursome red beans or curry chickpeas and sauces of spicy tomato or silky coconut-ginger. FYI, the restaurant is closed from sundown Friday to Sunday afternoon.
This indoor jerk shack near the Brooklyn Museum fires up tasty smoked meats from its wood-fired grill. If you can handle the heat (and be warned, it’s spicy!), slather on the scotch-bonnet-pepper-spiked sauce to the jerk fried chicken sandwich (lunchtime only) or the hunks of charred jerk pork or chili lobster with smoked corn.
And to cool down? Start with a Red Strip and stay on to share a ‘Scorpion Bowl’: a boozy cocktail punch of Guyana and Jamaican rum.