Caribbean food is a delightful fusion of so many unique cuisines from all over the world. You’ll find influences from everywhere from African, Creole, and Cajun cuisines all the way to European, Latin American, and even South Asian cuisines.
In short, the food you’ll find all over the Caribbean is a unique blend of lots of travellers’ favourite cuisines, usually with a special touch added depending on the region you find yourself in. From seafood to tropical fruits and lots of tasty meats, Caribbean food is bold, flavourful, hot, and fresh.
And, the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA know how to pull flavours straight from the islands and make the dishes taste just like home. From fiery jerk chicken to places serving tasty plantains and flying fish, here’s where to find the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA.
Best Caribbean Restaurants In The USAHow do these rankings work?
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, tamarind, pickled slaw, mango chutney, garlic and shado beni, similar to cilantro. Order it alongside a tropical cocktail from the full bar for full flavour.
Ask any Jamaican living in the Washington, DC area where to find the best Jamaican food and numerous will tell you to immediately head to Andrene’s. It’s a go-to spot for anybody craving their Caribbean fix. Staying true to authentic Caribbean flavours, the dishes here are about as genuine as they get. Order the combo with jerk chicken, coconut bread, rice and peas and cabbage. Then, let your senses carry you away to the islands.
At Tropical Rhythm, expect nothing short of real island flavours. Oxtail and jerk chicken are favourites which never seem to disappoint. The Jamaican oxtails are seasoned and meaty. And, the chicken is always a touch spicy, as it should be. They’re pretty generous with the portions here, so it’s best to head here hungry. You’ll be able to indulge in some of the tastiest Caribbean food in all of Orlando.
Upon stepping foot into this New Mexico eatery you’ll immediately recognise the various Caribbean flags hanging from the ceiling. Their aim is to bring a slice of island life to New Mexico, and they certainly deliver. They sepcialise in authentic, aromatic, delicious food from the Islands, with a menu that extends to include everything from mango habanero wings and Caribbean chicken roti to Caribbean sandwiches.
Serving up more than just full-flavoured Jamaican cuisine, Karuba’s Yardy Kitchen is well-loved by the locals for being home to a pretty outstanding atmosphere, too. The service is always great, and flavours taste as if they’ve come straight from Jamaica. It’s also one of the few places that serve vegan Jamaican food. However, for meat-eaters, you’ll absolutely fall in love with their Escovitche Fish & Oxtail.
Love Belizean used to be one of the hottest Caribbean food carts in Portland. Now, they’ve opened up a full brick-and-mortar restaurant where you can enjoy more than just red beans and coconut rice. The spicy Belizean chicken and rice is to die for, and the tri-tip is oh-so-tender. However, whatever you order, we definitely suggest topping it all off with their delectable pineapple upside-down cake. It’ll really round out the meal.
The uber-popular Miss Lily’s in the East Village is always busy, so make a reservation even if you’re showing up early for brunch. On the brunch menu, you’ll find a fluffy callaloo and gruyère omelette with crispy 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.
With three different locations in San Francisco, you’re never really far from some of the city’s tastiest Caribbean tapas. Specialising in Caribbean and Cuban cuisines, you’ll find everything from a tantalising Ropa Vieja to some world-famous jerk chicken. They’ve infused modern flavours into traditional dishes and the result is well worth a visit. Be sure to order anything you get with a side of fried plantains. They’re tropical, sweet, and served with cream.
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, 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.
Ocho Rios Jerk Spot describes itself as the “best place to get a great taste of the Jamaican way of life.” And, boy do they deliver. Their jerk chicken, as you’d expect, is truly out of this world. They know how to marinate it properly, and their marinade is spiked with Scotch bonnet pepper, loads of aromatic ingredients and a hint of sweetness. The result? Something so delicious that no words suffice to describe it.
You’ve got a few choices when it comes to Caribbean restaurants in Philly. However, there’s something truly special about Flambo. Whether it’s their incredible attention to detail or the flavours that envelop each dish, it’s hard to tell. But, one thing’s clear. Their sweet cinnamon plantains and their Pelau are both absolutely mouthwatering. The latter is a one-pot stew, a Trinidadian classic that’s cooked in seasoned rice.
The slogan here is “rich food, reggae, and rum.” So, that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about The Island Spot. The goal is to provide a flavourful insight into living in Spanish Town, Jamaica and dining in the Caribbean. And, they easily accomplish that. Definitely sample the Ackee, a national dish from Jamaica. It’s sautéed with salt-cured codfish, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. In short, it’s absolutely scrumptious.
Numerous traditional Caribbean and Creole folktale feature a mischievous rabbit named Compère Lapin. So, it’s easy to see where this restaurant gets its inspiration. The chef hails from St. Lucia, and it’s notable in all of the flavours you’ll find on the menu. Start off with some Conch Croquettes and then make your way onto some snapper, which they serve atop a bed of lima beans and okra.
Serving up $5 lunch specials, La Fourchette attracts visitors from near and far interested in a taste of Island life. Haitian fast food has never tasted so good, literally. This spot is takeout-only, making it great for on-the-go travellers interested in a bit of Haiti without all the huss and fuss of a normal sit-down restaurant. Order the griot or conch or stick with something truly hearty like the ragout, which is a filling stew you’ll be craving long after it’s finished.
At Mar’s Caribbean Gardens you’ll find a menu that showcases the best of the Caribbean and West Indian cuisines. They pair their own specialities with the familiar sounds of calypso, rumba, and reggae to serve up one rich, authentic dining experience for any guest who visits. Enjoy everything from fresh seafood to jerk Jamaican spices and even Belizean cuisine. One thing’s for sure, you’re going to want to try every dish on the menu at least once.
This popular seafood shack is an essential spot when it comes to any list of the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA, and definitely in New York City. 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.
As one of the only Belizean restaurants in the Chicago area, stumbling upon Garifuna Flava feels like discovering a true hidden treasure. It’s easily one of the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA, and undoubtedly the best in Chicago. Prepare to embark on a flavourful journey that’ll take your tastebuds straight to Belize. Start with the Belizean Stew Chicken. It’s marinated in bell peppers, onions, paprika and other spices then slow stewed and baked to create a savoury treat.
Wisconsin might not be where you’d think to find one of the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA, but San Pedro Cafe easily makes any list of places serving authentic Caribbean cuisine. They’ll serve you up a slice of island life and do so with style. Order the jerk chicken lettuce wraps, which are wrapped in mouthwatering butter lettuce leaves and stuffed with avocado pico de gallo, grilled pineapple salsa and lemon-habanero aioli.
With roots in Trinidad, chef Pam does a fantastic job at staying true to her native cuisine. She’s been serving up some of the best Caribbean food in the country since 2006, and doing so with a unique flair of flavourings you can’t find anywhere else. As for what to order here, definitely sample the Callaloo. It’s a traditional Caribbean stew that arrived to the islands in the seventeenth century. Pam does the dish justice.
Reggae Hut describes itself as a “tempting amalgamation of Caribbean cuisines.” And, that’s actually pretty spot-on. While the menu features largely Jamaican cuisine, you’ll find West Indies flavours in nearly everything you order. The pan-fried snapper comes sauteed in a tomato and pimento sauce while the jerk chicken salad is absolutely dripping in flavour. It’s a classic chicken salad with a flare of jerk seasoning, served with cocoa bread and fried green plantains.
The food here is so famous that the chef even earned herself a feature on the Food Network once. Ms. Ena makes her own signature jerk seasoning, which is an absolute must-try if you’re in the area. However, that’s not all that makes this one of the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA. The Callaloo is absolutely divine and the slow-braised oxtail is simmered in brown sauce and served with butter beans.
The chef at Kith & Kin makes it easy for guest to indulge in flavours with full substance. The inspiration here is rooted in a culinary journey that takes you from the Caribbean to West Africa and even all the way over to New York City. The Braised Oxtails here are lauded as some of the best in the country. But, it’s their Jerk Chicken that somehow personifies Caribbean cuisine. It’s doused in jerk tamarind BBQ sauce and served with coconut rice.
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 a divine dish that you simply have to order if you’re here.
There’s a lot to love about Chef Creole Seasoned Kitchen. The chef, who was born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents, works hard to bring full authentic flavours to each and every dish he creates. On the menu, you’ll find queue boeuf, fried chicken, and some seriously spiced up seafood. From delectable conch fritters straight through to the best Caribbean fish fillet in the state, you’ll be converted into a fan for life after just one bite of the food here.
Craving Caribbean cuisine in an elegant setting? Negril Village is one of the best Caribbean restaurants in the USA, offering a tasty Sunday brunch in a unique setting. Inside what was once a 1907 firehouse, you’ll find everything from Oxtail Pasta to Curried Goat. However, you have to try the Jerk Chicken ‘n Waffles. It comes with spicy grilled chicken, a pineapple waffle house blend syrup and sweet cream butter. Simply delicious.