When I say Caribbean food, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Is it the jerk proteins of Jamaica? The sweet plantains of Cuba? West Indian curry? Seafood? The answer better be all of the above and way more.
The Caribbean has served as a figurative and literal melting pot of cuisines from around the world for quite some time. And thanks to the concentration of Caribbean-Americans in New York City, the city has become a hotbed for Caribbean cuisines of all kinds.
The beauty of Caribbean food lies in two unique qualities. The first being the nonsingularity of the cuisines. The Caribbean consists of hundreds of islands, 13 countries, and countless different languages, religions and cultures from all over the world. This gives Caribbean food a unique diversity not found in many other cuisines from around the world.
The second is the familial nature of Caribbean cuisine. Every Caribbean dish feels like it was made with love specifically for you and by your favorite auntie. Each bite builds a deeper connection between the chef and diner.
Summer is the perfect time to get your Caribbean grub on, so we picked out a few of the best spots to pull up to that’ll for real have you licking your fingers and coming back for more.
I shouldn’t have to say anything more than Caribbean AND soul food to convince you to hit this uptown spot. Yes, you can get brown stew chicken, Mac and cheese, and fried sweet plantains all on the same plate.
Few NYC area chefs have mastered the art of slow cooking jerk proteins like chef Michael Jacober. Pair that with the extensive cocktail list and homey atmosphere, and Glady’s is definitely somewhere to be this summer.
Lolo’s Seafood Shack
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Hey buddy, we need to talk.. why don’t you follow me into my belly.. ahem.. I mean office.. Crab Legs w/ Shrimp Steampot – 1 lb. snow crab legs with 1/2 lb. Peel + Eat shrimp & sweet potatoes with choice of signature sauce #homemade #food #foodie #foodlove #yummy #delicious
This Harlem seafood spot owned by Chef Raymond Moran and Leticia “Skai” Young has everything you need for a dope spot.
The menu is inspired by Caribbean upbringings and a love for travel. It would be foolish of me not to mention the Crabby Dip + Plantain Chips on the menu because that’s just way too hype.
It was only a matter of time before Caribbean cuisine hopped on the fast-casual eatery fad. Chef Rawlston Williams opened The Food Sermon in Crown Heights with bowls inspired by his home island of St. Vincentland the Grenadines.
Hop on the 4, 5, 6 line to 125th street for this bomb Caribbean food. Just make sure you get there early because dishes have been known to sell out and sell out hella quick.
The Door, in Jamaica, Queens offers authentic staples of Jamaican cuisine in an elegant dining atmosphere. The fact that this place has been going strong in Jamaica for almost 20 years is enough of a reason to check this restaurant out.
After being forced out of their old location due to the ongoing gentrification of Brooklyn, The Islands was able to find a new location early last year. Without skipping a beat, The Islands has continued to bring quality Jamaican food to the people of Brooklyn.
New York City is the perfect place for Caribbean food to thrive. Like the Caribbean, NYC is defined by its mixing and blending of different cultures into one unifying identification.
The strong presence of Caribbean-Americans in NYC undoubtedly contributes to this and New Yorkers are smart to continue to embrace the influence of Caribbean culture and the fantastic flavors of their food.