New York City is a rich destination when it comes to sights, places, and of course, cuisine! If you ever find yourself in this rich melting pot of a destination, there are a number of Caribbean restaurants to try. With a large population of residents from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago, there are foods to cater to every craving. Whether you are new to Caribbean cuisine or missing some of the dishes from home, here are a few of the best Caribbean restaurants to visit in New York City!
Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kokomo is a chic Caribbean restaurant owned by husband-and-wife duo Kevol and Ria Graham. Not only do both partners have experience in the restaurant and nightlife industries, but Kevol brings Jamaican roots, while Ria brings forth Trinidadian and Grenadian flair.
You can also enjoy a tasty drink while you eat. Enjoy cocktails inspired by the islands while digging into delicious plates, such as oxtail flatbread, jerk chicken, rosemary curry shrimp, and so much more!
With two locations in Flatbush, Brooklyn and Soho, Manhattan, Zanmi stands out due to its rich Haitian cuisine. Enjoy some of their delicious offerings, such as tender goat, 3-day marinated branzino, plantains, and soup joumou. Soup joumou is a Haitian squash soup that is typically served on New Year’s Day (which is also recognized as the day of Haiti’s independence).
Also, you will appreciate the gorgeous wall mural featuring women in carnival attire! This attention-grabbing art is what has also helped Zanmi stand apart to people who are looking to enjoy cuisine that is rich with Haitian infusion.
Conveniently located in Jamaica, Queens, The Door is the restaurant to enjoy when you are looking for a plate with that Jamaican Caribbean flair. This vegan-friendly cafe offers guests a variety of delicious plates to try, such as oxtail, buttered lobster, ital stew (vegan dish containing red kidney beans and other veggies simmered with a hint of coconut milk), honey jerked chicken, and much more. This restaurant is also conveniently located about 10 minutes from the JFK airport, so you can choose to stop first thing after your arrival to the city, or right before you leave for one final delicious goodbye!
Head Chef Sherman Grant was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. Now he serves those tasty flavors from home in the Brooklyn-based Savannah Spiced (formerly known as Savannah Bar and Lounge). Feast on a delicious dinner of Calypso Shrimp, which presents shrimp drenched in sweet and sour sauce, then served over a fluffy bed of mashed potatoes. Or pick something from their other offerings, such as oxtail mac and cheese, stew kingfish and coo coo, and so much more. Whatever you may be craving, Savannah Spiced can no doubt satisfy a craving for something delectable with unmatched Caribbean flavors.
If you are looking to have a little drink with your food, then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Get drinks and dishes reminiscent of the island at the beautiful Charm Bar and Restaurant. Located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, come and enjoy a few signature cocktails that make this restaurant so appealing. The Spicy Meg is a favorite for many, using Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, pineapple liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream de coco, and nutmeg. You can also choose to sample a variety of tasty Caribbean-inspired eats, such as fried pork and plantains, yucca fritters, lamb sliders, and more!
Operated by Donna Weekes and her son, Jamane Weekes, Lips Cafe blends together traditional American cafe staples with foods reminiscent of where the family is from: St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This cafe has been serving Flatbush, Brooklyn since 2019, and it seems locals and visitors can’t get enough of the unique selection. Enjoy traditional American staples, such as espresso drinks and breakfast sandwiches, or go for their island dishes, such as jerk salmon wraps and rice bowls served with callaloo (coconut-creme-simmered greens), as well as fried plantains and curried chickpeas.
Caribbean cuisine is unmatched when it comes to providing bursts of fresh flavors. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find a restaurant that serves food reminiscent of the island, especially if you are traveling. However, if you are in New York City, you will find plenty of restaurants that offer Haitian, Jamaican, and other delicious Caribbean plates to satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling like you just went back to your favorite island!
Whether you are looking to revisit an old favorite dish, or you are interested in trying Caribbean cuisine for the first time, the restaurants above are popular among locals to the area and new visitors as well. Get your fork ready! Which restaurant will you be trying out first?