12 Best Jamaican Food Restaurants In New York City

New York City has many great Jamaican restaurants across its boroughs. You can find casual spots serving up jerk chicken and oxtail. There are also fancy places putting modern twists on classics like ackee and saltfish.

Some popular Jamaican dishes you’ll see on menus include:

  • Jerk chicken, pork, or other meats – rubbed with spice blend and grilled
  • Curry goat stewed with vegetables
  • Brown stew chicken braised with carrots and potatoes
  • Escovitch fish – fried and topped with pickled veggies
  • Ackee and saltfish – salty cod with ackee fruit

Traditional sides like festival, rice and peas, fried plantains and Johnny cakes are typical too.

In recent years, New York chefs have started fusing Jamaican food with other cuisines. They use fresh local ingredients to put modern twists on island classics. Menus range from seafood boils to tropical cocktails.

Here are 12 top picks for exceptional Jamaican dishes in NYC:

Miss Lily’s

Address : Sheraton Grand Hotel – Level 5 – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 7 pm–2 am

Miss Lily’s first opened in New York City in 2014. Since then, it has grown to two locations, each with its own fun Caribbean vibe. The East Village spot features colorful murals, a big frozen drink menu, and late-night dining to match the neighborhood.

Down in Soho, the airy corner restaurant has tall windows, old photos of Jamaican musicians, and over 100 Caribbean rums at the Rum Bar.

The menus at both places show off Chef Kahari Woolcock’s modern twists on Jamaican classics. You can try jerk corn roasted then topped with garlic butter. Or snack on creamy ackee dip. Plump shrimp swim in a spicy scotch bonnet sauce.

Small plates let you sample diverse flavors in one meal, from calamari escovitch to oxtail stew over rice and peas. While celebrating tradition, Miss Lily’s creative take on ingredients draws trendy crowds.

Melting Pot Cuisine

Address : 3601 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11106, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 8 am–8 pm

Tucked away in Long Island City, Melting Pot Cuisine has dished out hearty Jamaican meals for over 20 years. Locals wandering in expecting fusion dishes are happily met with island specialties like jerk chicken, oxtail stew, and curried goat.

The casual setting lets the dynamic flavors take center stage. Smoky jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish stewed in spices, and fork-tender curried goat are just a few standouts. Round out a meal with callaloo, fried plantains or the namesake rice and peas.

While simple, Melting Pot wins on generous portions and authentic taste without leaving Queens. Just one subway stop away lies a delicious taste of Jamaica Food near in NYC.

La Gladys Restaurant II

Address : 360 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck, NY 10543, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 10:30 am–9:30 pm

Glady’s started focused on sandwiches but owner Michael Jacober’s Caribbean roots shone through. Realizing Crown Heights’ diversity, he radically changed the menu to reflect its cultures. Out went deli foods and in came island spices and flavors.

Now people flock in for Escovitch-style snapper, fork-tender curry goat, and mustardy brown stew chicken. But most come for the jerk – smoky chicken or spiced lobster kissed by that iconic marinade.

The star is Glady’s custom wood-burning oven, infusing meat with even more aroma. Cap a meal with rum-laced sweets like the Dark N’ Slushie or classic carrot cake.

From the cheery decor to the cozy yet vibrant dishes, Glady’s has cultivated its Caribbean haven in Crown Heights.

Negril Village

Address : 70 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 5–11 pm

New Yorker’s need not travel far for jerk chicken and rum punch. Negril Village has two bustling spots: one by Washington Square Park in the Village, another in Brooklyn’s Park Slope. Both recreate the energy of the Jamaica town they’re named after.

The menus ensure you get your fix of Jamaican favorites – from jerk wings to oxtail stew over rice and peas. Seeking seafood? Try curried shrimp or whole fried snapper. Wash it down with a fun tropical cocktail, especially during extended happy hours.

With late hours even on weeknights, there’s always time for one more neon-garnished rum punch. Negril Village brings big, bold Jamaican flavor to life through dishes, décor and soundtracks designed to immerse you on the islands.

The Door

Address: 555 Broome St, New York, NY 10013, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 9 am–6 pm

Since 2000, The Door in Queens has welcomed diners with refined Jamaican home cooking. Artwork celebrating local artists graces the elegant walls while flowers or candles often accent tables.

Special event meals enhance the ambiance even more. All-you-can-eat seafood and chicken buffets on Thursdays offer classics like escovitch fish and jerk chicken. Locals flock for the Sunday breakfast spread with ackee, saltfish and callaloo. Bottomless mimosa brunch comes later.

Yet The Door stays true to soulful dishes like brown stew chicken, curried goat and fall-off-the-bone oxtail, slowly simmered for full flavor. Through skillful cooking and hospitality, The Door opens the warmth of a Jamaican dinner table to all, best Jamaican food in New York city.

The Islands

Address : 671 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 12–10:30 pm

Easy to miss along busy Nostrand Ave, The Islands still reels in folks craving Caribbean. Its red-and-yellow exterior hints at the vibrant dishes within. Casual settings add string lights and murals upstairs and down, though the mouthwatering aromas alone entice.

Crackling jerk chicken, briny escovitch fish and deeply layered curried goat satisfy. Hefty portions mean no one leaves hungry. And wallet-friendly prices bring diners back often with friends.

By focusing squarely on preparing quintessential Caribbean fare, The Islands offers humble yet exceptional home style island cooking. Each succulent bite transports you straight to the islands.

Freda’s Cuisine

Address: 993 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 12–8 pm

Venturing above 96th Street brings you out of Manhattan’s rush to the more residential Upper West Side. Here finds Freda’s, a cozy Caribbean soul food joint serving up Jamaican flavors in a space radiating familial warmth.

Exposed brick walls, mismatched chairs and heartfelt hospitality set the foundation. The menu builds on that home style vibe through dishes like fall-off-the-bone brown stew chicken, vibrant curry chicken and moreish sides of mac and cheese or rice and peas.

Fry up whiting fish or tangy pickled escovitch-style for texture contrast. Beyond the food, Freda’s remains a gem for the connections fostered around each communally-shared meal.

The BYOB policy means DIY rum punch time to further ignite the vibes. Come hungry and leave feeling far more nourished than any full stomach could provide.

La Isla Cuchifrito

Address : 276 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10451, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 7 am–12 am

The smell of slow-roasted pork fills the bustling counter at La Isla Cuchifrito in Mott Haven, beckoning Bronx locals to snag a stool for sublime swine. Focused on quality over quick bites, the crew works magic on pernil pork shoulders, transforming them into profound porchetta.

Bites of crackly skin and supple meat transport taste buds to island bliss. Beyond pernil, sink teeth into chicharron’s crispy pork bubble and herb-bursting morcilla blood sausage. Balance rich proteins with starchy mofongo platters or hearty fritters.

By skipping fancy frills to let bold flavors claim center stage while retaining hospitality, La Isla remains a treasured neighborhood spot or Jamaican food near me . Belly up to the counter for hearty heaps of time-honored Puerto Rican cooking guaranteed to deeply satisfy.

Exquisite Delight

Address : M322+93 Brooklyn, New York, USA

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 7 am–12 am

Exquisite Delight stakes its reputation on living up to its name. Word quickly spread that this Flatbush hole-in-the-wall dishes up exceptional Jamaican flavors. Now lines stretch out the door for crackling fresh jerk chicken and other island favorites.

Beyond the famed poultry, Exquisite Delight offers tender oxtail stew, snapper fried to flaky perfection and uniquely craveable saltfish simmered in spices. Balance hearty proteins with fried festival, grilled plantains or cheesy baked mac and cheese.

Come hungry, come early and prepare to experience what makes this exceptionally flavorful spot so aptly named. Exquisite Delight continues earning dedicated followers one sublime meal at a time.

Puerto Viejo

Address : 564 Grand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 11 am–11 pm

In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a tangerine exterior hints at the vibrant flavors within Puerto Viejo. Open over 30 years, it stakes a delicious claim on the intersection by dishing up tastes of the Dominican Republic.

Their sancocho stew bubbles with tender chicken and pork alongside tubers like yuca and potato. Skirt steak gains sweetness from caramelized onions, balanced by a red wine note. More adventurous diners relish the cassava and crispy pork rind timbal.

Each dish sings brighter with the house hot sauce, its fruity yet fiery flavor adding a personalized touch. Palm-filled rooms and festive lights enhance the laid-back, transporting vibe.

After over three decades spotlighting vibrant and comforting Dominican flavors each night, Puerto Viejo continues sharing the rich heritage behind every mouthwatering bite.

Jamaican Flavors

Address : 483b Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 9 am–7 pm

Few aromas quicken pace like that of just-baked goods. Jamaican Flavors beckons East Bronx locals through the wafting smell of fresh patties and coco bread. What began modestly now sees lines trailing out the door as people eagerly await these flaky, spice-packed turnovers.

Golden pastry blankets beef sizzling with onion and scotch bonnet chili. Curry chicken and veggies fill vegetarian versions. Each savory pie tastes of meticulous attention from prep through baking. Sweet coco bread makes the perfect match.

Beyond patties, Jamaican Flavors crafts snacks like frothy banana shakes and rounds out with rum cake. Consider it your one-stop for experiencing a spectrum of island flavors.

Negril BK

Address : 256 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States

Open In Google Map : Link

Working Hours : 5–10 pm

Brooklyn’s own Negril experience awaits at this lively Park Slope spot putting the emphasis firmly on vibrant flavors and fun atmosphere. Strings of lightbulbs cast a festive island glow across three dining rooms, unified in laid-back hospitality.

Crisp-fried, callaloo-stuffed red snapper and curried prawns by the pound satisfy cravings. Rum cocktails provide added excuse to linger over the in-house DJ’s Jamaica-inspired beats.

Negril BK remarkably channels the resort town’s fresh seafood restaurants, minus the beach. But with delicious cuisine, drinks and company taking you away, who needs sand between their toes?

More Jamaican Food Restaurants

Names Address Working Hours Maps
Jerk House Caribbean Restaurant2143 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10027, United StatesMonday, 10:30 am–9:30 pmLink
Caribbean Starr280 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027, United StatesMonday, 7 am–11 pmLink
FyahBun Creative325 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017, United StatesTuesday, 11:30 am–4 pmLink
The Original Caribbean King139 N 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United StatesMonday, 4 pm–1 amLink


From beloved holes in the wall to critically acclaimed hot spots, New York City offers exceptional Jamaican restaurants to satisfy any craving or mood. The 12 highlighted here represent just a taste of the vibrant Caribbean food scene found across the five boroughs.

Yet certain unifying characteristics shine through – deep island hospitality, complexly comforting spice blends and menus paying homage to traditions while embracing creative spins. Savoring slow-cooked oxtail stew or diving into a tropical seafood boil promises transport through flavors, as does lingering late over rum cocktails. Underlying rhythms connect each establishment.

I encourage you to keep exploring the breadth of cuisines rooted in Jamaican and broader Caribbean heritage thriving in New York and beyond. Support restaurants spotlighting the ingredients, stories and talents woven into this community’s fabric. Then pull up a seat to appreciate not just exemplary flavors but the rich cultural context in which these dishes are so lovingly immersed.

Leave a Comment