Who says you need to go to the islands of the Caribbean to enjoy the taste of the West Indies? There are hundreds of restaurants in New York City that offer the best in jerk, curried and stewed dishes — not to mention the simple, yet tasty beef, chicken or veggie patties — and believe it or not, these hot spots are not all located in Brooklyn. — Nicola A. Menzie
This Prospect Heights eatery with its down-home dishes is very popular, and not just among Brooklynites. Hot roti, spicy jerk chicken and curried vegetable and tofu (yes, tofu) go for $8. Wash it all down with homemade sorrel, lemonade or with a Jamaican soda ($2-$3).
Freda's Caribbean & Soul Cuisine
The collard greens and callalloo are to die for ($2.50 each as sides) at this family-owned business. You can get your chicken baked, browned or stewed for $7.99 or get any chicken entree with two sides for $6.50 on your lunch break.
Singh's Roti Shop & Bar
Christie's Jamaican Patties
A Prospect Heights favorite, Christie’s specializes in more than just patties (although the chicken patties get rave reviews). Get a small oxtail platter or the escovietch fish for $7.50 and pick up a coconut cake ($2.50) to snack on for the walk or ride home.
El Malecon Restaurant
This family-friendly Dominican restaurant in Washington Heights gets a lot of traffic, especially for its mofongo de pollo and rotisserie chicken. The chicken dishes start at $4.75 and if you’re in the mood for some seafood, try the “Parrillada De Mariscos” — a combination of prawn, shrimps, squid and fish prepared on the grill ($35.00 – $60.00).
Perci's Jerk Hut
Perci’s Jerk Hut in Queens claims to have the ” best jerk food this side of the hemisphere” but the secret might really be in the spicy sauce — which you should use to drown your order of jerk chicken ($7.50 – $13.95) for a finger-licking experience.
Patrons rave about the food at this Prospect Height staple and often recommend the “Mojo Jerk Chicken Wings,” which are dressed with a passion fruit vinaigrette and served with mango mayonnaise dipping sauce ($7.95). Why not eat your wings while sipping on a mango or sugarcane mojito at the bar ($10).
This French-Caribbean restaurant in the East Village is a hit both for its dishes and friendly staff. Try the “Conch Fricassee” stew or Hanger steak which both run for $16.
Jerk pork chop with sweet potato dumplings ($19), green curry duck with jasmine rice ($22), braised bison tail with blue corn ($23) — these are just a few of the dishes that patrons of this Latin American-Caribbean business recommend. If the prices are too steep, show up for the prix fixe brunch which is $15.
The menu is a little pricey, but this Greenwich Village spot can’t get any more popular. Get the Negril Sampler, a platter for two with a mix of codfish fritters, jerk shrimp, jerk ribettes, collard green wontons with Island chips and homemade dip ($25).