Just because you’re in Philly doesn’t mean you can find the delicious “green seasoning” that is so characteristic of Caribbean cuisine. For those distinguished flavors like garlic, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme, we’eve compiled a list of some of the best Cajun and Caribbean restaurants in Philadelphia. Whether you’re looking for Jamaican, Dominican, Cuban, or Cajun in Philly, we’ve got you covered.
JAMAICAN JERK HUT
Jamaican Jerk Hut is a Philly cuisine landmark. The jerk chicken is grilled in a real charcoal jerk pit, and comes out aromatic and smoky, sweet and hot. Curry shrimp with a side of johnny cake or roti, curry goat, and ginger beer round out the other top-notch traditional offerings. Originally only a take-out restaurant, the Jerk Hut now offers an open-air garden complete with colorful picnic tables, fake palms, and the steel drums of live reggae (some will recognize the location from the final scene of the 2005 Cameron Diaz film In Her Shoes).
1436 South Street
Beck’s has two locations in the city, with one in Reading Terminal Market and 30th Street Station. In bustling Reading Terminal, the red, green, and yellow stand and has seating for 12. At both spots, New Orleans specialities take center stage—muffaletta, alligator sausage po’ boys, andouille, and tasso are just some of the authentic comfort food. For dessert, enjoy beignets and chicory roast.
12th Street & Arch Street
American and traditional Irie fare share the menu at West Philly’s 48th Street Grille. Jamaican-born chef Carl Lewis serves up a sizzling jerk chicken sandwich with cabbage and rice and beans, as well as braised oxtail with butter beans and homemade ginger beer. A rotating selection of decadent dessert features Oreo mousse cake, sweet potato cheesecake, and bread pudding.
310 S. 48th Street
Come hungry, because the Dominican dishes at this Spring Garden eatery are humongous. The most popular dish may be the flavor-packed beef patty with yellow rice, black beans, tostones, and pastelitos. Other strong options include massive lunch specials, ceviche, and Cuban ropa vieja. A sweet papaya milkshake is the perfect beverage to wash down all the spices.
345 N. 12th Street
The cuisine of Cuba, South America, Spain, Africa, and Asia are all simmered with Cuban cultural techniques at Cuba Libre. Our favorite meal includes ceviche, empanadas, lechón asada, and grilled seafood. An extensive rum bar is the perfect source for a delicious mojito, and late-night salsa dancing sets the stage for festive eating. Designed to resemble a street cafe in Havana, diners are transported to a 1940s Cuban Street in the indoor courtyard.
10 S. 2nd Street