Philadelphia is known for its tasty food, specifically specialties like cheesesteaks and tomato pie, but did you know this city also serves a variety of global cuisines?
That’s right, you can find a restaurant for just about any kind of food here. Personally, I find one of the most amazing cuisines to be Caribbean/Jamaican food.
I know it can be hard to find a spot with traditional dishes of this kind that live up to my expectations, so I’ve put together a list of my favorites so you don’t have to.
Whether you want a basic meal with the classics or something a little more innovative, there’s a spot for you on this list.
I’ve also included a couple spots with a few Americanized offerings too, so you can ease into the cuisine. Keep reading to learn a bit about each place!
Best Jamaican Restaurants in Philadelphia
48th Street Grille
310 S 48th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143
When I’m in the mood for Jamaican and Caribbean food in a casual cool atmosphere, I’m all about the 48th Street Grille.
This Garden Court neighborhood restaurant in the heart of West Philadelphia also serves pasta and burgers if you have kids or friends who aren’t in the mood for island fare.
48th Street Grille uses locally sourced ingredients that best represent the Carribean flavors they honor and showcase.
Try their Jamaican specialties like rasta pasta, conch fritters, curry chicken, brown stew chicken, jerk chicken, and red beans and rice.
Chef Carl is known for fall-off-the-bone chicken and for bringing Jamaica to Philly since 2014.
El Coqui Panaderia
3528 I St, Philadelphia, PA 19134
One of the things about island food is that influences overlap, and you can find Jamaican or Caribbean-inspired food in places you might not think about. El Coqui Panaderia serves up great Puerto Rican food at terrific prices.
This is my go-to in Philadelphia for empanadas, pastelitos, and Puerto Rican pastries. They are worth a visit for their guava coconut cake alone. The bakery lines can get a bit long, but once you eat their sweet treats, you won’t mind it.
El Coqui Panaderia also features a selection of mofongo – smashed plantain served with various proteins, including fried pork, shrimp, or chicken. Nothing quite screams island flavor like mofongo.
Ron’s Caribbean Cafe
5726 N Broad St #2321, Philadelphia, PA 19141
Ron’s Caribbean Cafe, as you can probably tell from the name, is part cafe, part Caribbean restaurant. They’re located in the Fern Rock neighborhood and offer generous portions for reasonable prices. Ron’s is carry-out only, so they’re great for taking back to your hotel or picking up on the way to hang out with friends.
The Jamaican specialties at Ron’s Caribbean Cafe include oxtails, pepper steak, curry goat, ackee, salt fish, jerk chicken, brown stew chicken, curry chicken, and curry shrimp.
This place has a top 50 rating in Philly Magazine and is one of my favorites for approachable, friendly Jamaican take-out.
345 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Parada Maimon is a Dominican restaurant also known for its Caribbean, Latin, South American, and Central American fare.
Located near the City Hall Visitor’s Center and just a few blocks from the Best Western Plus Convention Center, it’s a great spot if you’re in town for an event and don’t want to waste time looking for a warm and comforting meal.
Specialties at Parada Maimon include tostones, flan, oxtails, red snapper, rice and beans, Cuban sandwiches, and mofongo. Try the reasonably priced half-chicken if you want the best deal for your wallet and stomach.
Cibao Fried Chicken Restaurant
3382 Frankford Ave #3253, Philadelphia, PA 19134
Cibao Fried Chicken Restaurant in the Harrowgate neighborhood of Philadelphia serves up super crispy fried chicken and a selection of Dominican and Caribbean favorites.
Cibao is a small restaurant with only a few tables, so most people swing by for take-out. However, if you can grab a table, it has a low-key, unassuming atmosphere and is a great place to people-watch while you chow down.
The food here captures that home-cooked flavor in dishes such as stewed chicken, tostones, chicharron, rice and beans, meat pies, and potato balls with gravy.
4821 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Don’t let the name Little Delicious fool you. The portions are big, and the flavor is a lot of delicious! It might look like a hole in the wall, but its friendly atmosphere and fresh flavors make it worth investigating.
Before you go, know there’s usually a long line for the comforting food. Also, they are cash only, so you might want to hit up an ATM on your way over.
Their Jamaican, Caribbean, and American dishes include jerk chicken, curry chicken, peppered steak, curry goat, oxtails, collard greens, red beans and rice, and ackee and saltfish.
Brown Sugar Bakery
219 S 52nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19139
I love a place where I can get delicious, filling food, indulgent pastries, and cupcakes to either stuff in my face right away or bring out with me for later. Brown Sugar Bakery is that place for me.
Located in West Philadelphia, they focus on providing Philly with affordable and excellent Trinidadian food. There is so much flavor in their dishes, but the spice levels are good, hot, but not blow your face off spicy.
While this is a small restaurant, there are a few tables, and it has a pleasant, friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
Try their specialties like chicken patties, black cake, sorrel, roti, stew chicken, curry goat, oxtails, jerk chicken, and rice and peas.
Flambo Caribbean Restaurant
205 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Near the Forrest Theatre and the City Hall Visitor Center, Flambo Caribbean serves Trinidadian food in a space that tries to immerse you in the Trinidadian atmosphere and experience.
Locals know Flambo for its good portions, great prices, and excellent service. The restaurant is a melting pot of cultures, with Calypso music playing in the background. The food here is spicy but super tasty.
Try their Caribbean and Jamaican food, such as oxtails, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, curried goat, macaroni pie, sweet cinnamon plantains, fried cassava, roti, and rice and beans.
5420 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Ibis Lounge is a cool, cozy, quiet, and laid-back place to get Jamaican food. If you want a lounge atmosphere, reggae music, and some drinks with your jerk chicken, this might be the place for you.
Other food offerings include roti, shrimp, oxtails, mac and cheese, rice and peas, curry chicken, cabbage, plantains, and callaloo.
While it has an unassuming appearance on the outside, the food is filling, affordable, and makes a big impression!
40 N 52nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19139
Phone: (215) 747-1460
If you like laid-back, no-frills restaurant, head over to Top Taste. This local restaurant serves Jamaican meals in a home-style fashion. People love the food and larger portions at this stop.
The menu at Top Taste is simplistic, but it certainly gets the job done. Try out the fried chicken, stew peas, oxtail, pepper steak, or turkey wings.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, make sure to order a platter, locals say it’s plenty of food to fill you up plus more!
Freddy & Tony’s Restaurant
201 W Allegheny Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19133
Freddy & Tony’s Restaurant in Fairhill features Puerto Rican fare, friendly service, a bilingual menu, and staff. If Spanish is not your strong suit, don’t worry. Just remember to bring cash, as they don’t accept cards.
Freddy & Tony’s are known for their large portions of delicious food like mofongo, tostones, pernil, yellow rice, rellenos de papa, arroz con gandules, and pasteles de guineo. They also feature a whole roast chicken for the super hungry.
Reef Restaurant & Lounge
605 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Reef Restaurant & Lounge features a traditional fiery Caribbean flavor with a modern menu and upscale atmosphere. Family-owned and in the same Head House/ Queen Village location for 20 years, this place has a legendary reputation for good food and great times.
Reef Restaurant & Lounge is also a bar and pub with great happy hour specials.
If you’re in the neighborhood, though, and stop by, you might as well stop in hungry. Their menu features Tridadian and Jamaican food favorites like Trini doubles, Jamaican patties, rice and beans, steamed cabbage, rasta pasta, roti, and jerk chicken.
They don’t just leave it at that. For those who love fusion and twists, check out items like the oxtail poutine and the jerk salmon cheesesteak.
I bet you had no idea that Philadelphia was filled with all of these Jamaican/Caribbean restaurants. Though the cuisine may be unfamiliar to some of our readers, I would definitely recommend giving it a try when you’re feeling adventurous.
Looking for something else tonight? Check out our favorite places to indulge in pasta by clicking here.
Which spot will you visit first? Let us know! Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!