Happy Caribbean Week to all of our NYC readers! For the past few days, New Yorkers have been able to celebrate the culture of the Caribbean including art, music and – most importantly – delicious, delicious food! When you imagine the Caribbean, you may picture sunny blue skies, a beach chair and a picturesque ocean. Or are you thinking of the Corona commercial? Regardless, there are thousands of islands belonging to 36 different countries. Needless to say, it’s a hot spot for not only beach lovers, but foodies as well. If you haven’t packed your bags already, we welcome you to salivate over the flavor-packed dishes served by these local NYC staples.

Sofrito

440 E. 57th St, Manhattan

sofrito food caribbean week

This swanky upper 50’s joint is sure to transport you and your taste buds straight to the Caribbean – Puerto Rico to be exact. With a menu as extensive as the exclusive events and stars spotted there, they bring a modern club spin to their tried-and-true flavors and recipes. When your finish your meal, feel free to stay in the lounge or keep the party going late because this classy restaurant turns into a thumping club at night. Make sure to dress your best and bring your dancing shoes (mostly because work boots and sneakers are not allowed).

Cuba

222 Thompson St, Manhattan

cuba caribbean week outside

Feel free to get your Cuban food fix any day of the week at this stylish Village must-see. From weekend brunch to live music, not to mention the authentic and delicious food,  this place has it all. This lively little gem boasts a 24 food rating on Zagat, and four stars in New York Magazine. The rowdy scene is infectious, and beyond your traditional Cuban meal, the culture of Cuba is sure to rub off on you. Trust us, you’ll leave with a broad smile and full stomach.

El Malecon

4141 Broadway, Washington Heights

el malecon caribbean week food

Serving up finger-licking-good Dominican food, El Malecon waves their self-proclaimed title “King Of Roasted Chicken” in their competitors’ faces. More casual than our first two restaurants, customers forgive slower service at this hole in the wall, knowing that they’ll be rewarded with homemade rotisserie chicken, spicy soups and scrumptious seafood. If you can sacrifice ambiance for itty bitty prices, then this place is for you.

Freda’s Caribbean & Soul Cuisine

993 Columbus Ave, Manhattan

fredas food caribbean week

For a general Caribbean experience, look no further than Freda’s, a family run restaurant for three generations. Everything on the menu is homemade, bringing life to traditional Caribbean recipes such as jerk chicken, brown stewed chicken, callaloo and candied yams. This quaint and homey eatery earned 5 stars on Urbanspoon and a 25/30 on Zagat. The best part? The small prices for the huge portions.

Negril Village 

70 West 3rd St, Manhattan

negril outside caribbean week

Serving Caribbean and Jamaican brunch, lunch and dinner, this restaurant is all about “jerk, rum, reggae and more.” The husband and wife team behind this family-run restaurant aims to be a true representation of Caribbean hospitality, culture and (of course) food. Dubbed the “New York Savvy Caribbean Cuisine,” once you’re done with your sophisticated meal, head downstairs to their club and lounge to get a real taste of a Caribbean party!

If this list just didn’t satisfy you (or you’ve already tried all these places) make sure to search out more Caribbean cuisine in NYC, you’ll be amazed how many options there are. So what are you waiting for? Go make a reservation and celebrate Caribbean week!

Let us know: what is your favorite Caribbean restaurant or dish?

Gabbi Ewing is a rising junior studying Journalism as well as Film & Television at NYU. She is a New Jersey native who enjoys traveling, writing, skiing, and swimming. She hopes to travel the world, but her next adventure is taking her to Sydney, Australia to study with NYU. She aspires to work for National Geographic or Discovery Channel and to use her film, photography and writing skills to help people experience new cultures and places that they don't have the opportunity to travel to themselves.

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