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The Best Caribbean and Cajun Food in Philadelphia

Where to find the best Caribbean and Cajun eats in the City of Brotherly Love

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Alma de Cuba Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia
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The Philly region abounds in delicious and satisfying Caribbean and Cajun food.

From Jambalaya and po’ boys to crawfish and jerk chicken, restaurants in Center City, West Chester, New Hope and more feature cuisine from New Orleans, Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Read on for tips on where to go for unforgettable Caribbean and Cajun eats in Philadelphia.

Caribbean, Cuban & More

01

48th Street Grille

Traditional Irie fare mingles with American eats at West Philly’s 48th Street Grille. The menu includes flavorful options like jerk chicken, braised oxtail with butter beans, curried chicken and homemade ginger beer.

Where: 48th Street Grille, 310 S. 48th Street

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Alma De Cuba

Alma de Cuba Alma de Cuba
— Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

Caribbean and Cuban cooking get a modern makeover at Stephen Starr’s Alma De Cuba. Mojito shrimp ceviche is served with crispy sweet potato, the ropa vieja is made from short rib, and the key lime flan comes with graham cracker ice cream and toasted marshmallow.

Where: Alma de Cuba, 1623 Walnut Street

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03

Brown Sugar Bakery

Trini and West Indian flavors meld at Walnut Hill’s Brown Sugar Bakery. Customers clamor for curry goat roti, oxtail with rice and peas, mac and cheese and a robust selection of pastries.

Where: Brown Sugar Bakery, 219 S. 52nd Street

04

Caribbean Delight

Caribbean Delight has been serving up Jamaican cuisine — chicken, beef or vegetable patties, jerk chicken and curry goat or pepper steak — for more than 30 years. Save room for desserts like rum cake, spice buns and sweet potato pie.

Where: Caribbean Delight, 1124 South Street

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05

Cibao Fried Chicken Restaurant

Kensington’s Cibao Fried Chicken Restaurant offers huge plates of goodness for a small price tag. The traditional fare includes rice and beans with chicken or pork, tostones and stewed eggplant.

Where: Cibao Fried Chicken Restaurant, 3382 Frankford Avenue

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06

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre interior Cuba Libre interior
— Photo courtesy Cuba Libre

The appealingly breezy atmosphere at Old City’s Cuba Libre sets the stage for festive eating. Round out a meal of guacamole, empanadas, lechón asada and seafood paella with house-crafted mojitos and decadent tres leches.

Where: Cuba Libre, 10 S. 2nd Street

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07

El Coqui Panaderia y Reposteria

Largely a bakery, El Coqui Panaderia also serves savory dishes such as mofongo, pastelillos and carne frita. The sweet allure of coconut cookies and other authentic pastries is undeniable.

Where: El Coqui Panaderia y Reposteria, 3528 I Street

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08

Flambo Caribbean Restaurant

Flambo Caribbean Restaurant Flambo Caribbean Restaurant
— Photo courtesy Flambo Caribbean Restaurant

Flambo Caribbean Restaurant serves up an extensive menu of Caribbean favorites like oxtail, vegetable and stew chicken buss-up-shot, callaloo and more. Pro tip: Order the pholourie, which are fried balls of dough served in a sweet tamarind sauce.

Where: Flambo Caribbean Restaurant, 820 N. Broad Street

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09

Freddy & Tony’s Restaurant

For a full spread of Puerto Rican favorites, Freddy & Tony’s Restaurant can’t be beat. The North Philly institution offers pastelillos, mofongo, habichuelas, pernil and plenty of combo plates containing all the variations therein.

Where: Freddy & Tony's Restaurant, 201 W. Allegheny Avenue

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10

Jamaican D’s

A craving for coco bread can be satisfied at Jamaican D’s truck, typically parked on the Community College of Philadelphia’s campus. More reasons to visit: generous portions of curry goat, brown stew chicken and rice and beans.

Where: Jamaican D's, 1700 Spring Garden Street

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11

Jamaican Jerk Hut

A Philly dining landmark, Jamaican Jerk Hut — a pivotal location in the Cameron Diaz classic In Her Shoes — does a brisk business in traditional delicacies like jerk chicken, curry goat and ginger beer. Expansive outdoor seating adds to the resort vibe.

Where: Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South Street

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12

Ibis Lounge

Dinner comes with a taste of nightlife at Ibis Lounge. Reggae and dancehall music accompany platters of stew chicken, curry shrimp and callaloo, along with fresh, tropical juices like passionfruit and mauby.

Where: Ibis Lounge, 5420 Lancaster Avenue

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Little Delicious

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Affordable, huge platters of jerk and curry keep fans coming back to Little Delicious. Tasty sides of plantains, cabbage and rice and tender beef patties keep diners full and happy.

Where: Little Delicious, 4821 Woodland Avenue

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Loco Lucho Latino

This Puerto Rican catering company now has a takeout spot in Reading Terminal Market, offering island-inspired street food. Don’t miss the plentiful selection of empanadas, Latin churrasco (skirt steak), authentic pernil (Latin pork) and more.

Where: Loco Lucho Latino, Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street

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Mixto Restaurante

Mixto Mixto
— Photo by D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

There’s no need to choose between the overlapping cuisines at Center City’s Mixto. Cuban vaca frita meets Colombian churrasco meets Peruvian-style stir fry at this fun and always-bustling restaurant.

Where: Mixto Restaurante, 1141 Pine Street

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Parada Maimon

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The kitchen at Parada Maimon in Callowhill dishes out Dominican food and lots of it. The beef patty, yellow rice with black beans, fried plantains and pasteles earn high marks among local ex-pats.

Where: Parada Maimon, 345 N. 12th Street

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17

Reef Restaurant & Lounge

Reef Restaurant Reef Restaurant
— Photo courtesy Reef Restaurant

Island cuisine comes to the mainland at Reef Restaurant & Lounge. Fruity mojitos and rum punch accompany specialties such as snapper with mango sauce, coconut shrimp and sweet potato pie.

Where: Reef Restaurant & Lounge, 605 S. 3rd Street

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18

Sunday’s Best

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The oxtails are a must at Sunday’s Best in West Philly. The Jamaican takeout kitchen also serves a mean jerk, along with rice and peas, cabbage and curry goat.

Where: Sunday Best, 41 N. 52nd Street

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Tierra Colombiana

A long-running favorite in El Centro de Oro, Tierra Colombiana serves a delicious bounty of regional foods. Colombian arepas, Dominican mofongo with shrimp and Cuban sausage with yellow rice are just a few of the many options.

Where: Tierra Colombiana, 4535 N. 5th Street

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20

Top Taste

Top Taste turns out top-notch Jamaican specialties in Mill Creek. On the menu: pepper steak, snapper, sour chicken and turkey wings. Two sides (mac and cheese, candied yams or cabbage) with each order.

Where: Top Taste, 40 N. 52nd Street

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Cajun & Creole

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Beck's Cajun Cafe

Train Wreck Po'Boy at Beck's Cajun Cafe Train Wreck Po'Boy at Beck's Cajun Cafe
— Photo by Neal Santos

Twin locations in Reading Terminal Market and 30th Street Station make it hard to miss Beck’s Cajun Café. New Orleans specialties such as muffuletta, alligator sausage po’ boys and beignets make the eatery hard to resist.

Where: Beck's Cajun Cafe, Various locations including 51 N. 12th Street

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22

Cajun Kate's

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Nestled inside the Booth’s Corner Farmers Market, Cajun Kate’s specializes in takeaway Creole cuisine. Dishes like crawfish pie, gator on a stick, crispy Cajun mac and cheese and pralines are the real deal.

Where: Cajun Kate's, 1362 Naamans Creek Road, Garnet Valley

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23

Catahoula

A neighborhood bar with Louisiana leanings, Catahoula serves up rich and decadent flavors. The bounty includes bourbon peppercorn burgers, fried catfish po’ boys, shrimp and grits, gumbo and molasses pecan pie.

Where: Catahoula Philly, 775 S. Front Street

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24

High Street Caffe

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A West Chester institution opened by former glam metal rocker Donny Syracuse, High Street Caffe has been known to host famous musicians. However, one need not wield a guitar to enjoy the etouffée, voodoo crawfish and jambalaya fettuccine.

Where: High Street Caffe, 322 S. High Street, West Chester

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Khyber Pass Pub

The flavors of the Gulf meet gastropub cookery at the Khyber Pass Pub. Muffuletta, gumbo and all manner of po’ boys (even vegan fried chicken!) accompany modern spins on the hurricane and Sazerac.

Where: Khyber Pass Pub, 56 S. 2nd Street

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Marsha Brown

— Photo by A. Sinagoga for Visit Philadelphia

Named for its Louisiana-born owner, Marsha Brown’s restaurant evokes her favorite childhood flavors in a distinctive former church in New Hope. On the menu: oysters, jambalaya and custard, plus steaks and an extensive wine list.

Where: Marsha Brown, 15 S. Main Street, New Hope

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Caribbean, Cuban & More

48th Street Grille
Alma De Cuba
Brown Sugar Bakery
Caribbean Delight
Cibao Fried Chicken Restaurant
Cuba Libre
El Coqui Panaderia y Reposteria
Flambo Caribbean Restaurant
Freddy & Tony’s Restaurant
Jamaican D’s
Jamaican Jerk Hut
Ibis Lounge
Little Delicious
Loco Lucho Latino
Mixto Restaurante
Parada Maimon
Reef Restaurant & Lounge
Sunday’s Best
Tierra Colombiana
Top Taste

Cajun & Creole

Beck's Cajun Cafe
Cajun Kate's
Catahoula
High Street Caffe
Khyber Pass Pub
Marsha Brown
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