Looking for patties that pack a punch? Peanut punch that jerks your tastebuds back to life? Jerk chicken that’s simply dynamite? You've come to the right place, my friend. Because London is brimming with quality Caribbean restaurants and takeaways – all of which play a vital role in supplying the communities they serve with excellent food and an arena for people from all walks of life to come together over a communal sense of enjoyment.
Whether you’re in the mood for a post-night double or a pre-night bowl of breeches-busting Oxtail stew, Caribbean food joints provide a sanctum of good eating that is hard to match. God knows a portion of ackee and saltfish has saved us from many a life-questioning hangover caused by a night of too much rum consumption.
Often heavily spiced and dancing with fresh produce, food from the Caribbean is comfort at its finest. And, while we tend to advocate championing your local rice and peas-salespersons whenever possible, we’re encouraging you here to do a bit of food exploring throughout the capital. Because that comfort really can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
London is chock-a-block with excellent Caribbean fare – from traditional Trinidadian roti huts to genuine Jamaican jerk drums, so trust us when we tell you that you’re never too far from someone doing the goods on some dangerously addictive dumplings.
The following are some of Foodism's picks for the best places to pick up great Caribbean food in London. Is it an exhaustive guide? Far from it. But is every one of these restaurants and takeaways worth a visit to dine on some fantastic Caribbean cuisine? Absolutely.
16 best Caribbean restaurants and takeaways in London
1. Roti Joupa
12 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UT
Roti Joupa has absolutely got the sauce. This Trini takeaway serves some of the best rotis and doubles in the city. Simply sidle up to the counter, choose your roti filling (we’d personally recommend the chana or curry goat), decide on what spice level you can handle, and get ready for an eating experience that’ll make every meal you eat afterwards dwindle with disappointment. Why? Because pretty much everything at Roti Joupa is super affordable, appetising and the sizeable portions will have you full and happy as an aloo pie. No, there’s not much room for seating, but when the food hits you with this much of a flavour haymaker – that simply doesn’t matter. We’ll be having words if you don't order a buss up shut roti.
85 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8NY
This Kentish Road staple has been firing up Latin Caribbean cuisine since 2007. While options like jerk caesar salad aren’t what you'd expect to find on most typical Caribbean menus, classics like oxtail butter bean stew (complete with rice and peas and plantain on the side) and the grilled jerk chicken hut scratch that itch with aplomb. Serving dishes inspired by the flavours of Jamaica, Colombia, Mexico and everywhere in-between, Guanabana is about as unique as they come. The fact it's BYOB is still pretty BYO-unbelievable to us and, c’mon, where else are you going to get the chance to nyam some Jaimaican poutine?
50 Stoke Newington Street, N16 7XB
Making great jerk is no joke, which is why the Rudie's team is exacting about everything from the butchering techniques to the marinating process to cooking the meat over coal in traditional jerk steel drums. And it's worth it, too – this is the place for some of the most succulent, perfectly spiced jerk dishes around. Though that’s far from all Rudie's does. Ital options like the Jay Love! Platter – heaped with sauteed ackee, sweet peppers and fried plantain – are plant-based and packed with just as much flavour.
107B Commercial Street, E1 6BG
Rotis and rum. Rum and rotis. No matter how you slice it, that's a pretty dreamy combination of words right there. And Limin is a pretty dreamy place to be. Limin's macaroni pies, doubles and buss-up-shut rotis are all divine – the kind of dishes that keeps us up late at night and really bother our significant other due to the frankly unhealthy amount of time we dedicate to thinking about them. But, then again, can you really blame us when the buss-up-shut roti is that buttery, flaky and downright gorgeous?
5. Fish, Wings & Tings
Brixton Village, 99 Cold Harbour Lane, SW9 8PR
Fish, Wings & Tings has, er, fish (kingfish curry), wings (reggae wings) and plenty of 'tings' (split pea fritters, stew oxtail and more) on the menu. Chef Brian Danclair grew up watching his Trinidadian grandmother cook, so there's a clear Trini influence here, from beers to roti, and the vibe is fun and easygoing. Trained in French Provençal cooking, Danclair has developed what he calls "nouvelle Caribbean cuisine”"– a style of food that's just as delicious, and nowhere near as pretentious, as it sounds.
6. Junior's Caribbean Cuisine
63 Nevill Road, N16 8SW
Junior's has been serving Jamaican meals and juices to satisfied Stoke Newington residents since 1997. Those 20 years of service has allowed Junior's to nail its cooking down to a fine art. Ackee and saltfish punches through with just the right amount of scotch bonnet and saline tang to have you chomping at the bit for another portion; oxtail curry is as rich as Scrooge McDuck and a hundred times more soft and giving. Don’t forget to grab a cooling guinness punch and a supermalt to lubricate your old throat box while you wait.
132 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RS
You won’t exactly struggle to find quality Caribbean fare in Brixton. The area has got a strong afro-Caribbean community with some of the finest saltfish fritters and free-range jerk chicken being found at Negril. The Brixton Hill café is a favourite among the young and the old thanks to the sheer quality and depth of the food it serves. It’s a haven for everyone from students seeking perfectly crisp chicken skin to disgruntled office worker in need of a completely Ital-abiding meal. Whisper this quietly but that mouth-watering selection of Rastafarian-style eats might just be some of the best vegan cooking in the whole capital.
8. Buster Mantis
3-4 Resolution Way, SE8 4NT
This gem of a bar is packed with life, soul, Jamaican food and dangerously drinkable punch. The menu changes on a weekly basis but you’ll pretty much be guaranteed to find excellent jerk and curry knocking about for a bloody good time. Jerk jackfruit and braised callaloo will keep the vegans among us satiated while the curry goat satisfies a far meatier spot of one’s skull. Be warned, though, as dishes tend to run out fast and the chances of getting your first choice are slim on a busy night. It has a space devoted to everything from life drawing to art exhibitions, and Wednesdays see Buster Mantis host weekly jazz nights. Dancing on a school night? Go on then.
9. Mama's Jerk
Arch 10, Deptford Market Yard, SE8 4NS
Mama's Jerk specialises in serving Caribbean cuisine that tastes of home, food that’s – and whisper this quietly now – probably even better than the stuff your mama used to make. Created in 2010 by Adrian Luckie, Mama’s Jerk is inspired by the cooking of Adrian's grandmother, Charlotte. Her legacy lives on through the ace display of punchy biryardis (jerk seasoned biryanis) and wraps you can get at any of Mama's Jerk joints in London. The delicious devil of it all is in the details. Fresh handmade dhal puri roti are the ideal sidekick to all of the hero dishes while jerk wings are slowly smoked and infused with pimento and fresh thyme before being drizzled with Mama Jerk’s homemade BBQ sauce. They're the bomb.
10. Ma Petite Jamaica
4 Inverness Street, NW1 7HJ
Ma Petite Jamaica is a little slice of Jamaica in Camden Town: a scotch bonnet safe space where you can stuff yourself silly with stone cold classics like fish escovitch with grilled vegetables and fried cassava or jerk red snapper from the jerk pot. Get a sharing platter all to yourself if you're feeling especially hungry. Daily happy hour from 5-7pm ensures your rum consumption will be up there with the very best of them.
226 Uxbridge Road, W12 7JD
Opened in 1996, Ochi Caribbean Takeaway has been a central part of the Shepherd's Bush Afro-Caribbean community for over two decades now. It’s a place to meet old friends, new and a never-ending line of Deliveroo drivers. Rihanna, Rick Ross, Amy Winehouse and Lenny Henry have all graced Ochi with their presence over the years (evidence of this available on the feted "Wall of Fame"), and it’s not hard to see why. Plump festivals and dumplings are a gorgeous, golden hue and a waft of redolent curry spices greet you as soon as you walk through the doors. Order a portion of curry goat with rice and peas and you won't just get a glop of indiscernible meat and sauce. You'll get beautifully pink meat that sprints off the bone to swim in a thick, rich and moreish pool of gravy.
12. Soul Food
8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
Almost never seen without an anaconda-esque queue snaking around its audibly soulful sizzle, Borough Market's Soul Food is a popular lunchtime spot with locals and tourists alike. Anglo-Jamaican chef Patrick Williams ensures everything served at Soul Food meets his impeccable standards, delivering an affordable and efficient eating experience that’s capable of standing out among the impressive noise and bluster of Borough Market. The only problem, of course, is deciding what to order. Chicken pelau or a ham hock box? Grilled rump steak or seasoned prawn wrap? The soup of the day changes on a, well, daily basis. And you should be really there that often to try out all that Soul Food’s got to offer.
13. Island Social Club
258 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG
Run by owners Marie Mitchell and Joseph Pilgrim, the Island Social Club is a hub of real Caribbean food and real creativity in Haggerston. A regular events programme and a mean selection of curries and stews guarantee you won’t ever visit the place just once. Especially when the food is this good. Island Social Club’s curry mutton, fragrant with licks of garlic and ginger, is marinated for 24 hours in one of the tenderest treatments of the meat you’ll find in the city. Other essentials are the addictive bussup shut rotis. Prepared in-house, these rotis arrive on your table in a happy mound and, pliable with all the dextrousness of a Russian gymnast, are perfect for mopping up any delicious dregs you’ve got left on your place.
14. Reggie's Caribbean Cuisine
55 Hillside, NW10 8LY
Reggie's is a family-run Trinidadian restaurant with a whole lot of heart. Thanks in no small part to the exuberant presence of head chef, Agnes. Everything cooked by Agnes, from her salt fish fritters to her channa roti, is packed with a spades of aromatic spice. This isn't fast food: it's food made with care and affection. Not content with just nailing the classics, Reggie's underlines the fusion of different ethnic influences that makes Caribbean food so diverse. Perhaps best epitomised by the presence of chicken chow mein on the menu right next to the pelau. Everything is fantastic value for money and a considerable bargain when you consider the quality on offer. Although you won't be left wanting after a few sizeable portions of mains, you’d be remiss not to order some of Agnes' homemade ice cream for dessert.
157-159 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3LF
If you yearn for the sounds, smells and sunshine of carnival, make a trip to Cottons' Notting Hill branch. The group first opened its doors in Camden in 1985, so it's safe to say they know a thing or two about creating utterly delicious Caribbean fare for the masses, and you won't leave disappointed. Most of the cocktails are, quite obviously, rum based. So much so that the Notting Hill branch currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the bar with the most types of rum commercially available (372). A lot of the meat plates at Cottons shines through though the most popular dish of all is the chaguanas dinner plate – chana dhal curry served with black eyed bean, chick pea and callaloo fritters, and plantain.
16. The Rum Kitchen
Carnaby Street, W1B 5PW
Sit yourself down at either of The Rum Kitchen’s Brixton or Carnaby premises for a relaxed restaurant that oozes with a cool, beach shack vibe and doesn’t skimp out on the fun. The Rum Kitchen also isn’t stingy when it comes to serving drinks or generously portioned dishes. Plates of fire pit fish and proper fried chicken are enough to leave you satisfied, though limiting yourself to just a small selection will have you suffering from food FOMO like no other. The Rum Kitchen’s exactly the sort of place to bring a couple of mates to go absolutely H.A.M. on a platter of wings. The wings are marinated for 48 hours, grilled and tossed in The Rum Kitchen’s signature jerk sauce. And while items like the mac and cheese pie are a bit of a more upscale (and expensive) version than you’ll find at most Caribbean takeaways, they’re still very good. Order a sharing punch to accompany your mates and meat to ensure that the good times keep on flowing.