It’s Caribana time! For us in Toronto we know its that time when we see the streets begin to fill with Americans and tourists from around the world that are ready to bruk it down and celebrate Caribbean culture all weekend long. This is the time of year where you can expect to see feathers on the ground, you might go to a party where they throw baby powder into the air and you can expect to see lots and lots of people lined up for the club.
But whether you’re a tourist experiencing the Carnival culture for the first time or a Torontonian who already knows how to jump up and wave make sure you recharge with some dope Caribbean food. Seriously-you can’t fully enjoy Caribana without tasting the amazing Caribbean food this city has to offer! We’ve rounded up some of the best Caribbean restaurants near the downtown core that you’ve GOT TO check out before the end of this weekend. You’ll thank me later! (Be sure to tell them Black Foodie sent you!)
699 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L2
Toronto’s newest Caribbean Restaurant is conveniently located steps away from Pape Station. They serve Caribbean food with a twist adding delicious southern dishes to the mix! Try their jerk fettuccine or hearty soul bowl for candied yams, collard greens and caribbean channa. My favourite is their fish cakes! It’s delicious and the vibe is amazing- they even have live music on the weekends. If you’re looking for an upscale vibe while you turn up in the city. Come thruuuu!
181 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON
A stop through Kensington market is a must for any true foodie making their way through Toronto. And Maracas is a restaurant you gotta check out while you make your way through this eclectic neighbourhood. Serving up tasty Trini dishes like doubles & roti alongside creative cocktails, it’s a great place to grab lunch or dinner and pregame before the party! Plus their resident steel pan musician keeps the party going with his caribbean renditions of the songs we love!
Simones Caribbean Restaurant
596 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1R1
Simones is the type of Jamaican restaurant you’ve been searching for your whole life. Picture amazing jerk chicken, oxtail, johnny cakes…. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. All of this amazing authentic Jamaican food can be found in the cutest little restaurant ever. YES it exists! This is not a take out joint- you can chill here and eat some of the best Jamaican food outside of the islands (in my humble opinion). Their backyard patio is beautiful and the perfect place to enjoy their refreshing sorrel, tasty codfish fritters and flavourful jerk chicken.
926 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON
So I can’t talk about Caribbean food and forget about delicious Haitian eats. If you need a griot or pikliz fix come through and enjoy the good food, cool vibes and refreshing frozen drinks! My favourite was the oxtail! It was so good and the venue is beautiful! It’s a bit of a trek from the downtown core but totally worth the trip!
One Love Vegetarian
854 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON
One love vegetarian food makes vegetarian food so good I thought I thought I was tricked (I legit thought they had snuck some chicken in to my roti). FOR REAL! Their roti with the TVP and Jamaican pumpkin should win an award. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, it’s a great place to grab something on the go before you jump up and wave. But FYI they’re closed on Sundays.
Allwyn’s on Queen
This Toronto favourite finally has a location downtown right by Queen and Spadina! If you’re in need of a quick bite, come through and grab one of their famous jerk sandwiches in coco bread, be sure to grab some of their tasty hot sauce too!
Ackee Dynamic Jamaican Jerk
Heading East to party and looking for some good Jamaican eats ? Check out Ackee restaurant for some dope jerk chicken or try Chef George’s favourite dish- the curry goat. Even if you’re on the go, you can take a jerk sandwich on the go or try their version of jerk fries. Plus there are several African restaurants nearby so you can get a taste of the diaspora while you’re in the neighbourhood.
Chubby’s Jamaican Restaurant
104 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2N2
Want a beautiful Caribbean restaurant to grab brunch or dinner at with your crew? This is it. The items on the menu aren’t necessarily traditional Jamaican food- but they definitely are delicious. My favourites include their spicy jerk wings with mini festivals and a touch of honey, spiced fried okra, saltfish fritters and Better than sundae dessert. Their cocktails are on point as well. Plus the interior is absolutely beautiful! If you’re trying to eat good and flex on the gram to show your friends back home how lit Caribana is -you’ll get a great meal and the perfect shot here.
Ps. If you want to show you love Caribbean food as much as we do- check out our fun t-shirts! You can grab one online