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!)
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.
334 – Unit A Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1R8
Toronto’s newest Patties shop is conveniently located steps away from the Eaton Centre. Their flaky patties are hot, delicious and the perfect fix if you’re looking for a quick snack on before the parties begin. If you’re feeling hungry, try their patty and coco bread special, or their remixed beef patty with cheese, lettuce and tomato to fill you up.
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 or in person at the Theatre Centre Cafe, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J1.