May 10, 2023 - Food and Drink

11 places to get Caribbean food in Charlotte

If you can’t travel to the Caribbean, your taste buds can with local island cuisine options in Charlotte.

Here are 11 must-try Caribbean spots in the city.

Editor’s note: This list was not compiled in any particular order and is not a ranking. 

Caribbean Hut

There are two locations, in University and South Charlotte, that serve all of you authentic Jamaican dishes including patty options, curry and jerk entrees. 

What to order: Their most popular dish is the curry goat with yellow rice and stir fry vegetables ($18.50). They also offer a variety of freshly squeezed juices like pineapple ginger ($3). 

Details: Caribbean Hut is located at 9609 N. Tryon St. and 200 W. Woodlawn Road.

  • The University City location is open Monday through Friday 11am-10:30pm, Saturday 8am-10:30pm and Sunday 12-8pm.
  • The South Charlotte location is open Monday through Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 12-8pm.
Beef patty at Caribbean Hut in University City. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Crav’n Caribbean

If you’re craving oxtails then this is the spot for you. Located inside The City Kitch, a ghost kitchen off Thrift Road, you’ll find several Caribbean fusions options using the popular savory dish from oxtail cheesesteak and oxtail fried rice. 

What to order: One of their flavorful popular items is an oxtail cheesesteak which comes with a side of your choice ($30). Another savory option would be the brown stew chicken with two sides of your choice ($16). 

  • Of note: Their menu changes often so it’s worth ordering online.    

Details: Crav’n Caribbean is located at inside The City Kitch, 2200 Thrift Road.

  • It’s open Thursday through Saturday 12-3pm and 4-8pm, closed Sunday to Tuesday.
If you can’t get your hands on one of their popular oxtail items then try one of their poultry items. Brown stew chicken, cabbage, rice and peas. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Tropical Goodies

Open for more than a decade, Tropical Goodies has two locations serving a blend of Caribbean and soul food.

What to order: The beef ribs ($9.25+) and the curry goat ($10+) can be ordered in a variety of sizes. For sides, try the sweet fried plantains, cabbage or collard greens.   

Details: Tropical Goodies is located at 2601 Tuckaseegee Road and 2316 Lasalle St.

  • The location on Tuckaseegee Road is open Tuesday through Saturday 12-8pm, closed Sunday and Monday.
  • The Lasalle St. location is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-8:30pm and closed Sunday.

Combination plate with beef ribs, curry goat, cabbage and plantains. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

El Puro 

One of Charlotte’s best restaurants, this Madison Park restaurant brings real Cuban flavor to Charlotte. 

What to order: The Langosta Macorina, a sautéed Caribbean lobster tail creole sauce and avocado crema (Market Price) or the “PUR”-iche, a version of ceviche with seasonal fish.

Details: El Puro is located at 5033 South Blvd.

  • It’s open from Tuesday through Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-12am and closed Monday.
  • The same owners behind El Puro also own Havana Carolina in downtown Concord. It’s worth the drive to create a vibe for an island getaway offering live music, authentic Cuban food and tropical drinks.
“PUR”-iche with a side of sweet-potato fried plantains. Photo: Laura Barrero/ Axios

Go deeper: Scoop: Havana Carolina owners open new Cuban restaurant in Charlotte

Ms.Didi’s Kitchen

A food truck packed with all of the flavors found in authentic Haitian cuisine, from legume to black rice.

What to order: Leogane (chicken in sauce) served with rice and beans and your choice of a side. Other must-try items include mac n cheese ($7) and beef patties ($2 each). There’s also a vegan option with a vegetable-stewed legume ($18).

  • Of note: The menu items vary depending on the day but you can find an updated menu and schedule on their Instagram
Ms. Didi's Caribbean Kitchen
Leogane (chicken in sauce) served with rice and beans. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Details: Check Ms.Didi’s Kitchen social media pages for updates on location and schedule.

Mama’s Caribbean Grill & Bar

A longstanding island cuisine staple in Plaza Midwood serving traditional dishes like jerk chicken plates and drinks like natural sorrel and Irish moss.

What to order: Curried goat ($16+) or chicken ($10.99+) are popular options. Try the jerk chicken if you can take the spice ($10.99+). All items are severed with rice and peas, plus sides of your choice.  

Details: Mama’s Caribbean Grill & Bar is located at 1504 Central Ave.

Combination plate with oxtails and curried goat served over rice and peas with cabbage and mac n cheese. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios
  • It’s open Monday through Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-12am and Sunday 12-8pm.

Quidley’s Delight

A range of tropical seafood options and other traditional dishes in north Charlotte.

What to order: The shrimp ($16.62) or snapper plates ($26-$31) can be cooked up in a stew, jerk or curry sauces. Try it with a side of pumpkin rice and candied yams. 

Details: Quidley’s Delight is located at 10901 University City Blvd.

Brown stew chicken, pumpkin rice, yams and plantains. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios
  • It’s open Tuesday through Thursday 12-9pm, Friday and Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 1-8pm and closed Monday.

Roy’s Kitchen & Patio

This restaurant located in NoDa sets the tropical vibe with reggae music, fruity drinks and tropical decor. 

What to order: The oxtail plate ($19) with mac n cheese and cabbage. 

Details: Roy’s Kitchen & Patio is located at 3112 N. Davidson St.

Oxtail plate with mac & cheese and plantains. A habanero salmon plate with cabbage and plantains. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios
  • It’s open Tuesday through Friday 4-11pm, Saturday 12-11pm, Sunday 11am-10pm and closed Monday.

Jerk & Juice

 A casual dining spot in University City offering comfort food options, brunch, soups plus smoothies and juices.  

What to order: The Curry chicken ($12.87+) is one of their more popular items. For sides, try cabbage, mac n cheese or rice and peas. They also offer a different soup of the day.

Details: Jerk & Juice is located at 440 E. McCullough Dr.

  • It’s open Tuesday through Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am-4pm and closed Monday.

Hillside Caribbean Cuisine

This new-ish restaurant opened in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood about a year ago. The owner, who’s from Jamaica, will fill your plate to the brim. 

What to order: The BBQ Jerk Chicken ($12.99) with a side of mac n cheese and sweet plantains. 

Details: Hillside Caribbean Cuisine is located at 1113 Pegram St.

BBQ Jerk Chicken with a side of mac&cheese and sweet plantains. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • It’s open Monday through Friday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-9pm.

Caribbean Buzz

A food truck that’s been serving the city for five years offering specialty Haitian fried items from Griot to chicken.

What to order: Griot, an island fried pork, plate served with sweet plantains ($16) or the fried snapper for an entree ($19) are some of the more popular items. Other top sellers include pulled pork mac and cheese ($13) and seafood mac and cheese ($16).

Details: Check Caribbean Buzz’s Instagram page for daily schedule updates regarding the location the truck.

Photo: Courtesy of Natacha Candio

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