[Courtesy of 14 Parishes' Website]

Best Places for Jamaican Eats in New Orleans

07:00 April 10, 2024
By: Audrey Campisi

Embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean without leaving the enchanting streets of New Orleans. In a city celebrated for its diverse cultural heritage, Jamaican cuisine stands out as a tantalizing addition to the gastronomic landscape.

Step away from the familiar tastes of the Crescent City and immerse yourself in the exotic spices and vibrant dishes of Jamaica. Join us as we explore the top Jamaican eateries in New Orleans, where authenticity meets innovation and every meal is a celebration of Jamaica's rich culinary heritage.

Top Jamaican Spots in New Orleans

1. Jamaican Jerk House

4017 Saint Claude Ave., 504-441-8905, instagram.com/bestjerkhouse

[Courtesy of Jamaican Jerk House's Facebook]

Located in the vibrant heart of New Orleans, Jamaican Jerk House stands out as a beacon of authentic Jamaican cuisine. Adorned in vibrant hues reminiscent of its island inspiration, the restaurant's colorful exterior pays homage to the spirit of Jamaica. Inside, immerse yourself in the lively ambiance where reggae beats fill the air and colorful lights create an inviting glow. Whether you prefer indoor comfort or the lively atmosphere of outdoor seating, Jamaican Jerk House caters to all preferences, even boasting a well-stocked bar area.

The menu offers a delightful fusion of flavors, including a diverse selection of Jamaican staples. Indulge in a culinary journey including tantalizing options such as pasta dishes, flavorful burgers, savory tacos, and traditional roti, alongside the undeniable star of the show: jerk chicken. For a taste of true Caribbean comfort, savor the curry goat dinner, a perfectly balanced dish served alongside rice and peas, as well as tender steamed cabbage.

Whether you're craving the bold flavors of Jamaica or seeking a lively atmosphere infused with island vibes, look no further than Jamaican Jerk House to satisfy your cravings.

2. Johnny's Jamaican Grill

1681 Religious St., 504-881-4993, johnnysjamaicangrill.com

[Courtesy of Johnny's Jamaican Grill's Website]

Johnny's Jamaican Grill will transport you to the shores of Montego Bay, nestled in the intimate area of the Lower Garden District. The restaurant also boasts a delectable and intriguing food truck typically parked on Frenchman, perfect for those craving Jamaican food on the go or looking for a quick refuel while bar hopping on the esteemed street.

The chef, lovingly referred to as Jamaican Johnny and who was born in Montego Bay, brings his roots to New Orleans. After growing up in the intoxicating atmosphere of Jamaican cuisine in his childhood, learning from his family and later training as a chef on an international cruise ship, he has settled down in New Orleans, where he brings his tradition to enjoy in the Crescent City, He began selling his food on the street, which pays true homage to the food trucks he runs, truly embodying everything quintessential for street food: authenticity, flavor, and convenience. The restaurant has earned a slew of impressive accolades, including the best jerk chicken in the city.

Whether you are looking for a bite on the street or heading down to the restaurant to see Johnny in action, head to Johnny's Jamaican Grill for a culinary experience that speaks for itself.

3. Afrodisiac

5363 Franklin Ave., 504-302-2090, afrodisiacnola.com

[Courtesy of Afrodisiac's Website]
Owned and operated by husband and wife team Kay and Shaka Garel, Afrodisiac combines the flavors Jamaican and New Orleans Creole cuisines together in a wonderful and unique mashup. The restaurant is located in Gentilly and has plenty of jerk marinated dishes so customers can really feel the heat.

The menu is a captivating fusion of cuisines, featuring dishes that range from hearty gumbos and spicy curry shrimp to corn maque choux paired with fried fish. However, the real showstopper is the sweet potato and plantain mash with smothered cabbage alongside Jamaican fried fish, a dish that embodies the chef's dedication to delivering both soul and spice in every bite.

For a culinary adventure that blends the best of Creole and Jamaican flavors, Afrodisiac is the destination.

4. Yawdi Food

1561 Tulane Ave., 504-302-1554, instagram.com/yawdifoodnola

[Courteys of Yawdi Food's Facebook]

This Jamaican eatery, nestled in the heart of the Central Business District, epitomizes the essence of authentic Caribbean cuisine. Its menu caters to all cravings, featuring a delightful array of breakfast options and an extensive selection of dinner delights. The atmosphere exudes a relaxed, genuinely Jamaican vibe, making it the ideal spot for a casual culinary escapade.

Whether you choose to dine in or opt for takeout, expect generously portioned meals crafted with care. A true highlight is their shrimp stir fry, served with two delectable sides, with their must-try macaroni and cheese standing out as a creamy, flavorful complement to the seafood. Yawdi Food also boasts a variety of combo dishes, catering to both the undecided and the ravenous. Indulge in the oxtail and jerk combo for a harmonious blend of perfectly seasoned meats, vibrant greens, and fragrant rice.

Head over to Yawdi Food for an authentic taste of Jamaica with generous portions, vibrant flavors, and an inviting atmosphere that is sure to leave you craving more.

5. Boswell's Jamaican Grill

3521 Tulane Ave., 504-482-6600, facebook.com/boswellsjamaicangrill

[Courtesy of Boswell's Jamaican Grill's Facebook]

For a taste of the Caribbean without leaving Mid City, Boswell's Jamaican Grill is the go-to destination. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a vibrant exterior sign, a nod to the island's spirit, inviting them into a space where the ambiance transports you straight to Jamaica. The restaurant boasts a generous outdoor seating area within a screened porch, perfect for those who enjoy dining al fresco, while its colorful and spacious interior ensures a comfortable and lively dining experience for all.

Boswell's prides itself on its jerk chicken, a must-try dish accompanied by classic sides like macaroni and cheese, cabbage, and, of course, plantains. In fact, every main dish here is complemented by their signature fried plantains, adding a delightful sweetness that balances the savory flavors. In addition to the food menu, Boswell's offers an extensive selection of beverages, including a variety of liquors and a wide array of authentic soft drinks and juices direct from the Caribbean, ensuring a fully immersive dining experience The lunch buffet at Boswell's is particularly noteworthy, presenting an ever-changing array of assorted fruits, salads, and hot entrées for just $11. This buffet is an ideal option for both dine-in and take-out, providing a broad spectrum of warm, comforting dishes that encapsulate the essence of Jamaican cuisine.

For those in pursuit of a genuine Jamaican culinary adventure, complete with a wide range of options, Boswell's Jamaican Grill's lunch buffet stands out as a perfect choice, offering an encompassing taste of Jamaica that's both accessible and inviting.

6. Coco Hut

2515 Bayou Rd., 504-945-8788, instagram.com/coco_hut_nola

[Syed Hashemi, Unsplash]

Coco Hut in the Seventh Ward offers an authentic Caribbean dining experience with its fresh, flavorful dishes and intimate atmosphere. This spot is perfect for a casual lunch or a cozy meal paired with drinks.

Their must-try dishes include the spicy and delicious jerk chicken and curry shrimp. Another stand out dish is their fried plantain, prepared fresh in small batches every day. To ensure you get a taste of everything, it's best to arrive early before they run out of popular items. The restaurant's colorful interior mirrors the vibrancy of Caribbean cuisine, creating a lively ambiance for diners. Guests order at the counter before selecting a seat outside, allowing them to enjoy their meal while soaking up the sun on a beautiful day.

So for those craving casual and local Caribbean cuisine, head over to Coco Hut for fresh and intimate dining.

7. 14 Parishes

Multiple Locations, 14parishes.com

[Courtesy of 14 Parishes' Website]

14 Parishes, with a presence on Oak Street and in Algiers, stands as a genuine tribute to Jamaica, drawing its name from the island nation's 14 administrative divisions. Chef Charles Blake, who hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica, embarked on his culinary journey at the tender age of 14, honing his skills at Jewels Restaurant and Resort in Portmore. Love brought him to New Orleans, the hometown of his future wife, and it wasn't long before the city's rich cultural tapestry inspired them to establish 14 Parishes in 2016.

The Oak Street location is home not only to the restaurant but also to the Hummingbird Lounge, a cocktail bar that offers an intimate ambiance perfect for private events or nights out with friends. The restaurant itself is designed to offer a refined dining experience, adorned with vibrant artwork, an eye-catching exterior, and a cozy, rustic interior. When it comes to the menu, 14 Parishes doesn't disappoint. Guests are encouraged to savor the jerk chicken, oxtails, and curry shrimp—dishes that epitomize Jamaican cuisine, presented with artistic flair and accompanied by an array of flavorful sides.

So embark on a culinary journey through the flavors of Jamaica at 14 Parishes, where every dish tells a story of passion and tradition.

7 Authentic Jamaican Places to Indulge in

Head to these food joints, offering Jamaican eats and providing an authentic taste of the island's fare, from fiery jerk chicken and succulent curried goat to flavorful patties and aromatic rice and peas. Amid the city's backdrop of jazz and jubilation, Jamaican eateries stand out for their commitment to tradition, spice, and everything nice, offering both locals and visitors alike a taste of the Caribbean that's as spirited as the city itself. This list of seven authentic Jamaican spots in New Orleans will weave the island's bold flavors and spices into the local cuisine.

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