If it’s truly authentic Caribbean food you’re after, these Leeds restaurants have got you covered.
Got a hankering for jerk chicken? Fancy a bowl of curried goat? Leeds is home to some of the best Caribbean restaurants this side of the Atlantic, so whether you’re eating in or taking away, grabbing breakfast or heading out for dinner, get ready to dive into an exotic world of tropical flavours. This is your chance to try recipes passed down through the generations and perfected plate by plate.
Maureen’s Caribbean Takeaway
When it comes to Caribbean food, Maureen’s has legendary status. It’s been one of the city’s most popular takeaways since it opened back in 2003 and you’ll soon see why. Jerk chicken, curried goat and fried plantain are made to recipes passed down through the generations. Fancy something different? Their ackee and salt fish is second to none, or you can go meat-free with their veggie curry, rice and peas. Whatever you go for, you can be damned sure they won’t skimp on the portion sizes.
Maureen’s Caribbean Takeaway, 105 Roundhay Road, Harehills, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 5AJ.
Turtle Bay is the most famous and most central Caribbean restaurant in Leeds and it’s the perfect place for fuss-free soul food. Jerk chicken, baby-back ribs and curried goat are all on the menu. But you can also enjoy a modern twist on classic combinations. Take the curry goat hash for example. It brings together succulent pieces of meat, fried potato, pink onion and fried eggs. It’s easy to pog out on the main event, but leave room for dessert and you’ll be treated to a delicious banana toffee cheesecake.
Turtle Bay, 14 The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
What do you get when you mix Caribbean classics with authentic African cuisine? Afrochops, that’s what. This teeny, tiny gem of an Afro-Caribbean takeaway comes with a big reputation. They’ve won over hoards of fans in Middleton with their loaded bowls of jerk barbecue wings, tasty Jamaican chicken patties and proper curried chicken with coconut rice. Those tantalising treats sit alongside African staples like jollof rice and ayamashe stew, so you can get the best of both worlds, all in one place.
Afrochops, 12 Thorpe Street, Middleton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 4EZ.
Brown Sugar Caribbean
In the heart of Richmond Hill, just minutes from Leeds city centre, lies a gem of a Caribbean takeaway. The menu is inspired by proper West Indian cooking with recipes passed down through the generations. Their soup of the day is the only place to start, warming broth flavoured with chicken, red peas, mutton or fish tea. From there, the curried veg and stuffed fried dumplings are tasty morsels, but if you fancy a feast, you can’t go wrong with the brown stew chicken, oxtail & butterbean or the steamed fish with okra.
Brown Sugar Caribbean, 65 Easy Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8QS.
Scotchie’s has been a Harehills staple since 2013 and with food this good, it’s no wonder. Folk come from all over Leeds for just a sniff of their jerk chicken, and it tastes even better than it smells. You’ll find all the classics on the menu, with everything from ackee and saltfish to jerk salmon, fried chicken wings and pepper steak, but don’t pass up the opportunity to try their heaving patties, made fresh each day. Still got room? Treat yourself to a slice of homemade banana cake with lashings of custard.
Scotchie’s, 333 Roundhay Road, Harehills, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 4HT.
Ryan’s Kitchen opened back in 2017 and has made a name for itself with its spiced (but not spicy) Caribbean food. Owner Ryan Simpson has created a laidback cafe love by the community – down-to-earth and downright tasty in equal measure. From jerk chicken to salt-fish curry and fried plantain, this is your chance to get an authentic taste of warmer climes, without the heat. Even their succulent chicken, cooked in those famous jerk spices, is deliciously mild, served on a bed of rice with their homemade honey-jerk gravy.
Ryan’s Kitchen, 329 Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HD.
If you love chicken and want it done the Jamaican way, you have to give Jerk Express a try. They specialise in Caribbean street food, namely jerk chicken. Get it in a burger, served with rice and peas or all on its own in a finger lickin’ box of wings – whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Want to try something different? Curried goat, coconut lentil curry, jerk jackfruit – it’s all there just waiting to be tried. Plus, they have an ever-changing selection of freshly-made patties well worth a go.
Jerk Express, 159 Cardigan Road, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LJ.
The Dutch Pot
The authentic Caribbean flavours of Dutch Pot are famous in Chapeltown. You can look forward to a host of classic dishes, including jerk chicken, salt fish fritters and fried dumplings. But if you want to try a Caribbean speciality, the likes of which you won’t find in lots of places, why not give the Negril lamb chops a try? They have stewed peas with oxtail spinners and beans too. And for dessert, Caribbean pastries. That’s right, we’re talking coconut tarts folks! You can even get proper coconut drops!
The Dutch Pot, 160 Chapeltown Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4EE.
They’ve been serving flavour-packed Caribbean food at events across Yorkshire for over a decade, but now Kalabash has found a permanent home in Leeds. From fried dumplings to curried lamb, this Chapeltown cafe serves up a host of classic dishes made using family recipes handed down through the generations. Look out for their specialities – a delicate (and top secret) combination of spices makes the baked salmon an experience in itself, while the Cayon stew chicken offers a fiery taste of Kalabash cooking.
Kalabash, 231-235 Chapeltown Road, Chapeltown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 5DT.
Cabin Caribbean Cuisine
Cabin Caribbean Cuisine has been serving incredible West Indian food to the folk of Chapeltown for over a decade. They pride themselves on proper home-cooked recipes that bring a real sense of the Caribbean islands to Leeds. The curried goat is their go-to, served on the bone and cooked so it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. You also can’t go wrong with simple classics like jerk chicken or fried salt fish either, but if you want an absolute feast, their platter of ackee, salt fish and dumplings is a must.
Cabin Caribbean Cuisine, 7 Reginald Row, Chapeltown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3HP.
Yard Style Flavorz
Formerly known as Island Grill, Yard Style Flavorz is the go-to Caribbean restaurant in Woodhouse. They keep the menu effortlessly simple here, full of classic dishes made using time-tested recipes handed down through generations. It opens from 12pm daily, so you can get your fill of everything from curried mutton and jerk chicken to steamed callaloo and ackee & salt fish. Don’t miss out on Yard Style Flavorz’ Punch either – this non-alcoholic Guinness cocktail is a must-try.
Yard Style Flavorz, 33 Blackman Lane, Woodhouse, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 1LW.
Jenny’s Jerk Chicken
What started out as a pop-up stall at street food markets while Jennifer Ardene was away from her job in the military has now become a local sensation. Jenny’s is nestled in Kirkgate Market and, unsurprisingly, their jerk chicken is the stuff of legends. You can get it in a wrap, a burger or a salad box, but believe it or not, Jenny does not just do jerk chicken. From curried goat to saltfish, veggie bean cakes and classic rice and peas, this is traditional Caribbean dishes full of big flavours and fresh ingredients.
Jenny’s Jerk Chicken, Cafe D, Leeds Kirkgate Market, New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
From morning to noon to night, you can get your fill of authentic Caribbean cooking from Creative Cuisine. That’s right, the deliciousness starts at breakfast with Jamaican favourites like peanut porridge, salt mackerel and liver with dumplings. Later on, you can tuck into classic mains like oxtail stew, pepper steak and brown stew fish, all made to traditional recipes from their homeland. Ravenous little ones get their own kids meals, which they can wash down with carrot juice, while you enjoy a well-deserved glass of Guinness punch.
Creative Cuisine, 595 Harehills Lane, Harehills, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 6NQ.Cover image: © Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Katie Wells