Discover more of The Best Caribbean Takeaways
It was around the 40s and 50s that a lot of Caribbean locals traveled to England for the promise of work. Not at all the first, but likely the most famous transatlantic voyage, Windrush, brought 492 young men to our shores. Most were Jamaican, but among them were a few others from surrounding Caribbean islands. Many vessels followed, or came before, and by the 60’s the British Afro-Carribean population had boomed to nearly a quarter of a million people. Cooking wasn’t just for sustenance, it was a way to connect, to form a community and offer spaces for Caribbean folk to find some comfort as they struggled to adjust to the culture and climate in the UK. Events like carnivals eventually followed, but now Caribbean food has become popular beyond St Paul’s carnival or London’s huge Notting Hill carnival for all communities. It’s no longer just an annual celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and food, but an enjoyment of bold flavours all year round. So without further ado, let’s jump into our list of the best Caribbean takeaway in Bristol
Sandwiched between two shops on Stokes Croft Road, Caribbean Croft is a petite and charming restaurant serving up big and bold flavours from the West Indies, proving dynamite really does come in small packages.
The menu is overflowing with family recipes, all passed down to the owner by his granny Ms Cat, and includes favourites like curried goat and jerk chicken. There’s a peppered appleton coconut steak which sounds delightful; slow cooked steak with onions and peppers in a coconut and rum gravy, served with steamed veg and sweet potato wedges. Also on the menu are vegetarian dishes of pumpkin and yam stew or cauliflower bake. If you want the truest taste of the Caribbean, try Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish, served with steamed vegetables, white rice, green banana, seasoned callaloo (a leafy vegetable dish) and fried plantain.
They also offer an abundance of extras alongside the many mouthwatering mains; take your pick of chilli buttered spinach, chilli fried okra, rice’n’peas, mac’n’cheese, grilled corn on the cob, plantain and more.
To drink, well, they haven’t spent hours sourcing the finest rums for nothing. There’s an extensive list of flavoured, light, golden, spiced, dark and premium rums to choose from and when you’re feeling adventurous, you can partake in the rum taster board which allows you to pick any four rums to try. And where there’s rum, there’s cocktails and boy, are there cocktails. Not only have they crafted a collection of their own concoctions, but they’ve also taken classics like pina colada and put their own spin on it.
Caribbean Croft is an entire experience best enjoyed under the tin roof of this award-winning restaurant, where palms and wood transport you to a gorgeous west indian beach shack. It’s about the location, the atmosphere, the food and rum. For the time being though, it’ll have to just be about the food and rum and you know what, that’s good enough for us.
When Ray Williamson opened The One Caribbean in Fishponds back in 2019, he dedicated the restaurant to generations of chefs before them that had passed down family recipes for over a hundred years.
With cooking in their blood, they themselves have been in the food industry for years. His sister Natasha Williams having owned and run Tasties in St. Pauls for many years after taking it over from Ray’s wife’s dad. Ray and his parents were well known in South London where he grew up in Brixton before making the move to Bristol.
It made sense to continue honouring Caribbean food and he certainly does so with a menu of authentic dishes. There’s ackee and saltfish, tender brown stew chicken (chicken, vegetables and a heavy amount of aromatic spices), curry goat, jerk chicken, cook down steak and coconut rundown (a flavorful fish stew cooked in coconut, tomato, onions and garlic) all served with rice and optional peas. Sides include coleslaw, vegetables and dumplings that come highly recommended with the coconut rundown.
The portions are generous, the aromas tantalising and digging into one of these dishes, or a mixture of them all if you’re looking for a Caribbean feast, is made all the better when accompanied by a colourful cocktail.
We’re all prone to a little daydreaming at the moment and if yours is about white sandy beaches and a lot of sunshine, then The One Caribbean could provide you that in a bowl. With the flavours of island living, you’re in for a robust, authentic experience when you order from the Williamsons.
Chef and owner Glen Crooks has been serving up delicious authentic Caribbean food for over thirty years after moving to the UK. He first established Glen’s Kitchen in Montpellier where many Bristol foodies came to visit, before moving to St Paul’s Learning Centre and ascribes the move to aiding community cohesion among Caribbean locals. Like many other restaurants, Glen’s Kitchen began as a pop up under a different name until he eventually decided to change it around sixteen or seventeen years ago.
Now you’ll see that name mixed in among the bold patterns of the squat St. Pauls Community Cafe. It’s a playful exterior; sunshine yellow and banana leaf greens drawn across a deep blue. The cafe alone makes you happy, but it’s the food that will really bring you joy. Their recently updated menu includes favourites like jerk chicken, curry goat, ackee and saltfish, but here you’ll also find a Caribbean-style shepherds pie, chicken stew, veggie curry and oxtail. If you’re looking for a more exotic delicacy, you might want to visit on Friday’s when cow’s foot and liver make an appearance. All dishes come with rice or veg, but there’s a number of yummy sides to add to your plate including dumplings, plantain, callaloo, steamed veg, fritters and chips.
The thing about Glen’s is that he also does breakfast options like sausage (lamb, beef or veggie) with scrambled eggs, Caribbean beans, plantain and dumplings. If you’re not after a full er, Caribbean, you can always opt for beans on toast or cornmeal. With Sunday roast and apple crumble and custard also available on the menu, it’s clear that Glen’s Kitchen really does do it all.
Having featured on BBC2’s Remarkable Places to Eat, been visited by former World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, and with an award for the MTM good food takeaway in the bag, Glen’s Kitchen absolutely has to be on your list of the best Caribbean takeaway in Bristol.