University City has Charlotte’s best options for Jamaican cuisine


Growing up in a Haitian household, the things I remember the most were the language (Creole), the music (Kompa) and, of course, the food. Having friends from different parts of the West Indies allows me to appreciate and embrace the variety of Caribbean culture. So “big ups” to my Jamaican brothers who are celebrating the country’s 56th independence day this week.

That being said, let’s see why University City is Charlotte’s best neighborhood for Jamaican cuisine… it’s not up for debate. I’m serious.

Caribbean hut
9609 N. Tryon St.

While visiting Charlotte in 2015 before moving here, I was in the mood for some island food. Thinking I could find one, maybe two options, a quick google search surprised me. Charlotte had about a dozen places to choose from. I chose Caribbean Hut on this occasion. As I was finishing my jerk chicken (it tasted good), I remember the staff setting up for an event. They upped the island vibe as dancehall and reggae boomed over the restaurant’s speakers with the occasional sound of a horn typically used by Jamaican DJs in their music mixes.

Gold Krust
440 E. McCullough Dr.

After leaving Caribbean Hut on my way back to Uptown, I looked to my left as I approached the intersection of WT Harris Boulevard and Tryon Street and saw a sign for Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill. All I could do was smile.

Based in Jamaica, the company opened fast-food-style restaurants in New York City in the late 1980s. It is now the largest Caribbean franchise chain in the United States, with more than 120 stores in nine. States, including two in North Carolina in Charlotte and Raleigh. I’m more of a Golden Krust fan as a business than a restaurant, but I always love getting a Golden Krust patty – also available at local grocery stores.

Quidley’s delight
11915 N. Tryon St.
10900 University City Blvd. (move on August 15 at this address)

By far, my favorite place for Jamaican food in QC is Quidley’s Delight. It is currently located on North Tryon Street, tucked away in a small plaza between PNC Music Pavilion and Charlotte Motor Speedway, but it is moving to the University City Boulevard corridor just east of I-485 on August 15. I was impressed on my first experience with the tasty food, the portion size and the presentation of the plate. However, this place might not be the best option if you are in a rush as they cook to order and it will take some time. Owner Omar Quidley seems excited about the design of the new location, so you might want to check them out once it opens. I know I will.

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