By Dalia Colón

Florida attracts people from all over the world, and they bring their diverse cuisines with them. Whether you’re looking for a taste of home or ready to try something new, check out these restaurants featuring African and African American-inspired food.


Josiah Southern Cooking

This eatery is small in size but big on flavor. Southern staples abound, like fried chicken, smothered pork chops, yams and collard greens. Owner Sharolyn Gaines will chat you up with friendly conversation, leaving both your heart and your belly full. 1003 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Panama City, (850) 730-6087.

G&G Caribbean Restaurant

When politicians and college students need a break from cafeteria food, there’s this restaurant that brings a taste of Jamaica to the state’s capital. You’ll find standards like oxtails, jerk chicken salad, plantains, ackee and saltfish. Curry options include chicken, goat and shrimp. 745 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, (850) 727-4065.



The Potter’s House Soul Food Bistro

If your idea of a perfect Sunday is church service followed by a big meal, then you’ll thank God for this restaurant with Westside and Southside locations. Owned by the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship of Jacksonville, the gathering place is a go-to for food and fellowship. Choose from the dinner buffet or order a la carte, with options including fried or herb-roasted chicken, smothered pork chops and smoked turkey. Sides like mac and cheese, fried cabbage and “Slap Yo Mamma Cornbread” are downright sinful. 9400 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, (904) 394-2801; and 5310 Lenox Avenue, suite 1, Jacksonville, (904) 394-0860,

Sunrise Caribbean Gourmet

No online ordering? No problem. Just call and name your favorite Jamaican dish, and there’s a good chance it’s on the menu. Ackee and saltfish, cow foot, stew beef, chicken or beef patties, oxtails, veggie stew… you’ll find it all here. 1415 Edgewood Ave N, Jacksonville, (904) 783-0102.

Island Flavors and Tings, plate of food

Island Flavors and Tings, a South St. Petersburg restaurant has all the flavors you’ve been craving, like beef patties, rum-glazed ribs, curry veggie roti and “reggae salad” topped with jerk chicken.

- Island Flavors and Tings



Island Flavors and ‘Tings

This South St. Petersburg restaurant has all the flavors you’ve been craving, like beef patties, rum-glazed ribs, curry veggie roti and “reggae salad” topped with jerk chicken. Don’t forget side dishes like Jamaican hard-dough bread, coco bread, yellow rice and fried plantains. And save room for the restaurant’s award-winning mango bread. In addition to prepared foods, the eatery’s store carries every“ting” else you might need—jerk seasonings, pepper sauces, cookbooks, Carribbean dolls, fresh produce and the requisite Bob Marley posters. 1411 49th St. South, Gulfport, (727) 804-1849,

Sister Honey’s

For a sweet escape, stop by this award-winning bakery in Orlando’s SoDo district. The name pays homage to owner Evette Rahman’s mother, who was known for her dulcet demeanor. Cakes from red velvet to hummingbird to coconut will remind you of your own family, while other innovative menu items tempt you to try something new: peach blueberry pie, blueberry lemon bread pudding, apple rum raisin bread pudding and much more. 247 E. Michigan St., Orlando, (407) 730-7315,

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

Take your tastebuds to eastern Africa when you visit this I-Drive eatery. Use your injera, a sourdough flatbread, to dig into a family-style feast of doro alicha (stewed chicken), beef zilbo (stew) and other traditional favorites. There are plenty of vegetarian options, too, like lentil sambusas (filled pastries), collard greens, split peas and more. 7048 International Drive, Orlando, (407) 354-0026,

Singh’s Roti Shop

This eatery doesn’t have a website, but with food this good, all you need is word of mouth. Trinidadian favorites like doubles (seasoned chickpeas on fried dough) and aloo pie (fried dough stuffed with mashed potatoes) are available. And then there are the main dishes, which come with your choice of roti (flatbread) or rice: curried chicken, shrimp, beef, goat or duck; oxtails are also available. 5244 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando, (407) 253-2900.

Nikki's Place

An unassuming soul-food spot with a long family tradition dishing up hearty classics such as fried chicken, barbecue, shrimp and grits, salmon patties, smothered pork chops, fish and other mainstays. 742 Carter St., Orlando, (407) 425-5301.




Chef Creole Seasoned Kitchen

With a half-dozen South Florida locations (including Little Haiti, of course), your favorite island flavors are never far away. Born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents, owner Ken Pierre and his late brother, Jude, have set the standard for stewed chicken, oxtails and especially seafood. Their restaurant has earned props from everyone from Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean to Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade to the late Anthony Bourdain. To bring a taste of the restaurant home with you, pick up a bottle of Chef’s Creole marinade. For locations and phone numbers, see

Jamaica Kitchen

Locals, visitors and celebrity athletes alike flock to this Chinese-Jamaican Miami restaurant, which was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Owners Cheryl and Anson Chin offer a mashup menu that offers a nod to both Chinese and Jamaican cuisines, from curry goat to jerk pork fried rice. 8736 SW 72nd St. Miami, (305) 596-2585,

Reggae Pon the Grille

This popular Jamaican spot opens early, so if you’ve been dreaming of ackee and saltfish or liver and bananas, when you wake up you can stop by for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, try oxtails, stew peas, mango chicken, pepper shrimp and all your other favorites. Vegetarians will find plenty of options, too, like callaloo, yams and more. 8032 W McNab Road, North Lauderdale, (754) 220-8738,

Jackson Soul Food

Don’t let the fancy plating fool you. The long lines at food festivals and Jackson’s two brick-and-mortar locations say it all: If you’re looking for homestyle comfort food, then you’ve come to the right place. Try a breakfast of fried liver and onions, salmon croquettes or boiled fish and grits. If that doesn’t leave you full all day, then return for lunch or dinner. Smothered pork chops, T-bone steak and barbecued chicken wings are accompanied by sides like candied yams, macaroni and cheese and cornbread dressing. You’ll swear your grandmama was in the kitchen cooking everything. 950 NW Third Ave., Miami, 305-374-7661; and 14511 NW 27th Ave., Opa-Locka, (305) 982-8167,