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Where to Get the Best Jamaican Food in Manhattan

Where to Get the Best Jamaican Food in Manhattan

Are you dreaming of a large plate of jerk chicken? What about some ackee and sailfish or curry goat?

We get you! The AYA – Live Together team is a big fan of Jamaican food too. It’s rich in authentic flavors and makes you travel miles away just with one bite. Lucky for you, Manhattan is home to our favorite Jamaican restaurant, that won’t let you settle for the average.

Traveling is on hold for now, and probably you had to give up on all your cool Summer plans. Perhaps were you even planning on traveling to Jamaica? We wanted to share with you a restaurant that will allow you to escape for the night and make you imagine that you’re in the Caribbean for a couple of hours.

 

 

The Place

It feels like Summer the minute you step in. New York’s beloved Miss Lily’s is a true Caribbean oasis! The restaurant offers a modern approach to classic Jamaican cooking, friendly and cool-as-can-be staff, with a vibrant and colorful atmosphere for a perfect night out!

They offer an extensive menu : everything from jerk corn to oxtail stew for an ultimate indulgence. Swiss Creative Director Serge Becker has been on hand to ensure that the brand’s Jamaican identity successfully translates in both Manhattan locations since 2011 (Becker is the nightlife tycoon behind equally popular New York hot spots La Esquina, the Box, Lure Fishbar, and Café Select). Each one offers excellent vibes with groovy music, awesome people, and a colorful decor.

“Jamaica’s culture, the place and its people, have been a constant inspiration to me, and to do Miss Lily’s. The sunny decor of the restaurant was modeled after the fast-food joints, hair salons, record shops, and bakeries that serve the Jamaican diaspora in Brooklyn and N.Y.C.’s outer boroughs.” said Becker

The Food

Miss Lily’s Soho location features two groovy dining rooms, a bangin’ soundtrack, beautiful staff, beautiful clientele, and some serious Jamaican food from chef Bradford Thompson.

Start with jerk chicken that is insanely moist yet nearly black with intense spices, served with a Scotch bonnet sauce that will have your mouth tingling for hours. Then cool down with Melvin’s “body good” salad tossing kale, radish, celery and apples in a citrus-ginger vinaigrette. From the Jamaican Sampler—think curry goat, oxtail stew and callaloo—to a boozy rum cake, this Caribbean queen reigns supreme.

For dessert, Miss Lily’s Coconut Cake is superb. An ultra-moist white cake with a rough, tender crumb, a not-too-sweet frosting, and plenty of toasted coconut. You can also indulge with the Banana Pudding served with Nilla wafers, it is moist, tender, and very banana-y!

 

Going International 

Back to the roots! A new Miss Lily’s location opened in the Summer of 2018 at the brand-new Skylark Negril Beach Resort, bringing an authentic and mouthwatering taste of island life to Negril’s picture-perfect Seven Mile Beach. Skylark is just five miles down the road from its boutique sister hotel, Rockhouse, famous for its stunning cliff side setting. Rockhouse has gathered quite the celebrity following, appearing on the Instagram feeds of Bella Hadid,Hailey Baldwin, and Rita Ora.

Continuing its expansion, the New York-born Caribbean concept opened in a warehouse-like space on the fifth floor of the Sheraton in Dubai. It’s both dim and exploding with color (the walls are plastered with artwork inspired by Jamaican vinyl records). Blame it on its downtown New York cool factor, but Miss Lily’s is one of the hottest, most scene-y spots in Dubai right now.

 

Giving back

Not only you will have an amazing time at Miss Lily’s but you are also supporting a community! Over the past fifteen years, the Rockhouse Foundation, a New York registered 501(c)(3), has invested US$5 million modernizing and expanding six public schools and the Negril Community Library.

Since 2004, the Foundation transforms the places where Jamaica’s children learn and supports the great people who teach them. Miss Lily’s, together with its sister hotels in Jamaica, the Rockhouse Hotel and the Skylark Negril Beach Resort, underwrites all of the Foundation’s administrative and fund raising related expenses.  This means that every dollar raised goes directly to support the Foundation’s programs and projects.

The team focuses its resources and energy on improving early childhood education institutions, affirming empirical evidence that all children need a solid foundation in order to thrive academically throughout their education and as self-determining members of society

 

Have you made your reservation yet?

It has been difficult times for all New York City restaurants since the COVID-19 hit us all. Small businesses need our support through either take out or dining in. So don’t wait, you know where to go next Saturday night! The Miss Lily Family regained a shred of normalcy with the return of its outdoor dining. You can now spend the evening in their newly extended outdoor space, more specifically at their 7A location, where the City closed the street to the traffic and makes for a great experience and fabulous music. 

Cheers to fun New York Summer nights, mouth-watering cuisine and atmospheres that leave you smiling!

 

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