When you hear the words Caribbean cuisine, what comes to mind? For me personally, it’s jerk chicken and fried plantains paired with an ice-cold mojito. There’s just something about that spicy rub all over the meat combined with the sweetness of the plantains that makes my mouth water. But, believe me, there’s so much more to Caribbean food than just this.

Caribbean cuisine is unique because it grabs and blends flavors from 32 different West Indie islands, including Jamaica, Barbados, and the Bahamas (to name just a few). It also has Asian, Indian, European, and African influences. All of these distinct and varying spices and flavors fuse together to create a bold and explosive mix of sweetness and heat that might just blow your mind.

Read on to learn about five of the top Caribbean restaurants in Ontario, Canada.

1. Caribbean Sun Restaurant & Bar, Etobicoke, Ontario

As mentioned above, Caribbean food comes in all different types and flavors. When it comes to Caribbean Sun Restaurant & Bar, located in naturally lush and beautiful Etobicoke, ON, its specialty is what’s called Guyanese (or, to those of us who are a little less cultured, Caribbean Chinese food). A fusion of West Indian and Chinese cuisines, Guyanese blends Cantonese sauces and starches with Caribbean spices and meats. Patrons of Caribbean Sun relish its unique and delicious offerings, especially its homemade hot pepper sauce, beef curry with roti, and pepper shrimp. They also repeatedly praise the restaurant’s friendly and warm service. You can’t go wrong with Guyanese food at Caribbean Sun, so give it a try!

Find Caribbean Sun Restaurant & Bar’s menu in Etobicoke, Ontario here.

2. Tropical Island Caribbean Restaurant, Woodbridge, Ontario

Located in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area for non-Canadian folks), Tropical Island Caribbean Restaurant is family-owned and prides itself on serving authentic and flavorful Caribbean dishes that have been passed down for generations. This apparently strikes a chord with its customers who love the Caribbean eatery’s fresh ingredients and intense spice. Affordable (especially for the GTA area) and generous with its portions, Tropical Island also offers fast service despite being in high demand. In its online reviews, people gush about its jerk chicken and macaroni salad. One person of Chinese/Jamaican descent immediately called his folks after trying the restaurant for the first time because he was so impressed by the food’s authenticity. Sounds to me like Tropical Island’s got something good going on!

View Tropical Island Caribbean Restaurant’s menu in Woodbridge, Ontario here.

3. Calypso Garden, Brampton, Ontario

If you’re looking for some amazing Caribbean Chinese takeout, Calypso Garden is the place to call. Known for its generous portions and reasonable prices, Calypso has established itself as the go-to takeout joint for Guyanese food in Brampton. It’s been around for a long time, and people rave about its fresh and tasty food, including its noodles (saying they are the best in the area), spicy wings, fried rice, BBQ pork, “flavorful and juicy” chicken, and pepper shrimp. Many describe Calypso as (in their words) the best, amazing, their favorite, and even phenomenal. Add in fast and friendly service, and Calypso definitely has the potential to become your (or my) favorite Caribbean Chinese takeout place too.

Check out Calypso Garden’s menu in Brampton, Ontario here.

4. Caribbean Authentic Restaurant, Mississauga, Ontario

Where should I start? How about by mentioning how exceptional Caribbean Authentic Restaurant’s goat dishes are, including its goat curry on lo mein and goat roti? The meat this place serves is so tender; their oxtail just falls off the bone. People are simply going crazy for the food at Caribbean Authentic, calling it the best ever, amazing, fantastic, and delicious. With this kind of positive and passionate response, I myself am super eager to try this restaurant! Caribbean Authentic is clearly hitting the spot for many people with its modern interpretations of classic Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Guyanese dishes, in addition to its cleanliness, affordability, and excellent service.

Explore Caribbean Authentic Restaurant’s menu in Mississauga, Ontario here.

5. Debe’s Roti and Doubles, Toronto, Ontario

As you can likely tell from its name, Debe’s Roti and Doubles is all about Trinidadian rotis (take your pick from dhalpurie, paratha, sada, fried, or made with jerk or stew chicken) and doubles. The eatery has clearly nailed its specialty too with patrons proclaiming that it has the best rotis and doubles in all of Toronto. Customers appreciate that Debe’s sticks to the spice level they select, and they love the intensity of its hot sauce. Regarded as a must-visit restaurant that provides a true and authentic taste of the islands, Debe’s recently capitalized on its popularity by expanding into a second location in Vaughan. With a welcoming atmosphere, great-tasting food, reasonable prices, and “perfect” doubles (one guy claims he’s tried 20 different doubles across Etobicoke and North York and Debe’s is by far the best), Debe’s is definitely a must-try.

Find Debe’s Roti and Doubles’ menu in Toronto, Ontario here.