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Aug 4, 2008 05:18 AM

West Indian Options

Hello Hounds!

Is there a particular neighborhood or section of Boston that has the highest concentration of West Indian (Jamaican, Trinidadian, Haitian in particular) restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries?

I am in Boston again this weekend and would like to walk around and check out the heart of the West Indian community in Boston and check out some good West Indian places to eat.


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  1. Dorchester and Mattapan.

    1. Blue Hill Avenue is a main drag that runs through these neighborhoods.

      1. Boy, how do I say this without coming off as a d-bag. For someone not from Boston and perhaps unfamiliar with our neighborhoods, you may want to exercise a modicum of caution in the areas mentioned. I just want to make sure our Chow Friend from the North has a great time and a fantastic experience while pursuing West Indian options.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Food4Thought

          As with any traveler, as long as Cind exercises caution as one would in any situation, things will be fine. I regularly coach and ref in those areas and still have all my limbs.

          Recent thread on patties:

          The area of Blue Hill Ave and Morton Street is home to Flame's, Ali's Roti (oxtail stew!), and Poppa B's (southern soul food) as well as Lenny's Tropical Bakery and La Belle Capoise.

          1. re: gini

            Has anyone been to La Belle Capoise? I have driven past it a couple of times recently and, from the outside, it looks like a really nice place - the decor clearly seems to have been done with care. Any info is appreciated.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              It IS nice. I could have sworn there were a couple of threads on the place recently, but I can't seem to find them.

              1. re: gini

                Any recs on what's to order that you enjoyed? I am not at all familiar with West Indian cuisine.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Hey Bob - West Indian cuisine means a variety of things as varied as the islands: Greater Antilles: Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Dominican Republic; the Lesser Antilles; and the Bahamas.

                  1. re: gini

                    Thanks, Gini. Do you know what's good at La Belle Capoise?

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I don't remember what I had there. Sorry.

                      1. re: gini

                        You mean you do not have a photographic, encyclopedic memory of all meals? Not much of a chowhound. ;)
                        No worries - perhaps the lack of memory speaks for itself.
                        Hopefully, I will get over there and give it a try some day.

                    2. re: gini

                      Heck I'll hop in and split hairs. Though technically all of the above ARE in fact the West Indies, I usually don't think of the cuisines of Cuba, PR, The DR, and Haiti as being "West Indian" food. Usually the first three are referred to by the country of origin.

                      In fact I think of "West Indian" food as being essentially Jamaican. If you Google "West Indian Food" you end up with essentially Jamaican items.

                      Most importantly, noone from Cuba, PR, or The DR at the very least would refer to their own cuisine as "West Indian" whereas in Jamaica they use that term all the time and in fact sometimes if you ask someone from Jamaica where they come from they say "The West Indies." Noone from PR for example would ever give that reply... whew.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        All the traditional foods of the caribbean are different types of "creole" mixes of cultures. I think that part of your point is valid, but you take the argument too far the other way: Trinidad is a example of a culture with some different foods from Jamaica and I would consider West Indian. Monserrat is an even more different creole mixture. Jamaica is just larger and better known, but it doesn't make the other cultures less West Indian. In any case, I think the original post was intended as as a guideline or help... and good enough for a "Boston" board.

              2. re: gini

                Is the same Ali's Roti that is on Tremont or Columbus, near Melnea Cass? That place is great, but you have to get there early - once the goat is gone, its gone!

                1. re: Cork

                  Ali's Roti has a couple outposts. The one on Tremont in Roxbury is the one you're referring to.

            2. Washington Street between Columbia and Codman Square has a good concentration. Santo Domingo Restaurant, Island Style Jamaican and Diallo's Halal Meat are all at a corner near Columbia (179 Washington). Further along there's Francisco's Cafe El Original, Lorenz Island Cuisine, Caribe Restaurant, Nikisha Roti Shop and many more that I can't remember.