5. Little Haiti in Flatbush, Brooklyn
Little Haiti in Flatbush has been perhaps one of the fastest-growing ethnic enclaves in New York City. Flatbush, which like much of Brooklyn had been predominantly Italian, Irish, and Jewish, has over the years attracted a diverse array of nationalities particularly from the Caribbean, as well as from South Asia. Today, Haitians constitute the largest ethnic group in Flatbush, amounting to over 20% of the neighborhood’s foreign-born population. Many Haitians came to the United States starting with the U.S. occupation of Haiti and continuing during the Duvalier dynasty characterized by an autocratic family dictatorship. Thousands found refuge in Flatbush after the 2010 earthquake that ravaged the country, according to Little Haiti’s website.
Flatbush hosts a handful of popular Haitian eateries including Zanmi, an upscale spot serving dishes like Kreyol scallops, grilled goat, Voodoo pasta, and duck in Creole sauce. La Baguette Shop is a notable Flatbush bakery with Haitian baked goods like codfish and beef patties. YOYO Fritaille, with its large buffet table, is known for its assortment of fried food like griot, or fried pork shoulder with citrus. Other Haitian restaurants in the neighborhood include Taste of the City Fresh Grill, Island Express, and Bebe Fritay. The Little Haiti Cultural & Business District has worked to support local stores and cultural centers on and around Flatbush Avenue.