Little Caribbean is home to one of the largest and most diverse Caribbean communities outside of the West Indies. Located on the corridors of Flatbush, Church, Nostrand, and Utica Avenues, Little Caribbean contains dozens of restaurants, stores, cultural centers, and religious institutions, from Trinidadian bake shops to Jamaican churches. Since the late 1800s, Caribbean immigration has been prevalent throughout the five boroughs, with significant immigration from countries like Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, and Guyana escalating in the mid-to late-1900s. Shelley Worrell, the founder of caribBEING, led the initiative to designate the Little Caribbean neighborhood, helping compile and promote a list of Caribbean-owned businesses. Worrell, alongside program manager Kenya Cummings, collaborated with Untapped New York to curate this list of top spots throughout Little Caribbean for New Yorkers to explore!
1. Labay Market
Labay Market, boasting a large Grenadan flag on its awning, has been a staple in the community for well over a decade. Located at 1127 Nostrand Avenue, the market is owned by a man known to many as “Big Mac,” who imports many of his ingredients from a 60-acre farm he owns in Grenada. These include breadfruit, jackfruit, callaloo, and ground provisions including cassava and green bananas. Hard-to-find produce such as dasheen bush (taro leaves) and eddo root are also sold.
Spices from Grenada and nearby islands include nutmeg, cinnamon, and chadon beni (also known as culantro, which has a similar aroma and flavor as cilantro). The market also sells traditional utensils such as dutch pots and lélé sticks. On weekends, Big Mac’s sister Margaret often cooks up dishes featuring ingredients like breadfruit and various types of fish.