The Jamaican patty has a colorful history. African slaves interpreted the European meat patty and it has evolved over time to what we have come to love from our favorite Jamaican bakeries. The innovation of Caribbean cuisine was rooted in the slave’s ability to take crops, spices, herbs, and seasonings from both the islands and Africa, and create culinary amazingness. Jamaican Patties are a member of this amazingness, which is why they seem to be in almost every bodega, corner store, and gas station throughout New York City.
I visited New York and was informed that because it’s home to both Golden Krust and Tower Isles Jamaican Patties—the largest Jamaican Patty distributors in the United States, that surely the Big Apple would have the best patties. Well, I am sorry to say, that the twelve (12) bakeries I went to, couldn’t lay one finger on Miami’s homestyle patty spots. Many Jamaicans who visit family in Miami agree.
If you’ve never had a fresh homemade Jamaican Patty, please erase any palate memory maintained after eating a frozen patty or one of those disgusting previously frozen patties from a gas station. Know that the Jamaican patty is held at the same standard as other culinary cultures hold their meat pies; including the Latin American empanada, the Italian calzone, the Arabic, North African, Ethiopian, Turkish sambousa, the Indian samosa, the Eastern European and Yiddish knish. The embarrassing American microwaveable hot pocket tried but can’t be seriously included in this category.
This high regard means you must check out the artisanal bakeries where grandmothers prepare patties passed down from recipes dating back over a hundred years. Well, at least that is how we do in Miami. We respect the culture, unlike New York City, where I ate a pure abomination of a Jamaican Patty that was cut open, topped with cheap mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni, then popped in a pizza oven and served. WTF? This city has lost its way, and Miamians, are happy to redirect your path with the following 5 Jamaican patty authorities:
No. 1 – Taste Rite Bakery– 171 NE 193 ST, MIAMI GARDENS, 33169 – Phone: (305) 249-7483
Can the small bakery consider opening its locations on Sundays? Because while some plan their visits during a weekday lunch or on a Saturday afternoon, the craving post church service is nothing short of a werewolf on the night of a full moon. Some of us require the perfectly seasoned, flaky, buttery patty with the flawless ratio of soft, crispy, and crumbly patty to reinforce the goodness of the Lord. The classic beef and the seafood patty have become the number one choice of patty lovers for over 20 years!
No. 2 – Hammond’s Bakery –17847 NW 27th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33056 – Phone: (305) 624-9982
With over 30 years of making patties using their secret recipe, Hammonds Bakery has solidified itself into the Jamaican Patty Hall of Fame! This staple is packed just about each hour of the day, churning out over 3,000 patties for just one location! Each patty is made from scratch daily by employees who have been with this company for over 20 years, so you best bet that each patty has the ancestral goodness of two generations of Jamaican Grandmothers! I hear there is a new curry shrimp flavor that is driving folks crazy, in a good way!
No. 3– Charlie’s Pastries– 4265 NW 12th St, Lauderhill, FL 33313 – Phone: (954) 739-9109
When I did my first Jamaican Patty article some years back, I received dozens of sorrowful emails that I neglected to include Charlie’s in my list. This hidden gem is tucked inside of a massive shopping plaza in Lauderhill where the Krispy Kreme building hides it with its glowing red “Hot Now” sign. Thankfully, I could visit, where I experienced pure bliss with sandwiching my beef and callaloo patty in between what was a coco bread sent straight form Heaven.
No. 4– Vegetarian Delight –6060 Miramar Pkwy, Miramar, FL 33023 (Vegan Only) – Phone: (954) 241-7402
Decided to go vegan, and miss the deliciousness of the glorious Jamaican Patty? No sweat. This eatery has one of the most delicious Ackee patties ever tasted. The soy patties do an amazing job at mimicking beef, if you’re a transitioning vegan. The crust is slightly different with no flaking, but I let that slide because of the 83-year-old creator of the patties, who will get you all the way together if you come out your mouth with some bull about needing flakes to be an authentic patty. Just don’t try her. I’m warning you.
No. 5– The Patty Place –19547 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33169 – Phone: (305) 652-1787 The flakes are so serious here! You will need a small fan to get them all off. The classic beef reigns king at this 20-year-old joint. Open seven days a week, folks love making this their after-church spot when the preacher let the holy ghost take control of the sermon and 1 hour turned into 5.