Jamaican and Haitian cuisine shine at this family-run spot in Homestead

The sign outside Yardie Spice, a Jamaican/Haitian restaurant in Homestead.
The sign outside Yardie Spice, a Jamaican/Haitian restaurant in Homestead. Linda Bladholm

Yardie Spice in Homestead is a simple space with green walls, a big menu board and a small bamboo counter with stools.

Customers are a mix of Jamaicans, Haitians, tourists and locals. It serves Jamaican food with a few Haitian dishes. You come for Jamaican goat curry or griot, the national dish of Haiti. Owner and chef Jean-Paul Cadotte is from the Canape-Vert part of Port-of-Prince. He came to South Florida twenty years ago and studied hotel management, earning a masters at Nova Southeastern. He met his Jamaican wife Rochelle working at the Key Largo Hilton. They bought the restaurant five years ago and hired cooks from the Caribbean.

Start With These Dishes

Get the conch fritters made with mashed malanga, a starchy root vegetable served on a wood skewer with Sriracha mayo. Or try a chicken, vegetable or mahi empanada. There’s also jerk chicken wings and smoked fish dip with crackers and boiled cornmeal dumplings called festival. Or get johnnycake made from a basic kneaded flour dough and fried. Or go with yucca fries or a Jamaican patty with a seasoned ground beef filling.

Share These Dishes

Entree portions are large enough for two or more to split and come with rice, salad and plantains. For homesick Jamaicans, the must-order is goat curry slow simmered in an aromatic mixture of ginger, garlic and spices until very tender.

For Haitians it is griot, bringing steamed and fried chunks of pork served with mashed plantain fritters and pikliz, a spicy slaw.

Rice and beans with curry goat at Yardie Spice. Linda Bladholm

Here there’s jerk chicken, pork and salmon with a bit of kick but not enough to bring tears. Vegans are in luck here as are Rastafarians who eat an Ital or vital diet with no animal products. Try legume, a vegetable stew that is slow cooked and lightly mashed made with chayote squash, carrots, cabbage and eggplant. Or get sautéed spinach with chickpeas.

Griot with pikliz at Yardie Spice in Homestead. Linda Bladholm

There is also jerk or curry tofu. Curry lentils come with rice or polenta. This mom and pop place is as warm and welcoming as a trip to a Caribbean island.

Save Room For Dessert

Key lime cheesecake at Yardie Spice. Linda Bladhol

Get moist coconut rum cake or Key lime cheese cake.

If You Go:

Place: Yardie Spice

Address: 225 S Krome Avenue, Homestead

Contact: 786-349-5138

Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers $3-$9, entrees $9-$29, vegan dishes $3-$15, desserts $8

F.Y.I. Free parking, delivery in a 10-mile radius, catering available