Patties are a staple in Jamaican culture. Hot, baked deliciousness often eaten from a paper bag, patties are yellowish-orange pastries with a savory filling that, unlike empanadas, are baked instead of fried. It’s tricky finding fresh ones – most are frozen in mass production – but we tracked down 10 local joints that freshly turn out these traditional pastries. When getting your patties, keep in mind that they are taxed, and don’t forget to pick up some coco bread and D&G soda, too! During the pandemic, the businesses have irregular hours and service is limited. Take-out is available, but call before picking up your patties. We’ve listed prices below, but they are subject to change. Generally, they range from $1.50 to $4.50.
During the pandemic, the businesses have irregular hours and service is limited. Take-out is available, but call before picking up your patties. We’ve listed prices below, but they are subject to change. Generally, they range from $1.50 to $4.50.
Due to the pandemic, many of these businesses are operating under irregular hours and service is limited. Take-out is available but call before picking up your patties. We’ve listed prices below, but they are subject to change. Generally, they range from $1.50 to $4.50.
1. Taste Rite Bakery
18400 NW 2nd Ave. Miami, FL 33169 | 305-249-7483
Mild beef patty $1.90
With six locations, Taste Rite is constantly making and baking patties. There are often lines outside. The flavor is distinguishable from other shops because of its seasoning and filling ratio. There’s a wide list of patties to choose from, including mild beef, chicken, vegetable and seafood. The patty is inexpensive but that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there. Their slogan, “One bite is never enough!”, is accurate. Patties available: vegetable, $1.50; callaloo, $1.85; beef, $1.90; cheesy beef, chicken or jerk chicken, $2 each; shrimp, $2.25; fish, $2.50; ackee, $3; lobster, $3.75.
2. Sonia’s Patties
10852 SW 104th St. Miami, FL 33176 | 305-598-6695
Mild beef patty $2.75
Located in the Shoppes of Killian, Sonia’s Patties has been around since 1989. The flaky patty has a mildly sweet taste that includes thyme. The meat isn’t paste-like in texture and is separated from the pastry. Patties available: mild beef, spicy beef, curry chicken or plantain tart, $2.75 each; curry shrimp, $4.99; jerk lobster, $6.99.
3. Finger Lickin’ Patties-Pastries
1458 S Hiatus Rd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33025 | 954-704-9400
Mild beef patty $2.13
The largest patty shop on this list has the flakiest patties. The meat is well distributed and seasoned well. The staff is playful and the atmosphere friendly. Fresh batches are constantly being brought out. The steaming patty contains savory seasoned beef. Patties available: spinach or vegetable, $1.85 each; beef, $2.13; beef and cheese, $2.20; meatloaf, $2.32; chicken, $2.50; ackee and saltfish, $3.50.
4. Treelion Inc. Juice Bar and Natural Foods
18400 NW 2nd Ave. Miami Gardens, FL 33169 | 305-690-7777
Spinach Yatti $3
Patties are commonly filled with meat, such as beef, though vegetarian options are often available. This shop goes a step further with a “yatti,” a vegan patty suitable for Rastafarians. It’s beige in color, as it’s made of wheat, unlike the traditional yellow-orange derived from egg wash or turmeric. It’s seasoned well with a bit of a spicy flavor. For a vegan restaurant, the place is fairly inexpensive. There are quality ingredients. Patties available: spinach yatti, $3; ackee, $4.
5. Island Joe’s Café
4201 Ravenswood Rd. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 | 954-990-6141
Mild beef patty $1.85
This multiple award-winning family-run business began more than 30 years ago with famous hot pies. And while the shop now mass produces patties for resale in stores and restaurants, it’s still churning out fresh patties daily. Designed with tropical flair and boasting a convenient drive-thru, Joe’s is filled with patties of a deep orange color. Although they aren’t the flakiest, they do have a nice crunch and an even distribution of flavorful meat. Patties available: spicy beef, mild beef, classic curry chicken, jammin’ jerk chicken or vegetable, $1.85 each.
6. Hammond’s Bakery
17847 NW 27th Ave. Miami Gardens, FL 33056 | 305-624-9982
Mild beef patty $2.15
This bakery has two locations: Lauderhill and Miami Gardens. The patties have a good ratio of meat to pastry. Patties available: beef, $2.15; chicken, $2.25; beef and cheese, $2.30; ackee and saltfish, $3.15.
7. Fancy Loaf Caribbean Bakery & Restaurant
1014 NE 215th St. Miami, FL 33179 | 305-249-7225
Mild beef patty $1.75
This bakery has locations in not only Florida, but California, New York, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. The shop is small, but the mouthwatering smell of fresh patties escapes even through the closed front doors. The patty has a thick crust. Patties available: beef, $1.75; vegetable or saltfish, $2.
8. Jamaica Kitchen
8736 SW 72nd St. Miami, FL 33173 | 305-596-2585
Spicy beef patty $2.50
The hot, flaky patty is well-filled, and spices are both distinguishable and well blended. It has a nice kick and the famous red dot indicating “spicy.” They are made as often as several times a day. Patties available: mild beef, spicy beef, beefy cheese, vegetable, spinach, curry chicken, jerk chicken or plantain tart, $2.50 each; meatloaf, $3.
9. Five Star Jamaican Bakery
6847 Miramar Pkwy. Miramar, FL 33023 | 954-983-6133
Beef patty $2.15
Family-friendly operation serves delectable pastries with a smile. Theirs is one of the largest patties, with smooth meat – not puréed – that has a little bit of its own sauce/gravy but isn’t soggy. It’s a patty you can grab from both ends without the filling moving around too much. Just one is satisfyingly filling. Patties available: mild beef, spicy beef, curry, jerk chicken and vegetable, ranging from $2-$2.50.
10. The Patty Place
19547 NW 2nd Ave. Miami Gardens, FL 33169 | 305-652-1787
Mild beef patty $2
The pastry is thick and in a unique, pale yellow semi-circle. The meat is heavily scented with seasoning. This one isn’t particularly flaky, but since the patty isn’t overfilled with meat, it has a good crunch. Patties available: beef, curry chicken or vegetable, $2; cheesy beef and callaloo, $2.50; curry shrimp, $3.50; ackee and saltfish, $4.
This story first appeared in Florida International University's South Florida Media Network.