Traditionally observed in June, Caribbean-American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the community that makes up nearly half of Greater Fort Lauderdale's population. As a result, it's a cause for year-round celebration! Explore the exciting lineup of upcoming events and discover local Caribbean restaurants to immerse yourself in the vibrant island spirit while showing support for the community in June and beyond.
What to Do
Here are some of the upcoming events for Caribbean Heritage Month and beyond.
- South Florida Caribbean American Heritage Month Kick-Off Celebration — June 1 at Miramar City Hall Plaza. Join Vice Mayor Alexandra P. Davis for an afternoon of steel drum music, moko jumbies, live performances, Caribbean food samples, and other festivities.
- Festivities at The LOOP — June 2 to 4 at The LOOP in Fort Lauderdale. Celebrate heritage month with a weekend filled with music, food, and dancing. Each day will be a musical tribute to a different Caribbean country — Jamaica on June 2 with music by Grammy-nominee Inner Circle (“The Bad Boys of Reggae”), Cuba on June 3, and the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.
- The Island Imprint: The Indelible Impact of the Caribbean Diaspora — June 4 at Island SPACE Caribbean Museum. The Plantation museum is kicking off Caribbean Heritage Month with a panel of Caribbean consulate representatives to discuss their community’s impact on South Florida.
- Colors of Caribe Festival — June 24 at the Broward Mall. Head to the Plantation mall for music and entertainment showcasing Caribbean culture in partnership with the Island SPACE Caribbean Museum. The museum will host the Anancy Festival in conjunction with Colors of Caribe.
- Kathia St. Hilaire: Immaterial Being — Now through June 25 at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Born to Haitian parents, St. Hilaire’s work is inspired by the African spiritual belief system, Vodun, as well as the Caribbean diasporic experience.
- Ann Apresye Zev Atis Ayisyen: Let's Appreciate The Works of Haitian Artists — Now through July 18. Haitian artists are in the spotlight in this exhibit at the Ali Cultural Arts Center in Pompano Beach, including Carl-Philippe Juste, Vladymir Acloque, Cynthia “Teeyah” Zamor, Asser Saint-Val, and Katiana Jarbath Smith.
- Beyond Caribbean Heritage Month - Jamaican Jerk Day – Oct. 22 and 23 throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale. Celebrate the Jamaican cooking style at Greater Fort Lauderdale restaurants, including Jerk Machine, The Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant, and Golden Krust
Where to Eat
You don’t have to wait for June to roll around to indulge in dishes from the islands — here are some of the many local Caribbean restaurants you can enjoy all year long.
Steelpan - Fort Lauderdale
The anchor restaurant for the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach, Steelpan serves meals all day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Delights include Jamaican jerk-style chicken, island-spiced whole-baked yellowtail snapper, jerk lobster quesadilla, conch fritters, and more. Finish off your meal with warmed bread and butter banana pudding!
Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar - Pompano Beach
For more than 30 years, Lora and Chuck Ternosky were at the helm of Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar, serving up jerk and curry chicken wings, conch salad, roti, cutters, and an endless array of fresh fish. While the couple has retired, the new owners have no plans to change the menu or the restaurant’s delightful island décor loved by the community.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar - Fort Lauderdale
Situated on Las Olas Boulevard, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar is more than just a place to eat—it’s an entire experience. Order a cocktail from the rum bar and dishes created by Chef Guillermo Pernot, just in time to enjoy the salsa shows each Friday and Saturday evening. Stick around for Cuba Libre Nights, fit with a DJ and dance floor to try out your own dance moves.
Islands in the Pines - Pembroke Pines
On your next lunch break, head to Islands in the Pines for a heaping serving of Jamaican goodness in the form of brown stew chicken, oxtail, cow foot and beans, and island soda favorites like Ting and D&G Soda. If you’re a fan of fish, stay tuned on social media for their fish fries
925 Nuevo’s Cubano’s - Fort Lauderdale
Located at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, you can’t miss 925 Nuevo's Cubano's stand with its large mural and flying flags. Stop by for breakfast to get croquettes or a chorizo omelet sandwich, or when you need a pick-me-up in the middle of the day, get a dose of Cuban coffee to go with your guava and cheese pastry