Jamaican beef patties
Beef patties are one of the most recognizable Caribbean foods for many of us Yanks, but that doesn't mean they're not damn tasty in their own right. Served piping hot, these buttery, meat- (or veggie) filled flavor bombs are like Hot Pockets that went to Jamaica on spring break, cornrowed their hair, started playing bass in a funk band, and never looked back, mon.
Pelau and rice & peas
Pelau is a rice-based side dish similar to pilaf, with pigeon peas, meat, root vegetables, and, occasionally, bits of cured pork. This is a form of rice and peas (white rice cooked with peas or beans), which is as important to the Caribbean as pasta is to Italy (i.e., it's the foundation for literally everything).
Pholourie is Caribbean code for fritters made from chickpea flour and Indian-influenced spices like turmeric, saffron, cumin, chili, and garlic. These little nuggets of deep-fried roadside deliciousness are a Trini speciality that also get some play in nearby Guyana and Suriname and usually come with a side of sweet-and-sour chutney.