B&M Market is hardly a secret. The West Indian bodega has been around since 1980, and it’s bright blue-and-red exterior advertises jerk chicken, oxtail stew, and various rotis in hand-painted letters that are practically screaming at the always-busy 79th Street. It’s a place you may have heard about from a TV show or a friend who told you you absolutely need to go there. And maybe you ignored them because that friend is also the same person who believes that eggs will hatch if you don’t eat them before the expiration date. We get it.
But this isn’t like when the dentist tells you to buy an electric toothbrush or when your neighbor offers unsolicited criticism on the placement of your houseplants. This is the kind of advice you really need to listen to because B&M Market is home to the best West Indian food in the city .
If you don’t call ahead or order online, this is probably the only restaurant in Miami where you’re allowed to stick your head into the kitchen and say hello without receiving a nonstick skillet to the forehead. They run out of certain items sometimes, so it’s good to chat with the owner/chef to see what they have that day. Luckily the ackee and saltfish is basically always available. B&M’s version of Jamaica’s national dish is incredible - the ackee is buttery with a consistency similar to scrambled eggs. When it’s mixed with the tender saltfish and a side of rice and peas (which you should always choose as your side), you’ll keep telling yourself you only want one more bite before finishing the entire thing.
The curry goat and oxtail are both super tender too and the jerk chicken is perfectly spicy and juicy. All of the above are best enjoyed wrapped in one of B&M’s rotis. You can luckily order roti versions of most of B&M’s dishes, which basically means they come wrapped in a soft flatbread - kind of like a burrito. Even if you don’t opt for that, you should get a roti on the side. It’s an ideal fluffy companion for scooping up any of B&M’s very rich, meaty dishes.
B&M does a lot of take-out, but if you’ve got time to come in for lunch, it’s worth it to sit down and eat in the little dining area because whatever you get is going to taste better fresh out of the kitchen than after 20 minutes of resting on your passenger seat. And if it happens to be your first time here, you’ll be both incredibly happy you finally came and left wondering what other good advice from that strange friend you might need to give a try.
The sweetness from the ackee with the saltiness of the fish creates a balance that’s hard to describe but is one of our favorite things here. This is also a great lighter option if you’re just not in an oxtail, goat, or cow foot kind of mood.
The oxtail is almost perfect, but it’s even better when the juice and bits of cartilage get mixed into the rice and peas. It’s rich and comforting, like George Clooney giving you a hug in a cashmere sweater.
If oxtail is a little too labor-intensive for you, get the goat. It’s still tender and delicious but requires less cracking and slurping.
This is some of the best jerk chicken you’ll find in Miami and getting it wrapped inside a roti not only allows you to tear into this with your hands, but it helps smooth out the spice from the chicken.
This dish is similar to ackee and saltfish, though it subs in the leafy callaloo (which is kind of like the collard green’s Caribbean cousin) for the ackee. But honestly, we don’t know why anyone would pick this over ackee and saltfish.