Ann Manje! Let’s Eat! Haitian Food Outside of Haiti

There are a lot of things to love about Haiti; one of them is the food. If you’re not excited about griot, bannann peze, piklèz, and fritay – you’re probably in the minority (and maybe even the wrong place!)

Pointing to food as a favorite experience among travelers is a bit clichéd, but it makes sense; in a new country where cultural differences can leave you feeling a bit adrift, food on the table is an invitation for everyone to come together.

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King Queen Haitian Cuisine Newspaper Clipping

The good news for all of you returning from Haiti is that you might just find some of that delicious Caribbean flavor popping up in locations closer than expected. (Like we did!)

Boston, New York, Miami – these are hot spots for the Haitian Diaspora, so you’re likely to find any number of great Haitian restaurants (We’re open to recommendations, comment below!) But what about in a place like Greensboro, NC?

King Queen Haitian Cuisine is about 45 minutes away from us, or an hour, depending on where they are for the day (They’re a food truck, so they move around!) But 45 minutes is a small price to pay for the promise of authentic griot and piklèz, and it’s definitely a lot closer than Miami, New York, or Boston! So this past Saturday we grabbed some friends, hopped in the car, and made a trip out of it.

100% worth it.

But of course, this doesn’t all just come down to the tasty food they served up. It’s more about finding something we share, and building community around it.  For us, it’s kreyòl, it’s an interest in Haitian culture, an opportunity to connect with the Haitian community where we live, and yes, of course it’s also about delicious food.

A generous helping of griot from King Queen Haitian Cuisine
A generous helping of griot from King Queen Haitian Cuisine

Talking with DJ (the sister of the brother-sister King Queen team) she’s very much of the same mind. To her, King Queen Haitian Cuisine is much more than a food truck – it’s a chance to make the Haitian community visible within this new community, to teach people about her childhood home in Borgne, Haiti, and to gather people together; food just happens to be a natural catalyst and adhesive.

In short, we’re thrilled that King Queen Haitian Cuisine’s here, and we’ll be going back soon.

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P.S.  We’d love to put Haitian Cuisine on the map for more members of our community, but we need your help. (Like a real map, if you’ll send us suggestions we’ll make it!)

Where do you go to get your fix of piklèz, griot, fritay, diri, tassot, lambi, and bannann peze? Send us the name of the restaurant and the city you’re in!

by Erin Nguyen on August 27, 2015

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6 thoughts on “Ann Manje! Let’s Eat! Haitian Food Outside of Haiti

  1. I would 1) like to become a better Creole speaker and 2) like to know if there is a listing for great Creole food in the west palm beach Florida area. Thanks Kerry

    1. Bonswa Kerry! Ann pale kreyòl! Please feel free to check out our language learning program & free resources at haitihub.com, we’d love to have you in our learner community! While I can’t help with your search for Creole cuisine in West Palm beach, I hope you’ll keep us updated on any great restaurants you find. (Hopefully some others will be able to chime in with some suggestions too!) Kenbe la!

  2. I would be thrilled to see your food truck in St. Louis, Missouri–we are volunteers for a non-profit 501c3 for Haiti and we would love to coordinate efforts for a fundraiser event sometime! Lori M.

    1. Bonswa Lori! Thanks for taking the time to comment! I just wanted to clarify that King Queen Haitian Cuisine is a separate entity from HaitiHub (though we’re very excited to continue building a professional and friendly relationship with them!) While Missouri might be a bit of a hike for the truck (You would need to reach out to them – https://www.facebook.com/kingqueen.haitian.cuisine?fref=ts) we would be happy to support your fundraiser: http://www.haitihub.com/products/ (Scroll to the bottom for info on Fundraisers) Mèsi anpil!

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