A hidden little gem on Beach Road is the Ackee Tree Caribbean American Grocer. Along with many traditional Jamaican groceries that you can find here — including everything from tamarind to coco bread to chicken feet — you will also find home-prepped and cooked hot food that is deliciously traditional too.
If you only try one thing, you have to grab a patty (or two!). They are tasty, quick bites that are like hot and crispy “Hot Pockets.” These patties are golden flaky crispy pastry dough filled with a hot flavorful assortment of ackee and saltfish (the national dish of Jamaica, made with salted codfish and the fruit ackee), beef, jerk chicken, and curry chicken. (pro tip: experienced patty eaters combine coco bread and patties, making a patty sandwich). There are also vegetarian filling options such as spinach. Jamaican beef patties from Ackee Tree are a perfect fast food; they can be eaten on the go — no utensils required. They are also quite filling and packed with flavor and cost only around $5.
And you can find — on occasion — home-cooked lunches at Ackee Tree as well. The lunches are delicious. A lunch tray usually includes the main course, a healthy portion of rice, and a side vegetable. Everything is perfectly and traditionally cooked — Jerk Chicken, Oxtail, Curry Goat. Go in for a patty and leave with a traditional Jamaican meal.
Ackee Tree Caribbean American Grocer, 25 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven. Open seven days a week, 9 am to 7 pm. 508-338-2521.