Poor Boys review image

Poor Boys


5 Griffin Centre, Kingston
Earn 3X Points

Nothing at Poor Boys is small or modest. Everything at this New Orleans-inspired spot in Kingston, from the jumbo jalapeño poppers to the lively groups cheersing ice cream floats on a Friday night, feels larger than life. Excellent OTT comfort food, a lively dive bar atmosphere, and laid-back service, make this restaurant a go-to for a casual catch-up, a meaty brisket feast eaten in silent concentration, or a portion of chicken popcorn and a beer for one when you’re feeling particularly precious. 

On a corner of Kingston filled with restaurants, Poor Boys takes the majority of the crowd, no matter the time. At weekends the queue skirts around the side and goes all the way down to the river. If you’re tempted to give up on it, just glance through the window at the person giving googly eyes to a brisket sandwich and they’ll give you all the motivation to wait it out. Once you’re in, the sounds of glasses clinking, smell of fried chicken wafting from the kitchen, and the jovial staff casually working the room as if at a house party, set the tone. But it’s still chilled enough that you’re able to catch your friend up on your life in excruciating detail, without having to shout your blood test results to the whole restaurant.

Poor Boys review image

The red glow from the big neon ‘Poor Boys’ sign on the ground floor gives a warmth to the wood-pannelled room that encourages over-ordering and careless dipping. Walk up the spiral red staircase and you’ll find a quieter, smaller space. We’re not saying this is the rejects’ corner, but we’re not not saying that. Basically, this is the overflow space, so if you get the choice, stick to the main dining room. It’s where the fun, lively, high energy dive bar mood is. But FYI we’d still sit in the not-not-rejects section if it meant we could eat an overstuffed po’ boy.

Although your order is served in cardboard boxes, it’s comfort food at its finest. If you’re not in the mood for sharing, the Poor Boy sandwiches are the way to go. It’s like a table service, build-your-own footlong brioche sub, except the options here are less processed meat and more fresh buttermilk fried shrimps, black angus prime brisket, and cajun blackened chicken. But the best way to experience this place is to come with a group of hungry people who you’re not afraid to get messy in front of, and order the seafood sharer. Twenty coconut shrimps, a handful of calamari, and a couple of grilled oysters later, and you’ll only be about a third of the way through this genuinely aggressive amount of fried seafood. Eat with your hands, be mentally prepared to spill cajun mayo down your t-shirt, and definitely box up leftovers to go. Huge, fried, and messy is the mood—and getting stuck in is encouraged. 

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Food Rundown


Sauces are a sacred thing here. There are seven to choose from, but definitely order the sweet, thick honey mustard and the creamy, slightly spicy, cajun mayo.

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Coconut Shrimp

Meaty shrimp covered in a thick crispy coating of coconut breadcrumbs—we’d make the journey here for this dish alone. Deceptively light, you’ll eat 20 of these without thinking.

Mac and Cheese

When mac and cheese makes that satisfying squelchy, sticky sound—you know the one we mean—it’s going to be good. Heavy on the American cheese and topped with spring onions, this is an intense cheesy moment that’s perfect for sharing.

Poor Boys review image

Buttermilk Fried Shrimp Poor Boy

This is a beast of a sandwich, and what we’ll order when we’re not sharing. The brioche sub is pillowy and filled with crispy fried shrimp, salad, pickles, and one of their homemade sauces. Our go-to is the lightly spiced cajun mayo, but the tangy Louisiana hot is also a winner.

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Seafood Sharer

Nothing we say can prepare you for how filling this sharing platter is. You’ll question whether it’s enough for the three of you. Then 10 minutes, countless bayou-blackened prawns, fried calamari, and half a soft shell crab later, you’ll realise you’ve hardly made a dent in it. The tray comes filled with three different types of shrimp, a fried crab, chewy calamari, and garlicky grilled oysters—order this with a group of people who are up for a challenge.

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