The first lockdown was grim for lots of reasons. Not least the amount of times we stood alone in Crocs and pyjamas outside the Old Town Hall on Mare Street, attempting to manifest Rainbow Cookout into existence, before dejectedly moping up to Percy Ingle for a consolatory cream finger. Anyway, finally, finally, Rainbow Cookout appeared. Their jerk chicken sandwich is packed with meat from a freshly grilled leg methodically pulled off by Otis - the world’s most laconic and considered grill master - and it’s crisp blackened skin carefully removed with Peking duck-like precision. All of this is put between two thick wholemeal slices and topped with careful ladles of fragrant and spiced gravy with carrots, onions, and cabbage knocking about in there as well. It’s there Wednesday to Saturday, or, as Otis told us, “whenever I feel like getting out of bed”.
Where we've featured it
More spots in HackneySee more
Mare Street Market
Mare Street Market is a Hackney spot with a deli, a bar, and shops. It works well for big group situations.
Campania & Jones
Campania is an Italian restaurant off Columbia Road ideal for a romantic dinner, that’s equally lovely during the day.
EXP Cantina at Swan Wharf
EXP Cantina at Swan Wharf is a cool outdoor cafe and bar with a big terrace overlooking the River Lea, serving tacos, burgers, and craft beers.
More Caribbean spotsSee more
Three Little Birds
A little Brixton spot serving up big Jamaican flavours, Three Little Birds is perfect for a rum-packed cocktail and some good small plates.
People’s Choice is a little Caribbean spot in Homerton cooking charred jerk worth travelling for.
Negril serves Caribbean comfort food up on Brixton Hill. It’s far enough away from the main drag to feel calm, and has one of the best patios in SW2.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more