If you grew up where i grew up you could get a jamaican beef patty like a bag a chips. Coming home from school, I would get one at the Islington subway station for a buck and quarter, $1.75 with a cocoa bun. I would try and lie about not eating one to my mom who had dinner ready, but i couldn't hide the bright orange flaky crust that would fall into my scarf.

Here in Vancouver, where when i refer to beef patties most people think i mean burger patties, it's been more of a challenge to score, until now. I know this blog is supposed to guide you to the best restaurants in town but there are some gems that should not be kept a secret. Hibiscus Foods is a family wholesale business owned and run by Edward Chang who came here from Jamaica in '78. He worked in the car sales business for awhile but thankfully scrapped that and opened Hibiscus in 95'. Their specialty? Yes.. that's right...Jamaican patties. Beef, curried chicken, vegetarian, jerk chicken and spinach all for about 14 dollars a dozen. Just in case you are unsure, a Jamaican patty is a pastry that contains various fillings and spices baked inside a flaky shell, often tinted golden yellow with an egg yolk mixture or turmeric.(thanks wiki) Think a Caribbean pizza pop.

So there was this reggae jam that needed some food and i was connected to Edward who during his runs to his restaurants that he supplies to, delivered 7 dozen patties right to my door. Of course, I sampled one of the beef which i conveniently popped in the microwave for about a minute (i know, i know, i couldn't wait and i was at work). DANG!!! Simple, fresh, slightly spicy with curry chili and of course the perfect shade of bright orange. Ironically, in my shop was another Chinese Jamaican lady who knew of Ed Chang and his family. She enjoyed the patties as well as did the 100 people at the party.

Instructions: Take the patties and warm them in the oven until the insides are as hot you like them and serve! Add a little chutney if you like or you can get your hands on some cocoa bread then put the patty inside.

The sux part...Ed only sells wholesale so you have to order at least 5 dozen, which is not difficult considering you would want to try all the flavours. I only tried the beef and the veggie but can't wait to try the rest.

Hisbiscus Foods
#9 -1850 Kingsway Ave.
Port Coquitlam, BC
mama roma


holly said... @ April 15, 2009 at 6:13 PM

You can get some pretty good patties over at The Patty Shop on Macdonald near 16th Avenue on the west side of Vancouver.

They make them daily and you can either eat them baked hot or frozen to take home.

Along with their regular varieties, they also have different daily specials.

Mark Allerton said... @ April 15, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Not sure if they come from Hibiscus, but Yaletown Market (corner of Mainland & Nelson) sells Jamaica Patties and very nice they are too - it's been a while, but they seem pretty much identical to the patties I used to get growing up in London.

Gyromite said... @ April 15, 2009 at 8:00 PM

I have searched all over BC for patties comparable to the east coast and my favorite is Hibiscus.

I have tried the patty shop but I am not a big fan, and from what I hear most Caribbean people aren't into it. It is all personal taste though.

To me Hibiscus is the best!!!!
Coco bread is hard to find though.

├ůsa said... @ April 16, 2009 at 8:19 AM

I'm a Toronto girl and loved getting patties in the cafeteria and at the corner store. I'll give Hibiscus a try cause the Patty Shop did nothing for me!

holly said... @ April 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM

So, how do you get your hands on some patties from Hisbiscus if you don't want to order dozens of them?

I just want to try one or two.

Gyromite said... @ April 16, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Cameo or Lions Den.

Mama Roma - you said there were a few other places right? One down by the beach?

holly said... @ April 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I tried the patties at the Lions Den. Not bad, but I still think the patties from the Patty Shop are pretty good. Their pastry is flakier and their filling is not so dense.

I would probably eat them again from the Lions Den as it is closer to my end of town.

Gyromite said... @ April 19, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Yes, I would agree that the patty shop has their pastry down. Nice and flaky. They really need to step up their filling!!

Randy's Pattys or Juicy Pattys are the way to go but that will require a trip to Calgary or Toronto.

Anonymous said... @ April 19, 2009 at 3:40 PM

i particularly like the neon yellow beef patties that are sold in every corner shop in NYC and Toronto. the filling is usually overcooked but still like 'em probably 'cuz i grew up on them.
nice curry flavor and leaves your fingers neon yellow.

Anonymous said... @ April 19, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Great patties from Hibiscus foods. I have tried the other ones and I will go out of my way for them and I live in Jamaica. The filling is great with the perfect spices just like home but more meat and not so much gravy and black pepper.

Virg said... @ April 26, 2009 at 1:20 AM

I'm from Toronto. Back in the days, my family would go to the Patty King factory to buy 'B-grade' patties in bulk for cheap (described link below). And those frozen patties served many lunches for both my brother and I.


Same as Anonymous, I'm used to the neon yellow patties. But will definitely try this place out to satisfy the patty craving.

Anonymous said... @ April 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I've tried the Patty Shop and wasn't really into it. Hibiscus, although not as flaky, was much more satisfying. I know that Hibiscus supplies to Watermark, the restaurant at Kits beach (for Holly) so you might want to head down there for the taste test.

I give Hibiscus two neon yellow thumbs up!!

mama roma

Anonymous said... @ September 2, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Does this place still exist? I've tried going to the address and couldn't find it. Calling the number doesn't even get a ring.

If its still around they are too discreet for their own good.

Anonymous said... @ February 19, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Your post made me laugh. I'd usually buy two radioactive yellow Jamaican patties, before running upstairs to catch the 110A bus at Islington station. They were the driest things to eat, but were very comforting. The Patty Shop has satisfying veggie patties (spinach and feta). Try them.

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