I was visiting a friend along Broadway when I smelled something that made my hunger insatiable. Our noses led us beneath the rumbling train to a standalone grill outside of a cafe. Smoke saturated the air, our mouths watered. The place is called Jubilee Cafe & Party Lab. It’s been open on Broadway now for a year, but the name seldom comes up in discussions about Bushwick’s greatest coffee shops.
The owners, Nick and Kim, are longtime Bushwick residents and both teachers by day. They opened Jubilee as an event space with an adjacent coffee shop where people can enjoy food, wifi, and specialty beverages. They also serve jerk chicken Friday through Sunday, seasoned expertly with homemade sauce on their sidewalk grill. At your request, they’ll make jerk chicken wraps and burgers on bagels ($5). “I thought, we have all this chicken. Why not make burgers?” Nick asked, smiling. Honestly, I can’t think of a single reason why not. Can you? Ssshh. Don’t spoil it.
Whilst there, I made a point to try the chicken. I didn’t mean to slurp so loudly or get sauce all over my fingers (sorry everyone!) but that’s just what happens when you chow on something as deliciously spiced as that damn fowl. Afterwards, I asked what their best drink for a pick-me-up is. Nick offered me a Guinness frappuccino. Yes, you read that correctly. A Guinness frap. Sweet, frothy and swilling with esteem that hails from Ireland, I found a new indulgence. Screw you, Haagan Dazs. I never really loved you anyway.
The coffee they regularly brew is from the praised Porto Rico Importing Co. Their muffins and bagels are sent daily from A&S Bagels in Nassau County, crafted with a dense consistency in line with a true New York bagel. The specialty cream cheeses such as vegetable, tomato and avocado are all made in house by Kim, and taste delicious when paired with freshly sliced tomato. This place is legit.
They also mentioned their event space, a spotless and vast room situated in the back behind French doors. It’s typically been used for family gatherings such as baby showers and birthday parties, but given its comfortable size, you can rent it out for just about anything.
And Jubilee’s offerings keep getting better. As the weather turns and everyone sips their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Jubilee serves their own kind of seasonal drinks by offering to add Italian or Irish eggnog to any specialty coffee. But fret not, gourd enthusiasts, they have a pumpkin spice chai, as well as a chocolate spice chai latte. These are both viable holiday-tasting beverages that give you an extra kick. And wait, there’s more: they’ll also mix Guinness into the chocolate chai at your request.
So if you find yourself visiting The Living Gallery for a class or show, or grabbing a drink at Goodbye Blue Monday in the cold, don’t forget that right there is a little cafe with some serious contenders in food and drink. Order some jerk chicken this weekend and a latte with Italian eggnog. Happy holidays to Bushwick, at Jubilee Cafe.
Jubilee is located on 1079 Broadway. Jerk chicken is served from 11-close, Friday-Sunday.