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Jamaica restaurants

I not a heart-breaka I am a love maka. I'm not from Mexico I am from Jamaica. 
– Elephant Man

$1 - 1.0JMD
06:38
79 °
Photo courtesy of Stush in the Bush

Chris' Cook Shop

  • Oracabessa, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • Main St. (across from Maxine's Hot Spot)
  • +1-876-861-1611

It is a typical roadside restaurant: The menu might change and there are only a few options, but it is always delicious and a great thing to do when hanging out in Oracabessa.

EITS Cafe

  • Kingston, Cafe, $$$$ $$
  • 17 Mile Post on Newcastle Rd.
  • +1-876-489-5671
  • Website | Email

A fun little spot tucked away in the Blue Mountains where the view is incredible and the food is delicious. Almost everything is grown locally. Email reservations are preferred.

G's BBQ

  • Kingston, Caribbean, $$$$ $$
  • #16-19 Market Pl., 67 Constant Spring Rd.
  • +1-876-906-4393
  • Website

Gariel Fergusons's crispy chicken wings, wood-smoked chicken, and baby-back ribs are killer. The seafood is outstanding too, especially the grilled jumbo shrimp and salmon filet grilled on a cedar plank.

Guilt

  • Kingston, Caribbean, $$$$ $$
  • Devon House, 26 Hope Rd.
  • +1-876-968-5488

Chef and owner Colin Hylton does an amazing job putting a bold spin on authentic Jamaican dishes. The desserts are also spectacular, proof that Hylton got his start as a pastry chef. Devon House is also beautiful: Guests can dine on the lovely terrace or in the vault.

Hungry Lion

  • Negril, Caribbean, Vegetarian/Vegan, Seafood, $$$$ $$
  • W. End Rd.
  • +1-876-957-4486
  • Website | Email

Dinner at the Rastafarian restaurant is wonderful -- order the soup, which is complex, filling, and good for us. (How is that possible?) Follow with a nightcap at the club in the same building and take advantage of the free shuttle service pick-up.

Lobster Trapp

  • Hopewell, Seafood, $$$$ $$
  • Sawyer's Beach Rd.
  • +1-876-783-5046
  • Website

A great family-run spot just outside Montego Bay, where the lobster is cooked to order for ultimate freshness.

Miss T's Kitchen

  • Ocho Rios, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • 65 Main St.
  • +1-876-795-0099
  • Website

Jamaican classics (jerk chicken, calaloo, plantains) in a rustic garden setting about 20 minutes down the road from GoldenEye.

Murphy's

  • Negril, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • Lighthouse Rd.
  • +1-876-367-0475
  • Website

A local beach hut gem with delicious made-to-order jerk chicken and a claim to the coldest Red Stripes. Time should not be of the essence here, patience should. It's a special experience.

Niah's Patties

  • Negril, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • Negril Beach

In a tiny shack along the seven-mile beach, Niah and his sister dole out flakey hand-made chicken, beef, and ackee with salt fish patties (Jamaican pastries in a buttery golden yellow shell resembling an empanada). Each patty is made fresh to order and cooked over a wood-burning stove.

Norma's at the Marina

  • Port Antonio, Caribbean, $$$$ $$
  • Errol Flynn Marina (near the lighthouse)
  • +1-876-993-9510

This is the creation of three of Jamaica's most critically acclaimed restaurateurs: Norma Shirley, Colin Hylton, and Gariel Ferguson. They use both local and international ingredients to create truly special Caribbean fusion dishes.

Peanut Soup

  • St. Mary / St. Andrew, Food Cart/Truck, $$$$ $
  • Junction Rd.

On the road from GoldenEye Hotel to Kingston is an incredible peanut soup stand on the left side, midway on Junction Road. There is no website or even an address, but you know it when you see it. Soup is an important part of Jamaican food culture, but this one always hits the spot. A welcome break on a long drive.

Pelican Bar

  • Parrottee Bay, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • St. Elizabeth

Close to Jake's Hotel on the south coast, there's a sand bank about a quarter mile out to sea — way off shore — where Floyd built a bar out of bamboo. Yes, in the middle of the ocean. It was totally washed away in a hurricane a few years ago, but he rebuilt it, and continued to do so each time. You stop in and join a game of dominoes, have a drink, or eat fresh fish caught and fried on the spot. It's a quirky destination and the owner is a real character. It's a pretty boat ride and any of the fishermen in Black River can take you there.

Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar

  • Negril, Caribbean, $$$$ $$
  • Rockhouse Hotel, W. End Rd.
  • +1-876-618-1533
  • Website | Email

Regional street food and authentic Jamaican home-style cooking, like peppered shrimp, steamed fish with bammy (a Jamaican flatbread), and homemade jerk sausage. The jerk platter is a great combination of shrimp, chicken, and pork. It's served with festival, the floury, deep-fried dumpling you dip in sauce. It's light and fluffy and so unhealthy and really fantastic.

Rockhouse Restaurant

  • Negril, Caribbean, $$$$ $$$
  • Rockhouse Hotel, W. End Rd.
  • +1-876-618-1533 / +1-876-957-4373
  • Website | Email

The hotel's more upscale option for composed plates (like grilled jerk chicken fajitas). For breakfast, the only choice you should consider is the country's heavenly national dish, ackee and salt fish served with callaloo (Jamaica's version of kale), fried dumplings, plantains, and sweet banana bread. Fresh juices includes the signature Rockhouse greens blended with callaloo grown in their organic garden. 

Scotchies

  • Montego Bay, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • Falmouth Rd. on N. Coast Hwy. (across from Holiday Inn SunSpree)
  • +1-876-953-3301

You can't go wrong with jerk chicken in Jamaica, but Scotchie's has a great vibe. It's local but tourist-friendly. They slow cook under corrugated tin over pimento wood. And the sauce they use has an incredible kick. Ther are also locations in Ocho Rios and Kingston.

Strawberry Patch Cafe and Grill

  • St. Mary, Caribbean, $$$$ $
  • Robin's Bay
  • +1-876-337-6127

Really wonderful fried chicken, and that's all there is to it.

Stush in the Bush

  • St. Ann, Vegetarian/Vegan, $$$$ $$
  • Free Hill, Aterial Rd.
  • +1-876-562-9760
  • Website | Email

All ital (a Rastafarian diet that adheres to similar rules as vegetarianism) with homegrown produce. Sauces are incredible, especially the blow fyah pepper sauce.

Yam

  • Trelawny, Caribbean, $$$$ $

As you enter Trelawney from Saint Ann, look for the guy who does yellow yam on the side of the road, sometimes with ackee and saltfish. It is great. The starchy vegetable is an important staple in Jamaica (and is even credited as a reason behind the speed of athletes like Usain Bolt).

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