Known as the ‘land of wood and water’, Jamaica’s beautiful beaches, crystalline Caribbean sea, majestic mountains and musical vibes attract visitors from every corner of the Earth.
But once you’re there you’ll probably fall in love with the cuisine too, which ranges from the spicy jerk barbecue cooking developed by rebel Maroons in the 18th Century to ocean fresh seafood like lobster and red snapper, and street food cooked on car alloy pans over open fires to haute cuisine crafted in high-end hotels.
Since Kingston is Jamaica’s cultural melting pot, let’s take a look at five food hotspots in the capital.
Love At First Bite! 5 Kingston Jamaica Food Hotspots
- Harbour View Roundabout
Can’t wait for your first fix of authentic jerk chicken or pork? Once you’ve cleared customs at Norman Manley airport, stop at the Harbour View roundabout (at the bottom of Palisadoes tombolo before you turn left into the city) and sample the delights of the local street food vendors.
There’s lots to choose from, but Robert’s stall serves the most lip-smacking jerk chicken with rice and peas.
Tip: provided you’ve got a designated driver, wash down your meal with a cold Red Stripe beer.
If you like seafood, a pilgrimage to Gloria’s is a must. There’s now an outlet in the city proper, but for a scenic setting, head to the original restaurant in Port Royal near the airport.
Choose the ‘Pirate’s Catch’ to sample fish, lobster and shrimp, which all tastes great accompanied with savoury bammy or festival.
Tip: Port Royal is Jamaica’s former pirate capital and an excellent spot for scuba divers.
- Strawberry Hill
This hotel has one of Jamaica’s most romantic settings, nestled near Irish Town on the hills overlooking Kingston.
For breakfast, try Jamaica’s national dish ackee and saltfish accompanied by local Blue Mountain coffee – the world’s best brew.
Tip: hire a car online with Enjoy and adventures await in Jamaica’s mystical, undulating interior.
- Devon House
Situated bang in the middle of Kingston, Devon House is a palatial mansion which is the former home of Jamaica’s first Black millionaire, George Stiebel.
You’ll find Jamaica’s best patties here (pastry-coated savoury treats stuffed with callaloo, curry chicken, beef or lobster) as well as refreshing ice cream in an amazing array of flavours.
Tip: chill out with your picnic in the gorgeous gardens that surround Devon House and watch the world go by.
- Pepperwood Jerk Centre
If you need to top-up on your jerk cuisine before leaving Kingston, pop into the Pepperwood Jerk Centre at Chelsea Avenue in New Kingston.
Here you can order several types of jerk meats and watch them being lovingly barbecued on a huge fire pit amidst the smoky scents of pimento and scotch bonnet peppers, before enjoying your ‘box food’ on a comfy bench in the open air.
Tip: if you don’t want to eat onsite, walk to nearby Emancipation Park, which has formal gardens and an iconic statue dedicated to freedom in Jamaica.
Sample all of these Kingston food hotspots on your next Jamaican vacation and you’ll be forever smitten by the sensational cuisine here!