When people think of Jamaican food, they think spicy. And they’re right. Using a combination of fresh fruits, meats, and seafood, and spices, Jamaican cuisine is a culmination of tastes from the Caribbean, Africa, Britain, China, France, Spain, and India.
Must-tries for any visitor to Jamaica includes anything Jerk (spicy chicken & pork are most common), fried plantains, curried goat, salt fish with ackee, along with those delicious spicy Jamaican patties that can be found in restaurants and roadside stands around the island.
Lingah by the Sea is a dining hall located in Negril that serves up an array of authentic Jamaican cuisine. A popular location for wedding receptions and other celebrations, Lingah by the Sea is well-known for its delicious and abundant buffet-style catering. Favorite menu items include Jerk Chicken, Pineapple Chicken, and the Curry Seafood.
Scotchies in Montego Bay is another popular restaurant known for its great Jamaican food and great value; for under $20, you can have three menu choices and a few Red Stripe beers to cool off with. This casual restaurant underneath a thatched canopy serves up everything Jerk along with a good supply of Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce for those who like it even hotter. Be sure to try the Fantasy Bread, anything Jerk, Rice and Beans, all of which will be chalked full on your plate.
Close to Walter Fletcher Beach in Montego Bay is another local favorite known as the Pork Pit. Here you can get a pound of Jerk pork for around $11 – a whole pound! The half-pound portion (served with your choice of a baked potato or baked yam) is probably a better size portion for most people. This is a popular lunch stop for beach goers who don’t want to venture too far from their beach base camp. Try the Rice and Peas, anything Jerk, and anything bread – like the yummy cornbread or sweet bread.
Also located in Montego Bay, Cafe Manteca is the perfect stop for breakfast, lunch, or even brunch. Although the restaurant is small (it’s more a coffee shop than anything), don’t let the size fool you because as they say, good things come in small packages. Cafe Manteca is known for their fresh fruit jams including pineapple and mango plus be sure to also try their rich Jamaican coffee, any of their delicious omelettes, and for lunch enjoy the ackee and salt fish or their crispy battered fish.
Flickr.com Photo Credit: The BBQ Boy with Jerk Chicken by Smile My Day