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Jamaica restaurants

Like most islands in the Caribbean, Jamaicans have absorbed, tweaked, and recreated the flavors of many cultures—in this case, African, Indian, Spanish, English, Arawak, and French. The result is a lively cuisine that blends cassavas, curries, bananas, local vegetables like callaloo (a leafy green similar to Swiss chard), and a whole repertory of spices, such as nutmeg, mace, ginger, and Scotch bonnet peppers. The most famous chef on the island is Norma Shirley, who serves up fusion dishes with Latin and Asian influences at her namesake Norma's restaurant. Traditional recipes aren't hard to find either, since many of the island's native-born chefs are rediscovering the dishes their grandmothers cooked, and now even the resorts' restaurants are including these old-time favorites on their menus. Restaurants like Mille Fleurs and Rockhouse both serve traditional dishes like plantain stuffed with callaloo and salt fish with ackee. But you really can't get much more authentic than what's grilled up at the roadside jerk stands.

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Toscanini's Restaurant, Ocho Rios

It's run by a family from Parma, so the cooking—and the warm welcome—are authentically Italian. The menu changes frequently, but this is the place...more

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Sugar Mill Restaurant, Montego Bay

The driveway to this elegant, dinner-only restaurant at the Half Moon resort takes you past a grand clubhouse to a dramatically lighted, 200-year-old...more

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Hotel Photo
Rockhouse Restaurant and Bar, Negril

Suspended on a stone terrace over Pristine Cove, this thatch-roofed restaurant inside the the Rockhouse Hotel plays a reggae soundtrack that seems...more

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Hotel Photo
Restaurant Mille Fleurs, Port Antonio

Part of the charming Mocking Bird Hill Hotel, Mille Fleurs lives up to its name; the restaurant overlooks masses of colorful blossoms as well as soursop, neem,...more

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Norma's Restaurant, Negril

Norma Shirley is probably the most famous chef in the West Indies, having come up with her own version of fusion. Whatever you call it—Nuevo Caribbean,...more

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The Native, Montego Bay

This outdoor spot shaded by an immense poinciana tree on the hip strip of Gloucester Avenue is a refreshing alternative to Montego Bay's pricey tourist traps....more

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Jerk Stands in Jamaica

Jamaica's unique gift to the culinary world is jerk, a spicy seasoning and cooking technique that's used for chicken, pork, and fish. The cooking process is...more

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Howie's Healthy Living, Middle Quarters

An authentic Jamaican "cookshop," or roadside eatery, Howie's is well worth the detour if you're en route to nearby south-side attractions such as the Black...more

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Hotel Photo
Houseboat Grill, Montego Bay

It may look like a misplaced paddleboat from the Mississippi—or a tourist trap—but this floating double-decker eatery serves terrific food, and to a...more

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Hotel Photo
Dickie's Best Kept Secret, Port Antonio

Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to this driftwood shack teetering on a seaside bluff one mile west of Port Antonio. The owner, Alvin "Dickie"...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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