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10 Best Restaurants In Jamaica To Dine At

The Houseboat Grill, a floating restaurant in the calm waters of Montego Bay, serves an eclectic menu, and the Rockhouse Grill, a boutique hotel perched on the cliffs of Negril, offers fine dining. Watch the sunset over the sparkling waters while listening to soothing reggae music.

Jamaica is perhaps best known for its white sand beaches and reggae music, but the island’s cuisine is also well-deserved. Local specialties such as ackee and saltfish, Ital cuisine (a natural diet free of meat, additives, and chemicals), curried goat, and patties should be tried at any of the island’s corner shops, beach shacks, or fine dining restaurants. 

If you don’t develop a taste for spiced Jamaican cuisine, there are plenty of international dining options in both the main tourist towns and the all-inclusive resorts. Jerk cuisine, which includes chicken, lobster, fish, and pork, is famous all over the world and originated in Jamaica.

Country of Jamaica

For every palate, the combination of sweet and savoury spices on the meat is irresistible. Jamaicans are also known for their Ital cuisine, which promotes Rastafarian-developed fresh fruits and vegetables to promote a healthy lifestyle. Try the Jamaican patties, which are flaky pastry with meat, vegetables, and cheese fillings.

Curried goat, coconut shrimp, rice and peas, and a vegetable dish called callaloo made with amaranth, taro, or Xanthosoma are some other Jamaican dishes to try. Visitors to Jamaica will be spoiled for choice when it comes to food.

When visiting this Caribbean island, you’ll find a wide variety of fresh seafood, rice and peas, plantains, and breadfruit, as well as lobster, shrimp, and other types of seafood prepared with island spices. Jerk chicken is Jamaica’s signature dish, available from street vendors and almost every restaurant in the country.

Scotchie’s, a legendary restaurant with several locations, serves some of the best jerk chicken, while Murphy’s West End in Negril serves authentic dishes in a tranquil setting. Float down a raft to Belinda’s outdoor kitchen in Port Antonio for a home-cooked meal.

When you’ve had your fill of Jamaican cuisine, try Evita’s for authentic Italian cuisine or Tamarind for Asian fusion cuisine. We’ve also found Devon House Bakery in Kingston, which serves incredible rum cheesecake, pastries, and shrimp and chicken patties.

The Houseboat Grill, a floating restaurant in the calm waters of Montego Bay, serves an eclectic menu, and the Rockhouse Grill, a boutique hotel perched on the cliffs of Negril, offers fine dining. Watch the sunset over the sparkling waters while listening to soothing reggae music.

To make your decision easier, here are the top ten restaurants in Jamaica.

1. Scotchies

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Jerk chicken is a must-try on any trip to Jamaica, and Scotchies is the best place to get authentic jerk. Their food is so popular that they now have three locations in Jamaica and have become something of a local legend.

You might see a 20-foot line when you arrive, but trust us when we say the wait is well worth it. Tiki huts provide shade, but the restaurant has the appearance of a shack, with mouthwatering aromas wafting from the smoky grills.

Jerk chicken, pork, and festivals (a Jamaican version of sweet bread sticks) are served with peas and rice, breadfruit, and plantains. Be cautious when using homemade sauces made with Scotch bonnet peppers (a seriously spicy pepper). To go with your spicy meal, this is one of the best places to get a taste of history.

More than 500 years ago, indigenous communities who were the first inhabitants of the island developed a method for smoking meat on logs of Jamaican allspice trees. The jerk marinade has evolved over the centuries to reflect the current population’s love for spicy, flavorful food.

For a truly authentic experience, order a side of roasted breadfruit, fried sweet dumplings called “festival,” and an ice-cold Red Stripe beer. Scotchie’s is recommended for Best Restaurants because the ambiance is as authentic as the food. Expert advice: Use caution when using homemade sauces made with Scotch bonnet peppers, which are extremely spicy!

2 Chelsea Ave., Kingston, Jamaica, +1(876) 906-0602 Scotchies (3 locations)

2. The Houseboat Grill / Montego Bay

Dining on this colourfully painted double-decker houseboat on an inky-black lagoon, hailed as the island’s best restaurant, is a must-do on any trip to Montego Bay. Diners can literally and figuratively dine on the sea at this charming restaurant, which is located on a houseboat.

The Houseboat Grill, moored in the calm waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park Fish Sanctuary, provides a picturesque setting. The boat has previously served as a bar, restaurant, green room, and even a movie set. New Zealand mussels, red snapper fillets, and pepper shrimp are among the seafood options on the menu.

The options for landlubbers are also excellent, with Jamaican-spiced pork medallions, fondue, and expertly seasoned steaks among them. Because the menu changes frequently, call ahead to make a reservation (recommended) and inquire about specials.

The Caribbean fusion menu is updated on a regular basis, with tropical starters such as grilled palm hearts or ‘peel and eat’ shrimp, followed by beef medallions and plantain mashed potatoes.

Dine inside in the cosy dining room, outside under the stars on the upper deck, or on the waterside, where guests can watch snook and tarpon game fish perform a nightly aquatic ballet. Join the Jamaican regulars in the bar for a rum cocktail after dinner. Contact: thehouseboatgrill.com; 00 1 876 979 8845, £££ in price

Reservations are strongly advised.

The best table is on the upstairs deck in the southwest corner, where you can watch the sunset every night. The Houseboat Grill is a gem in MoBay because it is more than just a beautiful setting, and the eclectic menu makes it a must-visit.

insider tip: Don’t miss out on the live music from local bands during happy hour!

3. Miss T's Kitchen

Rainbow Colored Tables Miss T's Kitchen, Jamaica

It’s run by friendly Anna-Kay Tomlinson – affectionately known as Miss T – and is located in the heart of ‘Ochi’ in a relaxed garden setting. Her curried goat or traditional oxtail stew are both delicious. Miss T’s chickpea stack or rundown vegetables will appeal to vegetarians (local greens, plantain and pumpkin stewed in coconut milk).

Everything is served on rainbow-colored tables under a tin roof with reggae music playing in the background. There’s also a decent rum-based cocktail menu. The dignity that Jamaicans have over their people and country is reflected in this laid-back restaurant.

The restaurant’s honey-fried chicken, grilled lobster, and curry goat provide the perfect setting for indulging. They even have vegetarian dishes on their daily menus that never sacrifice flavour for meat. Ice-cold juices made fresh daily will help you beat the heat in the Caribbean.

Drink a rum cocktail and pair it with one of their signature dishes, such as oxtail stew with herbs and spices. Also worth trying is their thick and creamy curried goat with savoury flavour. Try the fish escovitch with pickled carrots, onions, and fiery scotch bonnet pepper for a spicy meal. 00 1 876 796 0099, www.misstskitchen.com, ££ in price

Reservations are strongly advised.

4. Belinda’s Riverside Restaurant — Port Antonio

Nature Food Belinda's Riverside Restaurant, Jamaica

Enjoy some time in nature while eating delicious food at Belinda’s Riverside Restaurant, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere, a vegetarian-friendly menu, and dishes made from scratch.

Belinda’s is a Port Antonio institution and a great lunch spot that can be reached via a relaxing bamboo raft ride down the river. Belinda and her daughter cook in her outdoor kitchen hut with a woodfire in several different pots on the river.

She prepares massive crawfish, barbecue, rice and peas, chicken, callaloo, soup, rice and dumplings, and chicken, callaloo, soup, rice, and dumplings. Relaxing three-hour rafting tours Travelling down the Rio Grande, be sure to let the captain of your vessel or hotel operator know that you’ll be stopping at Belinda’s, and they’ll make sure she’s prepared.

The Bouillabaisse is a must-order when visiting this restaurant. Busuu, mullet fish, crayfish, a hearty broth, and other ingredients are included. The Crayfish Coconut Rundown is another delectable dish to try. Grated coconut, Scotch Bonnet pepper, fresh herbs, locally caught crayfish, and other ingredients are included.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: This is home cooking at its finest for a true taste of Jamaica!

Insider’s tip: Her outdoor kitchen is also close to an amazing swimming hole.

5. Murphy's West End Restaurant / Negril

Foodie's Dream Murphy's West End Restaurant, Jamaica

Murphy’s West End Restaurant is located on Jamaica’s most western tip, close to some of the island’s most beautiful beaches. It’s a foodie’s dream with fantastic food and a laid-back island vibe. Visitors can sample homemade Jamaican cuisine that rivals that of any Jamaican grandmother’s kitchen. 

The portions are generous and filling. Hammocks hang from the tapas-style roof, making it the ideal spot for recovering from a food coma while sipping “the coldest Red Stripe Beer on the Island.” This family-run jerk chicken joint is tucked away past the Negril lighthouse and also offers freshly prepared fish.

Grey snapper, shrimp, and lobster in a spicy curry and coconut cream sauce, or chicken with pumpkin mashed potatoes, are among the dishes prepared by the friendly owner. They clearly enjoy what they do and are frequently seen mingling and chatting with guests.

Hammocks invite visitors to relax and see a different side of Negril away from the hotels, and the low prices make this a budget-friendly stop. Murphy’s is recommended for Best Restaurants because of its remote location, delicious food, and owners who genuinely appreciate your patronage.

expert tip: They may not be open during the off-season, but give it a shot!

+1(876) 367-0475, Murphy’s West End Restaurant, West End Road, Negril, Jamaica

6. Rockhouse Negril

Cliffside Restaurant Rockhouse Negril, Jamaica

Fine dining at Rockhouse Restaurant is ideal for an energising breakfast or a romantic dinner, with views of the sunset, cliffs, and the Caribbean Sea. This cliffside restaurant, which is part of the luxury Rockhouse hotel, has a fantastic menu and sweeping views to match, making for a romantic dinner.

Outdoor seating is available with views of the sparkling water, and reggae music sets the mood in the background. Ingredients from Rockhouse’s garden are used to refine their menu. The fresh-tasting coconut shrimp and the rich coconut chicken are two of their best dishes.

As an appetiser for two, try the lobster blaze and crab turnover, followed by the blackened Mahi Mahi served with mango and chutney, snapper steamed in banana leaves, and island shrimp curried in a papaya shrimp boat. It’s easy to get carried away with a cocktail at lunch and end up staying for sunset and dinner.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: This is a great option for couples looking for a fine-dining experience or friends looking for a fun night out.

expert tip: Try their new “pushcart” menu, which includes dishes like peppered shrimp and oxtail.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Negril’s West End Road

Caribbean, Jamaican, and Seafood cuisines are examples of this type of cuisine.

SUITABLE FOR: Couples or groups of friends

7. Tamarind Indian Cuisine

East Indian indentured laborers traveled to British-colonized Jamaica to work on farms and plantations after slavery was abolished in the 1830s. Many of the families who settled stayed, bringing traditions, customs, and cuisine with them that have influenced modern-day Jamaican flavours.

There are Indian restaurants all over the island, but Tamarind is one of the best in terms of quality and service. With two chefs who specialise in kebabs and Chinese cuisine, this Kingston restaurant serves Indian and Asian fusion dishes.

Traditional Indian spices are used to enhance the flavour of the dishes, which are then cooked in a Tandoor oven. Marinated chicken tikka with spicy masala, coconut curry, garlic and yoghurt kabobs, and chickpea-battered salmon fillets are among the dishes. 

One order of buttery naan will not suffice to soak up the delectable gravies from their masala and korma dishes. For those on a meat-free diet, the Vegetarian Tamarind Platter is a great option. Broccoli, samosa, grilled vegetables, cottage cheese, and cauliflowers with a mint sauce are among the ingredients.

Order the Mutton Lababdar, a traditional Indian dish. Mutton is cooked in a brown sauce with tomatoes, red chilies, onions, and other spices. Because the portions are so large, we recommend splitting them with a friend. Large groups should make reservations in advance, which can be done online.

Lunch specials are available from noon to 3pm Tuesday through Thursday. It’s worth noting that they’re closed on Mondays. This Indian-fusion restaurant is a solid “go-to” for lunch or dinner in Kingston and is recommended for Best Restaurants.

expert tip: The new Saffron Indian Cuisine Restaurant, a sister store to the Tamarind, is also worth a visit.

+1(876) 977-0695, Tamarind Indian Cuisine, 18-22 Barbican Road, Orchid Plaza, Kingston, Jamaica

8. Chill Out Hut — Greenwood Avenue

Laid Back Atmosphere Chill Out Hut, Jamaica

The Chill Out Hut is the place to go for a laid-back atmosphere that will put you in a relaxed, “no worries” mood. It features breathtaking sunset views, dining on the beach or inside the hut, and swinging hammocks where you can kick off your shoes. 

Nachos, wings, cheeseburgers, and pasta are among the menu’s American favourites, as are fried snapper and bammy. Order the Chill Out Platter as an appetiser to get your taste buds going. Quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, wings, and calamari are included. For your entree, I recommend the BBQ Spareribs. Seasoned ribs cooked in a flavorful barbecue sauce made in-house.

At the Chill Out Hut, relax with friends or family while enjoying delectable dishes and refreshing cocktails. It has a beach hut theme, a relaxing atmosphere with wooden furnishings, and an outdoor dining area with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.

Strong, tropical drinks, as well as live reggae music and videos, add to the ambiance at the bar. It’s perfect for weddings, romantic evenings, or simply soaking up the atmosphere. Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Tropical drinks and beach hammocks set the tone, and the cuisine rounds out the experience.

Sundays feature a weekly pig roast, which is an expert tip.

9. EITS Café

EITS Café, an acronym for ‘Europe In The Summer,’ is tucked away in the hills of the beautiful Blue Mountain Range. The restaurant is a welcome respite from Kingston’s oppressive heat and noise, combining the best of Jamaican and European cuisines.

This rustic Blue Mountain spot, run by Michael and Robyn Fox, is popular with Kingstonians on weekends who enjoy the fusion of European and Jamaican cuisine. At The Almond Tree in Ocho Rios, you can dine in a cliffside setting high above the Caribbean Sea.

The restaurant’s signature almond tree grows through the ceiling of the gingerbread-style bar, which features swinging chairs’ suspended from ropes. You can order kingfish in coconut before your pumpkin soup or lobster thermidor because the menu is international and Jamaican.

EITS Café, an acronym for ‘Europe In The Summer,’ is tucked away in the hills of the beautiful Blue Mountain Range. The restaurant is a welcome respite from Kingston’s oppressive heat and noise, combining the best of Jamaican and European cuisines.

The restaurant is known for its farm-to-table philosophy, with all of its produce coming from their own organic garden. Your table will overlook spectacular views of lush forested canopies from the covered outdoor veranda. A few miles down the road, you might hear the soft patter of rain on the roof or the gentle beats of reggae being played by locals.

Whatever happens, the experience will be one you’ll never forget. You can order kingfish in coconut before your pumpkin soup or lobster thermidor because the menu is international and Jamaican. To begin, there’s pea and mint soup with saltfish fritters; then there’s barrel-roasted chicken with Blue Mountain herb gravy and a veggie lasagna.

And for dessert, there’s rum fire ice cream cake. There are quirky hotel rooms where you can rest your head for the night if you can’t face driving back to Kingston.

+1 (876) 944-8151, EITS Café, 17 Mile Post, Newcastle, Saint Andrew, Jamaica

17milepostja.com; 00 1 876 944 8151; 00 1 876 944 8151, ££ in price

Reservations are strongly recommended.

10. Devon House I-Scream — Kingston

Cream Parlour Devon House I-Scream, Jamaica

At Devon House I-Scream, dessert fans form a line. After a day of outdoor activities, stop by this ice cream parlour for a sweet treat. While strolling around for sightseeing, grab a scoop or two from the selection of sweet and creamy ice cream flavours.

Try their new ginger-based ice cream with intense spice flavour and salted caramel flavour, or their creamy coffee ice cream, silky pistachio, classic grape nut, or their new ginger-based ice cream with intense spice flavour and salted caramel flavour.

I-Scream serves the best ice cream in Jamaica, as evidenced by the long lines outside the door. More than 20 flavours (plus some sorbets) are available at Devon House, ranging from rum and raisin to grape-nut and the beer-based Devon Stout, a signature scoop made with the local brew.

In the sprawling gardens of Devon House, grab a cone or a cup and enjoy your scoop. Do you have a savoury rather than a sweet tooth? Locals swear by the posh lobster patty at Devon House Bakery, right next door.

Contact: +44 00 1 876 702 3808; @devonhouseiscream Reservations are not available.

The best table is on Devon House’s tree-shaded lawns. Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Everything on the menu is worth splurging on!

Wait for the shrimp patties if they run out of them, expert tip! Kingston’s Hope Road neighbourhood

Desserts of various kinds

Best for: Those who have a sweet tooth, families with children, solo travellers, and friends


A meal at any of these restaurants reveals a diverse range of high-quality cuisine and authentic flavours that represent a side of Jamaica you may not have known existed. On your next trip to Jamaica, we’ve provided a list of ten restaurants to visit.

Discover Jamaican cuisine. There’s nothing quite like Jamaican food, which is infused with herbs and spices, so eat to your heart’s content while visiting this Caribbean island.

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