What are the best Jamaican food experiences?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Christopher Reckord

You’ll find every part of Jamaica to be rich in local foods that capture the flavor of the island. Here are local food experiences that Forbes Travel Guide editors say shouldn’t be missed in Jamaica:
1. Jerk cuisine. Visit The Boston Jerk Centre, ground zero for tasting the island’s famous jerk cuisine. A collection of fire pits and open-air food stalls near Boston Beach sells seafood, chicken and meats that have been spiced with a combo of Scotch bonnet pepper, pimento and cinnamon.  
2. Faith’s Pen. A collection of tiny cooking huts about 30 minutes outside of Ocho Rios you’ll find the full range of Jamaica’s best comfort foods such as roast corn, curry goat, escoveitch fish and patties.
3. Ackee and saltfish. For this classic breakfast dish made from the golden ackee fruit paired with salted fish, head to Little Ochi in Alligator Pond on the southern coast. You’ll also find local favorites like steamed fish with festival (corn bread fritters) and bammy (cassava root flatbread).
4. Floyd’s Pelican Bar. Located just about a mile off shore, Floyd's Pelican Bar is one of the coolest places to enjoy a libation like roots wine, Red Stripe Beer or the Pelican Perfection, a cocktail of rum, ginger beer and lime. The rustic cafe is built in the middle of the Caribbean Sea from driftwood and tree trunks, and is only reached by boat.
5. Coconut anything. The sight of coconut palms is ubiquitous around the island and cooks use the fruit heavily. Drink coconut water – often known as nature’s Gatorade — out of a green coconut, or enjoy a dessert like the coconut tart called gizada, grater cake, or the chewy coconut candy called shamshuku.

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