What to Eat in Jamaica – Traditional Jamaican Dishes

What to Eat in Jamaica – Traditional Jamaican Dishes

When planning a trip to Jamaica, especially for foodies, tracking down the best Jamaican food is a priority! The problem is that many people book Jamaica all inclusive resorts, which is fine. But, then they never leave the resort nor find out what to eat in Jamaica. They don’t seek out a great Jamaican restaurant to try some traditional Jamaican dishes, off the resort property. We researched what to eat in Jamaica, and offer a few recommendations for some Jamaican restaurants. But, first I want to answer the frequently asked question: What is Jamaica known for when it comes to food? Learn more about travel to Montego Bay in our Jamaica Travel Guide. What is Jamaican Cuisine If I had one word to describe the Jamaican diet, it would be hot! Yes, the Jamaican people are known for being amazingly friendly. But, traditional Jamaican food also caters to the local palette, and that means it carries some heat! Perhaps those smiles are masking tongues tingling with spice! It’s not quite as spicy as Szechuan cuisine in China, but it could be up there in the consistency of the heat. But, there is more to the most famous Jamaican food than spice. Authentic Jamaican food is a result of the melting pot that is Jamaica itself. Earliest settlers were Spanish, and then, of course, the British controlled the island up until about 6 decades ago. But, Jamaica is also home to Chinese and Indian settlers. And, although some of the items that could top a list of Jamaican national foods are meat products, there’s no shortage of island influence, as...
Planning a Trip to Jamaica – Things to Do in Montego Bay Jamaica

Planning a Trip to Jamaica – Things to Do in Montego Bay Jamaica

It’s been a long time since we took a Jamaica vacation – almost 17 years in fact. We took our honeymoon to Jamaica, way back in 2001. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios, and we barely left the resort. I swore this time it would be different. We planned a trip to Jamaica, in part to eat Jamaican food, and to find some fun things to do in Montego Bay, outside of the resort. It’s true that a lot of Jamaica holidays start and stop on the resort. And, that is perfectly fine. But, when planning a trip to Jamaica, think outside the box! And, think outside the resort!  Jamaica is a large island. It’s virtually impossible to see the whole thing in one trip. So, during this trip to Jamaica we stayed in Montego Bay. There are some really nice Montego bay resorts, some of them only minutes from the Montego Bay airport. But we wanted to explore, and explore we did!   Things to Do In Jamaica Many of the attractions in Jamaica are found all over the Caribbean, including zip-lining and other adventure activities. But, when looking at what to do in Jamaica, we focused on what to do in Montego Bay that was a little bit different. And, we were able to find some unique Montego Bay attractions, all of which are about an hour or less drive from the best Montego Bay beaches. Some of these activities are not ones that we generally would’ve booked ourselves. So, when they were booked for us, we found ourselves a little surprised by many...
Searching for the Best Jamaican Meat Pie in Montego Bay

Searching for the Best Jamaican Meat Pie in Montego Bay

I was thrilled about returning to Jamaica, 17 years after our first trip, in search of authentic Jamaican food. I assumed we would get our fill of jerk chicken. And, within the first day, I was falling in love with Jamaican brown stew chicken and Jamaican boiled dumplings. But, as we started to inquire more about Jamaican cuisine, one word left coming up – patties – a Jamaican meat pie popular with the locals. Really popular. We had to explore. What is a Jamaican Beef Patty I was at least a little familiar with Caribbean food before arriving back in Jamaica. And, I knew there had to be more than Jamaican jerk chicken on offer in Montego Bay. But, as we were searching for a typical Jamaican restaurant, people just kept talking about the patties. It started to become an obsession – to find the best Jamaican meat pie in Montego Bay. And, in the name of research, we tried a lot of patties in just a few short days! A Jamaican beef patty is similar to other meat patties from Africa or South America. Similar to an empanada, or a Brazilian pastel, it’s at its most basic a meat filled flaky pie crust. But, there is a Jamaican twist – it’s spicy! A Jamaican Patty is More than Just Beef At its most traditional, a Jamaican patty is made with spicy ground beef. But, in recent years, and with increased competition between the largest patty stores in Jamaica, a lot of different varieties have come out. A few of the most popular are beef and cheese (referred to...