As you may already know, in Jamaica, we have a mix of cultural influences that influences our choice of food, spices, and cooking styles. Kingston is the premier place for dining in Jamaica, with world class restaurants offering international cuisine such as Indian curries, sushi, Chinese delicacies and British bangers and mash. There are gourmet dining on the terrace of some historic building, steak at downtown small restaurants and lobster at a waterfront café. The traditional Jamaican cuisines are plentiful at high-end restaurants and outdoor barbecues.
In Kingston, you experience all of what Jamaican food has to offer. From sushi to strudels to steaks, everything is available. On weekends, a staple of the streets of Kingston is the ‘pan-chicken man’ (one that sells jerk chicken), usually seen outside event venues or at the busy centers in the city. This grilled chicken may be served with bread of festival (a sweet fried dough). In restaurants you can get other jerk meats or even veggies. You may even want to try some Rastafarian cuisine, which is similar to that of the strict vegetarian and can be quite tasty and interesting.
There are also fast food offerings of international fast food chains such as Wendy’s, Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, and Dominoes, which are all conveniently located.
Restaurants in Kingston: Top 10 places to eat
- Norma’s on the terrace: International cuisine (tel.#968-5488)
- Redbones the Blues café: Jamaican cuisine (tel.#978-6091)
- The Columbus Restaurant: Italian cuisine (tel.#926-3690)
- Palm Court: International cuisine (tel.#926-5430)
- Jade Garden: Chinese cuisine (tel.#978-3476)
- Alexander’s: Jamaican/International cuisine (tel.#968-6339)
- Akbar: Indian cuisine (tel.# 926-3480)
- Cocoro Restaurant: Japanese cuisine (tel.#926-1610)
- Gloria’s: Seafood dishes (tel.#967-8220)
- Strawberry Hill: Jamaican/International (tel.#944-8400)
Restaurants are not the only “hot food spots” in Kingston. Recently, a publication by ‘National Geographic: Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe’ has recognized Devon House ((1-876-929-7028) as the fourth-best place in the world to eat ice cream. Devon House offers over 25 flavours of ice cream in an environment of beautiful botanical gardens and historic Georgian architecture. Some of the popular and unusual ice cream flavours they offer includes bordeaux cherry, rocky river, strong back, devon stout, pistachio, coconut coffee and sour sop. So, if you should visit Kingston, be sure to stop at Devon House, and enjoy one of the world’s best ice cream.
There are also quite a few Cafes and Delis, some these are: Green Market Cafe, Hilton Kingston (tel.#926-3092); Deli Works, Sovereign Centre (tel.#927-4706); and Cafe Deli, Jamaica Pegasus (tel# 926-3690).
Kingston is the city that never sleeps. As is expected with a city of most of the country’s population, nightlife activities are plentiful. Many upscale restaurants turn into nightclubs at about midnight. There are usually outdoor events at Mas camp in New Kingston. Ranny Williams Cultural Centre is on Hope Rd. and is capable of seating over 2000 people. Kingston has the most theatres in the country such as Ward Theatre, the Little Theatre and National Dance Theatre Company. There are a number of cinemas for movie goers unlike any other tourist regions on the island
Kingston is busy with special event entertainment throughout the year. If you travel to Kingston in February, you will be able to choose from a host of Reggae Month activities, which were organized to celebrate Jamaica’s musical gift to the world. April in Kingston means Jamaica Carnival -a wild and creative street parade. The treat for June is the world renowned Caribbean Fashion Week, a display of Caribbean fashion flair and street style. In November, you can indulge in the fabulous Kingston Restaurant Week.