Where to Eat: South Coast
Exploring the Culinary Delights of Jamaica's South Coast
Jamaica's South Coast, where the air is crisp and clean and the towns are quaint and unpretentious with small guest houses dotting the breathtaking coastline is rich with natural attractions. The South Coast will not only captivate you with its natural beauty and cultural treasures, but also delight your taste buds with a vibrant culinary scene. From mouthwatering seafood dishes to flavorful jerk specialties and delectable fresh and organic produce, this region is a paradise for food enthusiasts. As you traverse the South Coast of Jamaica, be sure to indulge in the diverse culinary offerings that reflect the region's rich culture and bountiful natural resources. From seaside shacks to elegant restaurants, the South Coast caters to all tastes and budgets, so prepare to tantalize your taste buds and immerse yourself in the flavors of this enchanting resort area.
Best Beachside Seafood Restaurants
In Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, you’ll find that Jake’s Hotel and Jack Sprat Restaurant & Bar, are considered the headquarters of eating and drinking. Known for their delicious jerk crab and sense of community, you can’t go wrong with a visit here to slow down and take it all in as you dine on the breezy outdoor deck overlooking the ocean. This is the local hotspot where village comes to hang out. Come for the fresh, grilled seafood, pizza, ice cream, music, regular beach bonfires and a great relaxed party vibe. Lobster Pot, is also known for its flavourful seafood. With raving five-star reviews from visitors and locals alike, plus a picturesque atmosphere, you can't go wrong with this stop in Treasure Beach to enjoy a meal. Gizmos & Gadgets, also in Treasure Beach, is a laid-back beachside eatery offering a mix of international and Jamaican cuisine. Enjoy their famous wood-fired pizza, gourmet burgers, and refreshing tropical cocktails while lounging in a relaxed, beachfront setting.
If you’re closer to the western end of the island, visit the Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth border instead. This little area is known as Border. It’s a stretch of the main coastal road lined with fishing shacks serving up the most delicious fare. As you approach, vendors will entice you with plates filled with fried fish covered in onions and peppers for the hungry traveler. You’ll will also find a quaint and charming fishing village known as Alligator Pond in this area. This is the home of Little Ochie, a longstanding staple on the Jamaican culinary scene, renowned for its fresh seafood offerings. Feast on succulent grilled lobster, steamed fish, shrimp, and other tantalizing treats while enjoying panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. The relaxed, rustic ambiance adds to the charm of this popular eatery where fresh caught seafood is prepared to order.
Affectionately known as the bread basket of Jamaica, St. Elizabeth, where you’ll be spoiled for choice, supplies much of the nation’s produce. Organic fruits and vegetables paired with fresh seafood and farm-raised meat and poultry are on offer everywhere. Fresh produce and seasonings grown in the area are incorporated in restaurant and street side eatery offerings and sold by street vendors.
Be sure to check out the schedule at your hotel for the next farm-to-table dining event at Treasure Beach to enjoy the salty seaside air while sampling local dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients harvested daily. Jake’s, has a monthly farm-to-table experience, Jake's Country Cuisine, which offers a farm-to-table experience like no other. Savor the flavors of the South Coast with their freshly prepared dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients. From farm-fresh salads to slow-cooked meats and homemade bread, each dish is a testament to the region's culinary heritage. If you’re over in Black River, Nature Provides Vegan Restaurant serves up tasty vegan delights to nourish your body and deliver a tantalizing taste bud experience.
Lashings, is an eco-friendly guest house with a gorgeous view of the coast that welcomes all patrons to their restaurant, whether you are a guest staying with them or not. They often have live music on the weekends and offer a delectable menu featuring ingredients gathered from their own farm.
Street Food and Local Favourites
Cloggy’s on the Beach, Las Vegas, and Tony’s Pizza are just a few recommendations you may get from locals if you ask "Where is the best place to eat?". Eggy's is also a local favorite known for its authentic Jamaican cuisine. From hearty breakfast options like ackee and saltfish to flavorful jerk dishes and traditional curries, Eggy's never fails to deliver. The friendly atmosphere and warm hospitality make it a must-visit spot for those seeking an authentic Jamaican dining experience.
OMG Restaurant and Coffee Bar in the heart of Mandeville is one of the most popular restaurants with an extensive menu that includes traditional Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken and oxtail, in addition to vegetarian options like nut loaves and callaloo lasagna. Try their delicious selection of cakes and pastries, baked fresh daily. For a quick bite, Murrays and Juici Patties at Clarendon Park are the “must stops” for travellers heading to and from destinations along the South Coast for a casual and satisfying meal.
Roadside eateries are a staple in this area. For a taste of homegrown fare, stop at Spur Tree in Manchester for a most delicious curried goat and corn soup. Roasted yam, roasted sweet potatoes and salted fish are a quick pick-me-up at Melrose Hill, a popular roadside stop in Mandeville. Fruit vendors also dot the country side in this area. Stop in Porus for a variety of fresh fruit and try naseberries and guineps along with mangoes, tangerines, grapefruits, pineapples, papayas and grapefruits when in season.
Middle Quarters, is best known as the place to indulge in bags of spicy pepper shrimp. You can't miss the various street vendors there holding up bags of the bright red spicy shrimp to entice passersby. While in Middle Quarters, stop at Billy’s Grassy Park, for its hearty meals cooked in large pots on hot coals street side - the smokiness imparting a unique flavour that makes the dishes delicious.
Lover’s Leap marks the spot where 18th century slaves and star crossed lovers, Mizzy and Tunkey, fell to their deaths hand in hand, not wanting to be separated from each other. Enjoy the expansive sea views form this lookout point above Cutlass Bay and a traditional Jamaican meal while learning about this tragic love story and Jamaica’s intriguing history.
Floyd’s Pelican Bar, dubbed "the coolest bar in the world", sits out in the middle of the sea. Take a short boat ride to visit this rustic beach bar for a unique dining experience and leave your initials or small souvenir behind to add to the eclectic decor. Enjoy fresh seafood, including lobster, fish, and shrimp, while jamming to the sounds of reggae and dance hall with a cold beer in hand. Soak up the breathtaking panoramic views and come back to "Ahhhhh…".