Portland Jamaica Restaurants

Portland Jamaica Restaurants
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Where to Eat in Portland Jamaica

I've FINALLY updated this page! I am a "road food" afficionado, so some places on this list are local cookshops or Jamaican style fast-food options in and around Port Antonio. But there are also some delightful and delicious Portland Jamaica restaurants here, with a variety of cuisines. There is something for everyone! I can't guarantee that they'll all stay around, but the best food always survives. In fact, your best bet is to ask a local for a recommendation. They are usually right on the money.

Since I hang out in Portland when I'm on the island, I have eaten at all but two of the "Editor's Top Picks", and the others come highly recommended by people with healthy appetites! Be sure to check out their latest reviews on TripAdvisor.com for up-to-date feedback. The red names are linked to either a website or Facebook page. If you have other suggestions for good places to eat in Portland, let me know in the comments. Enjoy!

 

EDITOR'S TOP PICKS:

 

Boston Jerk Centre

Location: Route A4, just east of Port Antonio, at Boston Beach

Hours: Approximately 10AM-midnight daily, maybe longer

Credit cards: Cash only

Price range: Reasonable (and you can barter a bit)

Food: World-famous Jamaican Jerk center

Details: Jerk stands are everywhere on the island but some say Boston has the “real thing”. The fragrant aroma should lead you right to it. Stall after stall of jerk vendors who have been doing this for generations offer some of the best jerk pork in Jamaica but you can also get chicken, sausages, fish or lobster (when in season). Order your meat by the quarter, half or full pound. To accompany the meats you can get festival, breadfruit, hard dough bread or rice and peas. To wash it all down there is fresh natural juice made from june plum, guava, and pineapple along with the regular sodas, beers and of course coconut water. Be prepared for some hustling to get you to buy; just carry on with your quest for some good food.  You may find better jerk elsewhere in Portland, but you really should visit the Boston Jerk Centre at least once, if only to say you were there. MY TIPS? Try it on the weekend; they are busiest but this means the meat won’t overcook on the fire. I don't recommend going on Mondays. Last time I did, the chicken and pork were obviously left over from the weekend and were tough. And be sure when they give you a "taste" that the meat you buy comes from the same piece. This kind of behavior can only ruin their reputation.  Particularly for pork, try the jerk places along the main road near the center of Boston. They have to work harder to compete... and I think their jerk is better!

 

Bushbar

Location: At Geejam Hotel, San San, outskirts of Port Antonio

Phone: 876.993.7000

Reservations: Recommended

Hours: Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert daily

Credit cards: Yes

Price Range: US$25 to $35

Food: Jamaican & Asian-influenced cuisine

Details: I haven't yet had a chance to check out Geejam Hotel or its highly recommended Bushbar, but I hear only good things! It's a relatively new uber-chic spot that has been attracting the Hollywood jet set. I've heard the spicy lobster pasta is to die for. Be sure to make a reservation for breakfast, lunch or dinner; the place is popular. If you don't see something on the menu that you like and want something special, just ask. The service here is wonderful. And the mountain and sea views are spectacular. You may even get a special treat if the Jolly Boys are in town and performing at GeeJam when you go!

 

Cliffhanger Restaurant and Lounge

Location: On Rte. A4, sea-side, in Ross Craig, just east of Long Bay

Phone: 876.860.1395/1495

Hours: Open for lunch, snacks and dinner from 12PM-9PM Tue-Thu & Sun; 12PM-10PM Fri & Sat. Closed Monday.

Price Range: Affordable (US$7.50 to $34)

Food: Primarily Seafood

Details: Opened in August 2014, Portland's newest restaurant/bar is getting rave reviews for its food, service, ambiance and affordability. I hear only good things! It's located in the Ross Craig District, which borders Long Bay, and sits on a cliff 80-feet above the sea. The views are spectacular. You'll find it about 5 minutes west of Manchioneal, 10 minutes east of Boston Jerk Centre, and about 20 minutes east of Port Antonio. Aside from the views, everyone LOVES the food, which consists mostly of seafood... coconut fish, conch, curried lobster... but they also serve grilled steak, pizzas, salads and vegan dishes. Cliffhanger's chef Temar won the recent Rainforest Foods "Lion Fish Cook-Off" competition with his Drunken Lion Fish, cooked in white wine and Red Stripe, a house specialty. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and the service friendly. They also host weddings, parties and special events. Try out Cliffhanger and let us know how you liked it!
 

Coronation Bakery

Location: 18 West St, Town Center of Port Antonio

Price Range: Inexpensive

Food: Bakery

Details: Coronation Bakery has been here since 1953; it's a Port Antonio institution! Great fresh hard-dough bread, dinner rolls, bun and cheese, coco bread, corn bread, etc., fresh from the oven. They also sell patties. Everything is fresh and delicious, and when they're out, they're out! Order and pay first at the window, then pick-up your item. Try their "Holey Bulla", a dense sweet ginger-flavored bread that's perfect when you're driving around and need a snack.

 

Dawn’s Bar & Snack Shop

Location: On Rte. A4, across the street from the beach, in Manchioneal

(Along the big curve in the road around Manchioneal Bay)

Reservations: No

Hours: Daily

Credit cards: Cash only

Price Range: Very inexpensive

Food: Jerk chicken, fish, and the BEST soup around!

Details: There are several little snack shops along the bay in Manchioneal but you can easily spot Dawn's by the huge soup pot sitting right out front. Look for it! Dawn is the most charming and friendly Jamaican woman who makes the BEST red pea soup anywhere in Jamaica (in my unbiased opinion!). I stop here several times each time I visit – I can’t get enough and wish she could Fed-Ex some to me! The soup is perfectly spiced and has many ingredients, including red peas (a.k.a. kidney beans), carrots and wonderful dumplings. She sells it in various sized containers; the large one is more than enough to fill up a hungry belly or two. She offers other food at her cookshop and I am sure everything is delicious, but you must try Dawn's soup!

 

Devon House’s I-Scream

Location: West Street (at the Errol Flynn Marina), in Port Antonio

Details: I-Scream, the popular Kingston ice cream parlor, is a household name in Jamaica. Besides the standards, they serve delicious Jamaican flavors like bordeaux cherry, rocky river, strong back, devon stout, pistachio, and coconut coffee. By all means, get a fabulous sour-sop cone and enjoy it as you wander around the Marina.

 

Dickie's Best-Kept Secret

Location: about 1 mile west of Port Antonio, in Bryan's Bay

(after the Cool Oasis gas station, on the coast side of Rte. A4)

Phone: 876.809.6276

Reservations: Required (only a few tables)

Hours: Breakfast and Dinner from 5PM-11PM daily, other times based on demand

Credit cards: Cash only

Price range: US$20.00-$30.00

Food: Jamaican (Chicken, fish, lobster, goat, vegetarian, etc)

Details: This place is a gem and, hopefully, the government’s highway road-widening hasn’t demolished it!Imaginative Dickie (Alvin) Butler owns this not-so-secret-anymore funky yellow and blue Victorian-ish shack, where he is also the chef. He’s been in business for 30 years and learned his trade at some of the best hotels in Jamaica (Ritz-Carlton, Trident, Frenchman’s Cove). The place is perched on the side of a cliff and is really three stories, going down toward the sea.The cozy dining rooms are eclectically decorated by Dickie himself, with Rasta drawings, photos, wood carvings, and other works of local art.Reservations are REQUIRED and you must order your five-course meal in advance so Dickie will know what to purchase and cook for you. If you order fish, it will be caught that day. Dickie will try to accommodate you without a reservation but there are no guarantees. Follow the steps down the cliff to Shan Shy Beach. And be sure to check out the panoramic views from the restrooms here! First class food and service, casual atmosphere, totally Jamaican experience!

 

Gurley Aston Wine & Grill Bar

Location: On the main (Rt A4) in Boston

Phone: 876.868.7773

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10AM to Midnight

Prices: Reasonable

Credit cards: Cash only

Details: The Wine & Grill Bar is new (opened July 2013) and is quickly becoming the trendy spot in the Boston area. It's adjacent to the Boston Jerk Centre, so you can't miss it. Stop here to hang out, grab a cold drink, and eat some delicious steamed fish or lobster, cooked to order, jerk and other delicious food. They have a Heineken Happy Hour every Friday from 6PM-9PM.

 

Hotel Jamaican Colors Bar/Grill

Location: Ross Craig District, on the coast side of Rte. A4, between Manchioneal and Long Bay (if heading east from Port Antonio, just past the curve in the road known as See-Me-No-More)

Phone: 876.893-5185 or 876.407-4412

Reservations: Not necessary

Hours: Serving throughout the day & evening

Credit cards: Yes

Price range: US$10.00-$20.00

Food: Pizza, Jamaican, Continental

Details: If nothing else, definitely try the pizza here! They have a wide variety of creations on their menu including a delicious chicken pizza. Martine Bourseguin or her son, Romain, will cook up tasty Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken or pineapple chicken, but they have a good selection of other entrees as well, including steaks, burgers and sandwiches. Their pleasant outdoor dining area overlooks the swimming pool and the sea. You can get a nice little candlelit table for two out by the pool if you're looking for a little romance. The food is good and I never went hungry here!

 

Lick 'Em Finger (aka Cynthia's and Painters)

Location: On Winnifred Beach off the A4 about 5 miles east of Port Antonio, in Fairy Hill

(At the Fairy Hill crossroads, the turnoff to the right is for Athenry/Nonsuch. On the left, opposite the Jamaica Crest Resort, is a narrow bumpy “road” leading down to Winnifred’s. If you pass the sign for Winnifred Rest House, you missed it.)

Reservations: No

Hours: Daily

Credit cards: Cash only

Price Range: About US$5.00-$7.00 a plate

Food: Fish, lobster, vegetarian, local Jamaican

Details: Winnifred is a wonderful laid-back local (public) beach - a great choice for spending your day. There are small stands where you can buy cool drinks, snacks, corn on the cob and handmade items. Painter (cook) and Cynthia’s (owner) restaurant, tucked into the northeast end of the beach, is a popular eatery and they cook up some of the best breakfasts and lunches around. Everything is freshly caught and cooked to order, including the festival bread. So, put your order in before you get hungry. Don’t pass up the lobster (spiny, not Maine lobster) when it’s available! The food is delicious and the location is sweet! They usually serve until the late afternoon.

 

Piggy's Jerk Centre

Location: At the junction of Harbour Street and West Street (where the one-ways in & out of Portie from the east meet up), facing the water, in Port Antonio

Hours: Closed Sundays

Prices: Very inexpensive

Credit cards: Cash only

Details: Most people in the area will point you to Piggy's cookshop for the best jerk chicken and festival in town. The menu is simple, usually red peas soup and chicken, but you will often find jerk pork or fried fish. The cookshop building has seen better days, but Piggy's homemade jerk seasoning is mouth-watering. Stop at Piggy's and give it a try. You won't be sorry! [UPDATE: Piggy's is featured on CNN's "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" Jamaica episode airing November 16th at 9PM E/P. Watch the clip.]

 

Restaurant Mille Fleurs 

Location: in Hotel Mockingbird Hill, along Rte. A4, in Drapers Heights

(about 3 miles or a 10-minute drive east of Port Antonio)

Phone: 876.993.7267

Reservations: Recommended

Hours: 8:30AM-10:30AM, Noon-2PM, 7-9:30PM daily

Credit cards: Yes; MC, V, AE

Price Range: Lunch US$10.00-$30.00, dinner $20.00-$50.00

Food: Nouvelle-Jamaican

Details: This is a romantic gourmet favorite and you should dress in something casual but nice. If you arrive by 6Pm you can sit on the verandah and watch the sunset. Enjoy the wonderful coastline views and the garden of a “thousand flowers”. The restaurant offers an à la carte menu that changes daily as well as a 3-course dinner for US$45. Some of their interesting entrées include chicken in June plum sauce; grilled fish with spicy mango-shrimp sauce; jerk-spiced meatballs topped with grilled bananas and rum sauce; and spiced fish with tamarind and coconut sauce. Lunches include sandwiches, salads, grilled-fish platters, and soups. There are always several menu options for vegetarians. The restaurant has been praised by Gourmet magazine, among others, for its dishes. I give them extra brownie points because everything on their menu is fresh and locally-sourced. Support the local farmers!

 

The Italian Job

Location: 29 Harbour Street (near the Texaco gas station) in Port Antonio

Phone: 876.573.8603

Reservations: Accepted

Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm; L, D

Food: Pizza, pasta, Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches

Prices: Reasonable

Credit cards: Cash only

Details: With a real Italian, Gianmaria Pedroli, behind the counter, you can expect to get some authentic and affordable Italian meals here.  (And some good wine!) They serve salads and homemade Italian pizza, pasta and other specialties with a smile. The service is good and the atmosphere is pleasant and clean. The Italian Job is relatively new (September 2011) in Port Antonio; let's hope it does well!

 

Woody's Low Bridge Place Restaurant and Bar

Location: roadside on the A4 main road in Drapers

(about 3 miles or a 10-minute drive east of Port Antonio, near San San)

Phone: 876.993-7888

Reservations: Required for dinner; not necessary for breakfast or lunch

Hours: 10AM-10PM daily? (Last visit, I think they were closed Monday at lunch; call first)

Credit cards: Cash only

Price range: US$3.00-$15.00

Food: Burgers, Jamaican (chicken, fish, goat, vegetarian, etc)

Details: The famous Woody's Low Bridge Place has been in business since 1986 and is run by Charles "Woody" Cousins and his wife, Cherry "Cher" Cousins. “Low bridge” is for the low doorways that cause taller visitors to stoop when they enter. The Cousins’ specialize in homemade burgers made from local ingredients. They also offer the best veggie burgers anywhere in Jamaica and other items for vegetarian diners. You order at a window, and then dine in a big open covered pavilion. All food is cooked to order, so call in the morning if you want one of their 3-course Jamaican meals for dinner, like curry goat, jerk chicken or escoveitch fish. And, with any luck at all, Woody, an aspiring reggae singer will sing for you! The bar offers plenty of local specialties too, from fresh fruit punch to Red Stripe beer and they make their own non-alcoholic ginger beer. Cherry’s homemade jerk seasoning is available to purchase. Enjoy warm, friendly hosts and one of the best meals on the island, particularly if you're craving a good burger.

 

Yosch Cafe

Location: 2-5 Fort George St., Port Antonio

(in the Royal Mall building which is behind the Shell gas station and across the street from the old courthouse which is now an NCB bank)

Phone: 876.993-3053

Reservations:Not necessary

Hours: Serves breakfast, lunch & dinner

Credit cards: Cash only

Price range: $10-$30

Food: Burgers, pizza, spaghetti, hot sandwiches, seafood, vegetarian

Details: This is a new recommendation for a spot that's new to me. Opened in 2008, the owners and ambience are friendly and the food excellent! They also have wonderful pastries and coffee so you can chill out mid-day and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. Definitely try their pizzas and fish dinners. Highly recommended!

 

Cafe Central Bar & Lounge

Location: 4 Harbour St., upstairs, Port Antonio

(directly across the street from Scotiabank in the center where the Cambio and Moneygram are located; upstairs)

Phone: 876.866-2222

Reservations:Not necessary

Hours: Mon-Sat 3PM-11PM

Credit cards: Cash only

Price range: $0-$10

Food: Pizza, sandwiches

Details: I put this at the end of the list because it's really a bar/lounge more than a restaurant, and I don't have a category for it yet. Great spot to chill out and enjoy a cool beverage. They have a games night, karaoke night and other activities. Or sit outdoors and enjoy the view over Port Antonio in the evening. Try the House-Drink - ice cold Limoncello - my favorite. There's a good wine selection, or try a Classic Daiquiri, Martini or Margarita. Highly recommended!

 

OTHER GOOD OPTIONS:

 

Belinda's

(formerly Miss Betty's Riverside Canteen)

Location: on the banks of the Rio Grande, near Port Antonio

Reservations: No

Hours: Lunch

Credit cards: No

Price Range: Inexpensive

Food: Local Jamaican

Details: Instead of packing your own picnic lunch for your 3-hour relaxing rafting trip down the Rio Grande, plan to stop at Belinda’s Riverside Canteen. You can only access the place while on your rafting trip. Miss Betty was a longtime institution on the river and was noted for her mean pepperpot soup. Her daughter, Belinda (Wissy), now handles most of the cooking. The menu changes daily but they have all your Jamaican favorites and the food is great!

 

C-Lite

Location: in Long Bay, beachside just as you enter town coming from Port Antonio

Hours: Daily

Price: Reasonable

Food: Jamaican, mostly fish

Details: A recent addition to Long Bay, the Belgian owners serve fish, lobster and other items at their bar and cookshop. My "advisors" say the food is good and the service is friendly.

 

Chill-Out Beach Bar and Restaurant

Location: On Long Bay Beach, in Long Bay

Reservations: Not needed

Hours: 10AM-10PM daily

Credit cards: Unknown

Price Range: Reasonable

Food: Burgers, fish, local Jamaican

Details: This popular beachfront bar and eatery serves good burgers, local dishes and excellent fish. Chill-Out is where much of the evening action is in Long Bay; they have a lively bar and often hold sound-system parties and jams.

 

Golden Happiness

Location: corner of Fort George & West Sts in Port Antonio

Phone: 876.993.4524

Hours: Lunch & dinner

Price: US$4-6

Food: Chinese

Details: I have eaten here & they serve surprisingly good Chinese food, including a huge menu of chop sueys and sweet-and-sour dishes. The portions are big and service is quick! The dining room is spartan, but it’s a good place to take in the hustle and bustle of West St – or to order take-out.

 

Juici Beef Patties

Location: 13 William Street, in Port Antonio

Phone: 876.715.5244

Reservations: Not taken

Hours: Monday-Saturday for lunch & early dinner

Credit cards: No

Price range: $2-$5

Details: Besides jerk chicken, patties are the other favorite Jamaican fast-food creation. Delicious pockets of dough filled with beef, chicken, fish or veggies, you simply cannot leave Jamaica without trying one!

 

KFC (aka Kentucky Fried Chicken)

Location: 22 West Street, in Port Antonio

Phone: 876.715.5298

Price range: US$5.00-$7.00

Details: Do I really have to explain this one? With locations all over the island, KFC is truly a Jamaican institution. You know the drill – “They do chicken right”. I swear I eat more KFC here in Port Antonio than I ever do at home in Los Angeles. It definitely tastes better here! I don’t think that’s my imagination; it’s either far better chicken (my guess) or a different type of oil. The spicy and BBQ flavors are WAY better here in Jamaica. Anyway, when you need a quick familiar fix, KFC is the place for tender juicy fried chicken.

 

Mitch's Restaurant (formerly Sweet Daddy)

Location: roadside on the Rte. A4 next to Morgan’s Glass House, in Long Bay

Reservations: Not necessary

Hours: Daily

Credit cards: No

Price range: Inexpensive

Food: Local Jamaican

Details: Sweet Daddy's son Mitch has taken over this local favorite. Mitch serves baked or fried chicken, curry goat, and fresh fish as well as hearty breakfasts. They also cater to vegetarians. It's not fancy, but the food is good.

 

San San Tropez

Location: just east of Port Antonio on the Rte. A4 main road, in San San

Phone: 876.993-7213

Reservations: Recommended

Hours: Noon-4PM, 6-9:30PM daily

Credit cards: Yes; MC, V, AE

Price range: US$10.00-$20.00

Food: Italian, Pizza

Details: This is the place to go for great Italian seafood and pizzas. The menu is vast, and there's a large wine list. The indoor dining room looks like a Roman villa. There are also romantic, candle-lit tables by the pool. Menu items include homemade pastas, fresh fish, and Italian staples like chicken or veal parmigiana, and osso bucco. Be sure to try the delicious homemade lasagna.

 

Somerset Falls - Fusion on the Falls and Likkle Portie

Location: on Rte. A1 at Somerset Falls, 2 miles east of Hope Bay

Phone: 876.993-3115

Reservations: Required

Hours: Lunch and early dinner

Credit cards: Yes; MC, V, AE

Price range: US$10.00-$20.00

Food: Burgers, Seafood, Jamaican

Details: Indoor and outdoor dining in a romantic garden atmosphere with a deck overlooking the river. Their specialty is seafood along with chicken and hamburgers and they will prepare Chinese, Italian and Jamaican meals to order. They have an occasional live band.

 

Wi Yard Anna Banana

Location: 7 Folly Rd., in Port Antonio

(on the coast side of the road, just east of town)

Phone: 876.715.6533

Reservations:  Accepted

Hours: 11AM-11PM daily

Credit cards: Yes; MC, V, D

Price Range: US$5.00-$20.00

Food: Seafood and Jamaican specialties

Details: Anna Banana is bright and colorful, and overlooks a small stretch of beach with a nice view of Port Antonio. It used to be one of my favorite picks, but the service here has been hit and miss lately. Some have a good experience, others not so much. The food has always been good if you can be a little patient and flexible; some people complain that it took several hours to get their food. Usual offerings are fried fish or chicken, oxtail, sandwiches, curry goat or chicken, stew chicken, and lobster, conch and shrimp, although most things on the menu were NOT available when I visited. Enjoy the full bar and two pool tables while you chill. Anna Bananas can also be booked for wedding receptions or large events (it really is quite large). There is room for 3 or 4 cars in their very small parking lot just in front. It's a great location with so much potential; they need to take customer service seriously if they plan to stay in business.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Very informative site and your love for Portland is astounding. May I invite you to Portland’s newest and most captivating restaurant in the east and probably Jamaica “cliffhanger Restaurant and Lounge located in Ross Craig just three miles east of Long Bay.
    Be my guest for lunch or dinner,

    Regards
    Errol Hanna

  2. Thank you, Errol, for your compliment about KeepItJiggy.com! I absolutely do love Portland! So… I am thinking that your new restaurant is located at Sea Cliff near the log-style home which I always say reminds me of Alaska or the Pacific Northwest? I have driven past the property a million times. (My usual second home is nearby at Hotel Jamaican Colors, and my friends and loved ones are mostly in Manchioneal & Hectors River.) I hear the new restaurant is “kickin'”! I’m going to add Cliffhanger to this page now. And thanks for your kind offer – if I can’t make it back to Portland until next year, may I still take you up on it then?? ;-) I wish you great success. Merry Christmas! Theresa

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