Jamaican influence has spread from the tiny island to the furthest corners of the world—and we don’t just mean reggae music. Jamaican food is a big part of our culture, and it’s been expanding farther and farther afield. Here are five amazing Jamaican restaurants around the globe.
One Love Vegetarian, Toronto
Known for its friendly staff and super-healthy Jamaican dishes, this quaint six-seat vegan restaurant is a local gem. Even self-professed carnivores love it.
Good for: Vegetarians and vegans and everyone else.
Try this: Whole wheat roti with chickpeas and potatoes, and a bowl of the famous corn soup.
One Love Vegetarian, 854 Bathurst Street, Toronto
When you’ve had more pasta and pizza than you’d like to admit, head over to the trendy San Lorenzo neighborhood for a classic Jamaican meal. Jamrock serves authentic dishes like jerk and curry chicken, plus the amazing Rasta Pasta—a very spicy homemade pasta with sauteed peppers. Because who are we kidding: You will never get tired of pasta.
Good for: Date night. Jamrock is intimate and cozy, perfect for a first date.
Try this: Coconut-milk shrimp curry cooked in rum, and served with rice and peas.
Jamrock, Via di Porta Labicana, 52, 00185, Rome
Bamboula Restaurant, London
Brixton has long been a cultural enclave for Jamaican expats living in London. In recent years, the neighborhood has experienced a surge in diversity—with more African, Asian and Latin American restaurants—yet it remains a reminder of home for many Jamaicans. Bamboula Kitchen is small, with just a handful of tables, so many people grab food to go.
Good for: Fuel before hitting Brixton Market, one of the most underrated shopping destinations in London.
Try this: Patties For Fatties (Jamaican patties)—oxtail, pumpkin, curried goat, jerk chicken or ackee fruit.
Bamboula, 12 Acre Lane, Brixton, London
Mandy’s Restaurant & Private Kitchen, Hong Kong
What began as a private catering business in Mandy Nathali’s kitchen has turned into a bustling restaurant and bar in Hong Kong’s Sai Kung neighborhood, inspired by Nathali’s husband’s Caribbean heritage.
Good for: A personal dining experience. Owner and chef Mandy is always on hand to mingle with guests.
Try this: Skewers of marinated jerk chicken served with rice and peas.
Mandy’s Private Kitchen, 24 See Chung Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Jamaica Me Crazy, Woodstock, South Africa
The bright yellow restaurant and rum shack tiki bar serves fresh Jamaican dishes in the suburban Woodstock neighborhood in Cape Town. Bonus: There are killer views of the harbor from the rooftop deck.
Good for: Groups of young professionals. Whether it’s quiz night, a futbol match on television, or reggae music thumping from the sound system, this spot is made for fun with friends, old and new.
Try this: Kingston Schnitzel: chicken seasoned with authentic jerk spices and breaded and fried till crispy.
Jamaica Me Crazy, 74 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock, Cape Town