The one dreadful part in every vacation is the moment you realize it’s time to head home. This is especially true when your holiday consists of beaches, dazzling sunsets and practically living in paradise (aka Jamaica). But worry not—we’ve rounded up a list of the best ways to experience Jamaica if you live in North America.
Inside a renovated 1907 firehouse in Atlanta’s buzzing Midtown neighborhood, Negril Village has live music on Fridays and popular weekend brunches with unlimited rum punches.
Negril Village: 30 North Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA; 404-464-7159
Ja’ Grill serves heaping plates of rice and peas with curry goat, stewed oxtail and curry chicken. The signature “Ja’ Rum Punch” is a sweet blend of white, dark and coconut rum with fresh fruit juice.
Ja’ Grill: 1510 East Harper Court, Chicago, IL; 773-752-5375
Head to this Miami patty shop for a fresh beef, curry chicken or half-and-half patty, and ask for the house coco bread, a thick and slightly sweet baked roll.
Sonia’s Patties: 10852 SW 104th Street, Miami, FL; 305-598-6695
Photo courtesy of Pasion del Cielo Coffee
Pasion del Cielo Coffee
Coffee is a pretty big deal in Miami, and while most local cafés serve cafecitos and cafés con leche with a Cuban flair, Pasion del Cielo also has beans from one of our favorite providers, Jamaica Blue Mountain. Can you guess what we ordered?
Pasion del Cielo Coffee: Multiple Miami locations
California Roots Music & Arts Festival
The California Roots Music and Art Festival is an annual two-day music and art festival that celebrates reggae and roots music. This year’s May 27-29th lineup includes Protoje, Barrington Levy, and Damian and Stephen Marley.
California Roots Music & Arts Festival: Monterey Fairgrounds, Monterey, CA
New York, NY
Photo courtesy of Pearl’s
This newly opened Jamaican and Trinidadian fusion restaurant in Williamsburg is quickly becoming a caribbean hotspot in Brooklyn. The menu includes small plates such as jerk chicken in bake, conch and dumplings, and during warmer months, patrons can enjoy their meals in the backyard patio.
Pearl’s: 178 North 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY; 929-276-3528
Deadly Dragon Sound System
Selectors Scratch Famous, JD, Queen Majesty and Mr. K came together to form Deadly Dragon Sound System and record shop in 1995. The group later opened a record shop in NYC, and it’s a goldmine for every reggae music lover.
Deadly Dragon Sound System: 102 Forsyth Street, New York; 646-613-0139
The Real Jerk Restaurant
The Real Jerk is a Jamaican restaurant and bar in Toronto that has been a mainstay in the East End neighborhood for nearly 30 years. It’s got a flashy exterior and an authentic Caribbean menu, but reached a new level of fame this spring after Rihanna and Drake featured it in the music video to their megahit “Work.”
The Real Jerk: 842 Gerrard Street East, Toronto; 416-463-6055
Toronto Caribbean Carnival
The annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, is one of the largest Caribbean festivals in North America. Look out for the Jamaican flags, bottles of Ting (the grapefruit soft drink) and the lavish costumes worn by many.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade: Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON; 416-391-5608