People might know Oracabessa as the site of Jamaica’s most beautiful coral reefs, or the home of GoldenEye, where Ian Fleming wrote all 14 of his James Bond novels. But many visitors don’t know that the sleepy beach town and the surrounding area has some of the island’s best restaurants. Here are three of our favorites.
Chef Chris Marsh had been serving Jamaican specialties for 16 years before Anthony Bourdain featured him on the popular CNN show Parts Unknown in 2014. He’s particularly known for his escovitch fish‚ a super spicy, tasty dish marinated in vinegar. Marsh is currently building a rooftop deck with an epic view of James Bond Beach. Until that’s complete, eat beneath the sprawling ackee tree behind the restaurant.
No address; located on Main Street across from Maxine’s Hot Spot.
Above the entrance to his restaurant, opened in 2014, owner Leon Dangel stenciled the words, “I dictate my own future.” Dangel, who is also a fisherman and carpenter, built the restaurant himself with a small team, including his girlfriend, Natalie Higgins, who runs the kitchen. Higgins cooks mostly seafood dishes like grilled conch, sweet and sour shrimp and curried lobster, but also makes a stellar fried chicken, with rice, peas and Jamaican coleslaw. She serves guests herself, and acts as an occasional cheerleader for diners who are struggling to finish their meal. Her cheer? “Eat everything!”
Race Course; 876-293-4690
Featured Dish: Stewed chicken served with rice and peas and a glass of mango and carrot punch.
The small sign hanging from a light post isn’t the only way you’ll know about Miss T’s Kitchen. Nearly everyone in town will recommend a stop at the restaurant, hidden in a private garden at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Miss T’s serves an upscale Jamaican menu, including oxtail, fried chicken, grilled lobster and curry goat. A combination of international travelers and locals congregate at the open-air restaurant, where the soundtrack is the sound of soothing wind chimes.
65 Main St., Ocho Rios, Jamaica, www.misstskitchen.com; 876-795-0099
Featured dish: Fried chicken, rice and peas and salad.
We’d be remiss not to mention local jerk shacks Scotchies and Dor’s Fish Pot. These two restaurants are among the best spots for classic Jamaican fare. Read about them, and more of Jamaica’s best jerk chicken here.