Jamaica is well-known and respected for its distinct native cuisine and diverse restaurant scene. The restaurants on this island, one of the Caribbean’s largest, range from informal cafes to five-star fine dining establishments. These restaurants can be found throughout the island’s parishes, with some of the best being found in Montego Bay (St. James Parish).
Montego Bay (also known as Mobay) is the second largest city in Jamaica, after Kingston, and has loads of beautiful beaches. Rich in culture, you can expect to find lots of delicious food options in this area, particularly as Jamaican cuisine has many outside influences, including African, English, Portuguese, Indian, and Middle Eastern.
To help you find the best dining in Montego Bay, Jamaica, we’ve highlighted some of the best restaurants that you should try during your vacation!
Sugar Mill restaurant is located at the Half Moon Resort in Rose Hall Plantation, Montego Bay. This restaurant is popular with both locals and visitors. You can expect international classics made with the freshest Jamaican ingredients when dining here. All of this makes for a delicious finish. Authentic Jamaica dishes are available here as well.
The Sugar Mill restaurant has an open-air design and an elegant aesthetic. There's also a slightly rustic feel to the space, owing to its location in an old sugar mill. This restaurant is known for its excellent food and service, as well as its cozy, romantic atmosphere. Sugar Mill serves dinner only from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In terms of seating, you can opt to dine either on the lawn or on a patio next to the centuries-old stone walls. Oxtail ravioli, snapper poached in coconut and saffron, short ribs, spiny lobster, and beef tenderloin are among the most popular dishes on their menu. There are vegetarian options available, including the cannoli entree. This restaurant offers a diverse beverage menu. Reservations are recommended.
Insider tip: If you are looking for a juicy steak, you simply have to visit Butch’s Island Chophouse! With a combination of familiar flavors and island favorites, this restaurant is the perfect place to go for high-quality surf & turf. Whether you’re dining on grain-fed Midwestern beef or the finest fish and fresh seafood, Butch’s Island Chophouse is sure to impress you. Our favorite dishes include the Steak Diane, Snapper Veracruz, Dungeness Crab Cake, and the Willy Wonka Brûlée.
This restaurant is only available for guests of Sandals Montego Bay and other Sandals resorts on the island. The best part? Butch’s exceptional food and drinks are included (and unlimited) as part of Sandals all-inclusive vacation package.
Scotchie's is a great option for authentic Jamaican food while in Jamaica. This restaurant is well-liked by both tourists and locals. Any dish you order from this restaurant will be made with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. In addition, many of the items are wood-fired in-house. Scotchie’s offers rum ribs, jerk chicken, and grilled pork among its specialties.
Scotchie’s has a number of tiki huts where you can enjoy food and cocktails. The service is quick and friendly, and the atmosphere is relaxed. This restaurant is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, with a diverse menu and reasonable prices. For the best experience, pair anything spicy at Scotchie’s with coconut water, local juice, or even the local Red Stripe Beer. You can start your meal off here with the soup of the day and then try some of the guest’s favorites that include conch soup, festival corn, pork sausage, chicken sausage, and more. Enjoy your meal and drinks in one of this location’s adorable tiki huts.
Expert tip: Staying at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay will put you close to some of Jamaica’s best restaurants, bars, and entertainment. Some of the resorts in this area, like Sandals Resorts, have multiple options for dining that couples will love.
The Houseboat Grill is a floating restaurant in Montego Bay’s Marine Park Sanctuary. This restaurant is periodically repositioned, sometimes in response to sea conditions. The majority of the time, things are calm here. As you’ll be dining out on the water at The Houseboat Grill, you can expect spectacular views, especially at night.
Inside, you’ll appreciate the cozy and intimate atmosphere, as well as the charming views of the lagoon. Staff may share some history about the boat, such as the fact that many famous artists have stayed on it, including Aretha Franklin, the Beach Boys, and The Grateful Dead. The Houseboat Grill offers both lunch and dinner, and some of the best options include the snapper fillet, lobster, or lemon caper pasta. You can wash your meal down with the fruit punch, which is delicious!
To get to The Houseboat Grill, you’ll need to take a short ferry ride from the shore to the boat. When it’s time to leave, you can call for ferry service by ringing a bell. This is an excellent date location because it truly takes you away from it all.
Delmare’s dining experience is on the upscale side. This restaurant is located in the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It has received several awards, including for service. Delmare is a seafood restaurant and you can sample delectable dishes made with fresh catches like red snapper, grouper, and shrimp cooked to perfection.
If you choose to dine here while on vacation, you must adhere to a smart-casual dress code. No ripped jeans, flip-flops, t-shirts, cutoffs, or casual shorts are allowed. Pansotti Di Capensante, Salmone Crudo, and Tagliata Di Manzo are among the most popular dishes at this fine restaurant. While you eat, take in the breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. The open-air atmosphere and the wide range of available beverages and wine will undoubtedly be enjoyable as well!
The Pelican Restaurant is located on Montego Bay’s famous Gloucester Avenue. If you want craft cocktails, a diverse menu, and quality service, this is the place to go. The Pelican Grill is a family-owned restaurant that serves home-cooked meals. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.
Some of the most popular dishes here include the fried heirloom green tomato, arctic char, and grilled tomahawk steak. You can also try the jerk chicken, curried shrimp, oxtail, or one of the fish or lobster dishes. If you arrive at the right time, you can enjoy stunning views of the sunset while dining. The views and ambiance on the terrace at night make it ideal for a couples' date.
Reservations are recommended for The Pelican Grill because tables can fill up quickly, especially if you want the best view.
Expert tip: Trying Blue Mountain Coffee while in Jamaica is a vacation must. This is one of the most popular coffee brands in the world. While on this island, you can also learn about the most unique herbs & spices in Caribbean cuisine.
When in Jamaica, you simply must try a traditional Jamaican pattie! This delicious snack is available in many places outside of Jamaica, but enjoying it here will give you a true taste of Jamaica. Juici Patties, a fast food restaurant with more than 60 outlets throughout Jamaica, is a wonderful choice if you’re craving a patty while you're there. Montego Bay is home to at least three of them.
You can purchase authentic Jamaican patties filled with meat, ackee, veggies, soy, chicken, and more at Juici Patties. Patties made with beef are the most common variety. Other than patties, Juici Patties also serves porridge, callaloo & saltfish, and fried chicken & chips. This restaurant is worth visiting for any meal of the day, especially if you need a quick but traditional breakfast. Soups and other delicious items such as banana bread and carrot cake are also available.
The Pork Pit is a highly-rated Jamaican establishment that serves great Jamaican BBQ meals. This eatery is located on Montego Bay’s famed Hip Strip. Some of the most popular menu items here include jerk chicken, ribs, fresh grilled shrimp, festival, and plantains. Patrons of this restaurant like that the quantities are fairly large, making it a great option if you’re dining in a group or simply want to make sure you get your fill.
The Pork Pit is a wood-fired open-air restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. This is a good place to get a fast bite of authentic Jamaican food. The fresh off-the-grill food served here is among the tastiest in Montego Bay, especially the jerk options. The service here can be pretty good. If you intend on paying in U.S. currency, enquire about the exchange rate. You can enjoy cold drinks with your meal here. Red Stripe beer is highly recommended!
Expert tip: No one should ever leave Jamaica without trying a Red Stripe Beer at least once! You might also like to try some of the other popular Caribbean beers during your vacation. Several of them are also available in Jamaica.
The beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea from the Almond Terrace at Marguerites in Montego Bay are part of the appeal for diners at this location. It’ll be a breezy, romantic, and not to mention, elevated experience as you dine here indulging in some of the hot menu items like crab cakes, lobster, and pan-roasted filet mignon.
Marguerites is located in central Montego Bay. Couples will love dining at this upscale establishment. Marguerites has earned the Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award six times, which means that they have been in the top 10% of businesses on all of TripAdvisor. We won’t blame you if your expectations are high when dining here but with the great reviews for service, the wide-ranging drink and food menu selections, and the elegant ambiance, you likely won't be disappointed.
Good to know: Marguerites is located next door to Margaritaville, so you can plan on visiting both of these spots in one day.
Peppa’s Cool Spot is a casual dining establishment in Jamaica. This is one of the best places on the island to try traditional Jamaican cuisine and unwind with some classic bar snacks. Peppa’s Cool Spot, located near Gloucester Avenue, is popular with both locals and visitors.
In terms of price, the cuisine here is reasonable. When you visit this outdoor bar/restaurant for lunch, you can enjoy Jamaican favorites like oxtail, curry goat, roti chicken wrap, steamed fish, and fried plantains. You can also go to Peppa’s Cool Spot when the sun goes down for some exciting nightlife. The bar at this location provides a variety of cocktails, and the best thing is that you’ll be close to the beach.
Want a good place to go for the best international favorites in Jamaica? Mystic Thai is a great option. This restaurant offers diverse dishes that include their delectable green curry, lobster dumplings, and a delicious coconut tiramisu. The Siracha wings and Thai ribs are also good picks. On Sundays from 12 pm - 4 pm, you can also enjoy their all-you-can-eat dim sum special for just under $20 USD.
Mystic Thai is a popular eating option for both locals and visitors to Jamaica, and it is situated in the heart of Montego Bay. The reviews alone are motivation enough to visit this establishment — diners love that the food is consistently good and authentic. Expect Indian, Thai, and Asian flavors and selections that are vegan and vegetarian too. The service is courteous, the food is tasty, and the ambiance is pleasant, making this one of the better choices for dining in Montego Bay.
Insider tip: If you're searching for couple-friendly resorts you might want to consider one of the all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica. The Sandals all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay and other Sandals Resorts on this island cater specifically to couples from the romantic and luxurious accommodation to the activities that include entertainment day and night.
Usain Bolt is not only a household name in Jamaica, but all around the world. The Tracks and Records restaurants, named after Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, can be found in both Montego Bay and Kingston. Tracks and Records is a sports bar, and the one in Montego Bay stands out because of its accessibility. Tracks and Records Montego Bay is located along The Hip Strip. Many of Jamaica’s best eateries, nightclubs, and stores can be found in this area. The Hip Strip is located just off Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Track’s and Records has a lively vibe and the staff is very pleasant. The jerk chicken spring rolls, the Red Stripe barbecue wings, and the surf and turf are just a few of the tasty options available. The desserts are delicious as well! Try the 4-D Chocolate Cake, the Heavenly Bread Pudding Surprise, or the Guinness Cookies & Cream Cheesecake. If you’re looking for a place to kick back with some cocktails and good company, the bar selection alone makes going to Track’s and Records worth the trip.
Many people love Jamaica because of its amazing and distinct cuisine. If you are unfamiliar with the cuisine, you may be unsure of what to order. To help ensure you don't miss out on the most amazing food, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Jamaican dishes including options like jerk chicken, ackee & saltfish, and more!
Jerk chicken - Jerk chicken, a must-try in Jamaica, is made by cooking chicken over pimento wood, which adds flavor. There’s also jerk pork, fish, and lobster. Jerk sauces are typically quite spicy, but you can inform the restaurant that you prefer less sauce for a milder experience.
Red Stripe beer - A well-known Jamaican beer brewed and packaged in Kingston. This beer has a sweet flavor with a hint of apples and contains approximately 4.7 percent alcohol. Red Stripe Beer is available in a variety of countries outside of Jamaica.
Ackee & saltfish - This is Jamaica’s national dish. Ackee is a lychee-like fruit that is served alongside saltfish in this dish (any type of salted fish but most often codfish). In Jamaica, ackee and sailfish are a popular breakfast or brunch combination.
Breadfruit - Breadfruit (closely related to jackfruit) originated in Micronesia. This dish can be boiled, fried, or roasted. Breakfast in Jamaica might include breadfruit with steamed callaloo or ackee and saltfish.
Jamaican patties - This is a popular snack food with various meat fillings such as ground beef, lobster, and shrimp. Jamaican patties can be found all over the island, but Miss Sonia’s in Negril is one of the best places to enjoy this treat.
Jamaican bammy - Cassava bread is another name for this dish. It is a thick, flat bread that is typically served with fish and stew.
Fried plantains - Fried plantains are typically served alongside stewed chicken, oxtail, fried fish, and curried goat in Jamaica. If you order this dish, you will receive delicious, caramelized, thinly sliced plantains on your plate.
Conch - Popular on many Caribbean islands, conch is typically served in Jamaica as part of a soup, curry, or stew. This dish is typically very fresh, and it is usually cooked with a variety of vegetables.
Expert tip: Want to try some Jamaican cooking for yourself? Get started with this delicious Jamaican Oxtails Recipe!
Montego Bay restaurants are a great option if you want to enjoy everything from authentic local food to international cuisine in Jamaica. As we’ve listed some of the best restaurants in this area, we hope that you do get the opportunity to try at least a few of these during your island vacation. Great dining can really add something special to any vacation!
With two resorts and a combined 21 restaurants in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Sandals all-inclusive resorts offer an unrivaled dining experience. Try authentic Jamaican dishes prepared with fresh locally-sourced ingredients, as well as international cuisines - and it's all included!
If you want to stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean where you’ll be able to indulge in amazing cuisine, Sandals Resorts is a great option. Sandals Resorts in Jamaica provide guests with endless possibilities when it comes to dining. Each Sandals Resort has multiple options for dining, including gourmet selections. You’ll also get to enjoy a hassle-free all-inclusive experience at these resorts where all you have to think about is having a great time!