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  • Meredith Peters

Discover the Top 10 Jamaican Foods to Try on Your Island Vacation

The tiny Caribbean gem of Jamaica has plenty to offer in the way of nature, music, and culture. But when it comes to cuisine, Jamaica takes things to a new level. Dive into our guide of top Jamaican foods you should try when you visit the island.

Mannish Water

Mannish Water Jamaican Food

A Jamaican favorite, mannish water, is a light soup composed of scraps of goat meat. It may sound scary, but it's a spicy, homey dish perfect as a starter for any Jamaican meal.

Beef Patty

Jamaican Beef Patty

This isn't your average lunchmeat. Instead, a beef patty is seasoned meat wrapped in buttery dough and then fried. Delicious! A must-try Jamaican staple, beef is the original patty, but you can find many different filling options these days. There are even veggie patties.


You can't come to Jamaica without trying a classic stew. Red pea soup and pumpkin soup are two options you're likely to find as menu starters. These soups may seem simple, but don't underestimate them. Jamaican food is always well-seasoned, and marinated stews can simmer in all their flavorful glory until mealtime.

Jamaican Pumpkin soup

Ackee and Saltfish Jamaican Food

Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaica's national dish is ackee and saltfish, making it a must-taste for tourists. Ackee is a fruit sauteed in spices and saltfish and served alongside yams or bananas. Ackee and saltfish are usually served at breakfast but can be eaten at any hour of the day.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Pork

Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Pork

You didn't think we'd forgotten about Jamaica's most famous dish, did you? Jerk-style cooking dates back hundreds of years on the island, and jerk food is still abundant today. The beauty of this food is that it can be found at the cheapest street stalls and the most elite restaurants. Authentic Jamaican jerk is cooked over pimento chips, and chicken and pork are the most common jerks.

Jamaican Rice & Peas

This dish is perfectly seasoned and usually served as a side dish to stew. However, it can be eaten with any protein and is an essential dish in Jamaican cuisine.

Jamaican Rice & Peas

Jamaican Curry Goat

Curry Goat

Another classic Jamaican staple, curry goat, is spicier than the Indian variety. It is usually served with white rice and is common at Christmas and family gatherings.

Escovitch Fish Jamaican Food

Escovitch Fish

The word escovitch refers to the practice of cooking meat in an acidic vinegar-based sauce. The origins of this method are Spanish, but Jamaicans have added their own twist to produce escovitch fish, served with the day's fresh catch.


A locally grown green similar to spinach, callaloo is served as breakfast in Jamaica, alongside other staples. Jamaican breakfast can be a decadent affair, so take the opportunity to fill up on callaloo, one of the only light and healthy offerings.

Callaloo Jamaican Food

Sweet Potato Pudding Jamaican dessert

Sweet Potato Pudding

Who doesn't have a sweet tooth? Sweet potato pudding is a Jamaican treat you have to sink your teeth into. This dessert pairs perfectly with ice cream and a beachside view.

Are you ready to experience Jamaica for yourself? Just click the link below to get started!


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