Seeing our enthusiasm for Jamaican cooking, Elise mentioned that Scotchies would be a good option, and Dave took us there one day for lunch. It’s a well-established traditional jerk centre on the main road between Ocho Rios and St Ann’s Bay. The food is cooked on large grills, and the choice is limited but very appetising. You need first to place your order with, and pay, the cashier – jerk pork or chicken, plus whatever sides (breadfruit, yam, festival etc.) or drinks you’d like. You’re given a receipt which you then hand in at the next counter, where your order is filled. All items are neatly wrapped in foil for safe transport, or you can do as we did and eat at wooden tables grouped in open-sided shelters in the pretty garden.
We chose a ¼ lb. portion of jerk pork each, plus one portion of breadfruit and one of festival – the latter is a slightly sweet sausage shaped fried dumpling, a little like a doughnut and very tasty. With a soda each (the refreshing local grapefruit drink, Ting) this delicious lunch cost US$10 for both of us – great value.
We had originally planned to eat the majority of our evening meals in the various local restaurants of Ocho Rios, despite the fact that the Blue House offers a very competitively priced dinner, bed and breakfast rate – mainly because we like the variety and choice that going out for dinner offers. But after our excellent meal on the first evening, and realising that we were staying slightly further out of town than we had thought, we changed our minds and opted for dinner “at home” on the remaining evenings. This truly was no hardship! We enjoyed excellent home cooking from Darryl’s kitchen and the good company of Elise and our fellow guests. Although these was no choice on any particular evening, we were always consulted about whether we would like the planned offering (e.g. “Do you all like Chinese food?”) and had been asked in advance about food allergies, preferences etc.
Favorite Dish: Three courses were offered each evening. Here are some typical menus:
Day One: Starter – conch balls with sorrel chutney (very tasty). Mains – curried goat with rice & peas and/or chicken fricassée, accompanied by mixed vegetables and salad. Dessert – chocolate cake.
Day Two: Starter – jerked chicken wings. Main course – spaghetti with shrimp and roasted vegetables. Dessert – orange cake.
Day Three: a lovely Chinese meal (Darryl and Elise are Chinese Jamaicans) with pork & fungus, chicken & mushrooms, really good mixed Chinese vegetables and boiled rice – followed again by one of Darryl’s great cakes.
Day Four: no starter but again a selection of mains, this time chicken curry and conch served in a slightly spicy sauce. Dessert was a tangy lemon mousse.
The cost of adding dinner to our bill on these evenings was a very reasonable US$50 for two, including soft drinks (home-made fruit punch, sodas or water). Beer was also available, for which there was a charge, though I’m not sure what – when Elise presented us with our bill on leaving she simply asked that we add a little bit to cover the beers we’d drunk!
The bad news is that you have to be staying at the Blue House to eat here – but unless you’re set on an all-inclusive I can’t imagine there’s anywhere better!
On most of our evenings in Ocho Rios we had dinner at the Blue House, but we did eat out on one evening as we wanted to see what else the town had to offer. The Spring Gardens Restaurant was recommended by Darryl and Elise and proved a good choice. It has a smallish interior and a large garden area in two sections. We ate in the furthest one – the downsides were perhaps its proximity to the main road with its traffic noise, and the fact that it was not very well lit, so the menu was hard to read!
Favorite Dish: Despite the small drawbacks mentioned above, the food was very tasty. The restaurant specialises in seafood, cooked with traditional Jamaican flavours. We both started with the crab cake served with a spicy sauce (a bit like a Thai sweet chilli sauce) which was very nice. For a main course I chose jerk conch, accompanied by a jacket potato (I could alternatively have had fries, or rice & peas), while Chris had the “reggae shrimp” – cooked in a beer batter and served with tartare sauce and rice & peas. Neither of us could manage a dessert! With two beers each (we sampled Kingston lager as a change from the ubiquitous Red Stripe, but liked it a little less) and service, our bill came to US$68.
The different restaurants at the Riu Ocho Rios are generally not very good, but their bbq on the beach during lunch is simply amazing. They service different kinds of jerk chicken and sausages there covered with extra helpings of their jerk sauce. Simply the juiciest most flavorful jerk chicken I've had while on my stay in Jamaica.
This is basically just a little bbq stand on the beach so you basically queue up with a plate, grab your food and sit on the sand or beach chairs to eat your food. Messy and delicious! I'm drooling just writing about it right now..
Favorite Dish: The jerk chicken!
This is a very nice street side cafe type place. The food is great and inexspensive.
A great place for locals and Cruiseship passengers to hang out.
You must sit at the bar and try a tropical drink called the hummingbird. It's to "die for"
Also a great people watching place. Sit back and enjoy the music and all the happenings going on around you. Making everything crisp!
Favorite Dish: The coconut shrimp were amazing! Nice portions of food.
The fries are great also.
Add splendour to your day by visiting this tropical paradise that has a beautiful 40 foot natural waterfall right in the center of it. Yes, you read it right! It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. The waterfall adds charm to the ambiance. The tables and chairs are arranged right in front of the falls. You will be able to hear the relaxing sounds of the falls. There's a beautiful koi pond that surrounds the restuarant also.
They offer a lunch and dinner buffet at a very reasonable price. The food is scrumptious!
They offer Jamaican, and Chinese foods on the buffet as well as soups and fresh baked breads.
Although I ate there for lunch, I hear that dinner is a wonderful romantic experience.
I plan to go there for dinner next time.
Favorite Dish: The Jerk chicken that is specially cut for you by a friendly server.
We always make a trip to the Hard Rock. I collect Shot Glasses so when ever I go to a Country or city I havent been to before I make it to the Hard Rock. The staff at this location is very friendly and welcoming. The service is laid back like what you would expect from the Carribean. What I mean by this is don't expect your drink to be immediatly refilled as soon as it is empty. But they were really friendly just laid back. The food took a while to come to the table but we were a group of ten. It has the typical Hard Rock Menu you see any place else. Where they get you is the cost of a soda. $3.20 per glass. So dont drink it all too fast. That was unbelievable. I am guessing a Red Stripe would have cost less. The place is clean and nice with music videos playing and the gift shop is down stairs. One thing I was dissapointed in at the gift shop is if you pay cash they claimed not to have any change so my shot glass was 9.22 I paid with a 20 and only got 10 bucks back. I was not happy about this. But I was on Vacation so didnt get too mad.
All in all good food a good experience.
Favorite Dish: The Hamburger is what I ate and it was tasty but very expensive. 11 bucks for a hamburger and fries. Yikes but its what you would expect from the Hard Rock.
They have some great food in a beautiful beach setting at Magaritaville in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. You can relax and watch the people play on the beach while you're scarfing down a wrap or having a shot of whatever liquor you fancy. A nice and safe way to enjoy the beach here. It's located in a type of shopping center which you can access near the town by walking from where the cruise ships dock. It's about a 10 minute walk but we rode the taxi so it was like 4-5 (depending on how fast your driver goes).
I can't begin to tell you how special this chicken really is. Hands down, the most flavourful chicken I have eaten anywhere on this earth came from the Jerk Centre on the edge of Ochos Rios. It seems like every city in Jamaica has their own Jerk Centre, but I can hardly imagine anything better than what I ate here. It is always packed, there's a good bar and your choice of covered eating area or outdoor tables. The prices was extremely cheap, like $7 USD for a 1/2 chicken and fries. I can't recomend this place enough mmmmmmmmm!
The food is always good at Margaritaville, and the drinks are excellent! The atmosphere here is awesome. They have a DJ playing music from a half cut off boat called "Euphoria". So take a shuttle service from your hotel, right to Margaritaville, which when you get there, you get dropped off right at the entrance which is safe! Before you leave, negotiate a price with the shuttle, and time to pick you back up! Everything else is "No Worries Mon"!
Be aware of the coconut guy, ha ha, as he certainly will come around to give you a shot, and I walked up to the bar, as the bartender told me to hold my head back and open up wide! Thats some good stuff they poor down your throat, just remember to tip them a buck or two! When paying your bill, the tip is already included in the price so don't overlook that, just have fun and RELAX IN JAMAICA MON!