The 9 Restaurants You Have to Try While Visiting Montego Bay

by Emese Graham
restaurants in montego bay jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, coral reefs, luxury resorts, and the Hip Strip shopping zone. But unless you sample the fine dining and local eats in the city’s many restaurants, you haven’t truly experienced Mo Bay.

So, don’t leave this northern coast airport city without visiting at least one or two of our favourite restaurants. You’ll taste for yourself why Jamaican cuisine is celebrated worldwide.

1. Peppa’s Cool Spot ($)

An unassuming establishment, Peppa’s consistently wows locals and travellers alike with fabulous authentic Jamaican eats. The kitchen is uniquely built around a large mature tree, while the friendly staff deliver colourfully-presented fresh fish dishes, soups, pastas, and wraps with a Caribbean twist. Sip on a fun cocktail and enjoy warm island flavours with friends.

Restaurant Type: Casual Jamaican Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Salt Fish Fritters, Fried Escovitch, Shrimp Pasta

Location: Peppa’s Cool Spot is found on Rampart’s Close, a short walk from the famous Doctor’s Cave Beach.

2. Houseboat Grill ($$)

Well known for fantastic casual eats off the grill and tasty happy hour specials, this relaxed restaurant’s name isn’t at all figurative. The Houseboat Grill is, in fact, a large floating houseboat accessed by a boardwalk, serving high-quality food and a warm atmosphere that’s sure to be a highlight of your vacation.

Restaurant Type: Casual International Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Grilled Palm Hearts, Spinach & Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Octopus

Location: The Houseboat Grill is poised off of Southern Cross Boulevard, Freeport, just moments away from the Montego Freeport Shopping Centre.

 3. Pork Pit ($)

The perfect spot for grabbing a bite of bona fide Jamaican jerk and a cold Red Stripe beer. The Pork Pit’s friendly staff never fail to impress with their outstanding jerk chicken and pork, served with local favourites like roti, rice and peas, and fried plantain. There’s a reason this Montego Bay staple stands out from the crowd.

Restaurant Type: Casual Jamaican BBQ

Must-Try Specialty: Jerk Pork

Location: Pork Pit is in the heart of Hip Strip on Gloucester Avenue, just across the street from Aqua Sol Theme Park.

4. Sugar Mill ($$$)

A romantic culinary experience, ideal for celebrating anniversaries and special moments, the Sugar Mill is the pride of the Half Moon Resort. You’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time, and once you arrive, you can expect friendly and professional service, stunning presentation, and a unique interpretation of local fares like ackee and saltfish. This is a truly elevated dining event.

Restaurant Type: Fine Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Jamaican Fusion Tapas

Location: The Sugar Mill is located within Half Moon Resort.

5. Marguerites ($$)

Enjoy a quiet sunset facing evening meal overlooking the pier. Marguerites is renowned for its award-winning wine selections, fresh seafood, and iconic Caesar salads. We recommend booking a reservation to avoid any wait times, although it’s not required.

Restaurant Type: Fine Dining Seafood

Must-Try Specialty: Seared Ahi Tuna, Beef Tartare

Location: Marguerites is situated along Gloucester Avenue on a secluded deck overlooking the ocean.

6. Round Hill ($$$)

Featuring locally sourced herbs and produce from the resort’s own garden, the Round Hill restaurant is a celebration of modern Jamaican cuisine. Award-winning executive chef, Martin Maginley, will treat you to an ever-changing menu of creations to be enjoyed in an exclusive and intimate setting. The restaurant is open to the public seasonally, from mid-December to March each year.

Restaurant Type: Fine Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Scotch Bonnet Ice Cream, Lemongrass Caribbean Lobster Bisque

Location: Located in the Round Hill Hotel & Villas resort.

7. Scotchies ($)

Scotchie’s is a Jamaican staple for authentic jerk chicken, with locations in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Kingston. This casual outdoor destination gives you the perfect chance to watch the time-tested process of barbequing between a wooden fire and corrugated metal sheets. This jerk chicken is the real deal.

Restaurant Type: Casual Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Jerk Chicken

Location: A beach-side restaurant, Scotchies is a few minutes’ walk from Round Hill Hotel & Villas.

8. Day-O Plantation ($$$)

Day-O Plantation Restaurant & Bar is a prominent destination for weddings and special events marked by excellent service and an inspired menu with must-trys like jerked snapper. Ask ahead about their cooking classes and try a fun day of dabbling in Caribbean cuisine.

Restaurant Type: Fine Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Day-O Snapper, Grilled Sirloin

Location: Day-O Plantation Restaurant is situated on Fairfield road, a 10-minute drive from Secrets St. James all-inclusive resort.

9. Pelican Grill ($$)

Since 1964, the Pelican Grill has been a popular choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try one of their tasty treats made with an old-fashioned soda fountain, a fresh seafood dish like lobster thermidor and grilled salmon, or beloved Jamaican dishes like stew peas, bammy, and oxtail. Take their Calypso Platter for a spin to taste the classics.

Restaurant Type: Casual Dining

Must-Try Specialty: Stew Peas, Oxtail, Curried Shrimp

Location: The Pelican Grill is conveniently found in Hip Strip, Gloucester Avenue.


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