Long a staple of "Ital" and Rastafari, vegetarian and vegan options are available in every corner of Jamaica. Here's your list of the best of vegetarian in Jamaica.
Back in the day, vegetarian food in Jamaica was something that only Rastafarians cooked and ate. Worse, it was only curried chick peas, veggie "chunks" and very simple fare. All that has changed, and Jamaica is up there with the best vegetarian cuisine that can be found around the world.
We've put together a delectable list of restaurants for your eating pleasure.
Curried Dahl with coconut-date, wheatfree naan bread and grilled mango salad and Jamaican chocolate with coconut and almond milk. Courtesy of Kushites facebook page.
Kushite, a restaurant with Rastafarian origins, has some of the most authentic and delicious Jamaican vegetarian meals. You can get ackee pizza, loaded sweet potato chips and much more. Owners Kush Tafari and Keisha McDonald wanted to bring delicious but healthy eating alternatives to Jamaica and in the process they have won several awards.
Open Monday - Saturday, 11am-10pm.
Address: 39 Lady Musgrave Rd, Kingston
Phone: 1 (876) 375-0642
A fruit-vegetable salad and a tamarind based juice. Images from Mi Hungry's facebook page.
I frequently hear a couple radio announcers talk glowingly of this restaurant. They provide raw food and a good variety of vegan novelties such as raw pizzas, raw burgers, salads, shakes, juices, and desserts. There pumpkin seed shake seems a hit. They advertise that their meals are made with no sugar, no flour, and no fire.
Open Mon-Fri 9:00am-9:00pm
Address: 11 Main Street, Ocho Rios
Phone: 876 351 2665
Ital bean stew
They seem not to have a strong online presence, but my friend and youtuber Kerry, who is now a connoisseur of things vegan or vegetarian (this mawga woman can nyam esi) vouches for the quality of what they offer. Some of what they offer are whole wheat cornmeal pudding, shake n bake tofu and hot n spicy veggie chunks. Learn more about them here: https://www.youtube.com
Address: Shop 24 Central Plaza, Kingston
Phone: (876) 926-3051
Salad of the day-Cashew Sunflower seed cheese, Guacamole, Brazil nut cheese Pate, Almond Nutmeat, Jerk ackee pineapple, avocado, white Quinoa and lettuce. Courtesy of Tehuti's facebook page.
This restaurant also specializes in raw food and vegan dishes. One reviewer gave 4 out of 5 stars and he added that the reason he did not give 5 stars was because he wanted larger portions. But he admitted the meals were really delicious. Menu items include curried coconut pasta, brazil nut cheese cake and jerk ackee. You can learn more here.
Open Mon - Fri, 9.00am - 6.00pm.
Address: 3 Lyncourt, Barbican
Phone: (876) 414-2870
Sweet potato and veggie mince casserole. Courtesy of New Leaf's facebook page.
New Leaf claims to use only the freshest local produce and wholesome natural ingredients to create sumptuous burgers, stir-frys, pastas and lots of other interesting daily soups and specials. They serve ackee bammy pizza and a veggie burger for those in transition from the Babylon food chain.They deliver for an extra $300.00. See more here.
Open Mon - Sat, 11.00am to 6.00pm.
Address: Shop 6 Lane Plaza, 121 Old Hope Rd, Kgn
Phone: (876) 977-2358
Let's eat! It's a Thanksgiving turkey.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. So goes their tagline. And no, the irony of it being across from KFC did not elude me. One vegan visiting from Orlando was effusive in his praise for the food and the juice. Another was pleased with the ambience. Its social media presence is found wanting, but they have still been able to elicit positive reviews through the web. They have Forever Beans — a vegan red bean chilli-like stew and a customer favorite and being an offshoot of Earl's Juice Garden, they have a delectable variety of juices to choose from.
Open Mon-Fri 7:00am-6:00pm, Sat 4:00am-6:00pm. Closed Sun
Address: 14 Halfway Tree Road (Opposite KFC) and 28 Haining Rd, New Kingston.
Phone: (876) 861 2195
Mango passion cheescake and Live ackee Pineapple quinoa Okra dulse Flake salad. Courtesy of Wright Life's facebook page.
This vegan eatery is based in Montego Bay. The meals are visually appealing and the taste is in harmony with the look. The proprietor is a four time cancer survivor who was impelled to start her own restaurant because she just could not find a restaurant in Mobay that offered the kind of meals she needed. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Check out their instagram page to learn more.
Open Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm. Closed Sun
Address: Alice Eldemire Drive, Montego Bay
Phone: (876) 376-8708
A veggie burger
Livity Gourmet has an award on its wall for Best Place For Vegetarians. You can eat outside under a mango tree to complete that 'ital' feel. They serve juices that they claim are good for male vitality. Unfortunately, they are not as active on social media as they need to be in this digital age. Their menu includes soups, salads, wraps, stews, curries, dumplings,veggie burgers, pastas, sweet potatoes, cakes, cupcakes, granolas, tofus, ice creams and fresh juices. Walk-ins and take out services are offered. Learn more about them here.
Address: Corner of Rippon and Eureka in New Kingston
Phone: 1 (876) 906 5618
Some of the juices from the Mi Tirsty line are: So whats up(soursop), Go ova (guava), So real (sorrel) and Pump in (pumpkin). Also, pleaza (pizza) topped with raw ackee and seaweed. Image courtesy of Mi Hungry's facebook page.
Now, I gather this restaurant has more in common with Mi Hungry Whol’some Food apart from just the name; it's actually a vegan restaurant chain with a third outlet in Mandeville. And from the feedback I've reviewed, the fare is equally delightful. You can get pies made with raw ackee and avocado and nyamburger with nutbased buns.
Open Sun 12pm - 10pm, Mon - Sat 8:30am - 11pm
Address: 67 Constant Spring Rd, Kingston
Phone: 1 876-908-1771
Veggie 🍕 pizza contains mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, zucchini and spinach and rice and peas salad. Lintel peas cooked in coconut milk. Images from King David Ital's facebook page.
This rasta inspired vegetarian restaurant features several international visitors on its facebook page, all giving it a thumbs up. Their prices are quite reasonable...and for those who have to have rice and peas, you can get it there. Also, you can get the usual fare of veggie chunks n ackee, King David's own natural juice blends and even a cold red stripe!
Address: 23 Constant Spring Road, Kingston
Phone: (876) 471-2441