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The Jamaican Jerk flavour is world famous, and for good reason. Not many cultures can boast a cuisine that triggers off the sensory explosion that jerk does. But even in the home of jerk, there is best and second best. So here we have put together a list of 10 of whom we consider to be the best at Jerk.
Quarter of jerk, some greens an' festival
According to the website, 3 Dives has been featured on The Amazing Race, Three Sheets, Hotel Impossible and Vogue Magazine. Famous for its jerk chicken, but it also does lobster and shrimp, grilled or curried. Side orders include festival, breadfrruit and bammy and drinks include mango an strawberry daquiri.
Open: Mon - Sat: 1pm to 11pm; Sun: 5pm to 11pm.
Ossie's Jerk Center is part of Ossie's Shack. Ossie's Jerk Centre, voted among Jamaica's Best for its jerk pork. In the words of one happy customer: We come to Negril every year however we normally don't stay this far down the beach. This stay in the first 3 days we ate jerk about 6 times at different places including the side of road and best in the west, this was by far the best overall...
Open: Daily: 10am to 10pm.
Pepperwood Jerk Center, which is really an offshoot of the older Scotchies, has tried to maintain the taste and rustic ambience that its progenitor is known for. According to their Facebook page, We soon became recognized for being the best restaurant for providing Jamaican Jerk chicken and pride ourselves in providing the best cuts of pork. They operate out of Kingston and Portmore.
Open: Sun - Thu: 11.30am to 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11.30am to 11.30pm.
Farmers Jerk Center and Lounge is a constant hive of activity as residents from near and far flock the joint for a sampling of its tasty jerk pork, fish, chicken, sausages, escoveitched fish, and a variety of soups, with your choice of sides which includes fried plantain, festival, bread, and rice and peas. The eatery has been in operation for over 20 years and its customers generally make comments like this reviewer's: their jerk chicken is the best in old harbor.
Open: Daily: 11am until...
Boston Jerk Center is a mall of pits located along a stretch of coastline that's sometimes called the birthplace of jerk cuisine. Chicken, pork and other meats are cook on open pits using a unique technique: Uncured pimento logs are placed over a bed of hot coals, and the meat is laid directly on the green logs. Everything is then covered up by a sheet of corrugated zinc and cooked until it's black on the outside and tender underneath.
Open: Sun - Thur 10am - 7pm; Fri, Sat 10am - 12pm
Sweetwood Jerk Joint is located in New Kingston and is popular among office workers. They use pimento wood which is the best wood for jerk. Sweetwood Jerk Joint beside Emancipation Park offers a wide menu of mouth watering Jerk meat: pork, chicken, sausage, lamb, fish and conch and delectable sides: sweet potato, yam, breadfruit and corn.
Open: Mon - Wed: 11.30am to 10pm; Thu: 11.30am to 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11.30am to 12midnight; Sun: 12noon to 10pm.
Jojo's ribs special
Jojo's Jerk Pit started of about 2 decades ago as a small organic farm market and has now evolved into one of Kingston's premier night eateries. Along with the usual jerk fare the eatery offers Jerk Mussels (jerk flavoured mussels backed with pepper jack cheese) as well as gourmet cuisine for its eclectic customers. Award winning JoJo's had an unexpected grand championship win at the Jack Daniel's All-Jamaican Grill-Off in 2009.
Open: Mon - Sat: 11am to 11pm
Ocho Rios Jerk Center is regarded as the liveliest jerk joint in town. It serves jerk pork, chicken and conch, as well as barbecue ribs. Daily specials include curry goat and goat-head soup. Reviews of this eatery are mostly positive. One customer said this: Very relaxed soroundings. Food is always up to par. Wonderful and professional staff.
Open: Mon - Sat: 11am to 1am; Sun: 11am to 12midnight.
Scotchies has branches in Mobay, Ocho Rios and recently returned to Kingston after a short hiatus. Order chicken by quarter, half or pound, which is then chopped into smaller pieces and served in foil. Meats here are cooked to perfection over pimento wood with real Jamaican jerk flavour. Side orders include Jamaican festival, rice & peas, yam, roasted breadfruit or sweet potato.
Open: Sun - Sat: 11am to 11pm
The Pork Pit has been in operation since 1978, but underwent a management/ownership change in 2002. That change heralded a change in the recipe as well, with jerk specialists from Portland giving advice. They are the go-to eatery in Mobay for jerk chicken, pork, sausages and barbecue ribs. Quoting a recent customer: We stopped here on the way to the airport and had our last good fill of jerk chicken with a side of rum. It was perfect.
Open: Sun - Thu: 11am to 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am to 12midnight