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Traditional Kingston Food

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Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Kingston is complete without tasting the traditional Kingston food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Kingston to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.


  • Bammy: traditional Jamaican deep-fried cassava flat-bread.
  • Banana bread: a healthy and delicious dessert made as a bread that contains bananas.
  • Banana fritters: traditional Jamaican dessert, a kind of pancakes made with mashed bananas.
  • Boiled green bananas: a side dish in Jamaica served with fish and meat.
  • Boiled yam: a vegetable that originated in Africa, is eaten most often boiled as a side dish.
  • Coco bread: slightly sweet bread that contains a bit of coconut milk.
  • Coconut chips: crispy chips made from coconuts.
  • Festival: light corn bread fritters.
  • Fried breadfruit: its taste is described as potato-like, or similar to fresh-baked bread.
  • Hard dough bread: a Jamaican bread similar to the Pullman loaf or pain de mie, used for sandwiches, dipping into liquids (hot chocolate), eaten with butter, cheese.
  • Jamaican spiced bun: a dark brown bun made as a bread with many spices, served with cheese and butter.
  • Jonny cake: a cornmeal flat-bread usually served like pancakes with maple syrup, honey, or other sweet toppings.
  • Pick up salt fish: usually salt cod broken into small portions and fried with onions, tomato, bell pepper; served for breakfast, snack.
  • Solomon Gundy: a pickled (with salt) fish pâté usually served with crackers as an appetizer in Jamaican cuisine.



  • Citrus curry rice salad: is made from canned mandarin oranges, raisins, salt, pepper, brown rice, cucumber.
  • Jamaican cole slaw: salad consisting of shredded raw cabbage, carrot, nuts and dressed with the mayonnaise.
  • Jamaican garden salad: a salad consisting of fresh vegetables.
  • Jamaican jerk chicken salad: salad with chicken breast cut into strips, bell pepper, greens, mangoes, papaya.
  • Jamaican potato salad: is made from potatoes, eggs, carrot, corn, peas, scallion, celery dressed with mayonnaise.
  • Matrimony: a mixture of orange sections, star apples, or guavas in coconut cream with guava cheese melted over it.

Main courses

  • Ackee and saltfish: salt cod sautéed with boiled ackee (fruit), onions, Scotch Bonnet bell pepper, tomatoes, and spices.
  • Banana porridge: green bananas, blended with flour and boiled in water as a porridge, sweetened with condensed milk or coconut cream.
  • Brown Stew Chicken: sweet and tangy chicken stew served usually with rice and peas.
  • Callaloo: a kind of stew made from leaf vegetable, served as a side dish with rice, meat.
  • Chicken roti: chicken wrapped in unleavened bread - roti.
  • Corned beef and cabbage: a dish made from boiled salt-cured beef and cabbage, sometimes potatoes, carrots are added.
  • Cow foot: a stew made from the foot of a cow and served with rice, yams, dumplings, potatoes, bread.
  • Jamaican Curry chicken: chicken in an onion, tomato, and yogurt-based sauce, flavored with a variety of spices, served as a rule with rice.
  • Curried lobster: curried lobster meat cooked with gently fried onions and tomatoes, served with rice or noodles.
  • Curry goat: spiced goat meat served usually with rice.
  • Dried and salted cod: cod preserved by salting and drying.
  • Escoveitch fish: a dish of poached or fried fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving.
  • Holiday ham: slightly smoked and baked ham, sweet and savory in taste.
  • Jamaican oxtail stew: a stew made from beef tails, vegetables, beans.
  • Pilau: a dish containing rice, chicken, pork, shellfish, and vegetables.
  • Pigs Feet: dishes made with the use of pig feet.
  • Rice and peas: rice and any legume, such as red kidney beans, pigeon peas and sometimes with meat.
  • Saltfish with cabbage or callaloo: is a saltfish, usually cod, cooked with steamed cabbage or lives of callaloo.
  • Spinners: dough fillers (a kind of dumplings) boiled in the soup or fried.
  • Steamed fish: is a tender fish dish prepared usually with vegetables.
  • Stewed Peas: stew made up of salt beef, pigs tails and beans or peas, as Jamaicans call them.
  • Tripe and Beans: stew made with tripe, beans and sometimes with spinners (small dumplings).


  • Asham: powdered sweet snack based on corn.
  • Baked ripe banana: sliced, baked bananas served with vanilla ice cream.
  • Banana fritters: traditional Jamaican dessert, a kind of pancakes made with mashed bananas.
  • Black cake: fruit cake, made with plums and raisins soaked in rum.
  • Bustamante backbone: a hard grated coconut and sugar confection named after the famous Jamaican leader Bustamante.
  • Coconut drops: delicious, chunky golden brown candies.
  • Duckanoo: a dessert made from cornmeal, coconut, spices and brown sugar, tied up in a banana leaf.
  • Gizzada: a tart filled with a sweet and spiced coconut filling.
  • Grater cake: sweet dessert made up of grated coconut in a fondant of sugar.
  • Mango ice cream: flavorful ice cream blended with mango.
  • Papaya ice cream patch: a rich ice cream, usually served in the slices of papaya.
  • Plantain tart: pastry with spiced filling made from plantain (a kind of bananas).
  • Potato pudding: cake made up of mashed potatoes, eggs, butter and sugar.
  • Rock bun: a small fruit cake with a rough surface, resembling a rock.
  • Soursop ice cream: an ice cream with an intoxicating wonderful aroma of soursop.
  • Toto: a coconut cake in the form of a bread, served with butter.

Fast food

  • Bulla cake: or bulla bread, is a rich, dark, and smokey flavored Jamaican pastry made with molasses.
  • Fried plantain: cut into "ears", "fingers" or diced plantain is fried and served as a snack or side dish.
  • Stamp and Go: a fish fritter, usually salt cod.

Street food

  • Cheese bun: a variety of small, baked, cheese-flavored rolls.
  • Jamaican patty: a pastry that contains various fillings and spices baked inside a flaky shell.
  • Kingston jerk chicken: chicken marinated in hot sauce and grilled.
  • Red Peas Soup: a piquant soup with kidney beans and meat leftovers.

Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

  • Blue Mountain coffee: coffee of high quality grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.
  • Bush tea: is a drink, usually hot, made from different herbs, like mint tea, lime leaves tea, etc.
  • Carrot juice: made from carrot with condensed milk, nutmeg and vanilla.
  • Coconut water: clear liquid inside young coconuts, very low in calories.
  • Cucumber juice: light and refreshing vegetable juice.
  • Irish moss: used to make a beverage popular in the Caribbean.
  • Jamaican fruit drink: drink made from many different fruits.
  • Limeade: a beverage similar to lemonade, but is made with lime juice or lime flavor.
  • Mango juice: made of exotic fruit, delicious and extremely nutritious juice.
  • Mango Lada: a beverage made of mango, coconut milk, pineapple juice, condensed milk.
  • Milo: a chocolate and malt powder which is mixed with hot or cold milk to produce a beverage.
  • Otaheiti Apple Juice: sweet juice with unique aromatic flavor.
  • Pawpaw juice: made of ripe papaya, tastes sweet.
  • Sorrel drink: natural, non-carbonated soft drink made of sorrel, water, ginger and sugar.
  • Soursop Juice: creamy, rich and refreshing juice.
  • Tamarind drink: a refreshing drink made of tamarind, water and sugar or honey.
  • Ting (soft drink): tart and sweet carbonated beverage flavored with Jamaican grapefruit juice.

Drinks (Alcoholic)

  • Ginger beer: a carbonated drink that is flavored with ginger.
  • Peanut punch: a beverage made with peanut butter, milk, sugar and sometimes spices.
  • Red stripe beer: a Jamaican lager beer.
  • Rum: a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products.
  • Sky juice: coconut water combined with alcohol and served from the coconut shell.
  • Tamarind fizz: refreshing summer cocktail made of tamarinds, ginger syrup, lime and pimento seeds.

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