Jamaican food is booming with flavour and lends itself to an unconventional style of dining. It’s also really good for you, as most traditional dishes are packed with protein and unusual, healthy carbs.
So, if you feel like getting your fingers dirty, making your lips all tingly and giving your body a general dose of goodness, the best Jamaican restaurants in London are just what you need.
London isn’t short of top-quality Jamaican restaurants, that’s for sure, and you won’t be surprised to hear that most of them are pretty chilled out spots where the vibe is casual and friendly.
As such, all the Jamaican restaurants below are great places to head with a group of mates, because what spells a catch-up better than rum cocktails and some proper Caribbean spirit?
The best Jamaican restaurants in London
1. Jamaica Patty Co.
Led by Jamaican-born Theresa Roberts and award-winning Caribbean Chef of the Year, Collin Brown, this Covent Garden spot specialises in Jamaica’s on-the-go food: freshly baked patties. Imagine a British pasty, but with a firmer pastry that’s often tinted golden yellow with egg yolk or turmeric and then spicier fillings like jerk chicken or curried goat. Whilst patties are an on-the-go food, Jamaica Patty Co. offers plenty of seating, which is ideal if you want to enjoy your pattie with a cup of famous Jamican Blue Mountain coffee. Oh, and there’s a very delicious vegan pattie available too, so no one need miss out.
Address: 26 New Row, London, WC2N 4LA
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm Mon-Sat, and 11am to 7pm Sun
2. The Rum Kitchen
There are two Rum Kitchens in London, but we love the Soho setting because the vibe in the heart of this neighbourhood suits that of Jamaica just right. The cocktail menu here is designed to spread the rum love and its inclusion of an impressive variety of rare rum is most welcome. Then, in terms of food, there’s everything from bits & bobs to BBQ, buns and ‘bigger tings’. Our advice is to start with the saltfish fritters before tucking into jerk pork belly with rice and peas, or the slow-braised curry mutton served with fresh roti. The Rum Kitchen is an absolute celebration of the Carribbean and you can’t miss its buzzing blue exterior right on Carnaby Street.
Address: Carnaby St, Soho, London W1B 5PW
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm – Midnight, Fri-Sat: 12pm – 12:30am, Sun: 12pm – 11pm
Arguably the best jerk in South London, Negril is as authentic as it gets, named after the part of Jamaica that’s famous for its long beaches and undeniable beauty. For over 10 years, Negril has been serving its wholesome menu to the people of Brixton and beyond, with starters like ackee and saltfish served with plantain, then mains like braised oxtail or an award-winning jerk beef burger. The platters are where Negril comes into its own, though, with our favourite arriving at your table with half a jerk chicken and more sides than you’ll know where to put. If the weather is alright, try to grab an outside spot on Negril’s charming little patio. You’ll still be a while away from the Caribbean Sea, but it’s the best al fresco Jamaican dining that London has to offer.
Address: 132 Brixton Hill, Brixton, London SW2 1RS
Opening hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday, 5-10pm Wed-Fri, weekends 12-10pm
4. Fish, Wings and Tings
Another one in Brixton, Fish, Wings and Tings serves properly good fare made with local, seasonal produce. It’s therefore a celebration of London as much as a celebration of Jamaica. In Fish, Wings and Tings’ own words, the menu encompasses food from the Caribbean region, taking regional and street food and turning it into a trendy and delightful selection of nouvelle Caribbean fare. Our highlight is the coconut curry prawn dish served with rice & peas, pineapple, mango chutney and coleslaw. It’s something you don’t find at too many other Jamaican restaurants in London and one dish that helps make sure Fish, Wings and Tings keeps hold of its loyal following.
Address: 3 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PR
Opening hours: 12-10pm Sun, Tue-Thurs; 12-11pm Fri-Sat
5. The Dutchie Restaurant
You know a restaurant is good when at first there’s only one and then suddenly there’s four, which is exactly what happened with The Dutchie Restaurant, a place that knows the Caribbean kitchen like few others in London. The original is in Croydon, but this one in Camberwell is easier to get to and serves Jamaican fare that’s just as lip smackin’. On the menu here is whole jerk fowl, as well as jerk lobster and the famous Dutchied fried chicken served with Jamaican-style slaw, house sauce and sweet potato fries. Oh, and some of the cocktails here are as colourful and curious as the Caribbean itself. Just make sure you wait until you’ve eaten, if you know what we mean…
Address: 58a Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell, SE5 8QZ
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 12-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am, Sunday 12-11pm
6. Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records
The original Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records is in Kingston itself, but this one in London flies the flag high. It’s a Jamaican bar, restaurant and late lounge with a vibrant food menu and plenty of cocktails made with various real Jamaican Appleton rums. Start your meal with the plantain nachos drizzled with scotch bonnet oil and chipotle, then get involved with the steam beam in coconut milk with okra, peppers, carrots, water crackers and bammy, a traditional Jamaican cassava flatbread. Tracks & Records is one of the coolest Jamaican restaurants in London because it feels like a little hideaway, adorned with the face of the fastest man on the planet along with his two world record times. You’re in good company here.
Address: 94 Middlesex St, Spitalfields, London E1 7EZ
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-12am, Thurs-Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-9pm
7. Three Little Birds
There’s a pattern emerging here… It’s Brixton again, but this time it’s Three Little Birds (you didn’t really think you could make it all the way through this article without at least one mention of Bob Marley, did you?). Indeed, this whole restaurant is a tribute to the man himself where you can enjoy lunch and dinner featuring fresh patties, tropical fruit smoothies, bammy and any number of jerk-spiced specialities. You’ll find it on Coldharbour Lane, the centre of the British Caribbean community in Brixton. There’s lots here that’s gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan, so not a soul need miss out.
Address: 412 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LF
Opening hours: 6-11pm Mon, 10am-11pm Tue-Wed & Sun, 10-12am Thurs, 11-1am Fri-Sat
8. Buster Mantis
Probably the finest Jamaican restaurant in London in terms of the finesse of the food and the style of the restaurant itself, Buster Mantis is not to be missed. It’s something of an underground project, built inside a double railway arch space beneath the tracks running through Deptford station along Resolution Way. Try the jerk jackfruit tacos for something fresh, or go classic with some of the most romped up chicken in this part of London. To finish off, if you feel like some Caribbean sweet, the baked rum & raisin cheesecake is served with salted coconut milk caramel and goes down an absolute treat.
Address: 3-4 Resolution Way, Deptford, London SE8 4NT
Opening hours: 2pm-12am Tues, Thurs, Sun, 5pm-2am Fri-Sat, Closed Mon & Wed