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Jamaican restaurant

Many people travel to Jamaica for its beaches and all-inclusive resorts, but it is not the leisure lifestyle that tourists return for—it is the cuisine that keeps everyone coming back. This Caribbean island is home to some of the most unique and delicious style foods. Jamaican cuisine is a mixture of cooking techniques, flavours, spice and influences from all over the world, and is a major component of this Caribbean culture.

This island is a treat for any foodie, and the best way to immerse yourself in this region’s culture is to indulge in an island feast. Here is a list of five eateries Cover-More insists you do not miss out on while exploring the beautiful country of Jamaica.

Little Ochie

This culinary marvel is known throughout the island and is a historic landmark since its founding nearly 30 years ago. The secret to their success? Freshly caught fish. Nestled on the rugged beachfront, this restaurant offers a variety of fresh, local foods from spicy jerk chicken to grilled lobster that will keep your diet intact but your taste buds happy. Known for their home cooked plates, Little Ochie is a local hot spot and does not shy away from honest Jamaican cooking.

Patrice’s Restaurant

Those in-the-know claim Patrice’s Restaurant has some of the very best food on this entire island. This dimly-lit eatery is an unmarked hole-in-the-wall and is still run by Patrice herself. The restaurant is worth the hunt as the legendary owner serves up generous portions of their three daily specials. Whether you decide on the brown stew fish, stew chicken or curry goat, Patrice does not fail to deliver true Jamaican cuisine.

Smurf’s Cafe

Start your day at the beach with a genuine Jamaican breakfast at Smurf’s Café. Not known among many tourists, this café is an unlikely legend. The morning-only eatery cooks up some of the best breakfast in Jamaica. Spend some time at this local hangout, and pair your Callilou omelette and fish dumplings with freshly brewed, delicious coffee -- arguably the best in the entire Caribbean. There is no question whether you will be back tomorrow.

Fireman’s Lobster Pit

The Fireman’s Lobster Pit is one of the best kept secrets in Jamaica. If you ask, many locals will tell you that this beachside restaurant has some of the freshest shellfish on the island. Place your order of either crab or lobster, and watch them prepare your meal right in front of you. The culture and enthusiasm at Fireman’s Lobster Pit is unmatched and makes for a tasty, memorable experience.

Just Natural

Just Natural is a picturesque family-run restaurant known for their vegetarian and seafood entrees. Most popular are the Jamaican breakfasts, conch salad and grilled lobster. Hidden in overgrown forestry, this restaurant provides diners an eating experience in the lush surroundings of Jamaica. Your kids will be entertained for hours by the various species of birds and small mammals that live in the brush while you dine on some of owner Theresa’s finest home cooked meals.

Follow our tips and your trip should be smooth sailing and full of genuine Jamaican cuisine. If an unfortunate dining experience does occur—like food poisoning or theft—that is where travel insurance can help. Get a quote from Cover-More to cover your trip before you go, and then a mishap does not have to turn into a disaster.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Vox Efx; cropped from original