Ocho Rios Restaurants and Dining
(Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Middlesex, Jamaica)
Despite having good shopping, several beaches and a huge number of fresh tourist arrivals, Ocho Rios does not fare especially well when it comes to dining. The reason being, most of the big hotels are all-inclusive, while those on a cruise can also eat onboard. This makes it tough for independent restaurants to survive.
There are several restaurants and eateries to choose from away from the main hotels of Ocho Rios, however, and the beaches have cafés galore to satiate oneself in the daytime. In addition, attractions like the Coyaba Gardens and Island Village have their own dining, with most establishments staying open until late. For something more rustic and informal, oil-drum barbecues are a common site along some roads.
What to Eat, and Where
Most of the food in Ocho Rios is tailored to the North American and European palate, although there are also Asian eateries. You can, of course, pick up some tasty local cuisine, but Jamaican restaurants are certainly in the minority.
Jamaican food is spiced up, yet tasty. A popular soup is 'manish water' - created from goat's head and feet with peppers, yam, and white rum.
Although it doesn't sound great, it is quite flavoursome and somewhat of a delicacy, yet can be difficult to find. Goat curry is a popular restaurant dish and regularly served up as a main course.
A top café to check out in Ocho Rios is Coffee Café, up from the Ocean's 11 Watering Hole at the Fisherman's Point Row.
This is an Americanised dining venue using Jamaican coffee and also comes with a museum and gift shop. Nearby, Fishermen's Beach is good for steamed fish.
Other restaurants in Ocho Rios, away from the shopping mall cafés and food courts, include Evita's American - sited not far from the Taj Mahal Plaza, Toscanini's - with Caribbean-style Italian food, the Little Pub on Main Street - for non-pretentious eating, and the Passage to India, which is also located on Main Street and boasts the best Indian dining for miles.