If you are searching for paradise, look no further than the turquoise water and white sand of Jamaica. The hotels in Negril cater to travelers, making sure every little detail is taken care of. This includes activities, entertainment, excursions and food. All you can eat buffets and predictable meals, though nice for some people, are not the way I like to eat and travel. The belief of Around the World in KT Days is ‘Active Feet, Local Eats’, discovering authentic food beyond the hotel zone is what I aim to do.

taste in negril

photo by Heather Schreppel via trover.com

To not step out of the comfort zone of your hotel for a taste of the local cuisine would be a big mistake. The motto of this Caribbean country is “out of many, one people” meaning many cultures make up one nation. The food of Jamaica embodies this motto. You will find food inspired from all cuisines of the world including Latin, Indian, African, and European.

Here are three authentic Jamaican dishes to sample in Negril, and the best places to get them.

Jerk Pork

Jerk pork is a classic Jamaican food. Jerk refers to the spices in the meat, and how it’s cooked. A variety of spices make the jerk paste (or marinade) then the meat is slow cooked over charcoal or wood.  The dish is smoky, spicy and tender and, literally, finger licking good. You will find many ‘jerk huts’ all around Negril enticing you in by their delicious smell.

Eat Jerk Pork at The Red Dragon

taste in Negril

photo by Joanne Fujito via trover.com

A bit off the beaten path, the Red Dragon serves up jerk pork, and only jerk pork. At 12PM each day (except Sunday) the Red Dragon serves up a big serving of jerk pork, and when its gone, its gone. Sit outside the small hut with your foil plate of food and a cold Red Stripe. Chat with locals, enjoy the hot Jamaican weather, and savor the flavors.

Ackee and Saltfish

This national dish of Jamaica is typically eaten for breakfast. Ackee is a fruit that looks a bit like scrambled eggs, and saltfish is, of course, salty fish. To prepare the dish, the saltfish (cod) soaks overnight. The ackee is then sauteed with the fish, spices and vegetables. Jamaica is one of the few places in the world that eats ackee, so while you are visiting Negril, give this unique dish a try.

Eat Ackee & Saltfish at Sips and Bites

taste in negril

photo by Intentional Travelers via trover.com

This is a laid back restaurant in the West End of the city serving up authentic Jamaican meals at cheap prices.

Curried Goat

Originating from South Asia, the curry flavors in this dish are mild with a Jamaican twist. Originally served as a party dish at weddings or big events, curried goat is now found all over Negril at authentic Jamaican restaurants.

Eat Curried Goat at Sweet Spot

For some traditional Jamaican home cooked meals, Sweet Spot is worth a visit. Made fresh each day, this place does curried goat well.

If Negril, Jamaica is in your future travel plans be sure to try some of these traditional Jamaican foods to spice up your vacation.

This post is part of the Hipmunk City Love Campaign.