Full Traveller’s Guide to Jamaica Food & Drink Festival

The Jamaica Food & Drink Festival has just completed their third Food Fest and I am extremely excited to have been invited to join in on the food festivities.

Home to the 3-yr old food event, Kingston is an interesting city which is bound to thrill. With a town that is being divided into two halves, you will always have something on the agenda to do or see.

During the festive week, my daytimes were spent exploring Kingston. From discovering new places, visiting historical sites, brunching and lunching at a few local spots; these are places you’ll be able to easily fit into your schedule whilst visiting.

Here’s where you can stay, eat, visit during the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival.

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Where to Stay:

Terra Nova All Suite Hotel: This was my own personal spot for the week of Food Fest. In close proximity to all the venues getting from one location to the next was relatively easy.

Equipped with a swimming pool, a trendy bar & lounge area, and a 24/7 gym,  Terra Nova is a comfortable find in Kingston. It is also located just a few meters from Devon House Ice Cream; a recommended spot to get a scoop of your favourite.

Price Range: :$190- & Up

Location: 17 Waterloo Rd, Kingston, Jamaica

Pegasus Hotel:  Situated in the financial and business district of Kingston, “Pegasus” is a 17-story building in the heart of Kingston. With such a high-rise, a relatively good view of the city can be achieved here.

The rooms have also been recently upgraded to add to the Jamaican warmth and charm while exploring the city.

Price Range: $290- & Up 

Location:  81 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, New Kingston 

Mariott Courtyard Hotel: This is relatively new to the Kingston area. Located just a few meters away from the Pegasus Hotel, the Mariott Courtyard is a modern stylish property in New Kingston. It is also in close proximity to the Emancipation Park and 2.7 meters from the Bob Marley Museum.

Price Range: $235- & Up 

Location: 1 Park Close  Kingston, 5 Jamaica

*Airbnb is also available in Kingston. This is another option you could consider.


Places to Visit:

Bob Marley Museum:   The museum is situated on the site which the Legend Robert Nesta Marley, “Bob Marley” once lived.  This is a top tourist attraction site whilst visiting the capital and without a doubt, a highly recommended one too.

This was my first time visiting the Museum and I am still wondering why did I wait this long.

Entrance Fee:

$25 for Adults

$12 for Children (ages 4-12)

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Devon House & Devon House I-Cream: Another historical site in Kingston. Devon House is a beautiful home built back in the 1800s by a Jamaican millionaire. Did I mention it is beautiful? You can get acquainted with the history and then enjoy a scoop from the ice-cream parlour. It was voted as one of the Best in The World. Give the flavours “Devon Stout” and “Crunchy Munchy” a try. They are the island’s favourites.

Devon House Tour: $ 1500 JMD- & Up

Coronation Market: Often times a spot that is being overlooked by visitors. If you want to have a true Jamaican experience, visit here. It’s a large fresh fruit and veg market with a chance to discover & try local foods. Take some JM dollars with you, dress lightly and comfortably. You will have to do a bit of walking


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The Coconut Board Industry:  I never knew this place existed, until know. Enjoy fresh coconut water, ice-cold jelly and everything coconut here. You can pick up a few locally made coconut products here as well; Coconut Maracoon, Gizzada, Coconut Drop, Grater Cake, for example.


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Fleet Street: So colourful and artistic! Happy to have explored it during Jamaica food and drink Festival. It is a good spot to see Jamaica artwork and street graffiti.

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Where to Brunch & Lunch:

Moby Dick: They are known for their Curried Goat! Whether or not you are visiting Jamaica for the first time this is a cool little spot in Downtown Kingston to have the island’s favourite: Curried Goat! A variety of other options are also available.

Pepperwood Jerk Center: Formerly known as Scotchies Jerk Center. Pepperwood Jerk Center as the name suggests is everything Jerked. If you are in the mood for a little Island’s Jerked Chicken, Pork. This is your spot.

Hellshire: Just a few minutes away from the city center from the heart of Kingston you can enjoy a local seafood spot. Fried Fish, Lobster, Spicy Peppered Prawn. It’s lunch with a view and also a chance to possibly connect with the locals.


**If you plan to lunch here, please be aware that even though the Parrot Fish is widely fished and consumed, it is imperative that we know what losing these fishes will do to the coral reefs. Without the Parrot Fish the marine life, coral reef ecosystems and the tourism industry of Jamaica are threatened tremendously.

EITS Cafe: Another 25-minute drive outside of Kingston and you are on a hillside; Strawberry Hill. A different side of Kingston, with a more relaxing feel and a chance to dine with an ultimate nature-filled view.


FnB Downtown: We stopped here right after we indulged at Moby Dick for coffee and desserts. It’s a cool spot in Downtown Kingston. It also has a gift shop so you can pick up a few goodies on your way out.


Café Blue: Ideal for an early morning coffee-time in the cool hills of Kingston. Though, a 20-25 minute drive uphill, it’s a personal recommendation if you are not in a rush. Go for the Blue Mountain Coffee option, you can’t go wrong!

While you are visiting Strawberry Hill, you can take a drive over by the Strawberry Hill hotel. Famously known for their infinity pool and their overlooked view of Kingston. It is also a good spot for sunsets.

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Day trip outside of Kingston

Walkers Wood: In the Parish of Saint Ann. Walkers Wood is famously known for their Jerk Seasoning. We stopped over for a few hours to indulge and to enjoy their bed & breakfast property on our way to Ocho Rios. I am already trying to schedule a time to visit again soon. 

Island Routes: A foodies tour with Island Routes in Ocho Rios. It was my first time taking out the mini cooper tour cars for a spin.

We spent the day exploring a mini route: Sun Valley Plantation.


Where to Dine in Ocho Rios:

Miss T’s Kitchen:

I highly recommend this one. They have a wide variety of homestyle cooked Jamaican dishes and they are all soooo good.

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Packing Tip: The month of October in Jamaica can be a little wet. Be sure to pack a few waterproof items just in case.

Read Next: Kingston Under A Different Light: Food & Flavour

Happy Travels!

Thank to the JFDF Team for an adventure-filled week

  • Byron Richards
    August 19, 2018

    Will be in Jamaica in October where is the festival taking place ?

  • Ashleigh Williams
    November 14, 2017

    This post is absolutely amazinggggg! Such great detail in the copy and all the images and it clearly shows that you had a blast! #JFDF2018 is surely looking like a must-do… 🙂

  • Shelly-Ann Thomas
    November 11, 2017

    Shea! I admire you so much. Soon, I hope to tick a few of these places off the list. Thanks for posting this.

  • Jhunelle J ♦ www.simplylocal.life
    November 10, 2017

    Love this entire post, especially the note about parrot fish (#SaveTheParrotFish)! Pictures amazing as usual, still a few places mentioned that remain on my local to-do list. You did quite a bit in your “short” visit I see.

    • Shea Powell
      Jhunelle J ♦ www.simplylocal.life
      November 11, 2017

      Agreed! We did so much and it was sooooo fun! Also, I’m all about conservation man. The snapper fish is just as good. 🙂

      • Shea Powell
        Shea Powell
        November 11, 2017

        Also, I might want to add that I did have the parrot fish in Jamaica. Once but only once. I had no idea of its effects.

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