For some great local fare, we recommend some of Port Antonio’s best kept secrets.
Soosoomba Vegetarian Restaurant
Owner Sista P is a Rasta elder who has worked diligently in the local community for years, and approaches her championing of vegetarian eating and its dietary health benefits with the same vigour and selflessness that she does in all of her endeavors. The one-stop, hands-down full-time vegetarian menu is a must and just an hour’s drive away in Hope Bay. Your body will thank you, and you will thank yourself.
Piggy’s Jerk Centre
They say the best jerk chicken is at Piggy’s, a “shack” right in the heart of Port Antonio. Piggy’s chicken is so juicy and perfectly spiced, you may want to go more than once. Make sure to try the festival as well, which is achieves a perfect balance of crunchy shell and doughy center. Portland is known as the “birthplace of jerk,” Piggy’s exemplifies that claim. They also serve fresh fish, and delicious sides such as rice and peas, grilled vegetables, and a mouth-watering fish soup.
Dickie’s Best Kept Secret
Dickie Butler’s decidedly eclectic homespun decor overlooking the sea is one of the most charming eateries in Port Antonio. You can specify chicken or fish when you call, but otherwise your meal is in Dickie’s hands; over the years he’s cooked at the Ritz-Carlton, Frenchman’s Cove, and the Trident. Dinner typically opens with a fruit plate and callaloo omelet, but goes on for three or four more courses from there—stuffed peppers, spiny lobster, jerk chicken, shrimp-stuffed tomatoes. You never quite know what you are going to get, but you can trust that it will be authentically Jamaican and always delicious.
Named for its dramatic location, Cliff Hanger sits atop a sea cliff, 80 feet above the waves so that it literally appears to be hanging from the cliffs. Sip on a house-made cocktail at the well-appointed bar while enjoying an expansive view of the horizon. Then indulge in a delicious meal of seasonal specials such as fresh red snapper, honey curried shrimp, lobster sweet shells, and Cliff Hanger’s signature platter, Drunken Lionfish – named because it’s simmered in both white wine and Red Stripe beer, a heady mix indeed. This relaxing enclave, where it almost feels like you’re at the edge of the world, promises to capture both your imagination and your appetite in equal measure.