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Jamaican Restaurants

  • b

We are having friends from Jamaica visiting and would like to take them out for dinner to a Vancouver area Jamaican restaurant.
Are there any in or around Vancouver that offer excellent Jamaican dishes?

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  1. Calabash is probably the best but it's located on a bit of a sketchy block.

    2 Replies
    1. re: flowbee

      But, why take them out for Jamaican food when they can get the real thing at home?

    2. we have the Reef over here in Vic and i see Van has a couple locations. Never been tho over there tho. Its Bob Marleys birthday on the 6th and they usually do a fun night. They also have a good dine around menu

      1 Reply
      1. re: daislander

        The Reef is very poor representation of 'pan Caribbean food'.

        And I quite agree that any place here is a pale pale shadow of what's on offer in JA.

        Why not take them to a Vancouver experience like Guu or one of the other Izakayas?

      2. The Lion's Den on E. 15th (between Les Faux Bourgeois and Matchstick Cafe) has Jamaican offerings:



        But it's a very casual cafe. I mean, if your friends are really hankering for home foods it's ok to take them there. Now they also have this "Japaribbean" selection which might raise your friends' eyebrows :-D

        But I agree, like others said, you'll do better by showcasing the best of Vancouver to them.

        I faintly recall there's a decent Caribbean resto on the North Shore. Anyone know ?

        1 Reply
        1. re: LotusRapper

          The Kingston reggae cafe. Unfortunately no longer open.

        2. What, no love for Riddim & Spice on Commercial Drive? ;)

          Just kidding.

          Calabash is the only Caribbean restaurant I'd willingly take folks craving some of that cuisine, but if they're from Jamaica, they'll likely be disappointed with whatever Jamaican cuisine Vancouver has to offer. Unless they specifically requested Jamaican food, I'd take them somewhere else that Vancouver does well.

          Saying that, I had a friend from St Lucia who LOVED the food at The Reef on Main Street, specifically the hush puppies. *shrug*

          1. Taking Jamaicans to a Jamaican restaurant in Vancouver makes no sense whatsoever, by any measure. I wouldn't even take them to Jamaican in Toronto, where we have a very large Jamaican community. Canada doesn't do Jamaican anywhere close to how Jamaica does Jamaican - so it would be a disappointing meal for them.

            I'd figure out what they might like and take them to somewhere that does that well.

            1. The Patty Shop on Macdonald?

              1. Thanks for all your recommendations…will give them a choice of Vancouver's finest!

                1 Reply
                1. My initial reaction is "this is kinda strange ... if I was visiting Jamaica I wouldn't want to eat Canadian food lol ..."

                  But I shouldn't judge. :)

                  I don't know many places that do "excellent" Jamaican ... but I know of Taste Nice in Surrey, just over the Patullo.


                  There's D Roti Shak in New West. Never been there but want to try. It's more Trini really.


                  When I have a hankering for Rotis I head over to Rehanah's Roti on St Johns in Port Moody. I loooove their Doubles ... but you have to call first because they don't offer them everyday.


                  Taste Nice is pretty casual. Lots of BC Lion's players eat there during training camp/practice. D Roti Shak looks the nicest inside. There are barely 3 tables at Rehanah's ... I always do take out there.

                  Hope this helps.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bill_n_opus

                    I totally forgot about D Roti Shak! I've actually been going there for takeout once every couple months. They're ok.

                    Sadly, Taste Nice closed down last summer...

                    1. re: flowbee

                      Strange, their website is still up. However, I just noticed that it says "closed" when you look up their hours. Maybe they're doing mostly catering now ... oh well.

                      1. re: bill_n_opus

                        10+ years ago there used to be a Jamaican restaurant on Broadway a bit east of Cambie that was run by a Chinese-Jamaican. When he closed down, I heard that he switched to catering too but I never saw anything from him, even at Caribbean Days festival in North Van.

                        Around the same time, there was Roti Hut on West 4th, where I first got my taste of Trini roti. I miss it.

                        1. re: flowbee

                          That place on Broadway was great. Best meal I had there was an all-you-can eat jerk crab. And if I remember, it sometimes held dj and dance nights.