Headed to Negril on Jamaica’s western coast? You’re in for great food. Here are the best restaurants and food in Negril, Jamaica, from casual jerk centers to high-end dinners with spectacular sunsets.
Best Restaurants: Negril, Jamaica
Dining in Negril, Jamaica — especially in the low-key West End — is a special experience. With epic sunsets (all the best sunset dining spots, below) and an array of restaurant options in every budget, it is easy to eat well in Negril.
Like any savvy tourist, you’ll want to skip the overpriced or mediocre tourist traps. Instead, check out these vetted, top Negril dining recommendations, from casual jerk centers and curry goat shacks to upscale dining with a view.
If you’d like to cross-reference this Negril restaurant guide, a couple of online travel guides offer their suggestions. See: Frommer’s Best Restaurants in Negril guide and Fodor’s Negril Restaurant Guide.
Finding Where to Eat the Best Food in Negril
When traveling abroad, I shoot for a range of dining experiences. Low-key resort dinner, upscale restaurants with a view, fun beachside cafés? Yes, yes, yes. I also make a point to seek out unassuming, local-approved spots — those small spots on the side of the road that cook regional cuisine really, really well. To miss these is to miss out.
This dining guide to the best restaurants in Negril, Jamaica covers it all. With that, enjoy eating your way around this fun Caribbean destination on Jamaica’s west coast.
Best Restaurants in Negril: High-End With a View
In terms of natural Caribbean beauty, Negril’s landscape has the best of two worlds. One area, Seven Mile Beach, boasts a seemingly limitless expanse of white sand beach on turquoise water. Across the small causeway lined with wooden fishing boats, you’ll find Negril’s stunning volcanic cliff side, with walking paths, restaurants, and hotel rooms built right to the edge of the ocean.
Plus, because it’s the west side of Jamaica, you’re in for some epic sunsets. Dining with a view is a can’t-miss in Negril. Here’s where to go. (Pro tip: Look up the sunset times in advance and plan accordingly.)
1. Rock House Restaurant
Ask any in-the-know tourist or savvy concierge where to go for a dressy, nice dinner in Negril, and 100 percent will recommend the Rock House restaurant. And for good reason. Rock House (part of the low-key luxury Rock House Hotel) is one of the best restaurants in Negril, Jamaica, with excellent and attentive service. The menu ranges from must-get coconut shrimp and lots of fresh seafood to excellent pasta.
Pro tip: Reserve a sunset hour table well in advance and request a cliffside table. Recommendations: coconut shrimp; ackee dip; Old Time Synting; surf, surf & surf; spare ribs; pesto pasta.
2. Tensing Pen
When you’re done inhaling the party scene at tourist institutions like Rick’s, exhale at Tensing Pen. This quiet, award-winning resort enclave features an open-air restaurant with one of the best dining views in Jamaica.
The food may be a little hit or miss, but the spectacular setting feels far away from the tourist scene — you can actually hear the waves crashing against the volcanic rock walls as you dine.
Pro tip: Snag a sunset reservation time. For a special meal, Tensing Pen also offers private dining in a thatched gazebo abutting the ocean. You may get a little splashed at high tide, but in a fun way.
3. The Caves
This small, all-inclusive resort is a favorite among well-heeled travelers looking for privacy and peace. Non-guests cannot take advantage of the regionally-focused dining options, though, with one important exception: the private dining cave. The Caves offers a romantic, five-course private dinner set in an actual oceanfront cave. The price at time of publication is $175 per person, plus gratuity.
Ivan’s is a popular restaurant on the Catch a Falling Star resort property. With killer ocean and lighthouse views, generous afternoon drink specials, and a lively vibe, dinner here is always a fun time. Attire ranges from shorts and t-shirts to elegant sundresses and heels. Ivan’s also has private dining options.
Where to Eat in Negril, Jamaica: Best Casual Dining
The best restaurants in Negril, Jamaica don’t have to be fancy or pricey, though. Quite the opposite! Some of the best places to eat in Negril are found in roadside jerk centers and open-air barbecue stands. Here are the essential spots.
1. Kool Vybes
Hands-down my favorite casual food in Negril, Jamaica — as long as you have patience. (Seriously. I actually wondered if they killed and plucked the chickens to order.) Aside from the slow pace and hours that may not be exactly as posted, this place is awesome. Jerk chicken arrives hot, well-seasoned, and ready to be slathered in their chunky, please-can-I-get-the-recipe jerk sauce, plus sides.
Pro tip: Do not overlook the sides. The pineapple coleslaw is sweet and crunchy. The bammy tastes crisp and non-greasy, and the festival is a true feast.
2. Murphy’s West End Restaurant
Seafood is the move at Murphy’s, and a top recommendation for where to eat seafood in Negril’s West End. Don’t let the humble setting fool you. Murphy’s knows what it’s doing. Each meal includes two sides. If you plan to get grilled lobster — a local specialty — this is a place to do it.
3. Best in the West
Best in the West is a very good description for this jerk chicken center on the non-beach (i.e., roadside) side of Seven Mile Beach. Jerk chicken, grilled seafood like lobster and shrimp, and tall pots of conch soup all share space cooking on big drum grills. The prices are fair, and the atmosphere casual and fun. All meals include rice and peas or bread and peas.
4. Miss Lily’s
Miss Lily’s is a best restaurant in Negril, Jamaica, and certainly one of the best places for food in Negril when it comes do eating on Seven Mile Beach. Miss Lily’s offers all-day beachfront eating. Guests can settle into a veranda table, or snag complimentary lounge chairs on the beach and order food right there with toes in the sand.
With excellent juices, regional fare like jerk chicken, festival, and snapper — plus a tasty cheeseburger — diners will leave satisfied.
Pro tips: Miss Lily’s offers a great $10 breakfast special. If you want a lounge chair, try to arrive before noon.
(New Yorkers, your double take is correct. You may have eaten at the Miss Lily’s East Village location. This is the original outpost. Perhaps inevitably, there’s also now a location in Dubai.)
Looking forward to trying some of these next month. All the best and thanks.
Thank you for the good info! Am going for spring break this year.