Judging Restaurants – Best Jamaican Food?


I was at Big Bear this weekend and someone mentioned that Naby’s Island Restaurant, located at 1128 H Street, NE, has some of the best Jamaican food in town. I, of course, am a huge Sweet Mango Cafe fan. Then as I was walking back up Georgia Ave. I spotted Negril’s Eatery located at 2301 Georgia Ave., NW.


So first are there any fans of these two spots? Secondly, where’s your favorite Jamaican spot in town?

27 Comment

  • Sweet mango has the best jerk chicken in town. Royal Crown Bakery on Georgia Ave has good roti if you get it fresh.

  • I’m dying to know too… I was disappointed with sweet mango’s chicken… It was hot, spicy like Jamaica, but the “white meat” I ordered was mostly bones and inedible parts… and like typical Jamaicans it took almost 30 minutes for the food to be ready… Disappointing because my husband and I are huge Jamaican food fans and we haven’t food the best jerk yet…

  • Jam Duong Style on North Capital does nice jerk chicken.

  • I love Tropicana for some great Jamaican “fast” food. There are some great Carribean and African places in the upper reaches of GA Ave DC.

  • Crown Bakery is the best…RUDE BOY…

  • The best Jamaican I’ve had was at a little roadside dive in Lanham called Just Jerk. Huge portions and the people are really cool, but slow like most Jamaican places. But they’ll torque up the heat to toxic levels if you tell them to. Just make sure you’re wearing your asbestos Underoos.

    In DC, Tropicana is tastiest I’ve had.

  • Tropicana is the best, but watch out if you’re white. Depending on who is working when you come in, you will definitely wait for a very long time, watching others come in and get their food promptly. However, if you are ok with the mild racism, they are the best (and they take credit cards and have no minimum!)

  • Tried Naby’s Island once and had the jerk shrimp. I asked for it hot, and BOY was it HOT! It’s pretty utilitarian on the inside, but they do have a liquor license so you can get a Red Stripe or rum punch to go with dinner.

  • Sweet Mango is the best I’ve had in DC. The jerk is top-notch but the brown stew chicken is the real treat

  • Caribbean Feast, Rockville, has the best jerked pork i’ve ever had, as well as some killer sweet potatoes and creamed spinach to go with it. There’s a little Jamaican place at Riggs Road and Chillum Road, Junction International Market, that has some great beef patties and ackee and saltfish.

  • I have only been to Negril so I cannot compare to these other spots mentioned. But Negril is awesome. The jerk chicken sandwich is smoky, spicy and ample. Other stuff is good too, and the price is reasonable.

  • One great thing about Negril is the jerk chicken sandwich. It’s a pretty big sandwich and is dirt-cheap. Really really good.

    Also, I’ve only been to the Negril in Silver Spring and can’t speak for the one @ Howard.

  • The best carryout is Spicy Delight near the Takoma Park metro stop. The fish will put you in orbit. The jerk chicken and ox tails are superb.

  • Tropicana is excellent, my white wife to pick up the food sometimes, and they are just SLOW. I am not white and I have seen white people cone in and get their food before me. The trick is to call ahead then pick the food up. I am not sure who is slower ” Nancy Regan trying to speak about Ronnie or the cook at Tropicana.
    RUDE BOY!!

  • Big fan of Sweet Mango. Jerk chicken, beef patties, and fried plantains all super tasty.

  • Huge fan of Naby’s ! My own favorite is the brown stew chicken with a grapefuit Ting. On Saturdays, they have the ackee with saltfish that appeals to my partner.

  • Speaking as a Jamaican, I don’t think many of you know when you are getting good jerk chicken or something out of a jar (Tropicana). The seasoning you put into Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork are only half of the process. While I am sure no one locally uses Pimento wood when cooking, pimento wood is what gives the chicken or pork that authentic taste. From my experience, I would say Sweet Mango does the best job, even though they cook the chicken on a fire grill. I will however try some of the other places mentioned in this forum.

    Also, if anyone decides to visit Montego Bay, Jamaica this summer (or whenever), slip your bus driver a $10 and ask him to take you by Scotchie’s for some Jerk Pork.

  • Another yardie here. The best Jamaican food? Pimento Grill over on Bowen Road in S.E. Jerk salmon and tilapia are out of this world. In DC proper, Tropicana in Silver Spring or Florida Ave. Negril is watered down Jamaican food – no flavour. FYI to Anon at 12:45, Crown Bakery is great but it’s Trinidadian food not Jamaican.

  • Caribbean Best on H Street NE below Rose Dream Lounge is the best by far, bar none in the area that i’ve had. Thier curry chicken and jerk is outstanding, not to spicey or salty, with all the carribbean sides is the bomb. That’s why Tropicania couldn’t cut in the Atlas District. Of course there’s 3 other jamaican food joints around here but who’s counting.

    I really did Roti, although you Yardie purest wil argue that Roti is not Jamacian. Let just say Caribbean food and leave it at that. Rita’s on Georgia use to do a good job with their’s, i’ll have to try Crown Bakery.

  • I’m a huge Naby’s Island fan. Their jerk shrimp and curried goat are top notch, and their Saturday ackee and saltfish offering is worth waiting the other six days in the week for.

  • Thanks everyone, in a rub a dub style! I will try some of the resturants that each of you recommended

  • Gotta agree with the Caribbean Best recommendation – I live next to Sweet Mango and work near Caribbean Best, and Caribbean Best is my favorite of the two.

  • Just went to Sweet Mango and really wanted to like it. Got the goat curry. Spicy but fatty. Also tried jerk chicken. Tender but also a little too fatty for my blood. It is a HUGE place that could have a lot going on but for a Sunday at noon a little lonely.


    I have Pimento Grill’s Jerk Talapia in my mouth and Jerk Chicken in my belly. All I can say is WOW. Got a chance to speak to the owner who explained to me how he makes his authentic seasoning (Nuh worry Gary, your secrets are safe). Like we say back a yard… ah di real ting dis (for you yankees, that means this is the real thing). Little bit out of the way, but they have a good thing going. It’s going to be a trek for me coming from NW, but I will happily take the drive. Good food man.

    I’ll try Naby’s next, then Caribbean Best.

  • Its a little spot called Adrene’s on 4th & Kennedy Street. Luv, luv, luv the food. They have everything that Sweet Mango, Tropicana & Negril has @ a more reasonable price.

  • Tried 3 dishes at Naby’s… I’ll need to give them another try before I write them off totally. They were all BAD. Like I said, maybe they were having a bad morning, but I’ll give them another try before I provide an opinion.

  • Pimonto Grill’s the best in DC. Worth the trip across the river for the curried goat and jerk chicken. Ridiculously cheap considering there’s a ton of flavor here.


Comments are closed.