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Jamaican Street Food
Dishes To Keep You Energized On-The-Go

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Jamaican Street Food Vendor | Jamaican Street Food Vendor | "Jerky" Jerk Chicken

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Street vending is widespread across the island and is a full-time job for many Jamaicans. As you walk down the street in rural communities and urban cities, you will find Jamaican street food vendors with their little stalls and stable set up displaying their foods.


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Some may have a pot over some hot coal, others may have their jerk pans or hot dog stands out.

There is so much to discover as you stroll down the various streets in Jamaica, some specific to the region you are in. Here are some of the most common street foods.

Soup

This is definitely one of those street foods that you can find right throughout the day, from early mornings to late at night. Some of the most common soups are chicken foot soup, pumpkin soup, cow skin soup, red peas soup and conch soup.

Not as common, but you will run into now and then, is the Rastaman's Ital Sip and peanut soups.

Watch Video! Jamaican Street Food Soup Vendor (Soupy)

Meet Uncle Joe, who has been feeding workers in the BPO industry (literally, with Jamaican porridge and soups in the mornings) for over 20 years in Jamaica

Porridge

Jamaican Street Food Vendor | Roadside Porridge ManJamaican Street Food Vendor | Roadside Porridge Man

One of the most popular on-the-go breakfasts for both adults heading to work or children heading to school. It's quite common to find them at school gates, in bus parks, town squares and even outside large office buildings. Cornmeal and hominy corn are the two most popular kinds of porridge sold by street vendors.

Peppered Shrimp

Jamaican Street Food Vendor | Shrimp In Middle QuartersJamaican Street Food Vendor | Shrimp In Middle Quarters

On the sidewalks, you'll see groups of sellers luring onlookers with bags of vibrantly scarlet, scalding hot, spicy, peppered Jamaican shrimp. Typically, the shrimp is cooked in spiced, salted water with crushed scotch bonnet peppers.

When the shrimp absorbs these flavours, they combine well with the salty and spicy flavours.

Curried Crab

The most well-liked method of preparing Jamaican crab is to curry it. People frequently sell hot curried crabs from large white buckets that have been coloured yellow or orange by the curry on the corners of the street.

They are sold in tiny white plastic bags, whole and completely enclosed in their shell. While some people dislike its overpowering aroma, many people adore its flavour. As a result, many people simply stop each day on their way home from work or school to pick up a bag of curried crab.

Jerk Meats

Jamaican Street Food Vendor | Jerk ChickenJamaican Street Food Vendor | Jerk Chicken

Since jerk is one of the main reasons why jamaica is so well known, it should come as no surprise when you see jerk pans lining the streets daily. Jerk chicken and pork are some of the most popular street foods.

Jerk pork is usually sold by weight in pounds, while the chicken is sold in portions such as ¼ or ½. In recent years jerk chicken back and chicken neck have also joined the street foods list and are a favourite for many because they are quite inexpensive.

Hot Dogs

Jamaican Street Food | Bad Dawg VendorJamaican Street Food | Bad Dawg Vendor

Grilled hotdogs, popularly called bad dogs are another popular street food. You can watch as your hotdog is grilled on spot then, you can request a variety of toppings such as pickles or radish, mayonnaise, cheese, onions, bbq sauce, mustard, ketchup and many more.

Bad Dogs are made from pork in most cases, but chicken options are usually available as well.

Egg Sandwiches

You would probably assume that because eggs are typical breakfast food, egg sandwiches would be popular during the mornings. That’s far from the truth as you won’t spot an egg sandwich vendor rolling up with his loaded cart, no earlier than 6 pm.

These are not just basic egg sandwiches though, they usually have a variety of additions as well, one of the most common being fried ripe plantains.

Fish

Watch Video! LIVE From Blue Lagoon In Portland

As part of our Jamaican South Coast holiday excursion, we decided to stop by the world famous Border to have bammy and fish.

Roast Yam and Saltfish

This once was a popular street food back in the day, but it is not as common as before. Both the yam and saltfish are roasted over open flames and gently scraped. The yam is then split open and a generous amount of butter is then added.

Watch Video! LIVE From Blue Lagoon In Portland

Jermaine, a local roast yam vendor, who among other things, demonstrated the roasting of Yam.

With so many Jamaican street foods to choose from, you will never be hungry on a day out in the town. And when you've tried them all, get a refreshing drink from the sky juice man.

Watch Video! Jamaican Street Vendor | Sky Juice Man

There's nothing more refreshing that a cool Jamaican Sky Juice on a hot day in Jamaica.

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Return to Jamaican Street Vendors from Jamaican Street Food
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References & Sources For Jamaican Street Food

  1. Jamaican Shrimp Dishes & Recipes -Garlic, Curried and Coconut Shrimp!, https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/jamaican_shrimp.html

Jamaican Street Food | Written: July 26th, 2022

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