5 Jamaican Restaurants to Try During ByBlacks Restaurant Week

From infectious music and catchy dance moves to amazing accomplishments in the fields of sports, politics, and business, the island of Jamaica and its descendants have become an important part of global history.

One thing that Jamaica is consistently praised for is its cuisine. Often described as some of the most flavourful in the world, Jamaican food has become an iconic representation of the country’s cultural identity.

With COVID-19, disruptive construction, worldwide inflation, adapting to new ways of serving customers, and overall burn-out, many Jamaican restaurants in Canada are struggling to keep afloat. These unique challenges have forced all to drastically pivot their operations, and many to shut down altogether.

But with national events like ByBlacks Restaurant Week (BRW) leading the way in highlighting and promoting Black-owned restaurants in Canada, these Jamaican businesses are able to reach new customers and generate much-needed traffic.

Running from May 15 to May 21, BRW 2023 Spring Edition (SE) is a week-long celebration of Black-Canadian cuisine, where restaurants take centre-stage and the vibrant community of Black culinary talent is recognized, including many Jamaican favourites.

With approximately 60% of the restaurants participating being Jamaican-owned, here are five Jamaican restaurants to support during BRW 2023 SE.

Brawta Jamaican Jerk Joint

1567 Grafton St, Halifax, NS

Brawta Jamaican Jerk Joint is a popular restaurant located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in authentic Jamaican cuisine. Their menu offers a wide variety of dishes, from classic Jamaican jerk chicken and pork to vegetarian options like the Ital stew and vegan patties. The restaurant prides itself on bringing the best dining experience. Brawta Jamaican Jerk Joint is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an authentic taste of Jamaica in Halifax.

Follow Brawta on Instagram.

Calabash Bistro

428 Carrall St., Vancouver, British Columbia

Calabash Bistro, is a vibrant Caribbean-inspired restaurant located in the heart of Vancouver, where you can eat, drink, dance, and listen to music. What a winning combination! With their selection of mouth-watering upscale cuisine and selection of delicious cocktails, it’s no wonder they are the most awarded Caribbean venue in Vancouver. Calabash Bistro is a must-visit restaurant during ByBlacks Black Restaurant Week 2023.

Follow Calabash Bistro on Instagram.

Ethan Chill Spot

1727 Eglinton West, Toronto, Ontario

Located in the renowned Little Jamaica neighbourhood, Ethan Chill Spot is a restaurant that serves classic Jamaican dishes with fresh ingredients and the seasonings and spices we all love. With a commitment to quality, and affordability, Ethan Chill spot creates a familial atmosphere making it a popular spot for both dine-in and takeout customers.

Follow Ethan Chill Spot on Instagram.


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Rap’s Restaurant

1541A Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, Ontario,

Offering a taste of Jamaica any time of day, Rap’s Restaurant has been serving the Toronto area for the last 40 years! With dishes like oxtail dinners and 10-inch jerk chicken subs, Rap’s remains passionate, and innovative and is committed to serving their community

Follow Rap’s Restaurant on Instagram.


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Simply Irie Caribbean Cuisine

1510 6 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta

Simply Irie Caribbean Cuisine offers a unique taste of the

Caribbean with their flavourful dishes. Their menu features a variety of dishes

that include jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, and other beloved traditional

Caribbean dishes. Simply Irie pride themselves on their commitment to providing high-quality food and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Follow Simply Irie on Instagram.


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Celebrate the vibrant and enduring impact of Jamaican cuisine on Canada and countries around the world by visiting one (or several) near you.

Check out the full BRW 2023 SE list of participating restaurants, and be intentional. Eat Black Food.

Official sponsor, the Black Opportunity Fund. Powered by the Black Business & Professional Association, Black Business Association of British Columbia and Black Business Initiative.

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