My Favorite Hidden Caribbean Gem in Denver: Jamaican Grill

I’m that person who loves all kinds of restaurants and all kinds of food. So just as much as I enjoy going to a swanky, upscale steakhouse (STK is definitely going to be one of my next posts) — I also love me a little hole in the wall Caribbean place. And Jamaican Grill has been one of my top 3 favorite restaurants in Denver for a long time. I have no idea why I haven’t written about it until now.

It’s a pretty small, unassuming place near 8th & Santa Fe that you’d easily miss in passing. They’ve got a few small tables and booths, a small selection of beer, and somewhat inconsistent hours (closed Sunday/Monday, and also closed sometimes just because) — but the food will make you come back again and again. I promise. (Oh and you get 5% if you pay cash of course.)

When you go to a Jamaican place, there’s only one thing you should be drinking. And yes, I drank all 3 of those myself at lunch — don’t judge. It was hot.

If you’re super hungry (or coming with a group and sharing some mains), you should definitely try the little meat and cheese pattie for $3. It’s basically like a beef and cheese hot pocket, but spicy. And better.

Now for the mains. I always have a VERY hard time deciding what to get here, because I love so many things. Obviously the jerk chicken is awesome, but even if you like spicy food, trust me, get it “medium” — not “hot.” I think that “hot” here is pretty much “ghost pepper hot.”

But if I’m going to get chicken here, I usually go with the “curry chicken” (pictured below). The curry here is just too good, and it makes the chicken so much juicier. And at lunch (11:30am-3pm), you can get either of the chicken dishes (or the brown stew chicken) with sides and a beer for under $9. Rice and beans come with everything, and for your third, always get the plantains.

Now if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, my personal two favorite dishes, which you won’t find anywhere else in Denver, are the “oxtail stew” and the “goat curry.” Both are decadent, melt-in-your-mouth, juicy platters of joy. The goat curry is a little on the spicier side, and it’s my husband’s favorite dish in Denver:

The oxtail is usually my go-to, but you’re going to have to do some work on those bones, so you have to be one of those people ok gnawing on a bone if you order these. (And pro tip: bring floss, because cartilage gets stuck in your teeth pretty easily.)

If you want more proof how much I love this place: I was going to order half the food for my wedding from here, but it was on a Sunday, and Jamaican Grill is closed on Sunday. So I ended up getting it all from my favorite Indian place down in DTC (more to come on that later).