Top 3 Cafes in Kingston
Although coffee production is strong in Jamaica, we are not coffee drinkers. The soaring Blue Mountains are home to the world’s best coffee in my opinion. Jamaica has unique soils and growing conditions and techniques that contribute to a distinct taste and a wide variety sold in worldwide markets.
Kingston is seeing an emergence of cafe culture targeting expats and returning residents who are used to popping into a cafe for a cup of joe and a slice of cake or a sandwich in big world cities. Here are three of my favourites and each has free WiFi. You’re welcome.
Cafe Blue, Sovereign Mall
When I returned to Jamaica to live, I spent many languid days here as a freelancer. The cafe is frequented by professionals and professors from nearby universities. I used to call it a rum bar as it can get quite loud with locals discussing the latest headlines in the newspapers. They serve decadent artery clogging pastries like white mocha cheesecake, rum and raisin cheesecake, double chocolate cake. I am a fan of their vegan bread pudding. I usually order it with a hot mocha. I haven’t been to the Sovereign location in a few months and upon my return, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had renovated the space. Lovely lingum vitae wooden tables and benches have replaced the old Formica topped tables.
Rituals, Village Plaza
Not only does Rituals boasts an impressive selection of hot and cold caffeinated drinks, but their food options push the boundaries of what is normally offered at a cafe. Here, you can get sandwiches, bagels, paninis and even pasta dishes. I adore their spiced chai tea. Paired with a plantain tart, it is the perfect mid-afternoon pick me up.
I like the seating options at Rituals, you can sit at a table or cozy up in a big leather chair and watch the world go about their business.
The Cafe at Toyota Showroom
Just above the Toyota showroom’s exclusive Prado collection, is one of Kingston’s best-kept secrets; the cafe. I was hearing some buzz about the cafe’s tasty sandwiches and homemade pastries, so I had to check it out for myself. I was not disappointed. The cafe feels like a different world from the cold engines downstairs. When I visited Sergio Mendez’s bouncy bossa nova classics were streaming through the speakers.
They serve Twyman’s coffee from high up in the Blue Mountains. If you are a coffee connoisseur you know that’s the good stuff. The baristas are from Deaf Can! Coffee, a social enterprise that trains young people with hearing impairments in the coffee business. Don’t worry about not speaking sign language, I wrote my order on a Post It and passed it to the barista.