Don’t Be a Jerk… Say Hello to Melbourne’s Best Caribbean Joints

By Clare Acheson
18th Jul 2015

Whether it’s spicy jerk-rubbed chicken, rich and creamy goat curry, or the most delicious rum cocktails we’ve ever sipped from a freshly cut coconut, Melbourne’s food scene is booming with an influx of Caribbean flavours. Hot on the heels of the Mexican and American BBQ takeover we’ve been loving lately, could this be Melbourne’s next food trend? Here’s the tastiest names you should be dropping, including Melbourne’s best Jamaican food, rum bars and all-round Caribbean winners.

Bax Food Co.


Bringing Jamaican flavours to Melbourne’s western suburbs, Bax Food Co. combines a Caribbean restaurant with a food store, where you can pick up everything you need to jerk your own chicken and spice your own rice and peas at home. Run by Roderick Grant, aka. the Boss Man of Jamaican ingredient supplier Boss Man Food, Bax Food Co delivers on flavour, knowledge and vibes. Expect reggae, hot wings and good times.

You should order…

The ackee and saltfish pattie (it’s Jamaica’s national dish, don’t you know!), served with ‘tomato love apple’ sauce, with the sweet potato pudding and rum and raisin ice cream to follow. The rum-heavy cocktail list is worth a look in too—don’t go past the Prince of Darkness.

Bob’s Hot Box


Popping up at Fitzroy’s G&Tea Gin Garden for the foreseeable future, Bob’s Hot Box brings Bax Food Co.’s island flavours to the city’s inner north. With a menu of jerk chicken, corn, goat curry, Cajun slaw and other epic dishes, the Jamaican street food kitchen serves up some of the best Jamaican fodd in Melbourne, Wednesdays through Sundays from 5pm. You know the drinks are the real deal too because they’re spicing their own rum and making their own house ginger beer. Yum.

You should order…

The jerk roast corn and the smokey BBQ pork ribs. Perfectly spiced and grilled to perfection, these are both mouth-watering treats.

Port of Call Saloon Bar And Grill

Melbourne CBD

Headed up by the team behind Richmond bar The Collection, Port of Call combines a Caribbean bar with an epic Caribbean grill that really doesn’t scrimp on options! Serving up saltfish fritters, ribs, jerk chicken, whole grilled fish and one of the best Jamaican curries we’ve had this side of Kingston, the tasty menu marks Port of Call out as one of the best Caribbean restaurants in Melbourne.

You should order…

The curry, which comes with slow-cooked goat or plantain bananas for you vego Listers, alongside rice, peas and Johnny cakes (the most delicious savoury dumplings ever).



Championing a menu of ‘jerk and tings,’ no-frills Melbourne Caribbean canteen Bickle specialises in traditional Caribbean food that’ll have you booking your flights to the sunny islands in no time. Their sweet potato fries are to die for, they serve an epic ackee and saltfish brunch, and the specials board always has something incredible on it (whole fried snapper, hell yes!). These guys get bonus points for serving Red Stripe with just about every meal they serve too. Legends.

You should order…

Whatever the chef recommends, with a Red Stripe to wash it all down.

The Voodoo Jerk Truck


Hidden behind awesome new ‘barcade’ (that’s a video game bar for the uninitiated) Pixel Alley, the Voodoo Jerk Truck smokes, grills and fries some of the tastiest Caribbean food in Melbourne from its backstreet location. You can pop by to try some of their beer-brined jerk chicken, smoked brisket and calypso salad, or order take-away and they’ll deliver it right to you. Ja’maican me hungry, guys!

You should order…

The jerk chicken, obviously, with a side of the Bermuda bread and rum-pickled vegetables.

The Nelson

St Kilda

While rum bar The Nelson isn’t strictly speaking a Caribbean bar, its selection of imported rums might have you thinking differently. Stocking an incredible variety of spirits from Barbados, Jamaica and St. Lucia as well as a host of other favourites, their cocktail list draws inspiration from only the best Caribbean watering holes.

You should order…

The Nelson’s Zombie—Jamaican rum shaken with exotic fruits and a dash of absinthe—or, if you’re paying it safer, the Barbados Wake-up Call, which is a twist on the traditional espresso martini.

Jamaican food not your thing? Check out our round-up of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants in the ‘burbs, the best American BBQ in Melbourne, and Melbourne’s Best Tacos for you Mexican fans.

Image credit: Voodoo Jerk Truck via Facebook

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