If you are looking for a stylish beachfront eatery with a finger-licking menu and authentic Blue Mountain Coffee, I have found the spot in the coolest corner of Ochi!
If you live or work in the surrounds of Ochi, the Boardwalk Bistro is ideal for when you to get away from it all and avoid the crush of the town. Visitors to Ocho Rios and passengers from the nearby cruise ship pier, will love the warm Jamaican hospitality and beautiful settings without having to hike for hours to get there.
Boardwalk Bistro – Island Village, Ocho Rios
If you haven’t been to Island Village before you are in for a treat! The Boardwalk Bistro is set among the wooden buildings and lush surroundings that make up the beautiful settings of the Island Village complex.
There is a selection of stores, cafe’s, restaurants and entertainment facilities set around a boardwalk that incorporates picturesque natural spring lagoons (seek them out to see the fish), tropical flowers and fruiting trees.
If you look around you, will see that this complex is dreamy and creates the ambiance of an authentic Jamaican village, I love it!
The Boardwalk Bistro, Ocho Rios
The Boardwalk Bistro is nestled at the far end of the shops and a mere 10 steps away from the private sandy beach at Island Village, in Ocho Rios. You can relax and people watch in the shaded alfresco eating area directly on the boardwalk whilst enjoying your meal, or take in some intimate Jamaican ambience by sitting inside the Bistro.
The interior of the Boardwalk Bistro has a warm and inviting, carefully thought out decor. The main feature being a stunningly fluid Jamaican Guango wood counter that wraps around one wall.
The Bistro’s open kitchen is situated in full view of the dining area, so you can watch the chefs in action and take in the sights and smells of the cooking before you get to sample the food. The sea breeze along with the huge extractor and ceiling fans helps to keep this area cool.
Take a moment between mouthfuls of food to admire the sweeping Guango wood counter and the tables and chairs which are smooth and weighty and handcrafted from locally produced Guango and Cedar wood.
Then take in the masks and pictures adorning the walls depicting early Jamaican and African scenes, which are gently lit by the stained glass wall sconces in the evenings.
The beach front location is ideal if you want to leave your older children nearby on the beach, whilst you take in a Blue Mountain Coffee or a Jamaican Red Stripe Beer on the cool and shady boardwalk!
The Menu at the Boardwalk Bistro
The Bistro is a champion of getting the right mix of local and international foods on the menu. So whether you are in the mood for something new, or an old favourite, you are sure to find something to tempt you.
Although you can get plated foods, the Boardwalk Bistro is an advocate of eating with your fingers. They serve many of the foods in paper stuffed into decorative wire racks forming cones, with ramekins for dips on the side. Ideal for finger dipping!
Jamaican Flavours on the Menu
- Breakfast: Jamaican style, served with boiled yam, banana and dumpling
- Jerk Chicken or Pork
- Curried Mutton
- Brown Stew Oxtail
- Snapper (fish)
- Coconut Curried Shrimp
- Salt-Fish Balls
- Rasta Pasta
- Chefs Salad
- Chicken Bites
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Bammy, Rice and Peas, Sweet Potato Fries, Plantain Chips, Johnny Cakes, Festival
International Flavours on the Menu
- Breakfast: English, Continental, Eggs Your Way, Waffles
- Cheese Burger
- Cheese wonton
- Pita Pizzas
- Boardwalk Pitas (filled pita bread)
- White Rice, Potato Wedges
Drinks and Desserts
The Boardwalk Bistro serves a their own brand of 100% Blue Mountain Coffee, the much celebrated ‘Strawberry Hill’ coffee brand, alongside teas and iced coffees. Plus they have a range of smoothies, shakes, juices, soda floats, sodas and water.
If you want something alcoholic they have wine, beers, cocktails and many ways of serving the Jamaican staple Rum! If you have any room left, they also have a small selection of desserts on offer.
My Experience of Eating at the Boardwalk Bistro
I visited the Boardwalk Bistro for a lunch date with a friend and we took residence on one of the much coveted teak tables on the boardwalk overlooking the beach. We were served in good time by a smiling waitress who handed us menus with botanical illustrations of Jamaican fruits and trees on the front, which I absolutely adore (I know I have weird Art crushes!).
We decided to go for finger foods to share, so we selected some Jamaican and International side order options from the menu.
We went for Salt-Fish Balls, Cheese Wontons, Bammy and some Plantain Chips.
As soon as I saw it on the menu I couldn’t resist ordering a Cream Soda Float, which reminded me of my Dad, who used to make them for us as children. It didn’t disappoint and the ice-cream was nice and creamy.
The food was served in paper covered baskets and wire racks, so we took a basket each and filled it with a few of the fried delights and started tasting! Overall the food was really good.
I especially loved the Salt-Fish Balls, which were a perfect mixture of juicy, salty, bouncy, frittery crispy deliciousness and the Plantain Chips, which tasted as though they had dropped straight off the tree to the chopping board. The Cheesy Wontons were suitably crispy and cheesy and gave a little international edge to the other Jamaican side orders.
Despite ordering fried foods which were presented in unforgiving paper packaging, I noted there was a distinct lack of oil on the paper. Which I always use as a good measure of whether the food will be overly greasy and dripping in fat. So full marks to the Chef for achieving the crunch without the grease!
If I had to find one little fault about the whole experience, it would unfortunately be the bammy. Which is one of my all time favourite Jamaican side orders. It was a bit tough, like it hadn’t quite been soaked long enough before it was fried. But non-withstanding we ate most of it anyway!
We were full after eating the food, so I slipped the paper out of the rack with the remaining Plantain Chips (too good to waste!) and took them with me to nibble on whilst wandering around the Island Village shops afterwards… Delicious!
Our meal including drinks, came in at around $1,800 (Jamaican), not including the tip we added. We thought the cost was very reasonable for the ambiance, service and what we ordered. Highly recommended!
Want to Visit the Boardwalk Bistro?
The Boardwalk Bistro can be found in Island Village Plaza, at the far west end of Ocho Rios Town Centre.
There is ample Parking and clean Washrooms located in Island Village Plaza. The Car park, Washrooms and The Boardwalk Bistro are fully accessible by wheel chair users.
If entering the plaza through the car park entrance, you will pass the washrooms (stop first if you want to refresh yourself before finding a table) as you walk through the archway. Immediately turn right and follow the boardwalk towards the sea. The Boardwalk Bistro is the last shop on the right-hand side.
If you are coming from the Cruise Ship Pier, head straight down the street passing Oceans 11 and take the first right across a small bridge to the boardwalk, which leads to the sandy beach. The Boardwalk Bistro is the first shop you pass on the corner, conveniently located directly opposite the beach.
If you are coming through the main entrance, walk past the cinema and down the steps, continue past the water feature, lawn and washrooms and follow the boardwalk towards the sea. The Boardwalk Bistro is the last shop on the right-hand side.
Boardwalk Bistro Address
Shop 1/2 Island Village Plaza, Turtle Towers Road, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
(876) 398-2582 / (876) 384-9578
Maybe I will see you there when I come back!
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