Kingston

Entertainment

Kingston has Jamaica's most authentic and exciting entertainment offering. From bars and night clubs to weekly street street dances, theatre, poetry readings, comedy and dance, if it's culture you crave, look no further.

Kingston is the heartbeat of Jamaica; it drives the island's cultural and economic pulse. While Jamaica's major tourist centers of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril are a surreal world straddling a party paradise inside walled all-inclusive resorts and a meager existence outside, where locals hustle just to get by, Kingston is refreshing for its raw, real character.

Many Jamaicans love a good party or "session" as they call it, and Kingston has the most consistent and varied nightlife to support partygoers and dance enthusiasts. Don't be alarmed should someone approach to within intimate distance for what is known as a slow "whine" in a club or at a street dance. But it's not just "whining "that Kingston offers. While still less than cosmopolitan in terms of its entertainment offering (you won't find an opera house), the city does support a wide array of cultural and artistic forms from modern dance to art and theater. Of course music touches everybody, and Kingston's nightclubs deliver a raw celebration of music on dance floors and in the streets.

There's no need to hurry in Jamaica, as everything inevitably starts late--certainly true for nightlife. Family-oriented and cultural entertainment generally starts earlier in the evenings, between 7 and 10 p.m. Few people go out to a nightclub before midnight, and clubs don't typically fill up until 2 or 3 a.m. Street dances start particularly late and can be quite boring until a sizeable crowd gathers and people start showing off their moves amidst pan-chicken vendors, enormous speakers, wafting ganja smoke, and a rising sun. Expensive all-inclusive parties maintain an exclusive crowd with ticket prices in the range of US$100. These parties have become quite popular, with the Frenchman's parties at the vanguard of Kingston high society chic for its food and select crowd. UWI and University of Technology campuses host parties somewhat regularly.

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Pepper's Lounge & Gril

Peppers (Tues–Sun 6:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.) is more a draw for its bar, often lively with booming dancehall, than for its food.

 

 

In: Bars

Cuddy'z Sports Bar and Restaurant

Owned by the famous Courtney A. Walsh (former international cricketer), Cuddy’z is a high-tech sports bar with over 55 big screens. The restaurant/bar is a great hang-out spot, with its unique list of sports themed dishes and drinks. 

In: Bars, Food

Triple Century Sports Bar and Restaurant

The Chris Gayle (Jamaican cricketer and former captain of the West Indies test side) owned sports bar and restaurant is one of Kingston’s favorite hang-out spots, opeing hours (Mon - Wed: 11:00 am - 12:00 am, Thu - Sat: 11:00 am - 2:00 am, Sun: 4:00 pm - 12:00 am)

In: Bars, Food

Skyline Levels

The childhood home of up-and-coming reggae acts Kelissa and Keznamdi whose roots reggae parents toured Africa and the world, Levels hosts occasional concerts, typically featuring representatives of the contemporary conscious revival, like Chronixx and Jesse Royal, to name a few. Kelissa and Kesnamdi also perform on their turf frequently, normally in conjunction with an invited guest artist. 

In: Live Music

Kingston Dub Club

What began as an informal gathering of "bredren" devotees of roots reggae and dub, preferably that emanating from vinyl, has developed into Kingston's weekly pilgrammage to Skyline Drive, where the home of Rockers Sound System torch bearer Gabre Selassie is transformed into Kingston's preeminent culture yard. The tiered hillside fills with a motley mix of old school rastas, young hipsters and flag-waving disciples, all gathered to relish the fresh and ancient sounds mixed together by the host and his endless entourage of guest selectors.

In: Nightclubs

Cru Bar & Kitchen

Cru Bar & Kitchen (Tues-Fri. 4:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Sat, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.), owned and operated by Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ), one of the island's leading food and beverage importers and distributors, opened in 2013, quickly becoming a go-to hangout for young professionals who stop by the rooftop watering hole in droves on their way home from work. Especially popular on Friday evenings, Cru boasts a smart, modern ambiance with premium drinks, wines from the CPJ portfolio and finger food to tie you over till dinner. 

In: Bars

Wickie Wackie Beach

Wickie Wackie is a live music venue that pulls many of Jamaica's up-and-coming artists for live music. The venue is located on the beach in Bull Bay making for vibesy confluence of crashing waves and sea breeze to help mute the booming bass and thick ganja smoke wafting late into the night.

In: Live Music

Fisherman's Cabin

Fisherman’s Cabin (4 p.m.–midnight Mon.–Wed., 10 a.m.–2 a.m. Thurs.–Sun., US$7–14) has tables right on a dock overlooking the harbor down in a corner by Port Royal Square.

The whole of Port Royal is a popular weekend outing destination for Kingstonians who come seeking the fish, lobster, and seafood platters.

In: Seafood, Bars

Ribbiz Ultra Lounge

Ribbiz (11:30 a.m.–midnight daily, US$5.50–24), inside the gaming lounge of Acropolis, specializes in Jamaican dishes like oxtail, peppered shrimp, and fish and bammy. International food is also served, including rack of lamb, ribs, eight- and 16-ounce steaks, burgers, and club sandwiches. Ambrosia has a casino vibe, with gaming machines ringing loudly in the arcade next door adding to the din of the restaurant and bar.

In: Bars

Jamaica Hash House Harriers

Jamaica Hash House Harriers is a running group better known as "a drinking club with a running problem" or "the world's largest disorganization." The club welcomes visiting runners and drinkers to join the pack. Contact Emile Finlay. Hash runs take place approximately every two weeks, usually on a Sunday, with occasional holiday hikes and runs scheduled as well.

In: Nightclubs