Houseboat Grill

The Must-Dine Place in Montego Bay

Ding-ding! The cheery call of the bell alerts the ferryman that guests have arrived at the Houseboat Grill for one of Montego Bay’s most unique dining experiences.

With a big push, he sends a small floating bridge our way, then jumps on for the 10-foot ride to shore. We board and after another ting of the bell and big push by the ferryman, we’re on our way back to the boat.

Jamaica-Food-Houseboat-Grill-Restaurant-Montego-Bay-2The Houseboat Grill really is a houseboat, moored in Montego Bay’s Marine Park Fish Sanctuary. Snook and tarpon swim and nose their way around the boat, which gently sways with the rise and fall of the water.

The soft lighting, quiet setting, and the lights of Montego Bay twinkling across the hills in the background make this one of the most romantic restaurants we’ve seen in Jamaica. But leave your high heels at home, girls, unless you want to get them stuck in the floorboards.

Naturally, seafood is a specialty, and if you order the lobster, you can choose your own from the glass-top tank set in the dining room floor.

Call early to get your reservation if you want to get a table on the moon deck. And don’t be in any rush to leave. The pub up-top is the place to be for a post-dinner cognac. Sit back and imagine what this boat was like in the days when Steve McQueen lived on it while filming Papillion. He’s not the only star to tread these boards: Spike Lee and “Fergie,” the Duchess of York have dined aboard as well.

Ding-ding, the ferryman announces another crew of happy diners about to arrive. We notice it’s a group of young women all dressed up like Carrie Bradshaw and her friends from New York. I guess they didn’t get our note about the heels. Walk carefully, girls.



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