Patties – Jamaican’s Favourite Fast Food

GROWL! It’s lunchtime and you can hear our stomachs all over Jamaica. But what do you do for fast food in a country that’s famous for being laid back and going with the flow? Sure, Burger Kings and KFCs abound, but we’re here to experience the authentic culture—and that means we have to have some patties.

Jamaican patties are not like hamburger patties. They’re like a large pastry with a meat or vegetable filling.

And Jamaicans have strong opinions about who makes the best one. The top two contenders are Tastee and Juici. In the name of research, we set out on a patty-a-thon to determine who deserved the title.

First up was Juici where we got the beef and chicken patties. The vegetarian in our crowd was thrilled to see vegetable and soy patties were on the menu, too.

For comparison we immediately went to Tastee, where we also got beef and chicken patties. The only veggie option was a cheese patty, so we got that as well. After all, this was research.

After several minutes of munching we tallied our votes, and for the meat-eaters in our crowd it was a unanimous win for Tastee. The Tastee pastry was thinner, more golden, and had a crispy-fried, not baked texture. The meat was spicier too.

The veggie gave her vote to the Juici soy patty, saying it had the best flavour of all the veggie-friendly options. But she also agreed the pastry was a bit thick and dry.

As for speed of service, both chains took care of us quickly, so “Jamaican fast food” is not an oxymoron.

Where to find Tastee and Juici locations—just about everywhere!


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