While in Vancouver recently, I dined at Jamaican Pizza Jerk—an establishment I found on an online directory for Black owned businesses in Vancouver. Jamaican and pizza was a combination I had not heard before, so I knew I had to try it.
Located in East Vancouver, Jamaican Pizza Jerk is a takeout spot with a really chill vibe. There is only one table and a few seats at the counter for you to sit while you wait for your food. It doesn’t seem to take very long for the food to be prepared and some people wait outside, if the weather is nice. The entire kitchen is visible and most dishes are made to order, which is kind of cool to be able to watch as your food is being prepared.
There are a surprising number of options for a restaurant this size. I started off with an order of patty & coco bread. The crust of the patty was perfectly flaky and the meat was well seasoned, although it had a slightly runny consistency. The coco bread was light and fluffy and slightly sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For the main course, there are a bunch of items listed on the menu that can be prepared as a pizza or a bowl. I opted for the Tropical Pizza that included jerk shrimp, mango and coconut flakes on top of ital & irie sauce, a soya cheese mixture, and a homestyle crust. It was a bit outside the range of what I normally put on pizza, and there are some things that sounded healthier than my typical pizza, but it was delicious. The crust was nice and crispy, but still soft enough to enjoy. The combination of jerk shrimp, mango and coconut was fantastic and worked really well with whatever magic is in the ital & irie sauce.
Outside of the starters and pizzas, there are some Jamaican specialties on the menu. I didn’t try any of those, but they sound pretty good and classic Jamaican like curry goat and oxtail (which are only available on certain days) and jerk chicken and roti.
A medium pizza will run you about CAD$22—almost USD$17—which is reasonable for the 8-10 slices that you get. The bowls are a little cheaper at CAD$7.50 to $9.50—USD$5.69 to $7.20. The cost of Starters range from CAD$3.50 to $9.50 or about USD$2.65 to $7.20.
The service was pretty good for a takeout spot. The pizza was made to order, so there was a little bit of a wait time. If you can, I would suggest calling ahead to cut down on the wait. The two chefs were friendly but not super talkative while they were cooking.
I was pretty satisfied with my trip to Jamaican Pizza Jerk. I will have to go back and try some of the other entrée options next time I’m in Vancouver. Make sure you stop by if you’re ever in town.