A taste of Italy in Negril – Restaurant review: Kenny’s Italian Café – Negril, Jamaica

Around two weeks in to my stay in Negril, Jamaica, I’d munched my way through most of the popular local dishes (conch and chicken foot aside!), but I was yet to find any restaurants specialising in different regional cuisines.

I searched on Tripadvisor for restaurants in Negril serving cuisines other than Jamaican, and I came across Kenny’s Italian Café. Situated on Norman Manley Boulevard, a long road leading from Negril town to the famous 7-mile beach, The Italian Café (as it’s otherwise known) is built within a white wooden hut with an open front.

Photo copyrighted to The Italian Café

As the name would suggest, The Italian Café serves Italian food. However, with an impressive menu, fully equipped bar and plenty of dining space both inside and outside, it’s definitely more of a restaurant than a cafe.

Photo copyrighted to The Italian Café

Outside, the dining area is cosily lit by wooden lanterns matching those at the entrance to the restaurant. The garden also boats several cabanas that are available for reservation.

In the evenings, The Italian Café offers a range of entertainment including live DJs, house music and unlimited drinks promotions.

The menu includes traditional starters, freshly made pizza, pasta, meat and poultry, seafood and salads, in addition to side orders. Prices at The Italian Café are slightly higher than smaller restaurants in Negril, although as the only restaurant in town that specialises in Italian food (pizza take-out aside) this is perhaps justifiable.

We visited the Italian Café for dinner one evening. To start, we shared garlic bread and cheese (approx. $5). This consisted of a crusty white baguette, sliced and topped with garlic butter and melted cheese. The portion size was a little disappointing; in the UK, we’re just so used to sharing a whole baguette. The bread was a little on the hard side and the cheese had been left to melt under the grill for too long, as it vegan to harden and was a little burnt in places. 
After all the fried chicken I’d been eating recently, pizza seemed too sinful an option and so I opted for pasta, eventually settling for spaghetti carbonara ($10-12 approx). This is one of my favourite pasta dishes and one that I make myself at home a lot. This was perhaps the best spaghetti carbonara I’ve ever tasted, my mum’s aside. The sauce was creamy and the balance of cheese was just right, while the smoked ham was of a high quality. The dish was sprinkled with freshly chopped basil and the waitress brought grated parmigiano regianno cheese to the table for us.   
My guest wanted to order a seafood pasta dish but he didn’t fancy anything on the menu and wanted something simple, so the waitress recommended escovitch fish with spaghetti in a tomato and basil sauce. This looked very appetising, with fresh home made sauce and chunks of fish, sprinkled with fresh basil. At around $14, this wasn’t the cheapest dish we’d ordered in Negril but you usually expect to pay a little more for seafood. 
The Italian Café also serves dessert, but feeling pretty full up on pasta we gave this a miss. 
As The Italian Café was one of only two places in Negril that served freshly made pizza (as far as I could see!), I also ordered several takeaway pizzas from here. Although delivery isn’t available, you can call the café to order your pizza in advance, which is pretty handy if you’re heading back to your apartment after a day at the beach. 

Each pizza was made using fresh dough and hand-stretched to form a tasty, thin base that was always laden with toppings. Pictured below is the traditional Hawaiian pizza, topped with squares of ham, chunks of pineapple and extra mozzarella cheese (apologies again for picture quality – lighting wasn’t great!)

The Italian Café also offers the option to ‘create your own’ pizza. I tried out chicken and ham as a topping, but I think I could’ve done with some sweetcorn or peppers too. Still, it was a lovely pizza!

I highly recommend a visit to The Italian Café while staying in Negril, whether you fancy a light bite for lunch or a more sophisticated evening meal. It makes for a refreshing choice of restaurant when you’ve been eating a lot of Jamaican cuisine and you fancy something different to eat.

Kenny’s Italian Café
Norman Manley Boulevard
(1 876) 957-4032


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