Reggae Shack Café is home to the best, freshest Jamaican food you will ever put in your mouth. Yes, it’s a big claim, but one we are confident in making.
The restaurant is just a short walk from campus, making it a favorite for families, frat boys and vegans, alike. All of the employees really know their Caribbean cuisine and they’re happy to give recommendations for those of us who aren’t well versed in oxtail or jerk tofu.
What’s “jerk,” you ask? Think spicy meets salty, AKA a flavor explosion in your mouth. Traditionally, this seasoning and sauce was used on chicken and pork. If you’re not into meat, the biggest benefits to eating at this joint are their extensive vegetarian options, like curry tempeh and VEGAN steak (which is the most delicious oxymoron we’ve ever tasted). The jerk veggie burger, a fan favorite, is fairly spicy and substantial enough to make even the burliest of men full.
Jamaican food is already pretty unique in and of itself, but what makes the Shack even more special is their selection of meats. We couldn’t claim to have had oxtail until trying their signature dish that is so jam packed with herbs and spices that it would make a true Jamaican feel right at home. Just as spectacular and daring are their curry goat and salt fish dishes. Whether you stick with traditional offerings or prefer curry simmered goat and spinach sautéed fish, there is truly something for everyone.
Another fan favorite is the classic “dutty” french fries which have salty and sweet seasoning on them. If you like cinnamon sugar and salt and, lets be honest, we all love fries, then order the jerk chicken sandwich and enjoy a side of these babies. With such an extensive menu, it can be difficult to choose just one item. Come hungry, and visit often.
The atmosphere makes it a great place to eat and chat with friends. The menu is extensive, and best eaten with lots of adventurous folks.
For those of you who still aren’t convinced, here’s one last selling point: the owner’s wife makes their vegan desserts daily just for their fabulous customers and, yes, they do have vegan carrot cake and vegan cheesecake.
Location: 619 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun 11am-10pm