We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Hit the spot!”
Review of Real Jerk

Real Jerk
Ranked #1,101 of 9,121 Restaurants in Toronto
Cuisines: Caribbean, Jamaican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: East End
Description: We have moved to a new location at Gerrard and Carlaw. The Real Jerk is a cultural icon that burst on to the Toronto food scene in 1984. Most new customers are awestruck by the decor which is inspired by beach restaurants in Jamaica, Trinidad, or Cuba.The restaurant had been at its previous location for 24 years and featured a dramatic facade that drew you in and got you hooked on the signature Jerk dishes. As they say at the Real Jerk "we don't just sell food, we celebrate Caribbean culture". Ed and Lilly Pottinger brought their uniquely Caribbean cuisine and widely popular decor to Queen Street East. It has been a mainstay ever since.If your having a special occasion or simply need wholesome comfort food on a cold winter day, the Real Jerk is the place to be. This 80 seat restaurant is also available for theme parties, movie shoots, and catering special events. Simply call to make a reservation.Come and experience what tens of thousands of Torontonians and tourists have already enjoyed over the years.Everything will be irie....
Reviewed November 26, 2013

Had dinner with a colleague on a Wednesday night. The new location is in a fairly run down little strip mall but the restaurant itself is quite nice. Staff were friendly and the food was perfect. We had Cod Fritters as an appetizer and some Red Stripes to wash it down.

My colleague had Chicken and I had Pork and both were terrific. We were contemplating a steak house or one of the local restaurants located near our hotel when my colleague suggested Real Jerk and I'm so glad he did. It hit the spot perfectly!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Yesguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (113)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

88 - 92 of 113 reviews

Reviewed October 30, 2013

A regular at the Real Jerk since the 1980’s (two locations ago), I was anticipating my first meal at their newest location. Several friends were also eager to try it so I organized a girl’s night out, with thoughts of a recent, not entirely positive, posted review in the back of my mind.
However, I’m pleased to advise that the new location came through with flying colours! The service was efficient and friendly, a bit slow for a few of the famished guests. Chill, and pretend you’re in the Caribbean!
Our server used an iPad device which presumably sends orders to the kitchen in a nanosecond. The new crockery and glassware were noted. Carafes of iced water with lemon were placed on the table along with glasses so we could serve ourselves. The Red Stripe was cold.
Everyone ordered their favourite menu items (jerk pork & chicken, ribs, oxtail, etc.) so there was a variety of plates to check out. Not one person had a negative comment about their meal! Portions seemed to be just enough but if one is ravenous, order an appetizer or two to share, and a main course. Desert, for now, is ice cream only. Prices are slightly higher than at the previous location but the quality makes up for it.
There is parking outside the door or across Carlaw in the mall parking lot. The women’s washroom could use some decoration. There are several areas of the restaurant where one can eat, including the bar area. Full liquor licence and a variety of rums from around the Caribbean are new. A large communal round table can accommodate a party of 12. Large groups will find an automatic 18% service charge added to the bill. One friend commented: ‘The new RJ is bang on!”

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank yyzcanadagal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

If you like Jamaican food, go to the Real Jerk. Located in a small plaza at Carlaw and Gerrard, the outside does no justice to the inside of this nice restaurant.

The service is friendly and quick while the food is very, very good.

If you are in the mood for authentic Jamaican food, this is a place for you.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MaximumVelocity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

I have never been compelled to write a food review before, but my experience tonight was so aggravating that I felt I had to. Like many, I was so to see the original location close and quite excited to hear of this locations reopen. I went here with 8 friends for a birthday.

The evening started out well with a friendly server, however after the orders were placed is when things started to deteriorate. Half an hour passed without any sign of our food. It soon became 45 mins until I finally asked someone about our food. A server came over to inform is that they were putting the ''finishing touches'' on our food. But it was another 10 minutes before the first plates arrived. Out of 8 people, only 3 meals arrived, almost all which were very cold. After another 10 minutes, 2 more plates arrived, leaving 3 people still without food. Getting a little restless, we confined to remain patient, but it took another 5 minutes for the last plates to arrive. At this time, the people who had received their meals first had already completely finished their food. There were no apologizes given as the staff pretended like everything was okay.

When the food is amazing, it can sometimes justify the wait, however most of the food was cold and the jerk chicken which i had been so excited to try was very dry and tasteless. I was more than disappointed at this point. Wanting to just leave, we asked for our bills which had an automatic 18% service charge added to it. As a large group we expected it, but the server failed to mention it to us when we were paying so some people tipped on top. When I remarked to the server that I was a little upset about the experience not because of the service, but the food wait, she turned angry and replied ''what do you expect when you are in a busy restaurant?' I was taken back and did not want to bring up the fact that I currently manage a restaurant that feeds over 250 people at the same time with less than 15 wait for gourmet food. For a place I had such high hopes for, the real jerk ended up being a huge disappointment as 8 peoples' evening wrecked, it is safe to say I will never be back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank DL C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

I really love the food here . the new spot is also so much nicer and cleaner. the jerk chicken and rice are my favorite dishes here, its a fun inexpensive meal. try it its authentic

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank marciag21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Real Jerk also viewed

 

Been to Real Jerk? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing