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“Perfect carabean spot,”
Review of Real Jerk

Real Jerk
Ranked #1,222 of 8,772 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 April 5, 2014 via mobile

Good atmosphere...! Wow food is amazing and at a good price. The lady at the door is smiling, all good! But the service is terrible but they are smiling at least! Red wine serve at more than 20 degre, you don't want to add ice in burgundy you know! They forgot 1 appetizer that we remind them 2 times! But I didn't came here for a good service anyway! But damn it's slow, very very slow!They are confuse! But I will come back again :)

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Thank Buell07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 73 of 100 reviews

Reviewed February 28, 2014

I've been to Real Jerk twice now, once with family and the other with friends.
The first time I went, we ordered a bunch of items and nick picked each other's dishes just to taste and then later we just went to eating our own dish because everything was tasty haha.
We ordered...Red pea soup (okay, not our favourite because it was lukewarm and not very flavourful. Try it, maybe you will like it.), goat roti (rich, tender and full of flavour; more on the spicy side), jerk pork dinner (yummy, a tad bit burnt but still tasty. Comes with rice & peas and coleslaw), oxtail dinner (with rice & peas and coleslaw; oxtail was tender and loads of flavour), and I order Couby (Coo-by) which is linguine with chicken chunks cooked in a spicy creamy coconut sauce. It was tasty no doubt but nothing authentic; reminds me of an Italian dish.
And we ordered Fried Plantain which was pan fried to a nice golden brown, perfect!
Second time, I went for the Oxtail dinner, couldn't help it :)

Well, I won't complain too much because it is authentic Caribbean cuisine so with that, service is slower than the super fast, quick, 'here you go' service that we are normally used to in Toronto lol If you want flavourful food, you will have a wait a little longer. With that being said, expect 15-20 minutes for your Entrees to be out and about. Appetizers about 10 minutes. All in all, it's worth the wait because you know you're getting delicious tender food. If you're the kind of person who can't wait, maybe have your friend order for you while you're on your way OR just have a snack before you come for authentic Caribbean food! :) By the way, we were served by Troy who was a lovely server, always smiles, with a great sense of humour. It brought back memories of my vacation to Jamaica; the people are what made a trip or in this case food experience, a memorable one. Troy was awesome in offering us some real spicy sauce (not the one on the table) which was so spicy that even just dipping the tip of my knife made my lips burn!
Also, Thursdays they host Irie-okee (Karaoke) around 9:30pm, it really starts at 10:30pm as they wait for people to come in. The host, Carl, was super friendly, just make sure to make song requests because you'll be sure to sing on stage haha! It's super fun!
I think it was Lori-Lynn (sorry if its the wrong name, really trying to remember), she was friendly, attentive always checked up on us to see if we needed anything.

I tried the Jamaican Sunrise, Red Devil, and Cool & Deadly. If you like a nice STRONG drink, then Jamaican sunrise is for you, otherwise, you stick to red devil and cool & deadly. I really liked cool & deadly, it was rum, guava juice and I think ting (grapefruit juice) as well; whatever it was, it was a balanced drink of not too sweet or strong.

Both visits have been positive ones from food and service. Plus its a great location because Gerrard St hardly has any good restaurants until now. The only thing they are missing is........ Sangster's Rum Cream, that would make my night :)

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Thank Vickstor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Read reviews of the real jerk and was really looking forward to it , but found it average.
Went on a Friday night, place was busy but not packed. It took awhile for orders to be taken-seemed to have only one waiter for that entire section. We started with red peas soup-lukewarm and needed pepper. We ordered a combination of dishes -jerk chicken and pork weren't bad, just a little mild, oxtail and curry chicken were ok but the jerked ribs tasted like some sauce on ribs that had not been seasoned.maybe the seasonings were toned down for a North American clientele,but part of the appeal for jerk is that spicy kick !

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Thank pae_cyberdude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Got a chance to go to the NEW Real Jerk in Toronto and was very glad to once again taste their amazing food and drink!
New location is bigger and has parking for about 10 cars. Easy to find and very welcoming as before, even somehow managed to maintain the gritty feel of the place. Like being home!!

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Thank TeeZeeOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Driving home from work ..boy do I feel like a Fried Chicken and Oxtail Dinner with a cold Red Stripe from The Real Jerk. I have been to the new spot once for a friends birthday in December
I only started going to The Real Jerk when they were closing in 2012 and I have been following their story
I think the owner was at the bar having dinner. I ordered my food plus the wifeys and a couple dumpling and patties for the kids. I also ordered a cold red stripe while I waited for my food, the bartender said it was going to be 15-20mins wait so I sat back and enjoyed my beer while watching the basketball game (Lets go Raptors). While waiting I asked the owner how is business he said great and the customers like the new place, he said they were still getting their feet settled but they are back. Anyway long story short, the owner bought me a drink from his rum bar, I'm have never really tried rum on its own but that rum was SMOOTH, I was impress with the selection. I will be back for dinner soon. I did steal one of my kids dumpling on the driving home. My family was happy for the surprise dinner
I also read on twitter about the Christmas Rescue kudos to The Real Jerk

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Thank Sasha and Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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