Yelp, a crowd-sourced reviews company, named Barrington’s Jamaican Kitchen in Bakersfield, Calif. The best Jamaican restaurant in the state. Yelp compiled a list of Jamaican restaurants in the United States and then selected the best in each state based on customer reviews. Yelp used several factors to determine the best Jamaican restaurant in each state, including the total volume and ratings of the reviews among the restaurants marked as open on Yelp April 2, 2021.
Barrington’s Jamaican cuisine is owned by Jamaican-born chef Barrington Lewis, who has always loved sharing his food with others. Born in Morant Bay, Jamaica, Lewis learned his cooking skills by watching others, like his stepmother, Miss Letty. He honed his cuisine in various programs including the Jamaican Boy Scouts and the Combined Cadet Force. He was a top triple jump athlete in high school, and his skills earned him a 1983 scholarship to Bakersfield College. In 1984 Lewis finished runner-up in the Olympic Tryouts and was awarded a full scholarship to the State of Oregon in 1985.
Jamaican Cuisine is dedicated to serving authentic Jamaican cuisine “in the heart of Kern County,” according to their website. There’s no other place in the area where diners can enjoy true Jamaican cuisine “at the speed of fast food,” noted Lewis. Some of its typical menu items include jerk chicken, curry chicken, curry goat, beef patties, and oxtails.
In addition to his authentic Jamaican dishes, Lewis also focuses on his guests. He loves people, the stories they tell him and the impact he can have on their lives. He enjoys learning about his customers’ restaurant life and he loves to see the smiles on their faces when they try his food.
Lewis has lived in Bakersfield for 34 years. His wife, Chaunta Pierce Lewis, is a tax professional and her financial acumen has been critical to the restaurant’s success, he said. The couple have two daughters and one son.