Bakersfield Restaurant Named Best Place for Jamaican Food in California


Yelp, a participatory review company, said Barrington’s Jamaican Cuisine in Bakersfield, Calif., Was the best Jamaican cuisine restaurant in the state. Yelp compiled a list of Jamaican restaurants in the United States and then picked the best in each state based on customer reviews. Yelp used several factors to determine the best Jamaican restaurant in each state, including total volume and reviewer ratings among restaurants marked on Yelp as of April 2, 2021.

Barrington’s Jamaican Kitchen is owned by Jamaican-born chef Barrington Lewis, who has always loved sharing his food with others. Lewis was born in Morant Bay, Jamaica, and learned his cooking skills by watching others, like his stepmother, Miss Letty. He has polished his cooking in various programs including the Jamaican Boy Scouts and the Combined Cadet Force. In high school he was a top athlete in the triple jump and his prowess earned him a scholarship to Bakersfield College in 1983. In 1984 Lewis took second place at the Olympic Trials and received a full scholarship to the State of Oregon in 1985. He was inducted into the Bakersfield College Hall of Fame in 1991 and eventually became a track coach at West High School in 2007.

Jamaican Cuisine is dedicated to serving authentic Jamaican cuisine “in the heart of Kern County,” according to its website. There is no other place in the area where diners can enjoy true Jamaican cuisine “at the speed of fast food,” Lewis noted. Some of its iconic dishes include jerk chicken, chicken curry, goat curry, beef patties, and oxtails.

In addition to his authentic Jamaican dishes, Lewis also focuses on his diners. He loves people, the stories they tell him and the impact it can have on their lives. He enjoys learning more about the life of his customers in restaurants and he loves to see the smiles on their faces when they taste his food.

Lewis has resided 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 a son.

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