A little piece of the Caribbean in the College Area, San Diego CA


Do you prefer eating at local ethnic eateries in San Diego as opposed to large impersonal restaurants? Being from the east coast, I am on a mission to search them out. Their numbers have increased in San Diego lately, while more and more people are pursuing the dream of owning their own businesses.

LAYLAH’S is one such place. Owner Lilia and her husband have been thinking about  their own restaurant for many years.

Located at 5712 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area,not far from San Diego State University (SDSU), LAYLAH’S is a little gem, smack dab in the midst of a very non-descript block of store fronts. You can’t possibly miss the colorful signs on the exterior of the building!


When you enter LAYLAH’S, there are 2 rooms. One is a small grocery store on the right, stocked with delicacies, fruits and spices for making authentic Jamaican food.


 On the left is a small sit-down restaurant. Decorated in true Jamaican style with handpainted murals and Reggae music in the background, this was as close to a true “Jamaican” experience as one can get in San Diego. I felt like I had entered a roadside eatery in Negril or Kingston. I must warn you about the hot sauce, 2 bottles on each table….it is HOT………..SSSSSSssssssssssssssssssss


  Wall Mural                                 HOT

The owners are a married couple, and I spoke to Lilia, the wife. The recipes are straight out of Jamaica: Miss Pearly’s jerk chicken, and even patties and bakery items from an authentic Jamaican Bakery in L.A. But kudos to the chefs, Baba and Devon for delivering a truly authentic meal:I had curried goat, rice and beans, fried plantains and vegetables. Prices are very reasonable. I had quite a large meal (they call it Medium) for around $8.

COOKS:Baba and Devon

Jamaican Patties-Meat or Vegetarian!

I love Jamaican food, and this is one of the most authentic meals I have ever had in San Diego. The place was clean and bright, the owners pleasant, the Reggae Music was loud and cheerful and the food outstanding.I will be back.

Come down to Laylah’s in the College Area near SDSU, San Diego, CA for some true Jamaican cuisine. Open until 8 p.m.

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