Pigging out is a huge part of traveling for us. I’m a picky eater so I was worried I’d only be eating rice and beans in Belize, but boy was I wrong! Because of the blend of ethnic groups in Belize, Belizean cuisine features the same mix of flavours and ingredients. A sprinkle of Mexico, a dash of El Savador, a tablespoon of Guatemala, and a few drops of the Caribbeans. Heck, they even had bubble tea! We’ve put together a list of things to eat in Belize without breaking your wallet, and where to find everything.
Know before you go:
- Both Belizean Dollars (BZD) and US Dollars are accepted; the currency conversion is 2BZD = 1USD
- Menus are in BZD; tipping is not mandatory but it’s nice to round up
- Seafood and chicken are a lot more common than beef and pork
- San Pedro = Ambergris Caye
- Caye is pronounced ‘key’, not ‘kay’
- Lobster fest takes places every July
- Rum & coke and Belikin beer are the cheapest boozie options
Cheap local things to eat in Belize
Chocolate. Chocolate everything
We all know that Guatemala produces some of the world’s best chocolates, but did you know Belize’s chocolates are just as good as its neighbour’s? Chocolate was invented by the ancient Maya, who ruled the lands of Guatemala and Belize thousands of years ago. Belizean cacao, or raw chocolate seeds, are of superior quality as most of the cocoa trees here are grown organically.
AJAW Chocolate & Crafts in San Ignacio and Belize Chocolate Company in San Pedro both offer chocolate-making classes and a bunch of legit chocolate goodies. It’s pretty much chocolate heaven for those who love dark chocolate- the real deal. Stock up on cocoa nibs, raw chocolate bars, chocolate teas, and chocolate treats.
These are crunchy open-faced tacos. Do not miss the shrimp tostadas at Pupuseria Salvadoreno in San Pedro. Each order costs 20BZD and comes with 4 delicious tostadas.
One of the most common things to eat in Belize is actually a traditional Salvadoran dish. These are handmade corn tortilla cooked on the grill; with or without beans, meats, and cheese. Load it up with some pickled slaw and hot sauce and you’ve got yourself a delicious quick bite.
The pupusas at Pupuseria Salvadoreno are 2.50BZD each and you can choose from a wide selection of fillings. Another place for pupusas is in San Ignacio at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. For 2BZD each, you can find them at all the food stands.
Lots of restaurants in Vancouver serve chicken quesadillas with sour cream and salsa, but nothing compares to the quesadillas we tasted at the San Ignacio Farmer’s Market. It was so simple- no sour cream, no salsa, no fillings. Just straight up cheese and tortilla, grilled to perfection. We got 2 huge pieces for just 3BZD!
Ceviche with conch, shrimp, or lobster? The choice is yours. Seafood is Belize’s forte, especially on the Cayes. You can find ceviche everywhere but prices vary quite a bit depending on where you go.
The best bang for the buck ceviche is at a beach-front restaurant in San Pedro called ‘Nook’. They have happy hour every day from 5-6:30pm with 50% off cocktails and appies. For 10BZD, their yummy ceviche comes in a huge bowl with freshly fried chips… if you’re lucky, that is. We had fresh chips the first time but they use prepackaged chips on our second visit.
Belize ain’t Jamaica, but Robin’s Kitchen in San Pedro is bomb dot com. I don’t know if Robin’s actually his name but he’s a funny, chatty dude who makes chicken that’s out of this world. There’s no menu- it’s either jerk chicken/fish or curry chicken/fish served with rice and beans, plantains, and coleslaw. Prices are very fair at 14BZD a plate. If there’s smoke from the grill, it’s open. They get super busy, so go early before everything sells out!
The burritos in Belize are massive! Stuffed with beans, rice, and your choice of protein, they’re bigger than your average dinner plate. Our favourite spot is Waruguma in San Pedro, where lobster burritos are 27BZD.
They’re not the big tacos North Americans are accustomed to. Tacos in Belize are more like taquitos. Neri’s Tacos is where all the locals go, and there’s always a line. For 1BZD you get 3 tacos; yes, that cheap! You’ll see locals with stacks of tacos on their plates. Despite it being so busy and a hole-in-the-wall kinda place, the service here is fantastic.
One of the best things to eat in Belize! You can’t leave without trying one. These puffy, deep-fried dough triangles or semi-circles are a Belizean breakfast staple. Some are bite-sized with scrambled eggs on the side; others are as big as your face, stuffed with your choice of fillings.
The best place is a little hut on Caye Caulker: Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks. Fillings include refried beans, ham, cheese, chicken, and eggs. Prices vary from 1.50BZD to 5.00BZD depending on what you add.
Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce
Of all the things to eat in Belize, this habanero sauce is the best. You can get it in the States but if you’re not American, you need to bring some home! They come in a variety of flavours and in all sorts of sizes. We’re carry-on travelers, which means we had to make room for the hot sauce in our liquids bags. The mini bottles are 1.69oz and we were able to Tetris 9 into a quart-sized Ziploc bag. The cheapest place to get these are at the Chinese grocery markets for 2BZD each.
These are our favourite things to eat in Belize! How many have you tried or would like to try?