Eating like a local in Belize – cheap eats and where to find them!

wPigging 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.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize

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.

Tostada

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize - Tostada

shrimp tostadas from Pupuseria Salvadoreno

Pupusas

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize - Pupusa

pupusa (left) and quesdilla (right) at Pupuseria Salvadoreno

Quesadilla

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

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.

Jerk Chicken

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!

Burrito

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize

Taco

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize

Fry Jacks

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 JacksFillings 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.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize

Marie Sharp’s with a fry jack!

These are our favourite things to eat in Belize! How many have you tried or would like to try?

 

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Kollecting Koordinates - Things to eat in Belize

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42 thoughts on “Eating like a local in Belize – cheap eats and where to find them!

  1. I love me some latino foods, but wouldn’t expect to see such a variety in Belize! I’m a massive fan of the jerk chicken, though I’m a bit snobbish (or should I say have exquisite tastes?), I’d love to try the Belizean style and see if it stacks up!

  2. Ummmmmm, so I wasn’t hungry before but I totally am now! I love, love, love tostadas and generally order them the most when I eat at Mexican restaurants. I’ve had Marie Sharps and I’m a fan! I love hot sauce and I collect it/try different types all the time. I need to get my hands on one of those fry jacks someday! What a dream it would be to go to Belize!

    • We’re down to the last few mini bottles of Marie Sharps… I can’t believe how expensive they are in Canada! Might have to make a trip down to the US to stock up

  3. I loved Belize! I usually don’t know what to do with myself at beach destinations, but I had a really lovely time at Caye Caulker. Your post made me hungry! The tacos in Toronto (and Brussels and Rotterdam) are pretty sorry.

  4. Oh wow I am surprised at the array of scrumptious cuisine in Belize myself – I wasn’t expecting such good looking food, to be honest. I would love to try Tostada and those stuffed grilles breads – they look exactly like Indian paranthas. Pigging out is big for me too – not just while traveling but allll the time. Love the food porn here.

    • I gotta say, none of the food there looked visually appealing (except for the ceviche) but they taste otherwise 🙂 Somebody else said the fry jacks remind them of Indian samosas!

  5. Marie Sharps hot sauce sounds like something my husband would love. He tends to seek things like this out wherever we travel. I do like the selection of foods available, they all look delicious.

  6. What a great detailed list of where to eat in Belize – it helps to save a lot of time looking for the best places! The ceviche with fresh chips looks delicious and I would definitely go to Robin’s for the jerk chicken….yummy!

  7. I would like to try them all! Like you, I love to pig out when I travel, though you could probably say I am the least picky eater in the world. I love jerk chicken, pupusas, tacos, tostadas…yes please! And I did not know Belize was known for chocolate, so I’ll have to try that too.

  8. Any trip is more fun when ,you get blended in and become a pseudo local. Chocolate being the cheapest in Belize I am going to head there soon. The food options are just amazing. I hope there are vegetarian options as well that offer the same taste.

  9. Ooh I hadn’t thought about what kind of food Belize would have! I’m heading there later this year and now I can’t wait to get my hands on all of this! The chocolate sounds yummy, and I HAVE to try that lobster burrito!! YUM!

  10. I can’t belief conch fritters and fried plantains didn’t make the list. I had the opportunity to go on caving expeditions twice in Belize. Both times we were home based out of Maya Mountain hotel, just outside of San Ignacio. Every meal was an adventure. We had breakfast with the freshest fruits you could imagine. Lots of watermelon grown by the local Amish, fried plantains and fry jacks with honey. The sent us out with boxed lunches that were really good but dinner was where it was at. The dinner spread, especially after a hard days work in the field, was out of this world. And the best dinner of all – conch fritters. Such good memories.

    • YUM. We lived on a ranch just outside San Ignacio and the while our host there made some mighty good food, conch fritters wasn’t on the menu 🙁 They sound AMAZING though, I wonder if they have it in North America too?

  11. I definitely told you this before, but ANYTHING fried wins my heart. So those fry jacks look delicious! I’m also a huge fan of pupusas and tostadas, I could eat them at least once a day. Belize sounds like a tropical and delicious food paradise!

  12. OMG! I’m definitely not a picky eater like you but with all of those options, how can anyone be?! Everything looks stunning. I’m literally starving after this post. Definitely interested in those tostadas chocolate everything hahaha.

    • I’m biased; I’m Taiwanese so I was so happy seeing Taiwanese influences in Belize 🙂 The two have a good relationship since Belize is one of the few nations that actually recognizes Taiwan as a country!

  13. I didn’t know about the chocolate in Belize, I am a huge fan of chocolate so I missed out when I went. That chocolate cake you are eating looks delicious, my mouth is watering thinking about eating it. From the other foods you have mentioned I’d go for the Fry Jacks, they sound delicious. Fry Jacks for main course and few chocolate cakes for desert please!

  14. Chocolate. Tacos. Rum and coke? Why the hell aren’t I in Belize right now! Thanks for the great article on the many wonderful food options for Belize. I haven’t been yet but had no idea that there was such great variety and so affordable.

  15. The food here looks good. The only place we visited briefly was Caye Caulker and the places we were taken to didn’t have this kind of selection. It was also pretty pricey so these prices definitely make me think I missed out on some good cheap food. We’re planning to visit Belize again so these cheap eats will come in handy for our budget!

  16. I love how affordable all the food is here! The tacos are so cute and mini – often when I travel abroad I notice that the same foods abroad come in much smaller sizes than what we’re used to here in the states. I only had the opportunity to visit Belize for one day many years ago and would love to go back and eat my way through the country like you did!

  17. Ivy, I’m so glad I found your blog — this post is amazing! Those fry jacks look absolutely delicious; I’m salivating right now. I’ve found some great hot sauces in Austin, Texas, but will definitely check out Marie Sharp’s. Thanks also for the helpful tips at the beginning of your post — I always get stressed out about tipping policies, since they’re different in every country, so I appreciate knowing that you can round up in Belize.

  18. Sounds like you had a great time in Belize! I would love to take a chocolate making class! I am slightly addicted to chocolate so I am not so sure a visit to Belize would be great for my health but still looks awesome! I love quesadillas and would love to try tostadas!

  19. I was always under the impression that Belize would be an expensive country to visit… but looks like I was wrong! I’m not the biggest chocolate eater but if they are as good as Guatemala, I guess I’ll give it a taste! If I ever end up in Belize, I’ll be eating my way through the country. I honestly can’t believe how cheap the tacos are… It’s like I’m in heaven!

    Thanks for sharing this and making me really hungry!

  20. Everything looks fabulous! I would love to try some papusas- they look amazing. Ceviche is such a great dish. I would love to try it with lobster. Belize is a country that I would love to visit for its culture, beaches, and of course, the blue hole. Now you have convinced me that it is even more appealing thanks to the great cuisine!

  21. You had me hooked when you mentioned chocolate but it all sounds so good. Would love to try it all one day. Think this is the first time I’ve visited your blog. Love your photos and blog’s design btw. I’ll be back!

  22. Fry Jacks sound so similar to Indian Samosa!!! Even the open faced tacos have an Indian version called Sev Puri. Gotta figure out if there was any connection between Indian & Belize cuisine in the history!!! But anyways, you got at the Chocolates… Everything chocolate? I’m sold!

    • Fry jacks are just the best. And…to the writer above, YES! There are East Indians in Belize – after slavery was abolished, workers (indentured servants) were brought over from India. Belize is a total mash-up of so many different foods – from British to African to Indian.

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