Coconut-based flavors, spice-ridden soups, and the complete disregard of hard and fast rules when it comes to multi-generational recipes. This is but a glimpse into the culinary world in Belize. It’s unheard of to travel to the Central American gem and not become a foodie by accident. Epicureans already know the drill when they visit. Hit all the local spots, and learn how to make authentic cuisines from the best. But for those travelers who don’t tap into their inner foodie often, here are the best spots in Belize to kickstart the admiration.
What type of foodie (even if in-training) would we be if we didn’t hit up San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s on-site restaurant in Western Belize? Led by a skilled (and passionate) team, Running W Restaurant also boasts open dining, providing stunning views of the jungle. What makes this restaurant so special – apart from frequent visits from resident birds – is its approach to local dishes. Elevating everyday cuisines to their highest flavor-infused potential, Running W features meats from the family’s farm. Choose to have brunch Belizean style, with beans and fry jack, while toucans eye you nearby. Or set up a lovely romantic dinner date and opt for a full four-course meal.
Miss Bertha’s is the embodiment of the online slang “if you know, you know,” for a foodie in Belize. The tamales served at this blink-and-you-miss-it spot on the Hummingbird Highway have finally been getting the popularity it deserves. They say unwrapping a tamale is like unwrapping a gift at Christmas, with the scent of corn, recado, and meat wafting up. Tamales are a specialty in many Latin countries, but they’re mostly a Mestizo dish in Belize.
The process to make tamales is a lengthy one, which makes it an ideal family-style cooking ordeal on Sundays. The tamale recipe at Miss Bertha’s has been passed down from one generation to the next and was even featured in CNN, AFAR, and local productions.
This locally-owned restaurant has been a pillar in San Pedro Town’s community. Back before there were tall buildings, tons of traffic, and even the modern airport, El Fogon reliably catered to the island’s residents. The restaurant was founded in the early 2000s by the Arceo-Eiley family and is now famous for its fire-hearth style of cooking. Located smack-dab in the middle of bustling San Pedro Town, El Fogon is frequented for its fragrantly rich rice-and-beans that never misses. If you want a true Belizean experience while also scarfing down some of the most flavorful cuisines, head to this quaint yet refined restaurant.
While these spots are a great jumping-off point to becoming a serious foodie, you can’t go wrong tasting your way through any place in Belize. All you need is an open mind, and of course, a hungry belly.