February 9th is arguably one of the best days of the year: National Pizza Day. If you find yourself craving the pizza while in Belize, there’s one place whose pizza-slinging praises keep being sung. Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge is already the go-to resort when it comes to mixing luxury with jungle feels. Add authentically-made Mediterranean-style pizza to the mix and you’ve got yourself a place both residents and globetrotters can’t get enough of. The Lodge’s Don Tonito’s Restaurant has been fully in operation for just three years but has already garnered a reputation for serving some of the best wood-fired pizza in the region. The open-air pizzeria is the first to greet you when you arrive at Sleeping Giant Lodge. Tucked within the foliage and bamboo at the property, the restaurant was named after the father of one of the lodge’s owners. Its two chefs hail from San Antonio Village and San Ignacio Town who know just how to make the perfect thin crust for that delectable first bite.
Options for all
For pizza lovers, you can’t go wrong with good ’ol pepperoni. But Don Tonito’s offers options no matter your preference. You can choose the highly controversial Hawaiian pizza – we don’t judge you, no matter what side you’re on. Or if you can’t do without fresh basil drizzled with olive oil, go for the Pizza Margherita.
Crunch into purple onions and earthy mushrooms with the Ortolana, or stick to the always-reliable Meat Lovers. To try something new, order the Arugula and taste the balsamic dressing with parmesan, garlic, and mozzarella in every bite.
The perfect pie, in the middle of the rainforest
Don Tonito’s pizzas may have guests falling in love with the place in one fell swoop. However, it’s not the only thing that keeps them returning. The scenery when enjoying your pizza – or any of the additional tapas – is unrivaled. Sleeping Giant Lodge is already well-known for the raw jungle-ness of the property. Now imagine enjoying that pie with friends while hearing the gurgling creek flow just a few feet away. The open-air concept allows for a feeling of privacy while still enjoying the natural foliage all around. The stone-led pathway leads to multiple seating areas; here, choose how close or far from the crackling of the fogón you want to be. And here, where every view is accompanied by lush greenery and wildlife, there is no wrong choice.
Don Tonito’s is open Thursday through Sunday, and today’s National Pizza Day celebration gives plenty of a heads-up for a pizza-centric road trip. And if you decide to share a Don Tonito’s pie in the evening with friends, feel free to wrap around the fire afterward for some warmth and laughter.