Elvi’s Kitchen Has Been Wowing Visitors for Over 40 Years

by Khaila Gentle

The Belize Tourism Board’s choice for Restaurant of the Year 2022 is much more than just your average island eatery. A household name on Ambergris Caye and one of Belize’s most famous restaurants, Elvi’s Kitchen is, as their tagline says, the place “where something good is always cooking!” 

Over the past four decades, Elvi’s, located on Pescador Drive, has grown from a simple hole-in-the-wall burger shack, known as Elvi’s Burger Isle, to the award-winning restaurant that it is today. Founded in 1974 by Mrs. Elvia Staines (Doña Elvia) it is now operated by Doña Elvia’s youngest daughter, Chef Jennie Staines.  

Chef Jennie by Oli

Chef Jennie Staines of the landmark restaurant, Elvi’s Kitchen. Photo by Oli

Chef Jennie is one of Belize’s top culinary professionals. Since taking over the restaurant, she has gone above and beyond to ensure that she delivers only the best culinary experiences to her many patrons, which include locals and tourists alike.    

Elvi’s Kitchen Has Something for Everyone  

With dishes that range from traditional Belizean delicacies to modern gastronomic delights, Elvi’s’ extensive and thoughtfully curated menu will have you coming back for more every trip. And if that doesn’t do it, the warm and inviting atmosphere, complete with nightly live musiccertainly will.  

As Chef Jennie Staines often says, Elvi’s Kitchen is, for the most part, a seafood restaurant. But they also offer steak and chicken dishes. And more recently, they’ve begun to cater to the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options, too. 


Try one of their house specials, like the stone crab claws, served in a rich garlic butter sauce. Or, have a go at the coconut curry shrimp, served with white rice. If you’re strictly plant-based, check out their latest addition to the ceviche menu. It replaces the traditional conch with young coconut.  


Stone crabs are a uniquely sustainable, renewable seafood resource — because crabs have the ability to regrow harvested claws. Chef Jennie of Elvi’s Kitchen has insisted on claws only for this reason. She has created a demand for fishers to respond sustainably. Image via Elvi’s Kitchen

Regardless of your food preferences though, next time you’re in San Pedro, be sure to make a trip to Elvi’s. And while you’re there, don’t forget to take a picture of the old flamboyant tree that’s stood there as long as the restaurant has. 

Featured Image courtesy Elvi’s Kitchen. 

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