Feeling up to a culinary tour? Belize might just be the perfect spot for your next foodie adventure.
Located in the heart of the Americas, Belize is brimming with culture. This small nation is home to almost a dozen different ethnicities, all connected by the country’s dually Caribbean and Central American identity. Each group possesses their own unique and often intriguing history, as well as an array of traditions passed down for generations. But what lies at the heart of those cultures, and what comes together to create the Belizean identity, as colorful and eclectic as it is, is food.
Belize’s dynamic culinary scene makes for incomparable foodie travels. Sure, visits to the country’s top attractions will grant memorable experiences. But there is perhaps no better way to experience the culture of a country than through its cuisine.
Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.
– Jonathan Gold
Here’s some of Belize’s must try foods, one for every destination:
Belize City – Belizean Chips & Dip
Forget your typical cheese nachos, your marinara sauce, and your french onion dips. There’s no turning back after you’ve had Belizean cheese dip which, interestingly, is usually made using imported Happy Cow Cheese. Nevertheless, it’s an appetizer dish that’s as simple to make as it is quintessentially Belizean. Go to any party in the Belize district and you’re bound to encounter it.
Where to Eat: Di Bruwry (Old Airport Road, Ladyville)
The Northern Islands – Fried Whole Fish
Picture this: you’re taking a leisurely stroll along the beach when an enticing aroma catches your attention. Something delectable is being fried in coconut oil. You follow that mouthwatering aroma to a restaurant nestled between palm trees right beside the sea. And before you know it, you’re gazing down at golden brown perfection: a fried whole fish, complete with sides of rice & beans and a salad. It’s the ultimate island eat.
Corozal & Orange Walk – Tacos
When most Belizeans think of the northern districts, they think of tacos. And that’s not just because of the prevalent Mestizo influences on the region’s food and culture. The district of Orange Walk, especially, has held the title of Belize’ s taco central for ages now. (In fact, there’s even an annual taco fest).
Where to Eat: For an authentic experience, stop at Mercy’s Place for a quick breakfast. (Queen Victora Avenue, Orange Walk Town. It’s right across from the fire station.)
San Ignacio & Santa Elena – Chaya Eggs
A Mestizo-Maya breakfast dish, Chaya Eggs are eggs with a locally-loved dark leafy green, colloquially known as Maya spinach. To try it, stop in at San Ignacio’s most famous breakfast eatery, Pop’s Restaurant, for some Chaya Egg Stuffed Fry Jacks.
Belmopan – Dumplings
Belize’s capital city is home to some of the country’s best East Asain cuisine. Local Taiwanese and Chinese eateries can be found dotted across Belmopan’s central area. Just outside the heart of the city lies Simple Life. This popular Taiwanese restaurant is known for their pot stickers and chicken cutlet (Ji Pai). Their latest menu addition, soup dumplings, go pretty fast.
Placencia – Ceviche
There’s nothing like a delicious plate of ceviche accompanied by refreshing Caribbean sea-breeze. The only thing that could probably make it better is an ice cold Belikin beer. This popular appetizer is usually made with shrimp or conch and eaten with crisp corn chips. And, if you’re a foodie that fancies some added heat, you can top it off with some habanero pepper.
Where to Eat: Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar (Placencia Sidewalk, Placencia)
Hopkins – Hudut
Flavorful, rich, and super filling, Hudut is a traditional Garifuna dish. It consists of fish cooked in a coconut broth (called Sere) and served with mashed plantains or yams. If you’d like to take your foodie adventure a step further, you can sign up for a Garifuna cooking class while in Hopkins to learn how to make this Belizean favorite yourself.
Where to Eat: Singanga Restaurant at Hamanasi Resort
Punta Gorda – Cohune Cabbage
Belize’s Toledo district is home to the gorgeous hidden gem that is Punta Gorda. And it’s also home to the majority of Belize’s East Indian population. Cohune Cabbage is a traditional (and beloved) dish made from the heart of the cohune palm tree, combined with onions, turmeric (known locally as yellow ginger) and other spices.
Where to Eat: Bayside Buffet (Corner Front & Church Street , Punta Gorda)
Featured Image: Fry Jacks for breakfast. Photo courtesy Muy’Ono Resorts