Eating Vegan While in Belize

by Larry Waight

Is it possible to find delicious vegan food in Belize? Will you be able to sample the local cuisine while staying plant-based? Fortunately, the answer to both these questions is yes!

Here are some classic Belizean dishes that can fit a vegan diet: 

Rice-and-beans

A delicious Belizean staple, it’s made by simmering rice and beans in coconut milk and is often served with fried plantains. The healthy fats in the coconut milk, protein in the beans, and carb-heavy rice make this a plant-based powerhouse! Plus, it’s practically found on menus countrywide. 

Fry Jacks

Similar to beignets, these deep fried bread pockets are a breakfast food – fit for sweet or savory. Drizzle on local jams for dessert, or pair with refried beans for a heartier meal. 

Salbutes

As achiote-flavored fried masa discs, salbutes are the perfect base for omnivores and vegans alike. They are traditionally topped with picado, a lime-infused cabbage salad and shredded chicken. Because they are assembled to order, it’s easy to ask that the meat be left off for a delicious and authentic vegan meal. If you’re making at home, switch the meat for shredded jackfruit

Traditional Chocolate

From bean to bar, this immersive cultural experience is completely vegan! Join a food tour to make chocolate like the Mayas. Besides, the by-products like cacao tea and cacao nibs are vegan delights. 

Traditional Chocolate
salbutes-belize
Salbutes Photo Courtesy: Belizing.com
Rice and Beans Photo Courtesy: Belizing.com

Beside these menu-ready items, plant-based eaters will thrive off the array of fruits and veggies in Belize. Dive into the tropics with exotic fruits like mamey, sapodilla, kinep, dragonfruit, and soursop. However for the full experience, be sure to visit a local farmers market in the early morning! 

Craving a cool comfort? For an dairy-free vegan treat on a hot day, try Cayo Twist in San Ignacio, Tutti Frutti in Placencia, or Nice Cream in Hopkins. Not to mention, common paletas (or ice pops) country-wide are often dairy-free. 

Soursop
Soursop
Banana
Dragon Fruit
Sorbet

Vegan Restaurants

For a full meal, Vegan Bites in Belize City is a budget-friendly, takeout-only option. Although, takeout isn’t so bad when it comes with seaside views at BTL Park! Also in the city, Om Shanti’s Martha’s Cafe is another 100% plant-based restaurant with the ambiance to match. Then, in the capital, Veggie Garden is an easy option for highway travelers that offers Taiwanese cuisine. Without a doubt, there are many more restaurants we’re missing! 

On the other hand, majority of Belize’s cuisine can easily be adapted to be vegan. If you don’t see something that works for you, don’t be shy to talk to the server or chef!

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