When in Belize, eating like a local has many advantages: it’s a great way to learn about the food, immerse yourself in the culture, and interact and mingle with Belizeans.
Here’s a quick informational guide on the local food scene to prepare you on how to eat like a local in Belize.
Fast-Food Chains are a No, No
I’m sorry for anyone who visits Belize and is addicted to McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Pizza Hut! American fast-food chains don’t exist here.
When Belizeans want a fast-food fix, they head to hole-in-the-wall places and order things such as panades, salbutes, garnaches and tacos. These take-out items are cheap, filling and delicious – make sure you try them out.
Waiting for your food shouldn’t disappoint
If you’re planning on trying a local restaurant, make sure to go before time since food orders usually take long to come out. Restaurants in Belize are not used to large crowds of people thus pre-cooking is never necessary and your meal is generally prepared from scratch.
So go to dinner early, drink a few beers and do some people watching as you wait for your delicious FRESH meal.
Rowdy and crowded places equals good food
Locals tend to gather around the restaurants they love the most. Follow the noise – hearing people laugh loud, curse in Creole and gossip about their day might not be your kind of thing but it typically spells out good food.
Don’t worry if you feel odd amid a crowded eating place, try and start a conversation and you’ll see how welcoming everyone will treat you. Otherwise, act as if you’re busy and you’ll be left alone.
Be adventurous, stray away from your palate’s comfort zone
I don’t want to disappoint anyone who wants to visit Belize for weird cuisine but similar to the Caribbean and other Central American countries, there aren’t really any crazy foods.
That said, it is not to say that there aren’t uncommon dishes. To name a few, examples of things that Belizeans eat and tourists don’t want to sample are chicken foot ceviche, Iguana, Gibnut, Armadillo, and cow foot soup.
The trick to enjoying your travels is remembering to try new things and always keep an open mind, with Belizean food it should be quite an experience. Enjoy!