How To Eat Like A Local In Belize


Conch is a seasonal delicacy

When in Belize, eating like a local has many advantages: it’s a great way to learn about Belizean food, immerse yourself in the culture, and interact 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 food shouldn’t disappoint

If you’re planning on trying a local restaurant, make sure to go before you’re hungry because food orders usually take long. Restaurants in Belize are not used to large crowds, which means pre-cooking is never necessary and your meal is generally prepared from scratch.

So go to dinner early, drink a few belikin 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 be. 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, Belize doesn’t really have 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!


About Lorenzo Gonzalez

Lorenzo Gonzalez is the founder of, a resource for travel information on Belize. He enjoys traveling, social media and Paranda music. Contact him at lorenzo [at] Learn more...

18 Responses to How To Eat Like A Local In Belize

  1. Cristina September 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM #

    This looks delish! But some of those might be hard for me to digest. Armadillo must be a hard one to cook!

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez September 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM #

      Haha. Yes, Armadillo can be stinky if not cleaned properly.

  2. Ayngelina September 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM #

    I love conch, you are starting to tempt me more and more to head down.

  3. Nomadic Samuel September 18, 2012 at 2:31 AM #

    I love that western fast food chains have not caught on in Belize. Eating like a local is what I try to do wherever I travel 🙂

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez September 19, 2012 at 9:28 PM #

      Sam, for you I’d recommend Cow Foot soup. A perfect addition to your hangover food collection… 😉

  4. Irina November 5, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

    Oh this shell/bowl looks amazing!

  5. Jetting Around November 10, 2012 at 9:47 PM #

    I have yet to visit Belize, so this was an interesting read and I enjoyed your insights. I’m sure the first thing I’d do there would be to grab street food.

    By the way, I wish there were more places without crappy fast food chains.

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez December 5, 2012 at 1:07 AM #

      I hope fast food chains stay out for good! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  6. Cassie February 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM #

    Wow! What a beautiful way to serve that stew! I was looking for Belizean recipes because I’m looking for something to take to a Honduran friend’s Honduran dinner that she’s cooking for me tomorrow. I’m not having a lot of luck finding something that isn’t an entree – figured I could improvise off of something else from this coastal region and get a point or two for that? Either that or I’ll totally offend her–maybe I should just give up and bake brownies?

  7. Raul (@ilivetotravel) August 27, 2013 at 7:51 AM #

    Great photo! And good tips too. I agree that a loud and crowded place is a good sign!


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