An earlier post provided a few ideas on what to do in Punta Gorda. However, finding things to do is only half the battle. The other half has to do with the question “where do we eat?” and answering this can be tricky in a small town. However, this list is an open and delicious attempt at naming the best places to eat in Punta Gorda.
Ask anyone in PG where you should eat, and one recommendation you will certainly hear is Gomier’s. With his large menu of seafood and vegetarian dishes, Gomier’s the restaurant and Gomier the owner, cook, and waiter are PG landmarks. Even if you can’t imagine a meal without red meat, give it a try. Gomier’s fish fillets, burgers, and curries, homemade tofu and humus, veggie, shrimp, and conch fritters, gigantic burritos, and even pizzas will not disappoint.
It’s a homely atmosphere and a great place to grab a beer from the fridge, sit under a rustling thatch roof, and enjoy the breeze. After a filling and healthy meal, don’t forget to try some of the homemade ice cream or banana bread, and be sure to check for live music on Fridays. If you are only in PG for one day, Gomier’s should be on your list.
Price: $6—18 BZE per plate
To put it simply, Joycelyn’s is the best lunch, at the lowest price, you will find in PG. Located on Front Street, just across from the town gas station, Joycelyn (the cook and owner) offers huge plates of Belizean staples, such as fried fish, stew chicken, stew beef, and rice and beans, for the unbeatable prices of 6-8 BZE per plate.
The porch has a beautiful view of the sea, and the breeze coming in off the water makes lunch there hard to beat on a hot PG afternoon. Although all of her food is good, the fried fish with rice and beans ($7 BZE) and limejuice are a popular favorite.
Price: $6—8 BZE per plate
And of course there is Asha’s, the restaurant and bar consistently named by tourists and passersby on TripAdvisor as the best restaurant in PG. Asha, the owner, is a winner of various seafood cooking competitions, including the Placencia Lobsterfest, and after you try the lobster you’ll understand why.
Asha’s thatch roof and open sky patio hanging over the beautiful sea are perfect for relaxing with some drinks—definitely the kind of place that would be familiar in Placencia or Ambergris Caye. Pretty much the only PG restaurant open on Sunday, Asha’s also regularly host groups of local drummers who play traditional Garifuna and Kriol music.
Price: $10—25 BZE per plate
Marian’s Bayview Restaurant
Marian’s is a beautiful restaurant owned and operated by the wonderfully kind Marian and Hubert Ramclam. Open Monday through Friday for lunch (and for dinner by reservation), they serve seafood, vegetarian, and East Indian dishes like none other. Lunch is served buffet style, with all meals prepared from fresh ingredients by Mrs. Marian herself, while those with dinner reservations are met with heaping bowls and plates of delicious seafood and Indian cuisine.
Marian’s has a huge dining area, making it a perfect place for large groups, and is one of the more popular dining areas for local professionals and businesspeople (and tourist fortunate enough to have found it) looking for that perfect atmosphere for a peaceful and delicious meal. The roof top balcony also has the absolute best view of PG and the sea, so be sure to bring your camera!
Price: $10—15 BZE and up per plate
A Piece of Chicken
A PG gem, loved by locals but hidden from most travelers, A Piece of Chicken restaurant and bar deserves a priority spot if you have limited time in town. Located behind the town cemetery and on the top floor of the Piece of Ground Hotel, it is a bit off the beaten path. However, if you knew that by exploring a bit of the town you might find a place to buy the best chicken burger you perhaps have ever had, French fries, and a beer for just $6.25 US (13.50 BZE), would you really say no?
Open Monday-Saturday for dinner only (after 5:00) and serving up a huge menu of chicken burgers, chicken fingers, veggie burgers, soups, and more, A Piece of Chicken defies convention with low prices and great taste. And as if that weren’t enough, the pool table, checkers sets, arm wrestling station (they exist), open-air balcony, hanging tables, and hip-hop soundtrack is without doubt PG’s coolest. If you are tired of rice and beans and hungry for a great meal, go to Piece of Chicken.
Price: $8—12 BZE per plate
With all these good places to catch lunch or dinner, you might be wondering about breakfast. Don’t worry – walk down to Front Street and head to Snack Shack. A beautiful little café, Snack Shack has delicious breakfast burritos, fried jacks (Belizean breakfast staple), U.S. style breakfast platters with waffles and pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, and great coffee and milkshakes (breakfast?).
It is a great place to sit down with a coffee, to eat while making plans for a day out, or to have lunch after a morning on the sea. Located across the street from the Immigration and Port Authority, up the gravel drive next to the Wild Thing Tours sign, it is a great place to grab a bite before catching the morning boat to Puerto Barrios or Livingston. The staff is friendly, the set up is perfect for a relaxing meal, and the food is excellent as well.
Price: $8—10 BZE per plate
If you are reaching PG after any amount of time in Mexico, or are a budget traveler who wants to avoid the restaurant scene, Al G’s on Main Street is your place. Tucked away to the left of Brad’s Store, Al G’s serves tostadas, panadas, salbutes, burritos, tacos and more. Burritos are the most expensive thing on the menu at $3 BZE, while the other orders are $1-2 BZE per plate of 2-6 items. You’ll likely end up buying two or three plates, but your total cost won’t exceed $6 BZE unless you’re really hungry. Even though it is cheap and similar to street food, everything at Al G’s is delicious.
Price: $1—3 BZE per plate
Although all of the above options have great variety and quality, to get an authentic Belizean meal, you should try Grace’s. Grace’s is Belizean owned and operated, and the menu shows it. The customary beans and rice and stew chicken/pork plates are mixed in with orders of burritos, quesadillas, fry-jacks and options you’d likely find on a local table. Relaxed and down to earth, Grace’s mirrors the characteristics that make PG feel like home. Grace’s restaurant sits just below Grace’s Hotel, so if you’re just off the bus or boat and are looking for a place to stay and something to eat, go no further.
Price: $6—12 BZE per plate
PG Market and Fish Market
A great option for the budget traveler, the PG town market on Front Street has a large variety of local fruits and vegetables. Talk to the friendly vendors while sampling the varieties of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Unless you’re cooking for a family, you can easily buy a few days worth of food for less than $30 BZE. Market days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, although Wednesday and Saturday are the biggest.
The PG fish market, also located on Front Street, is the best place to get fish, shrimp, and lobster straight from the sea. Fish usually sell at $5 BZE a pound but for the best catches make sure to get there early!
It is hard to go wrong with food in Punta Gorda. Take a few days to sample them all or pick your favorite and join the everyday crowd. In any case, enjoy the meal.
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