Belizean Food – Typical & Traditional Things To Try

Belize food
Reading Time: 6 mins

The food in Belize makes use of a lot of spices and it’s a blend of the many cultures of Belize. This means that depending on where you are in Belize, you’ll often see different variations of a dish.

On this page
Lunch and Dinner
Desserts and Sweets
Fast Food
Bizarre Foods

Belizean food is also influenced by its Central American and Caribbean neighbours. For example, one of my favorite restaurants in San Pedro, Waruguma, makes pupusas using lobster and it’s super delicious. Of course, pupusas are a common staple of El Salvador. Another example is Belize’s national dish, which is Rice and Beans. In Costa Rica, this is called Gallo Pinto, and in El Salvador, it is called Casamiento.

Related: Eat like a local in Belize

The food scenes in places like San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia, Hopkins, and San Ignacio are well established, with lots of restaurants in their downtown cores. This is because, as long-time popular tourist destinations, these places have attracted tourists who were able to sustain the market. In contrast, less-visited destinations have had limited food options, possibly due to the old Belizean custom — of my parents and grandparents — of cooking your own food.

Enjoy this basic guide to what to eat in Belize for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Appetizers & Snacks

In Belize, appetizers are mostly eaten as snacks and not typically before entrees. My favourite snack-meal is Conch Fritters, followed by Cheese Dip and Ceviche. Pico de Gallos is also great since you can always just easily add shrimp or conch marinated in lime and make it into ceviche! 😉

1. Conch fritters

Conch Fritters in Caye Caulker
Conch Fritters

Conch Fritters is tenderized queen conch meat that is fried in a savory batter with a combination of onions, celery, green bell peppers, cilantro, basil, salt, and pepper. It’s often eaten with a spicy mayo sauce.

2. Ceviche

shrimp and conch ceviche belizean style
Shrimp and Conch Ceviche

Belizean ceviche is made of chopped up fresh raw conch and shrimp that is cured in fresh lime and pico de gallo. It is eaten as a snack with tortilla chips.

3. Garnaches

How to make Belizean Garnaches

A Belizean Garnache is a flat, fried corn tortilla topped with refried beans, chopped cabbage and tomato mix (or pickled onion), and cheese.

4. Cheese Dip

Belize Cheese Dip
Belizean Cheese Dip

Belizean cheese dip is a tangy, sometimes spicy blend of soft processed cheese, evaporated milk, green bell peppers, and homemade salsa (mild or spicy). It is eaten as a snack with tortilla chips.

5. Belizean Pico de Gallo

Belizean Pico de Gallo
Belizean-style Pico de Gallo

Belizean Pico de Gallo is made from chopped tomato, onion, carrot, and cucumber, with salt, black pepper, lime juice, cilantro and often habanero.


I will go out on a limb and say that the most typical breakfast food in Belize consists of stew chicken, refried beans and flour tortillas. However, similarly popular is replacing the tortillas with Fry Jacks and having Chaya eggs on the side. Meat Pies and Johnny Cakes are popular to buy at restaurants since they are very time-consuming to create from scratch.

1. Fry Jacks

Belizean Fry Jacks
Fry Jacks

Fry Jacks is fried dough that is typically eaten with refried beans and eggs. It is perhaps the most popular Belizean breakfast.

2. Johnny Cakes

Johnny Cakes in Belize
Photo by @Joni

Johnny Cakes is a popular bread made with flour, coconut milk, baking powder, salt and sugar. It is usually eaten with refried beans, cheese or stew chicken.

3. Flour Tortilla

flour tortilla in Belize

A flour tortilla is a soft, thin flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour. Along with fry jacks, it is very popular for breakfast in Belize.

4. Chaya and Eggs


Chaya, also known as Maya spinach, is a large, fast-growing leafy evergreen shrub that is popular in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s leaf is used in many dishes, including scrambled with eggs for breakfast.

5. Meat Pie

Meat Pies

Popular for breakfast in Belize City and other Creole communities, meat pies are a delicious combination of onions, peppers, meat and spices inside a warm crust.

Lunch & Dinner

The most popular lunch or dinner food in Belize is Rice and Beans. In fact, many Belizeans have Rice and Beans (and some type of meat or fish and fried plantains and potato salad) every day for lunch. Other must-have dishes include Hudut, Pibil tacos, Boil Up, Pupusas, Bollos, and Tamalitos, which is also known as Dukunu.

1. Rice and Beans

BBQ Chicken, Rice & Beans, Fried Plantain, and Potato Salad
Rice and Beans with BBQ Chicken, Fried Plantain, and Potato Salad

Rice and Beans is the national dish of Belize. It usually includes a protein with potato salad or coleslaw and fried plantain. For protein, you can have stew chicken/ beef/ pork or BBQ chicken/ beef/ pork.

2. Hudut

Hudut Garifuna Food
Hudut with Fu-fu and Casava bread

Hudut is comprised of a fish coconut stew with green and ripe mashed plantains called Fu-fu. This traditional “coconut fish stew” is perhaps the most known dish of the Garifuna people.

3. Pibil Tacos

Belizean Pibil
Pibil is typically eaten as tacos

The traditional way tof making pibil is to bury an entire pig overnight in a steaming, smouldering, stone-lined hand-dug barbecue pit. The pig is marinated with special spices and then wrapped in banana leaves before leaving it to bake slowly.

4. Boil Up

Boil Up is a root vegetable and salted pigtail stew in a tomato and onion sauce.
Boil Up is usually eaten alone or with rice

Boil Up is a root vegetable and salted pigtail stew in a tomato and onion sauce. This meal is usually topped with boiled eggs and flour dumplings. It is usually eaten alone or on top of coconut white rice.

5. Pupusas

Pupusas in Belize
Pupusas were brought to Belize by refugees of El Salvador

Pupusas are small, round corncakes that were brought to Belize by refugees of El Salvador. It is similar to a flatbread or pancake that is made with corn dough (masa) and filled with cheese and beans or meat.

6. Bollos

Bollos are similar to Tamales

Bollos is a delicious traditional dish of Central America that is made of corn dough (masa) which is filled with seasoned chicken or pork and wrapped in a plantain leaf. It is typically eaten during festivals and special events.

7. Tamalitos aka Dukunu

Think cornbread but a lot heftier

Tamalitos or Dukunu is a corn mixture steamed in corn husks. Think cornbread but a lot heftier. It is often eaten alone but for a more complete meal, stewed chicken can be added on the side.

Belizean Soups

  1. Conch soup
  2. Cowfoot soup
  3. Escabeche (Onion soup)
  4. Chimole (Black Soup)
  5. Caldo – Beef or Chicken

Desserts & Sweets

  1. Coconut Tart
  2. Lemon Pie
  3. Tres Leches Cake
  4. Rum Raison Bread Pudding
  5. Rum Fruit Cake (during Christmas season)
  6. Belizean Fudge (think Peanut Brittle)
  7. Sweet Potato Pudding

Belizean Drinks

  1. Belikin Beer & Stout
  2. Rum (Caribbean Rum and One Barrel Rum)
  3. Cashew Wine
  4. Fresh Fruit Juices (Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Watermelon)
  5. Seaweed Drink
  6. Coke, Fanta, and Sprite (It’s more carbonated, and natural brown sugar is used)

Belizean Fast Food

  1. Garnaches
  2. Panades
  3. Salbutes
  4. Tacos (fried or on a soft corn tortilla)
  5. Fried Chicken (Chinese Restaurant)

‘Bizarre’ Foods

  1. Iguana (Bamboo chicken)
  2. Gibnut (Known as the Royal Rat)
  3. Bokotora (River turtle)
  4. Armadillo

This post is a work in progress and will be updated slowly… Thanks for your patience.



Reader Interactions


  1. Robin says

    I am heading to Belize soon. I know Rum is the drink of choice, but I’m not familiar with it. Is there a distillery that offers rum tastings of a sort like wineries and breweries do in the US?

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