How To Eat Like A Local In Belize

Food Stall at San Ignacio Market
Reading Time: 2 mins

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 4-step guide on the local food scene in Belize to prepare you to eat like a Belizean local during your vacation.

1. 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!

2. Waiting for food shouldn’t disappoint

If you’re planning on trying a local restaurant, make sure to go early before you’re really hungry since food orders usually take a bit long to come out. 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 enjoy people-watching as you wait for your delicious FRESH meal.

3. Rowdy and crowded places result in good food

Locals don’t eat out much but when they do, they 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 in a crowded eating place, try starting a conversation and you’ll see how welcoming everyone is. Otherwise, read a book or act as if you’re busy and you’ll be left alone.

4. 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. A few weird things that Belizeans eat and tourists don’t want to sample are chicken foot ceviche, stewed Iguana, baked Gibnut or 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!

P.s. Check out my guides to the best restaurants in Belize



Reader Interactions


  1. Robin says

    We are visiting Belize for the first time next month! We are staying in Caye Caulker for the month of February. I’m looking forward to experiencing EVERYTHING!

  2. Raul (@ilivetotravel) says

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

  3. Cassie says

    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?

  4. Jetting Around says

    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.

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