Belize is quickly becoming one of the top food destinations in the world. Fresh seafood is readily available, so many chefs use it in very creative ways. Dragon fruit, papaya, mango and other fruit are grown in many areas. Freshly picked cilantro, chives and other herbs are used to flavor dishes. Radishes, kale, tomatoes and lettuce are combined to make great salads. Imagine how the Belize food tastes like!
The country has some unique foods that you will want to try like soursop, cacao and sorrel. If you are traveling to Belize, then make sure to try creative and traditional Caribbean foods in the best restaurants.
Main Foods to Try in Belize and Where to Find Them
1. Eat Red Beans and Rice at Ko-Ox Han Nah in San Ignacio, Belize
While almost every restaurant has their own variation of this Belize food, the best red beans and rice comes from Ko-Ox Han Nah Restaurant in San Ignacio, Belize. Chefs prepare red kidney beans in a concoction of fresh coconut milk flavored with garlic, pig’s tail and various spices. After the beans soak for six hours, they are cooked with the rice until tender.
The secret ingredient setting this dish apart is coconut milk. Red beans and rice is usually served as an accompaniment to meat or seafood dishes. Look for other traditional foods dishes to finish out your meal.
2. Dine on Conch Fritters at El Fogon in San Pedro, Belize
Traditional anglers catch conch from October 1 to June 30 in Belize. Many restaurants feature this Belize food that is rich in iron on their appetizer menus, but the best place to get it is at El Fogon in San Pedro, Belize.
They start by chopping the conch into small pieces. Then, they combine it with baking powder, coconut milk, onion, cilantro and spices to form a dough. The dough is fried in oil. Conch fritters are served with a variety of dipping sauces although Chipotle mayonnaise is the most traditional. At El Fogon, consider having this appetizer with shrimp creole.
3. Partake of Chimole at Marva’s Restaurant in Belize City, Belize
Dining on the Belize food chimole, otherwise called black dinner, is a mouthwatering experience. Chefs create this distinctive smoky stew by charring Ancho chili peppers on a grill until they are completely black. They then combine the peppers with chicken, garlic and tomatoes to make the dark stew. Finally, boiled eggs are added to give a splash of color.
The best place to try this spicy stew is at Marva’s Restaurant in Belize City, Belize. The taxi ride to this local colorful hot spot will be worth it when you taste her chimole and her homemade tortillas.
4. Consume Bollos at Martha’s Restaurant and Garden Patio in San Ignacio, Belize
The beautiful outdoor patio at Martha’s Restaurant and Garden Patio in San Ignacio, Belize, is the perfect spot to eat bollos. Unlike tamales served in many parts of the world, this Belize food is wrapped in plantain leaves in Belize. The all-day process starts with the careful preparation of the orange-colored col sauce that is lovingly added to masa and stewed chicken before being wrapped in the plantain leaves. Bollos are then cooked in a big pot covered with more plantain leaves until they are tender.
Try this Belize food favorite with fried plantain for a delicious Belizean meal that you will soon not forget.
5. Feast on Johnnycakes at Carolyn’s Cookin’ at San Pedro, Belize
Cornmeal flatbread are called johnnycakes in Belize, and they are a great way to start the day. A touch of nutmeg and cinnamon makes them taste great. This Belize food is then deep fried in fresh oil.
While you will find many street vendors selling them throughout the country, the best johnnycakes are found at Carolyn’s Cookin’ in San Pedro, Belize. This traditional Bellize restaurant, however, is closed on Wednesday, so you need to plan accordingly. Everything at Carolyn’s Cookin’ is made from scratch. So, you should be prepared to wait a little bit for your scrumptious fry bread.
6. Devour Shrimp Ceviche at Celebrity Restaurant in Belize City, Belize
Fresh uncooked shrimp is marinated in lime juice for several minutes for this dish. Then, the shrimp is combined with cilantro, onions and tomatoes. The resulting ceviche is often enjoyed as an appetizer with homemade chips.
One of the best places to eat this Belize food is at Celebrity Restaurant in Belize City where you can enjoy beautiful views of the water while waiting for them to prepare your food. If you do not care for shrimp, this tasty dish can be prepared with cooked chicken or conch. Expect your shrimp ceviche to not leave a sweet aftertaste.
7. Gobble up Cow Foot Soup at Nerries in Belize City, Belize
Boiled cow’s feet combine with locally grown carrots, onions, potatoes and okra to make cow foot soup at Nettles in Belize City. After adding paprika, garlic, cayenne pepper and thyme, chefs slow cook this concoction for many hours before serving this hearty stew to hungry guests. This Belize food is usually accompanied by fresh corn tortillas or white rice.
Those who like spicy food will want to ask for it to be topped with habanero pepper sauce and onion. Do not expect, however, to find dumplings in cow foot soup served in Belize as that is a Jamaican delicacy.
Belize has developed into a wonderful destination for foodies. There are so many delicious Belizean food choices that you will want to try that you need to plan to stay for several days.
You can feast on red beans and rice made with coconut milk or fresh conch fritters. Alternatively, consider spicy foods like bollos or shrimp ceviche. Consider starting your day of sightseeing with an aromatic johnnycake. When lunchtime rolls around a big bowl of chimole is a great choice. The bravest travelers, however, choose to dine on cow foot soup.
Images from depositphotos.com.