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9 Must-Try Traditional Foods on Your Belize Vacation

Are you planning a trip to Belize and eager to explore its rich culinary heritage? Belizean cuisine is a delightful fusion of Caribbean, Mexican, African, and Mayan influences, promising a flavorful journey for your taste buds. From succulent seafood to hearty stews and unique street snacks, here are 9 traditional foods you simply can’t miss during your Belize vacation.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the ultimate adventure with a visit to the Great Blue Hole, a natural wonder and diver’s paradise renowned for its mesmerizing underwater formations
  • Explore the awe-inspiring ancient Maya city of Caracol, nestled amidst the dense jungles of the Maya Mountains
  • Dive hand in hand into the turquoise waters of South Water Caye, where you can explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life

Rice and Beans with Stewed Chicken

stew chicken with beans

A quintessential Belizean dish, rice and beans cooked in coconut milk, paired with tender stewed chicken, is a staple found in homes and restaurants across the country. The creamy texture of the coconut-infused rice complements the savory flavors of the chicken perfectly.

Where to Try It

Look for this dish at local eateries, beachside restaurants, or street food stalls across Belize. Popular spots include Auntie’s Kitchen in San Pedro, El Fogon in San Ignacio, and Estel’s Dine By the Sea in Caye Caulker.

Fry Jacks

fry jacks

Indulge in Belize’s beloved breakfast treat, fry jacks. These fluffy, deep-fried dough pillows are often served with refried beans, eggs, cheese, or jam for a sweet or savory start to your day.

Where to Try It

Fry jacks are a staple on breakfast menus throughout Belize. Look for them at traditional Belizean breakfast spots like Celi’s Deli in Belize City, Erva’s Restaurant in Dangriga, or Dawn’s Grill in San Ignacio.

Conch Fritters

Fresh conch meat, diced peppers, and spices are battered and deep-fried to create irresistible conch fritters. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, they’re a popular appetizer or snack along the coastal regions of Belize.

Where to Try It

You’ll find conch fritters at seafood restaurants, beach bars, and street food vendors along the coast. Visit places like The Split Bar & Grill in Caye Caulker, Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, or Chef Rob’s Gourmet Café in Placencia.



Satisfy your cravings with garnaches, a popular street food made from fried corn tortillas topped with refried beans, cabbage, cheese, and a tangy pickled onion relish. It’s a flavorful and budget-friendly snack that’s perfect for on-the-go munching.

Where to Try It

Garnaches are popular street food snacks, so keep an eye out for vendors in local markets, towns, and at festivals. You can also find them at eateries like Cheers Restaurant in Belize City or Mimi’s Bistro in San Ignacio.


Hudut is a traditional Garifuna dish featuring a rich fish coconut stew served with mashed plantains. The creamy texture of the stew combined with the subtle sweetness of the plantains creates a harmonious blend of flavors.

Where to Try It

Hudut is a specialty of Garifuna restaurants and eateries. Look for it at establishments like Palmento Grove Cultural & Fishing Lodge in Hopkins, Warasa Garifuna Drum School & Cultural Center in Punta Gorda, or Gibnut Shack in Dangriga.


Sample Belizean tamales, which are typically wrapped in banana leaves and filled with seasoned meat, vegetables, and masa dough. These savory parcels are steamed to perfection and make for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Where to Try It

Tamales are often sold by street vendors or at markets, especially during festivals and holidays. You can also find them at traditional Belizean restaurants like Martha’s Restaurant in Belize City or Delices de France in San Ignacio.

Boil Up

belize boil up

Boil up is a hearty one-pot meal consisting of boiled root vegetables, fish, pig tail, and dumplings, simmered in a flavorful broth. It’s a comforting and filling dish that reflects Belize’s diverse culinary influences.

Where to Try It

Boil up is often served at local eateries and family-run restaurants across Belize. Look for it at places like Martha’s Cafe in Belmopan, Goss Chocolate in Belize City, or Harrier’s Burger in Punta Gorda.

Johnny Cakes

Sink your teeth into golden-brown Johnny cakes, delicious fried dough bread that pairs perfectly with savory dishes or spreads of jam or butter. These fluffy delights are a staple at breakfast or as a snack throughout the day.

Where to Try It

Johnny cakes are a common sight at breakfast spots, bakeries, and street food stalls. Enjoy them at places like Flayva’s Restaurant in San Pedro, Pasero’s Delight in Belize City, or Tina’s Kitchen in Placencia.

Gibnut Stew

For the adventurous foodie, gibnut stew offers a taste of Belize’s wild side. Also known as the “royal rat” or “paca,” gibnut meat is slow-cooked in a savory stew until tender and flavorful, offering a unique dining experience.

Where to Try It

Gibnut stew might be more challenging to find, but some restaurants specialize in serving wild game. Look for it at upscale eateries like The Lodge at Chaa Creek in San Ignacio or Hidden Valley Inn in Mountain Pine Ridge

Final Word

Exploring Belize’s culinary landscape is a journey rich in flavors and cultural influences. From comforting stews to zesty ceviche and indulgent desserts, these traditional foods offer a delicious glimpse into the heart and soul of Belizean cuisine. So, don’t miss the opportunity to tantalize your taste buds with these 11 must-try dishes on your adventure trip to Belize!