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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Belize

the fp is food-and-drink

Belize Food and Drink

Belizean cuisine is rather basic, but that's not to say you won't eat well here. A typical meal usually stays true to the time-honoured combination of rice, beans and meat, which is cheap, filling and usually tasty.

There are exceptions: the more touristy areas such as San Pedro or Placencia have fine restaurants serving excellent food. Along the coast and on the cayes, seafood abounds and is often delicious.

Dishes recognisable from neighbouring Guatemala and Mexico are also prevalent, as are influences from the Caribbean, Africa and Spain, not to mention international favourites such as Chinese, North American and Latin American.

Drinks mainly consist of the local beer, Belikin, sweet wine made from cashew fruit, or potent rum-based cocktails.

Specialities

Rice and beans: A Belizean staple.
Tacos: Corn or flour tortillas, served with shredded chicken, onions, cabbage and cilantro.
Fry jacks: Fluffy fried crescents of dough, similar to Mexican sopapillas.
Conch fritters: Pieces of conch deep-fried in batter.
Plantains: Variety of banana, fried to a sweet golden brown and served with most meals.
Refried beans: Served with everything from breakfast to dinner, this is a slightly sweet bean mash.
Garnaches: A typical Mestizo dish of fried tortilla topped with refried beans, cabbage, carrots and cheese.
Ereba: A dish of bread made from grated cassava and eaten with fish, plantains or gravy.
Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce: The leading brand of Belizean hot habanero pepper sauce found on every table in every restaurant.
Johnnycakes: Cornmeal flatbreads made from flour and coconut milk, often served with beans and cheese for breakfast.
Soursop icecream: A delicious ice cream made from various tropical fruits.
Juice: Orange, lime, watermelon or papaya juice are ubiquitous.
Belikin: The most popular national beer.
Lighthouse: Anorther popular lager.
Seaweed shake: Dried seaweed, condensed milk, cinnamon, ice and sometimes a shot of rum.
1 Barrel: The most popular rum drunk in Belize, available everywhere, and slightly vanilla flavoured.

Things to know

If you are eating street food try to ensure that it has been cooked thoroughly – and recently. There are plenty of rice and beans stalls selling meat, which may well have sat there all day.

Tipping

Many restaurants and hotels automatically tack on a service charge of 15%. Cab drivers are not tipped unless they have helped you with your luggage. Tour guides are always tipped.

Drinking age

18.