Island life is great. The drinks are a flowin and the apps are a comin. The one downside (or upside, depending on how you look at it) is that shipping food to islands is expensive, so sometimes eating out is cheaper and more cost efficient than going to the grocery store! For me, that’s a plus for sure — especially since Belize has so many great restaurants for every price point.
Below is a guide to dining and going out in San Pedro, Belize. I put some dollar signs next to each place as an indicator of what you can expect cost wise. It’s less of a numbers thing and more of a ranking within this post based on my own experience. You can do any of these places cheap by sharing or skipping drinks.
WHERE TO EAT
For everything from pizza to a mixed seafood grill: Red Ginger
Red Ginger became our default place from day one, where we were dog tired from traveling and needed sustenance, and then day three after a day full of snorkeling and drinking and we needed pizzas to take up to our rooms! Best deal about Red Ginger: Half price sparkling wines on Wednesday, which made their pretty great quality proseccos like $20 a bottle. Score! (We tried to buy a bottle of Andre at the store and it was about that same price, so, this was a good deal!) Pizzas were def our favorite, but the seafood there was also yum!
For sushi: Blue Water Grill
We went to Blue Water Grill for Thursday night sushi! The restaurant is absolutely adorable and right on the beach. It has a cute sign too that says “I <3 Belize” — scroll down to see. The sushi was yum, but we did have to be flexible on what we ordered, since a lot of stuff was already out (avocados, etc). The saving grace: The focaccia bread that came free for the table. So. Delicious. I remember being a little overwhelmed by the sushi prices ($15 a roll! Typically, I’m a 2-roll kinda gal), so I ate a lot of the free bread, ordered one roll and ordered a beer to save on drinks.
For authentic Belizean bites: El Fogon
$$$$ (go for lunch!)
We were warned that El Fogon was authentic Belizean food — almost to a fault, since it can be a little smokey. I got a yum and fresh shrimp salad that was exactly what I needed, since I was sunburnt and sweaty. It wasn’t too smokey at all! I got a marg, but the rest of the group got the drink special, which was a not-too-sweet frozen coconut mojito. We all loved our food, from the empanadas and tostadas to the ceviche and fish balls we shared. Juuuusstt…. was a bit pricey of a lunch. Glad we didn’t go for dinner, or it would have been even more pricey! Plus, we were told the lunch menu is actually the better menu.
PS. Pronounce “L Fo-gone”, but I liked to make Elphaba jokes or say Elves are gone. (It was Christmas time…)
For cheap, tiny tacos: Lily’s
We went to Lily’s for tiny tacos! You get 3 chicken tacos for 1 BZE dollar or, on the weekends, 2 pork tacos for 1 BZE dollar. Best deal in town. They are so cute, just meat and a few onions on the smallest corn tortilla I have ever seen. Recommend like 5 per person at least, which is only like $1 USD. WHAT.
Note: This isn’t a place you dine-in at. It’s literally a shack. There are tables outside, but it’s mostly full of people waiting to pick up their tacos.
For Mexican: Elvi’s Kitchen
Fun fact: Belize borders Mexico and Guatemala, so you can get yum food from both countries in Belize. Elvi’s Kitchen came highly recommended for Mexican food. The restaurant has a literal dirt/sand floor, which was cute, and had the most amazing live band serenading us. At this point (last meal!) we were pretty pooped, but we still enjoyed the food — from tacos and salads to mexican street corn and seafood pastas.
For a meal with a helluva view: Estel’s
We didn’t actually get to go to Estel’s, which was a bummer bc it is RIGHT on the beach and they have BRUNCH! Ah! We walked past several times, and a server always yelled at us to come in and eat. OK, yelled is harsh. They emphatically invited us in. If you get a chance to go, do it for the brunch! Since visiting, I’ve learned that Estel’s has no website, but an ish ton of positive TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews. So sad to have missed what seems to be a Belizean staple!
WHERE TO DRINK
No $$$ here. Belikin beer and rum drinks will be the cheapest option wherever you go, so stick to those for A. the full Belizean experience and B. if you’re ballin’ on a budget. Tequila is pretty cheap. Any imported liquor will cost more, same with wine.
For a floating bar: Palapa Bar
I cannot stress enough how much YOU NEED TO DO THIS! Palapa Bar’s reputation preceded it — all the way to Houston. The bar is at the end of a pier (and so close to our hotel, The Phoenix Resort, we could see it from the pool!).
Basically, go for lunch, then take your beers to the tubes in the back. When you need another refreshment, your server will put a bucket on a rope and pulley it to you. Modern technology, y’all. I LOVE BELIZE.
Note: The water gets pretty cold when you’re not in the sun, so plan accordingly. In December, we were pretty cold by 4ish, once the shade of Palapa crept toward us.
For the “world’s famous chicken drop”: Caliente and Wahoo’s Lounge
You know Houston’s turtle races? Yeah, the Chicken Drop ain’t that. (Except for the fact that they are a Thursday night-only thing.)
However, you bet real money on where where chickens are going to poop real poop. There’s a DJ and a girl who holds up the chicken at the beginning. It’s definitely bordering on animal abuse — withholding complete judgement because IDK these chickens or their lives, but potentially yeah, bad treatment.
Definitely one of those “when in
Rome Belize” things to do.
For the weirdest shots in town: Rehab’s
San Pedro is known as the party place in the Belizean islands, and I think Rehab Lounge might single-handedly be why. It’s very divey and right in the main area of “Central Park,” a huge common space that has festivals and big cookouts right on the beach. We went to Rehab after the Chicken Drop and danced to music from a DJ took shots, drank rum and cokes and was even offered something called “coconut weed” from a fellow bar patron. (Politely passed.) We also cracked up over the shot menu from the “Liquid Cocaine” and “Blow Job” to the “Duck Fart” and “Sextual Harassment” shots. Not to mention the “Rehab is for quitters” tagline. Ps. Prices in BZE, so shots are pretty cheap $5-6 USD.
Note: Rehab is a part of Jaguar’s, but I’m not sure we went into the main club area. There was plenty of the party happening in Rehab.
Thank you for sharing this article Natalie, it’s on my bucket list to go to Belize. The pictures of the margaritas and tacos are amazing, they make me hungry just looking at them. I enjoy following your travels, if you have time check out my website, I’m in Houston too. Look forward to reading more about your travels.
Did you have to be careful about the water when you were eating out? I saw you got a salad…I just went to Mexico and we couldn’t drink the water (and that put out salads) so I am wondering what your experience was!