February 25, 2017 ·  5 min read

Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

When it comes to dining, you will find a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, African, Spanish, and Mayan culinary influences in Belize. North American style foods like burgers, pizzas, and chicken dishes are readily available. Rice and beans, popular in the Caribbean and Central American countries, is a common staple and often served as an accompaniment to main meals. Along the coast and island destinations, seafood is big on the menu with fresh fish, lobster, shrimp, and conch dishes. We have shared three spectacular places to eat in Belize during your stay.

Placencia, Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Beautiful Belize is a small, but culturally interesting country on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Nestled beside Mexico and Guatemala, it has a diverse geography from the second largest barrier reef to a tropical jungle that is home to hundreds of different species. Not to mention many ancient Maya Ruins.

What you will also find is a large number of expat chefs. They have settled in Belize and are thoroughly immersed in the culture and raising the bar of Belizean cuisine.  Here are the three spectacular places to eat in Belize that stood out on my last visit.

Chef Driven Restaurants 

Chef Rob’s Gourmet Cafe (Hopkins)

chef-robs-gourmet-cafe-belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Photo Credit: Chef Rob’s Gourmet Cafe

In Hopkins, Belize, I spent a highly entertaining evening over a great dinner, while being regaled by Chef Rob’s stories. His cooking style is best described as eclectic as he brings the culinary experiences and techniques gained from around the world, together in his wonderful menu. The menu is small and changes daily (dependent on what produce is available that day). He uses the best of local ingredients from the freshest fish to vegetables and meat. Like most Belizean restaurants there is a heavy emphasis on seafood dishes.

Red-Thai-Curry Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Thai style pork and shrimps in tangy red curry sauce.

Chef Rob’s cuisine incorporates flavors from Asian, Mayan and Garifuna cultures.

Roasted pork tenderloin with balsamic-strawberry sauce Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Roasted pork tenderloin with balsamic strawberry sauce

Chef Rob’s second restaurant “Love on the Rocks” allows guests to cook their food on a hot lava rock, a concept the chef introduced in Belize many years ago, while he worked at the Radisson Fort George Hotel restaurant in Belize City.

Love On the Rocks grill Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

700-degree lava slabs cooking chicken skewers at the table feature from Love on the Rocks grill.

Rob’s career began at the age of 16 in the Netherlands by accident. His father had sent him to wash dishes in a local restaurant as punishment for bad behavior. Little did the senior Pronk know, his son was to be bitten by the culinary bug and would soon seek out culinary schools to attend.

Chef Rob Pronk Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

“Every day we get a fresh supply of seafood and vegetables which are the starting point of the culinary delights which make it to our menu.” Chef Rob Pronk.

At 21, he started his quest for culinary experience and exposure, working his way through renowned establishments around the world, ending in the Caribbean. He eventually (16 years ago) settled in his discovered paradise of Belize. Now a culinary celebrity in Belize, he has appeared on radio and television and is frequently asked to judge competitions.

Restaurant: Chef Rob’s Gourmet Café Owners: Rob & Corrie Pronk, Sittee River Road Hopkins Village Stann Creek District, Belize Phone:  501-663-1529. Open for Dinner.

Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro (Placencia)

Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

While visiting Placencia in Southern Belize, I met John and Ellen Lee at their Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro. John, an engineer by training (from Australia), is a self-taught chef who executes some of the best dishes you’ll find in the country. His menu focuses on fish and seafood along with beef and pork dishes, all locally sourced.

Watermelon, Tomato & Feta Salad Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Watermelon, Tomato & Feta Salad

On arrival Ellen (from Denver USA), John’s wife, who is responsible for the operation of the business, greeted me. It was a very busy night, but Ellen had reserved a lovely table with views of the ocean. We discussed dinner options and decided on a tasting menu, which allowed me to try some dishes with wine pairings.

Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Among my many courses was an incredible Lobster bread pudding, a delicious Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad.

Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Grilled Marinated Shrimp with Caribbean couscous, cucumber sauce, house-roasted peanuts.  This dish is inventive and flavourful.  The Nut Encrusted Fish Filet with peanut, coconut, curried watermelon reduction, mashed potatoes, and spicy black beans was simply mouthwatering. Over the course of the evening, I tasted nine small plate dishes.  The bistro features an excellent wine list, which explains the 2013 Wine Spectator award.  Featuring this many wines on the restaurant menu is no small feat since everything has to be imported into the country.

The restaurant is very lively and a favorite of both locals and tourists. Upon finishing my meal, I could understand why it is so popular.

Restaurant: Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro, Owners: John & Ellen Lee, Maya Beach, Placencia Belize, Phone: 1-501-533-8040. Open Lunch and Dinner.

Victoria House (San Pedro, Ambergris Caye)

Victoria House Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

In San Pedro’s Victoria House, I met the resort’s director, Janet Woollam for lunch. Janet kindly squired me around the luxuriously lush property. This gem is located on the island of Ambergris Caye, about a mile from the second largest barrier reef in the world, and easily accessible by plane from Belize City.

victoria-house-belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

Victoria House has won numerous luxury awards and is a great place to relax with a cool Coconut Mojito, which is exactly what I did. The Palmilla Dining Room features a mix of seafood and continental dishes, all expertly created by Executive Chef Jose Luis Ortega.

Mixed bean soup Victoria House Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

For lunch, I started the meal with a delicious black and red bean soup and finished with a grilled fish sandwich.

Grouper Sandwich Victoria House Belize Three Spectacular Places to Eat in Belize

The Admiral Nelson’s Bar located close to the beach affords more casual dining for both lunch and dinner.  The Lancaster Group out of Texas owns the property. Most of the guests staying here are from the United States and have come to regard this beautiful resort as a perfect ‘getaway’ from their busy lifestyle. I couldn’t agree more with this assessment.

Restaurant:  Victoria House Resort, San Pedro,  Ambergris Caye, Belize Phone: 501-226-2067.  Open for Lunch and Dinner.

Note: This wonderful post is shared from Planet Blue Adventure, a blog about travel, food, and everything in between! Visit it here for more great content like this.