I saved the best for last – the food! Not a single McDonald’s or Starbucks exists on Ambergris Caye! Please let it stay this way. Every cuisine and budget is available on this island. Fresh food featuring local options offer the best pricing. We went during lobster season, so we ate a lot of lobster!
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This list of the best restaurants in San Pedro Belize includes some of our favorite places:
Angel Coral Street (Back Street) – Website
This place is a must-try! We shared a lobster burrito – the stuffing contained at least one lobster tail, topped by another lobster tail, covered with a coconut cream sauce! And all for $8US! I overlooked the slightly over-cooked lobster, considering the price, the quantity, and the entire presentation. Like a lot of the local restaurants, the facility consists of an open space with dirt floors and wooden tables – nothing fancy. Expect it to be filled with locals. Don’t come when you’re hungry or when it is crowded as food is cooked to order!
1 Mile North
Located on the north side of the bridge, this romantic and elegant restaurant features a limited menu during the week. The night we went offered Robin’s Kitchen jerk chicken or grilled fish. We drank the bottomless sangria for $12US – which was dangerous because they constantly refilled our glasses! Someone from the restaurant picked up a couple from our hotel, in a golf cart, of course – door to door service!
#2 Trigger Fish Street – Website
Belizean food kicked up a notch and located about a half a block from the airport. We tried the conch ceviche and Belizean creole. Our waiter forgot our appetizer but we were full anyway! Considering we visited during the low season, the crowd showed the popularity of this place with locals and tourists alike. The decor features wooden picnic tables covered by a table cloth and sand on the ground for a laid back atmosphere.
Blue Water Grill:
Beachfront, Barrier Reef Drive (across from Tropic Air) – Website
A fancier restaurant located across the street from the airport and facing the water. The menu changes every night with different themes. We ate lunch (thanks to our friend John Turley from ReMax next door). The fabulous location features a view of the boats and tours coming and going from San Pedro. The coconut shrimp skewers have a unique presentation – try the black bean sauce with it. Our empty plates proved how delicious the fish tacos, jerk chicken wrap, and falafel salad were!
I dreamt of the Mayan Buffet featured on Friday nights from the time we booked our trip. Unfortunately, it was not offered during the off-season. We shared a big fried fish for $65 Bz and asked our waitress how to eat it! The jalapeños stuffed with chicken and cheese, which had a bit of heat, were a nice appetizer. The freshly made coconut pie was served warm with a scoop of ice cream (Finally! A place that offered dessert!).
The Truck Stop:
1 Mile North – Website
Located on the north side of the bridge, The Truck Stop is worth a stopover for a bite and a drink. Transformed shipping containers form the buildings. Featuring a bar, an ice cream place, a Malaysian fusion, and an arepa place, something is sure to please everyone in a group. We enjoyed hot and spicy shrimp and a spring roll from the Malaysian place. There are plenty of tables in the middle and the back areas. You can lounge or play cornhole and other games. All Incredibly friendly and helpful employees recommended food and drinks based on your likes. Bring lots and lots of bug spray since you are outside!
Across the street from our hotel, Robin sets up a grill on which he spends his afternoon grilling his jerk chicken. Don’t come here expecting to be served when you are hungry – the food is ready when it is ready and once it runs out, the place closes. Once finished cooking, Robin leaves and his wife takes over making plates. For a very decent fee your plate is filled with jerk chicken, rice, beans and a type of coleslaw.
The adventurous who want to try real local food, go to Neri’s Tacos, about two blocks from the airport. Foreigners rarely come. Since the workers spoke more creole than Spanish, even I had a hard time communicating here! Fortunately, between the picture menus and locals helping me, we ordered an array of items. The food is super cheap – we’re talking $1BZ for some items, so don’t expect huge quantities. Because of the price, you can buy many items and try it all (like we did above)! You must try the fryjacks (a local fried bread, often topped or stuffed with something like ham or beans). But be forewarned that when they run out of fryjacks, they are out!
Mambo at Matachica Resort:
5 Miles North – Website
This luxury resort located about five miles north of San Pedro features a well-reputed restaurant. We arranged a pick up at the dock from downtown San Pedro and enjoyed a moonlit boat ride. We were the only guests not staying at the resort, so we were rushed through the end of our dinner. The beautiful night created a romantic moonlight ride. The prices were out of this world (definitely not The Common Traveler approved!). I can’t remember if any of the entrees on the menu were less than $35US – a lot pricier compared to the fabulous food we enjoyed at other places. If you’re looking for a special treat, consider Mambo, because for me the ambiance and the ride made up for the prices!
When will I learn not to eat hamburgers in other countries? So many reviews said this place cooked the best hamburgers on the island that we decided to take a chance one night. That was our mistake. This is an outdoor place (think patio) and lots of expats hang out here (they were showing football games). The friendly bartender took our order and made suggestions. The hamburgers were okay but certainly not the best I’ve ever had. The overdone meat consisted of a previously frozen patty. The not skinny but over-salted fries compensated for the sad burger. Funny theme and décor but with so many other places to eat, don’t waste a meal here.
Across the street from Mata Rocks and next door to Robin’s Kitchen a small hole in the wall place called Delicia’s Deli attracts locals. Without the recommendations received from others, I never would have considered it. For $18BZ, you receive a full container with a grilled lobster tail with melted butter, rice, and coleslaw. Good food at a cheap price, who can complain?
Please let us know what restaurants in San Pedro Belize you’ve enjoyed in a comment below!
Annick, The Common Traveler