Many people come to Belize for the fantastic weather, relaxed Caribbean vibe, and exciting nature destinations but only realize upon their arrival that one of Belize’s finest attractions is its diverse and delicious cuisine. A harmonious blend of cultural influences from the country’s diverse cultural groups, Belizean food is renowned for its freshness, variety, and innovative approach to flavor.
Some of the best foods in Belize have been enjoyed for thousands of years, including the classic Maya dish of cochinita pibil made from roasted pork flavored with annatto seeds. Barbecue and grilled meats of all sorts are popular in Belize, the word “barbecue” itself coming from Caribbean islanders. Other Caribbean and African-influenced foods in Belize can be seen in Garifuna cuisine, including hudut (a kind of fish stew cooked in coconut), cassava bread, sere (a spicy plantain soup), and fufu (cassava and corn soup). Spanish-speaking immigrants brought classic dishes like escabeche (onion soup) while the British left behind a fondness for English classics like hot cross buns.
Here are a few Belizean classics everyone visiting the country should try:
Beans and Rice
The staple dish on every Belizean’s table, rice and beans are often served with stew chicken, onion sauce, and/or coconut milk to provide a very satisfying lunch or dinner.
Every Belizean home cook has their own take on this classic, using a blend of local spices and herbs to create tender chicken that perfectly pairs with rice and beans and/or potato salad for a hearty meal.
While many people think of tamales as a Mexican dish, it was actually the ancient Maya who perfected the art of wrapping chicken or pork in a corn husk before steaming it to create this delicious food.
Belize has more than 200 miles of Caribbean coastline, so it’s no surprise that fresh seafood is an important part of local cuisine. Belizean ceviche uses seafood like conch or lobster, marinating it lime juice, and then adding an explosion of flavor with garlic, onion, and hot peppers. Served chilled, ceviche is the perfect meal for a hot day.
The PanDiRiva Restaurant at Black Orchid Resort
If you’re eager to sample some authentic Belizean cuisine, visit the PanDiRiva Restaurant and Bar located at the Black Orchid Resort in the village of Burrell Boom. Located just a short drive from the Belize City international airport, the Black Orchid Resort is a great base to explore all of the top eco-tourism attractions in the country.