You don’t have to sample iguana eggs in Belize to eat like a local. If “Bamboo Chicken” isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of other options! Continue reading for three restaurants recommendations in San Ignacio, Belize.
When planning a trip to Belize make sure you include local dining options in your itinerary. Food in Belize is influenced by Mexican, Caribbean, and Mestizo cultures. There is something for everyone in Belize!
If you are planning a visit to San Ignacio or Xunantunich, include the places below on your itinerary. We visited several restaurants, and food stands in San Ignacio, but nothing came close to the quality and taste as the three we recommend in this article.
Downtown San Ignacio: Mickey’s Snack Shack, 7 Burns Avenue
There are a lot of restaurants on Burns Avenue. Your hotel and TripAdvisor might tell you they are fantastic options too. However, after trying a couple out, we weren’t impressed. Crowded, slow service, inattentive staff, and overpriced food, catering mainly to tourists, rather than locals.
If you want delicious and inexpensive food, walk down Burn’s Avenue (towards the police station) and grab dinner at Mickey’s Snack Shack.
Mickey’s is a small, fast food joint that is extremely popular with locals and tourists. Mickey’s snack shack is not a sit-down restaurant. Mickey’s is a little food stand with a walk-up window where you place your order. There are a few picnic tables that you can sit at to eat, but you shouldn’t depend on finding seating there. If you do find seating at Mickey’s, you may get accidentally bumped and jostled by the crowd waiting in line.
The food is made fresh and is delicious. The owner is exceptionally friendly and patient. He will provide you with recommendations if you are not sure what to try. I recommend trying an Indian taco (flat fried dough with meat, veggies, and sauce on top), empanadas (fried corn dough with chicken inside) and tostadas (deep fried tortilla with meat and vegetables on top). Don’t forget to try the fresh watermelon or lime juice.
Breakfast is supposed to be just as amazing here. Unfortunately, we didn’t know Mickey’s Snack Shack existed until our last night, so we never got a chance to try breakfast.
This is a small family owned place. You can tell they have a lot of pride in what they do. We were happy to support them.
Bullet Tree Falls: KAY – J Fast Food (Small Yellow food stand near Parrot Nest Lodge)
About 3 miles (5km) from San Ignacio is another little locally owned food stand. The only reason we found this gem was because we were staying at Parrot Nest Lodge and this food stand was within walking distance of it.
If you are staying in downtown San Ignacio, you will need to take a taxi. For about $1-$2 USD per person, you can take a Bullet Tree Collectivo Taxi. You can catch one of these taxis outside of Belize Bank. You will see the sign. Ask the driver to bring you to the entrance of Parrot Nest Lodge and then walk down the road until you see the small yellow house (across from a school) as pictured below. Make sure you arrange a ride back to San Ignacio once you get to Bullet Tree Falls.
The hours at this food stand vary. The woman who owns it is usually open for lunch, closes for a few hours, and reopens again for dinner. Avoid going between the hours of 2-5, or you will probably find that it’s closed.
The owner makes everything fresh right in front of you. I have never had such delicious food in my life! The salbutes (fried corn dough with chicken and veggies on top) that she made were phenomenal. She also makes and sells her own amazing Belizean hot sauce. We bought several jars to take home.
Everything this woman makes is fantastic. The servings are enormous, and the prices are low. We ordered a ton of food to try, and it came to USD 8. We were sure she forgot to charge us for something. We checked, and the total was correct.
There are more seating options here, so you can sit down and enjoy there. It’s a good idea to stay because I guarantee you will want seconds and thirds!
We visited her food stand three times in 2 days! If this woman could cook for me every day, I would be happy for the rest of my life, and fat.
I can’t recommend this place enough. It is worth a couple of dollars it takes to get a taxi to this place.
San Jose Succotz (near Xunantunich): Benny’s Kitchen
Include a stop at Benny’s Kitchen for lunch or dinner during your visit to Xunantunich. After a few hours in the heat walking around Xunatunich Benny’s is a welcome and shaded respite from the heat. There is no air conditioning, but there is shade, fans, and a steady breeze.
There are lots of signs, and it is easy to get to from Xunatunich.
Benny’s has delicious Belizean food that is organic, and incredibly inexpensive. I recommend sampling items from their appetizer menu. The empanadas (fried corn dough with chicken inside) and salbutes (fried corn dough with chicken and veggies on top) are fantastic and cheap! My husband and I couldn’t stop eating either of them. We ordered 2-3 servings of each. By the time we got our main dish of rice and beans, we were full. The rice and beans include salad, fried plantain, and meat. The food is affordable so you can sample many different items from the menu. If you are trying to keep to a budget, you can order a couple of appetizers and a drink for about USD 5.
This is a regular restaurant. You can sit down and eat here. Not a food stand.
The only downfall of Benny’s is the service. The staff was not friendly or attentive. Still, the food is so good that you can overlook that small annoyance.
Don’t waste your time or money in other places that will leave you disappointed. Consider all of these locations part of your Belizean experience.