The best part about the food in Belize is the freshness. Coming from the Midwest, we have a severe lack of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter months. Nearly everywhere we ate incorporated ingredients that I could literally see on the trees surrounding the property. Now that’s fresh.
If you find yourself in San Ignacio, Belize make sure you take time to stop at the Guava Limb Cafe. Tucked into a row off the main strip, the Guava Limb is a hidden gem. When we stopped in, it was so hot outside that we didn’t have a huge appetite so we settled on two appetizers – the conch ceviche and grilled vegetable terrine. Both were easily two of our favorite dishes that we had the entire trip to Belize.
The conch was extremely tender and perfectly seasoned. The vegetable terrine was actually so good that we tried to recreate it as soon as we got home.
Our next culinary adventure took us to Mom’s Backyard in the downtown area of San Ignacio. We randomly stumbled into this restaurant because I was extremely hangry and the sign said ceviche. (I seriously have a ceviche addiction)
We tried shrimp ceviche as an appetizer and then I ordered coconut shrimp with plantains and Russ had chicken wings. (because you can never go wrong with chicken wings) This was off the beaten path of the “tourist area” and there were a lot of locals enjoying lunch. I understand why this place is popular – their standard Belizean rice and beans meal was only $4 US and looked HUGE!
The food was good but what was most memorable was the experience. When we arrived, they had local music on – reggae, and spanish language music. Within 10 minutes of our arrival the station switched to what I can only describe as white old man radio. Soon enough we were being serenaded by Barry Manilow. I can only chalk it up to coincidence, but by the second or third slow, depressing love song, more tourists started to show up. I really hope it was a coincidence and the owners aren’t going to continue to torture their regulars with horrible music to attract the tourists.
Across the street from Mom’s Backyard was a very small shop advertising nail salon services and car repair. As we sat there, a new car would drive up every 4 or 5 minutes, get something quickly repaired, and drive off. Whomever owns that place is making a killing on the toll the rough roads take on cars!
While in San Ignacio we HAD to stop at the large market toward the center of town. We made our way through dozens of vendors selling delicious and fresh fruits and vegetables, hand made art, clothing, and various meat.
We bought some limes (because, Belikin – duh!) and a vegetable we had never seen before. We got back to our lodge and discovered the limes are orange in the middle! They taste just like the limes we get here but they’re a different color. So interesting! The vegetable we tried was similar to a cucumber but not nearly as juicy. I can’t remember what it was called so if you can identify it – leave a comment!
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