I haven’t written a post all about places to eat while traveling on the blog yet. That’s because I’m not really a foodie. And I rarely remember to take photos of what I’m eating anyway.
Typically, I like to cook when I’m traveling. I especially like to cook for friends who let me stay at their homes – if they’ll let me! If my accommodation does not have a kitchen then I’ll opt for simple meals sourced from a grocery store. Don’t get me wrong! I do enjoy dining out, but one restaurant meal a day is good for me. A slice of pizza or plate of tacos will do just fine. I’m easy to please and like to keep a tight budget!
It was a different story in Punta Gorda, Belize though. The food was so great and so affordable that I couldn’t get enough of it. I enjoyed at least two restaurant meals a day during my stay. Sometimes at the same restaurant twice in one day!
Best Places to Eat in Punta Gorda Belize
A plate full of barbecue jerk chicken, fried plantain, rice and stewed beans was my very first meal in Punta Gorda. This is the meal that set the bar for the rest of my meals this week. Boy, was I hungry when we finally found a restaurant that was open on my first day in town! Since it was Garifuna Settlement Day, a national holiday in Belize, Joycelyn’s was the only place we could find open for business.
Three things I loved: The subtle coconut flavor of the stewed beans (as all the stewed beans I ate in Belize had), so if you’re not a fan of coconut consider this fair warning. The picnic tables overlooked the Caribbean Sea from the large outdoor patio and were the only seating at the restaurant. Jocelyn sat with us while we ate and shared some bitter, fermented cherries with us.
Menu & prices: Jerk chicken with rice and beans (or beans and rice) was the only thing on the menu and it was $10 BZD (about $5 USD).
Location: Front Street, across from Petrol Station.
Lionfish, the specialty at Asha’s Culture Kitchen, is what most would expect to see in the tank next to their table, not on their plate. It’s popularity in the kitchen sprung from the need for invasive species intervention, which I found intriguing. Having studied environmental geography in college, I got really into the topic of invasive species distribution. I think this is a pretty creative environmental conservation effort.
Even though I ended up not getting a lionfish plate the night I ate at Asha’s (I am a native Cape Codder who happens to NOT be a big seafood eater, after all), I fully support their effort to protect the Belize Barrier Reef from the repercussions of this noxious species. I did try a bite from my friend’s plate and it most definitely is not for me.
Three things I loved: Asha introduced himself and chatted with me about invasive species when he saw me snapping these photos. My rice, also subtly coconut flavored, was served in the shape of a heart. The entire menu was on a decorative chalkboard wall.
Menu & prices: There’s plenty more than lionfish on the menu including vegetarian dishes. Prices ranged from $10-$25 BZD (about $5-$12.50 USD).
Location: 74 Front Street
Not only will you enjoy great food and atmosphere at Waluco’s Bar & Grill, but you’ll feel great about spending your dollars there. All proceeds support the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), an organization promoting the sustainable use of the diverse mountain-to-sea resources of Southern Belize. They are helping to protect natural areas and resources through direct management, research and monitoring, and community outreach.
Three things I loved: Lime Juice! The open air seating and kitchen – you could watch the food being cooked and the local kids jumping off a dock into the Caribbean at the same time. With free wifi, it’s a relaxing working area between lunch and dinner for locals and expats.
Menu & prices: There is a small but diverse menu and daily specials. Lunch and dinner entrees range from $7-$15 BZD (about $4-$7.50 USD).
Location: 1 Mile Hopeville
Otherwise known as Piece of Chicken at the Piece of Ground Hostel, Backa Jama’s specializes in delicious chicken burgers. The restaurant is located on the third floor of the hostel and offers full views of the town and distant, misty mountains. Of all the places to eat in Punta Gorda, Belize, I chose this place several times. I’m not ashamed to say that I ordered the same jalapeno burger every time, either!
Three things I loved: Sitting on a swing at my table while drinking beers and listening to music played from Youtube videos. This was a designated dinner and drinks spot while I was in Punta Gorda, so I got to chat with lots of locals and tourists playing pool. It’s on the outskirts of town and was a decent bike ride from my friend’s house.
Menu & prices: Chicken burgers and nachos pretty much make up the whole menu. A burger with fries will run you $8 BZD (about $4 USD) and a bottle Belekin Beer is $3-4 BZD (about $1.50-$2 USD).
Location: Pelican Street, sort of on the outskirts of town.
Have you been to Punta Gorda, Belize? Tell me in the comments below about your favorite places to eat in town.
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