Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language, so even if you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll be fine explaining that you don’t want mayo on top or cheese sprinkled on top of your burrito. Plus, the people have an understanding of the vegan concept, so even if there is nothing vegan on the menu, they can wrap something up for you.
There is a strong Mexican influence here, talking enchiladas, tortillas, burritos and the lot. However, there are some local specialties we enjoyed mucho:
1. Fried Jacks: not the healthiest ones, but sometimes it just has to be fried! The dough is without eggs and most shops have the black-beans-only-option. Hearty!
2. Local legend Marie Sharp: Hot sauce you’ll find everywhere. Vegan, local, HOT!
3. Journey Cake: some carbs, a bit dry. Put some Marie Sharp on it.
4. Porpusas: at streetfood stalls they prepare it right in front of you. Make sure it only comes with cabbage and beans (or else you end up with chicken or whatnot).
We entered the country in the north, coming from Mexico. So we cut a long bus ride and stopped for a night in Corozal, near the border. This place is nothing to write home about, but at least I didn’t have to go hungry to bed on my birthday because we found „Venky’s Kabab Corner“ (5th Street South). It was a bit of a mission to get to so we asked several people if they knew this Indian restaurant, but obviously most people only go there to take away, so „restaurant“ is a bit exaggerated and several people just shrugged their shoulders. However, in the end we found it, we did eat in and didn’t regret it! Authentic Indian food by an Indian expat with whom we had a lovely chat. Good portions and tasty food in a somewhat simple room with plastic chairs, so come here for the food, not for the atmosphere.
In San Ignacio make sure to visit „Cayo Twist“. It’s a local institution for over 13 years and they have vegan ice cream only, yeah!! Apparently they started because someone heared that soy milk is the healthier version than cow’s milk. Word spread and today it’s so successful that people come from near and far and buy their ice team by the gallon.
It’s a steep hike up the hill from the town (western Highway, right at the intersection), but it’s so worth it. The „Oreo Sundae“ was pure bliss, but you’ll get all sorts of smoothies and mixed ice creams as well. Unfortunately only open after 5 pm from Thursday to Sunday.
Another place we liked a lot in San Ignacio is opposite the central market place (where local farmers sell their fresh veggies, coconuts etc on Saturdays), a small yellow wooden hut which advertises with vegan options. They are super friendly and we had a cheap and delicious lentil stew and a vegan lasagne. Good portions.
In Hopkins, we had a good vegan curry at „Tina’s restaurant“, accompanied with a Garifuna Drum session that was quite entertaining (but a conversation killer, don’t come here on your first date!).
Looking back, we often bought our veggies at local stores and fixed up a meal ourselves. Belize is quite pricey compared to other Central American countries (belize it or not), so in order not to stretch your budget too much, you might be better off looking for accommodation with a kitchen or at least basic cooking facilities to save some $.