An Afternoon in Belize City…It’s Really Growing on Me

Each time I go to Belize City for the day, I like it more and more.  Particularly the food.  Yesterday, I took the Caye Caulker Water Taxi to meet a friend and to see the Jade Head at the Museum of Belize.  With three huge cruise ships in the harbor and the sun shining, the city was bustling with happy tourists and hundreds of tour guides.

The horse carriages were lined up to take visitors on tours.

I can’t go to Belize anymore without stopping in for the best johnny cake I’ve ever eaten.  La Petit Cafe (you are right…the name does not scream johnny cakes) is in the Radisson annex and does a ton of breakfast business.

For $1.80bzd, you get a ridiculously good jalapeno johnny cake warm with ham and cheese.  Jalapeno should be a standard flavor.   I had to have two.

After oohing and aahhhing over the Jade Head of Altun Ha for about an hour, we made our way to the Buttonwood Bay section of town (to what looked like an upper middle class area) and to Chap’s Bar and Grill.  I’d never been before.

I usually go to Chon Saan Palace or Riverside Tavern…time to mix things up.  And I’m SO glad I did.  THIS FOOD IS AWESOME.  The best beef I’ve ever had in Belize and definitely the best food I’ve had in Belize City.  And the margaritas?  Strong and delicious.  Just like I like them.

Christian, my new friend and the owner (it’s been open for just about a year) is a sweetheart.  Here he is with Tanya.

The restaurant is a big circular building with a bar on one side and a big open eating area.  There are picnic tables outside on the lawn when the crowd gets big.  Word on the street is that the party is huge on Friday nights.  I’m hoping to go back for the rocking Cinco de Mayo party.

It is decorated very cute (cutely?) and had quite a crowd.  I even ran into some San Pedranos having lunch.

I had the house specialty, the arracherra.  Tenderized with papaya leaves, marinated for 24 hours, this beef is TENDER.  And you can have it in corn, white flour or whole wheat tortillas, in a quesadilla or stuff in a baked potato with sour cream, butter and other toppings.  Oh my.

I tried mine in the whole wheat tortillas with cheese and all the fixings.  Each taco cost about $3.50bzd with the added cheese.  And two make a perfect lunch.  And I loved the whole wheat tortilla.

Tanya tried the chipotle chicken with tostones.  Tostones, I learned, are mashed green plantains formed into patties and deep fried.  (For more information on the preparation and more pictures, check out Tanya’s blog:  Tizzle Sizzles)

Next time you are in Belize City, you have to try this place.  Your taxi driver will know where it is.

I headed back for the 2.30pm boat to San Pedro.  I was a bit early so I headed over to my favorite afternoon bar in the city.  It is directly across the river from the water taxi office.  Just walk right over the swing bridge and a few alleys down, you will find it.

It’s a simple local place with a great view of the fisherman and their boats.  I saw a bunch of laundry getting done.

Here is the view of the bar from the Caye Caulker water taxi terminal.

After all those good eats, it’s time to head back to San Pedro.  And Belize City?  I’m learning to really like you.





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  • Excellent photography (again)!!! Your images are enticing me to spend more time in Belize City next trip. I especially like your food images – you need to add a “scratch & sniff” app for your poor readers.

  • Me

    thanks very much. I wish I had an order of those tacos right now!

  • totally awesome. I love these pics. The food and boat pics are gorgeous! Yes, I called food gorgeous.

  • Me

    The food is gorgeous. And Belize City has looking gorgeous herself.

  • Wow! You manage to make Belize City look a lot better than I’ve ever seen it. And that food…heavenly!