El Patio Restaurant: Tasty Food, Great Service & That Caye Lime Pie

El Patio Restaurant’s amazingly spacious dining area, bar, and lounge have been hiding from me in plain sight. And it wasn’t until I put out the call for “Best Caye Lime Pie” in San Pedro that it really got on my radar. It got the most votes from my readers in an impromptu poll. It was time to visit.

Large dining space at El Patio
By 1pm most of these tables were filled but there is still so much room!

El Patio is a long-standing restaurant in downtown San Pedro – over 20 years old! Sandwiched between Front Street and Middle Street, you may have passed the sign and not realized how roomy and pretty it is inside.

Front Entrance
This is the entrance on Front Street – you can enter on the cross street as well

They serve island classics – ceviche, fresh seafood, tasty tacos, jalapeno poppers that I hear are incredible and lots more.

A few days ago, I asked Jeff to meet me there for lunch. My friend Pancho, who has taken over management this year, invited us. Previously, he worked at Truck Stop for 6 years – starting at the most junior level (busboy – or busman?) and then moving up to management. He’s a great addition to any restaurant.

Pancho at El Patio
That’s Pancho

The food was really, really tasty, the service was fantastic, and that lime pie? Well…I’ll get to that! Let me show you my pictures.

El Patio is a large restaurant but set up in a way to make it really intimate. The tables are generously spaced so you have so much room. It’s a great spot for large groups (a table of 15 arrived a few minutes after we ordered) – perfect for business meetings, couples, or…well, just about anyone. I’ll show you.

Seating by the bar
Seating by the bar area with a view of Front Street

I can picture bringing my computer to this area during the day for work with a side of pie.

The lounge area
Loungy area in the middle

Some pics of the menu. You can order the dinner menu for lunch too…

I want to try the Fisherman’s Soup. I love a seafood soup with coconut milk and rice. So tasty. Or fried conch strips. My fave.

Menu for lunch or dinner
Lunch menu

A bit of the dinner menu.

Dinner menu

I asked our very attentive waiter what the most popular dishes are. And he said people love the salbutes and the crispy chicken and bacon tacos. I also noticed they were doing good take-out business with locals/folks working in town. He told me that they sell out of stewed chicken every single day. Now that’s a good sign! I’ll take that too.

Chicken salbutes
5 delicous chicken salbutes

In case you don’t know the difference between salbutes, tostadas and garnaches or rice and beans vs rice with beans, I wrote this primer. I love salbutes and these are delicious.

Fried chicken tacos
Fried Chicken bacon chipotles tacos are as good as they sound – the sauces really make them!

And the stewed chicken is falling apart tender and deliciously spiced. I can see why they sell out. I also like the fresh salsa with it…adds a bit of sour that makes everything taste so good.

Stewed chicken at El Patio

You might be asking yourself…how could these piggies possibly have room for pie. We did. Hardly. But ordered a slice.

And got two! Jeff balked. He said he only wanted a bite.

And then we finished both slices.

Key Lime Pie at El Patio

This is not your classic condensed milk custard room temp pie. This is a frozen, ultra-tart, not cloying sweet, creamy like the whipped cream is whipped right in, almost ice cream pie. It’s really refreshing, really delicious. I can see why it got so many votes for best in town.

My first of many over the next few months. I’m excited…and slightly nervous.

What a great meal. And if you are thinking of trying it too, let me recommend it for tomorrow night. The very entertaining Kelly McGuire will be playing there tomorrow night in the evening. It’s one of his last shows in San Pedro for 2024. Make a reservation for a table in this large space that is just about perfect for live music under the string lights with the Caribbean breeze blowing thru.

El Patio and Kelly McGuire
El Patio big space

And to whoever snatched our to-go food from our golf cart later that day (we left it unattended for about an hour), I know you loved it. So good – I don’t blame you (well…not really).

For details, hours and live music information, see their Facebook page. And let me know what you think.

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7 Comments

  1. Frank J on February 9th, 2024 at 10:32 am

    I was there 2 weeks ago. Food was pretty good. Keep in mind that great price for Chicken under the Rice and Beans is for stewed chicken. They were out that day and the bartender simply said they had fried chicken instead (average at best). And the price doubled to $30, but we worked out the misunderstanding the bartender took blame for. Which was cool, and I would give them a 4.5 ⭐rating. Nice place.

  2. Dom on February 9th, 2024 at 11:00 am

    Damn! You beat us to it. We’ve been going past frequently for Atlantic Bank visits and I kept telling Kay we needed to try it. Caye Lime pie is my fave, so now it’s a must do.

    • Brenda Ward on February 9th, 2024 at 12:30 pm

      I enjoy reading your articles. I am interested in a book that you mentioned, San Pedro History of Tourism by Mito Paz which was available at the San Pedro Tourism Information Center/ House of Culture, which is closed. I am wondering if you know where I could purchase this book?
      Thank you,
      Brenda

      • San Pedro Scoop on February 10th, 2024 at 9:52 am

        Is the information booth closed? It is right next to the definitely closed House of Culture. I’ll try to find out more!

  3. SPmQQseBZ on February 11th, 2024 at 3:52 pm

    el patio may be the best restaurant in all of san pedro….
    every dish served is top of the mark.
    the owners/managers/staff are great people….
    you wont find a nicer looking place to eat on this island.

    • San Pedro Scoop on February 12th, 2024 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you for the positive feedback!

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