Belize: The Best Destination For Vegetarians (And Vegans)
Belize is such a wonderful place to visit. Whether you are an eco-tourist, want a vacation filled with adventure, or simply want to relax on the beach with a cool drink, you can find your heart’s desire in this beautiful Caribbean country.
But what about the food? If you’re one of the world’s 375 million vegetarians or vegans, will you find anything to eat here?
While Belize is known for its delicious seafood, it also has a surprising number of selections for those who prefer to forgo animal products.
Ethnic restaurants are an easy way to meet your dietary needs. Given that Belize used to be a
British colony, it’s no wonder that there are Indian restaurants you can try. The spice of India in Belize City, for example, offers many vegan items. There are also Chinese restaurants such as the Veggie Garden in Belmopan.
In popular tourist destinations such as San Pedro, upscale restaurants such as the Blue Water Grill serve delicious fare such as zucchini noodles with roasted cauliflower and candied sweet potatoes. Even local favorites such as Elvi’s, which focuses on local fare, has vegetarian dishes such as the flavorful rice-and-beans, a Belizean staple cooked in coconut milk and often served with a side of plantains.
Other traditional favorites you will find as you travel through the country include fry jacks, which are fried pockets of fluffy bread that are often served for breakfast and garnaches, which are a street food consisting of fried corn tortillas topped with refried beans, cabbage, cheese and sauce. While these are often topped with shredded, cooked meat, it is easy to ask for them without this final topping.
In Caye Caulker, you’ll find veggie kebabs at Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen and in San Ignacio there are a number of restaurants like Ko-Ox Han Nah and Erva’s that server a variety of vegetarian dishes.
The Cayo district is also home to the country’s largest farmers’ market, so it’s a wonderful place to sample a variety of locally grown organic produce. Here you might find exotic fruits such as dragonfruit as well as more familiar favorites such as delicious local oranges.
What if you wander into a small village café off the beaten path and can’t find anything that fits your dietary needs on the menu? Simply explain your requirements. People in Belize are gracious and because English is the official language, you’ll be able to communicate. In general, if you ask politely, you’ll find people more than willing to accommodate you.