Jyoto Japanese Restaurant (Ambergris Caye): Mahogany Bay Village has assembled a fine team of all kinds of purveyors, but they really knocked it out of the park by bringing Chef Toshiya on board to build out a sushi restaurant. Frankly the food here is so superior that it’s worth making a trip out just for a meal.
- Wet Lizard (Belize City): This often-rowdy little restaurant and bar still serves up excellent fresh seafood and burgers, in an open-air setting overlooking the Swing Bridge and Belize Harbor. This is a great place to savor some late-afternoon conch fritters and a refreshing drink.
- Elvi's Kitchen (San Pedro, Ambergris Caye): Elvia Staines has come a long way since she began selling hamburgers out of a takeout window over 30 years ago. Today her friendly and very popular restaurant oozes island charm. The restaurant is a thatched, screened-in building with picnic tables, with a large flamboyant tree growing up through the roof and a floor of crushed shells and sand. No visit to Ambergris Caye is complete without a meal here.
- Palmilla (Ambergris Caye; tel. 226-2067): This is easily the most elegant and finest dining to be had on Ambergris Caye, if not in all of Belize. The atmosphere is island formal, meaning relaxed yet refined at the same time, and the chefs here prepare the freshest of local ingredients with a creative blend of techniques, spices, and cuisines from around the world. When the weather's nice, you can dine under the stars by candlelight.
Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks (Caye Caulker): Almost every restaurant sells fry jacks in some form or another, which is what makes Errolyn’s stand out: she has fry jacks worth skipping all the others for. Find her on Middle Street on Caye Caulker.
Amor y Cafe (Caye Caulker): This little café serves one of the best breakfasts in Belize. It has a solid Belizean menu, strong coffee, and excellent people watching: a perfect way to start the day.
Maya Beach Hotel Bistro (Placencia): This unassuming hotel restaurant serves up my favorite food on the Placencia peninsula. The menu is peppered with creative concoctions and hearty favorites, and the open-air main dining room is set just a few steps from the sea.
Chef Rob’s (Hopkins Village): For decades, Chef Rob garnered fame in top kitchens around Belize before finally setting up shop in the sleepy Garífuna village of Hopkins. The creative and eclectic menu changes nightly, with Chef Rob working his magic in a tiny show kitchen just off the even tinier bar.
- Marian's Bayview (Punta Gorda; tel. 722-0129): The ambience and decor here are basic -- at best. But the mix of Indian and Belizean cuisine is some of the most spectacular in southern Belize. The small menu changes regularly, but always includes some of Marian's expertly prepared spicy East Indian fare.
Pop’s Restaurant (San Ignacio): This beloved breakfast joint has just expanded into dinner service, and people are overjoyed. Cayo’s best fry jacks can be found here, any breakfast choice will be the right one.
- La Ceiba (at Ka’ana, just outside San Ignacio; p. ###): Exceptional food is served in a seriously beautiful setting. The cooking showcases traditional regional cuisine, updated with classical French and contemporary fusion touches.
- La Luna (Flores, Guatemala; tel. 502/7926-3346): If you find yourself in Flores, Guatemala, be sure to seek out this hip little restaurant. The eclectic decor varies from room to room, but like the food, it is consistently creative and tasteful.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.