Food Stalls

If you are looking for super local flavor in Belize, this is a quick run down of what you will find. You’ve got everything from tamales to garnaches, rice and beans to tacos. Most all of it is in the big intersection in the middle of town, in the market on Saturdays or at a snack shack on Burns Ave. – Mencho’s.


There are few things in the world that can be described as tantalizing. The Papusa is one of them. To know them is to eat them is to love them. They aren’t actually Belizean though, they are from El Salvador, but because of the shear goodness of them they have become quite popular. You can find papusas at the market on Saturday or at the papusaria (typico Salvadoreno) in Santa Elena in the bright blue, tiny building just near the DMV, which is also the road back to┬áMountain Pine Ridge. They’re created from re-fried beans and cheese (and meat if you want), delicately stuffed inside a ball of corn tortilla dough, squashed flat, fried and then topped with pickled cabbage and hot sauce (optional). Of all the things you eat in San Ignacio, this one is a must. The price is between 1.50-2.50bz.

Fruit stands

During the day you can find all sorts of local fruit, some you probably know, some you may not. It’s all seasonal and relatively fresh picked. It’s around a dollar per bag depending on what you get. Two are located on the left if you are walking around the corner from the bus station/market into the big intersection. Some of the fruit that you might not know but are delicious are: the Custard Apple, Black Sapote, Dragon Fruit, Soursop, Wax Apples, Apple Bananas, Star Fruit and Guava. Most of these you will have to find in the market and you can only get them when they are in season.

Rice and Beans

Rice and beans are easiest to find late at night. It’s 5bz a plate, and typically comes with stewed chicken and potato salad. There’s a rice and beans stand that sets up at night in front of TaiSan, around the corner from the fruit stand.


Another late night option. It’s meat that’s cooked on a rotating spit (like gyro meat) or grilled on a very hot bit of metal and put in a corn tortilla. If you want the good tacos you want to head to the lady in front of the post office. She sells them for 1bz each and if every one doesn’t want one, she is right next to the hot dog guy.


The garnaches stand is next to the ice chest in front of Tai San. If you don’t know what garnaches are, they’re more or less little tostadas topped with beans, cheese, and cabbage. She doesn’t set up until nightish and stays open until everything quiets down. Garnaches are 3 for $1bz. She also sells tamales and salbutes.

There are a variety of other things around that you will see. Most of them are variations on the things listed above. Just ask and they’ll tell you what they have.


Tamales are pretty common in the worsd of central american food. They are usually chicken, beef or pork, some sauce and corn tortilla dough. They are then wrapped up in corn husks and steamed. If you have had them before the only real difference between tamales in other countries and Belize is the fact that the local ones still have the bones in them. You are supposed to suck out the marrow.


There is also something here that is called a “bollo”. It’s sort of the same thing as a tamale, but the cooking process is different in the way that a tamale is cooked mazza stuffed and steamed. A bollo is raw mazza that is stuffed and boiled. Bollos can also have beans adden to the mazza and they usually come wrapped in a banana leaf.


There is one other varation on the tamale that you’ll find here is San Ignacio. It’s the tamalito. It’s basically a tamale with nothing in it. They can be either sweet or savory. If you get a good one, it should be super moist and a little slippery. If you happen to get some and put them in a fridge, they will dry out pretty fast. Don’t worry though, just trow them in the microwave, then cut them in half and put some butter on them.

There are a variety of other things around that you will see. Most of them are variations on the things listed above. Just ask and they’ll tell you what they have.

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