Placencia, a little fishing community with a population of about 2,000 people, offers an alternative to tourist-heavy Belize.
Settled in the 1700s by Puritans from Nova Scotia, the population died out during the Spanish Central American conflicts in the 1820s. The Spanish are claimed to have called it Punta Placencia, Point Pleasant, which has since been shortened to Placencia.
Its Mayan history, on the other hand, dates back 3000 years, when the Placencia Peninsula was thought to be a major producer of salt.
And, as salt preserves and flavors, the eateries that have survived the epidemic have taken up the mantle of their grandparents (and mothers) to present outstanding gourmet options in this southeast area of Belize.
The Peninsula does have a Caribbean island vibe; you could hear Margaritaville as often here as in Miami. Despite being 19 miles long and just half a mile broad, you prefer to remain put.
Thankfully, I began at Carols Cabanas, a terrific site for a camping-style experience under a roof with a nice veranda and hammock, as well as convenient access to the 4,000-foot-long and 4-foot-wide Sidewalk, acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest main street.
Visiting other places in Belize? Check out our other tasty guides:
- 9 Best San Pedro Belize Restaurants
- 14 Fun Things To Do In San Pedro Belize
- 6 Fun Things To Do In Placencia
Start from the beginning of the Sidewalk and dine at all of these fantastic Placencia eateries, beginning with:
- 1 The Top 11 Placencia Restaurants
- 1.1 The Shak’s
- 1.2 Wendy’s Creole Restaurant & Bar is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- 1.3 Toasted Tutti Frutti
- 1.4 The Tickled Tuna
- 1.5 The Barefoot Bar
- 1.6 Rick’s Cafe
- 1.7 Cozy Spot
- 1.8 The Mysterious Garden
- 1.9 Ruths of Placencia
- 1.10 The Turtle Inn
- 1.11 Vendors on the street
- 1.12 At your own convenience
- 1.13 New harvest:
- 2 Which of these Placencia restaurants do you wish to try the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
The Top 11 Placencia Restaurants
Placencia Sidewalk +5016221686
This is an excellent place to begin. Sunbathe in the open air, on colorful picnic tables, or in Adirondack-style chairs that line the pier.
You may see children and people playing, as well as fisherman coming to the pier with their daily catch. And have fun in the water.
Choose the terrace near the kitchen for sun protection.
You may also select the swings at the bar for added enjoyment. Yep, right there at the bar. Just be aware that the seat is a bit lower than you’d expect to be able to eat comfortably from that posture.
Their shake menu is extensive and renowned. Few individuals have made it through the full list, and I have to admit that after only one, the Sexy Berry is already my fave. I may attempt a few others, but it will be difficult to sell.
It’s a great spot for healthy alternatives like seaweed smoothies and vegetarian burgers, as well as curry falafel, and they serve breakfast all day!
They have a whole area of their menu dedicated to curry options, but they also offer wonderful options for the rest of us.
To a lamb burger or teriyaki chicken, add cheese. All of them come with fries and pineapple coleslaw. chicken Their sandwiches vary from grilled fish to grilled chicken.
Jerk Chicken Nachos from their Miscellaneous section, on the other hand, piqued my interest. Nachos with grilled chicken. Tacos with Jerk Fish. Fritters of conch. Fritters with Lobster (June is Lobster Fest month). Tostadas with smoked fish. Tostadas with Pollo. Tostadas with lobster.
Ceviche may be cooked using conch, shrimp, or fish, or a mix of the three. Hummus and calamari round out the menu, with youngsters getting fish or chicken fingers and fries (who knew fish had fingers?).
But hold on, there’s more.
Examine the morning menu for available salads, quesadillas, or wraps, then ask the waitress for a suggestion. It’s a nice family with little children, so they’ve had lots of practice being patient with you.
So, it came down to the Jerk Chicken Wrap, which was labeled as hot, or the Baja Fish Wrap with Chipotle Mayo, which was not labeled as spicy but was cautioned by the waitress.
She advised avoiding the fiery Jerk Chicken Wrap after discovering I was new to town and my taste senses were still intact.
The Baja Fish Wrap was fantastic. The chipotle mayo was pretty spicy; I completed my Smoothie and four glasses of water before leaving the restaurant, and I drank even more when I got home. It was filled with fried (not breaded!) snapper fillet and a Hispanic relish.
If you were in Placencia for a week, you could come here every day and not have the same tasting portfolio again, providing you an excellent incentive to return to this Palencia restaurant.
Wendy’s Creole Restaurant & Bar is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Placencia Road +5015233335Placencia Rd
Wendys is a sleeper hit along the major vehicle road approaching the pier. I didn’t realize the French Creole impact on this area’s history, but it was the first place I ever had Fried Jacks.
These taste like beignets sans the powdered sugar when eaten warm. Delicious! Add salted butter and a spicy papaya jam, and you’ve got a morning delight we’ll be eating again and again.
One day, I had grilled snapper with mashed beans as a side. That was full and satisfying. What more could you want?
For the more daring diners, the day’s delicacies were Cow Foot Soup, Roasted Pork, and Stewed Chicken. All of these dishes are served with coconut rice or stew beans (I think thats what the mashed beans are called here).
I’d mentioned the Fry Jacks to my new neighbor, Mary, when I’d moved to a townhouse across the lagoon. She and her husband, John, like Wendy’s Fried Jacks, and she had no idea she enjoyed papaya. If we can, we’re going to take some papaya jam home with us. Wendys is a must-try for real Creole cuisine in Placencia.
Toasted Tutti Frutti
Tutti Frutti is the place to go when you can’t decide where to eat or simply want something light. The creamery, according to its proprietor, is gelato from Little Italy.
Several of the tastes are familiar from Italy, such as pistachio and straiticello, with the addition of tropical coconut flavors.
Whether you bring youngsters or simply the young at heart on your Placencia holiday, you’ll find yourself making frequent trips to Tutti Frutti.
So let us return to the Sidewalk.
The Tipsy Strip, located around midway down the Sidewalk, features beach dinners, a bakery, and many pubs.
The Tickled Tuna
Placencia Sidewalk +5015233089
You’ll soon grow used to the outdoor sitting choices available here. If you prefer not to sit on a chair, you may dine at a couch beneath a sun cover. This amazing eatery has the same interior space as its namesake.
The wait staff is kind and accommodating, and if you visit on a holiday, expect a fantastic special.
My visit coincided with a fantastic Deal of the Day: $1 wings. Even better when I discovered I could get them boneless (Yes, I do know thats essentially the same as chicken strips). They have so many distinct tastes that it’s difficult to choose just one. Sweet & Spicy and Honey Barbecue seem to be quite mundane, but safe, right? Garlic Parmesan and other selections rapidly pushed me out of my comfort zone.
That was much too much for one lunch to order two of everything I could eat, along with fries and a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri.
They were tangy, sweet, or garlicky, just as you wanted them. It’s a wonderful idea to serve the tastes in separate plastic dishes so they don’t mix.
And they enable take-out! I was relocating to an island and wanted to make sure I had protein, so I purchased a dozen to go. When I was without transportation one weekend, they were a wise decision since they lasted the whole time. And they were delicious when reheated in the oven.
Tipsy Tuna also serves burgers, tacos, and all the beverages you could desire. It’s one of the most popular stops on the Sidewalk, so make sure you test it out while you’re in Palencia.
The Barefoot Bar
Placencia Sidewalk +5015233515
According to neighbor Mary, the Barefoot Bar serves the best hamburgers in Placencia.
I went there early in my stay to stick with the fish and try some new stuff. Their response to the pandemic? They added tunes from the 1990s at the sink outside the restaurant that you could sing while washing your hands. From Barbie Girl, Macarena, Gangstas Paradise, Hit Me Baby One More Time, Wannabe, to I Want it That Way, let them witness how much fun YOU will be as their guest.
The menu is on the blackboard, drink specials on the left (Creole Gyal includes dark + coconut rum, pineapple, and OJ) while the lunch and supper specials are on the right.
Tamarind Chicken, personal size nachos, Shrimp Grilled Cheese, Conch Ceviche, and Portobello Mexican Pizza were among the offerings on that particular day.
My waitress provided me with the biggest menu I’d seen on the peninsula, with FOUR crammed pages of alcohol mixes, making it even more difficult to pick.
Even though there was another whole page of options, their Barefoot Bitchin Burgers would have to wait until another day.
After consulting with my waiter about the difference between salbutes and wraps, she suggested the grilled fish salbutes with spicy cilantro since I’d never eaten them before. She claimed they’d go light on the heat since my taste buds hadn’t recovered from my visit to the Shak.
The salbutes were little but powerful. One wouldn’t enough, but there were four. They were stuffed, so you had to eat them carefully lest you spill any, but only as far as your plate and utensils allowed. It was critical to ensure that you have all of the components in each mouthful for the greatest experience. Yum!
Cheesecake is their signature dessert. If you prefer cheesecake, here is the place to go. They have everything from peanut butter cookies to raspberry chocolate to blue velvet.
The Barefoot Bar is just enjoyable. They feature a new special every night and a local musician performs on Wednesday (visiting musicians are welcome), reggae on Thursday followed by a DJ, and live music on Friday and Saturday. To make the most of your time here on a Sunday, head to the Barefoot Bars All Day Beach Barbecue. This Placencia restaurant is another where you may return without eating the same dish again.
Placencia Sidewalk +5016668466
Ricks, a favorite of our caregivers’ children, provides meals crafted from high-quality ingredients such as imported Italian olive oils, semolina pasta, and cheeses. Everything else seems to be supplied locally. They take great satisfaction in their organic and free-range steaks and fowl.
There were numerous alternatives, from jalapeño poppers and salads to quesadillas and sandwiches, but the pasta and pizza couldn’t be resisted with the strong sale from young Samir.
Finally, I decided on the 12-inch Margherita pizza.
The thin crust tasted almost like a flatbread due to the high heat of the oven and the delicious tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese. That was the greatest pizza I’d had in Belize’s south.
Ricks is certainly worth a repeat visit, whether for a take-out pizza (yes, I did take one back to Samir and his sisters) or to sample additional things on the menu. Ricks Pizza is the place to go in Placencia for pizza.
Placencia Sidewalk +5015233540
It’s no surprise that this restaurant offers a well-stocked bar with wonderful beach access, given it’s located in the same stretch of the Sidewalk as the Tipsy Tuna and the Barefoot Bar. It looks to have the nicest beach seats of all of them.
With just two pages and an additional sheet for beverages, the menu was a gift.
After consulting with the waiter, I decided on the House burger and then argued with her the pros and cons of French fries (all a la carte) vs. a smoothie.
The smoothie was victorious. Strawberry vs. banana? Strawberry was victorious.
For the first time on my trip, I was on my phone throughout this lunch due to a serious problem at home, and the other diners were quite courteous and the waitress very helpful.
The burger was accompanied with lettuce, onion, a fresh red ripe tomato, and a Thousand Island-style sauce. There was ketchup on the table (I hadnt seen it thus far on my trip DelMonte).
The smoothie kept me going until lunch, and the burger was cooked to perfection!
The finest burger I’ve ever eaten in Placencia.
The Mysterious Garden
+5016140594 Main Street
This open courtyard space, highly suggested by my neighbors, just re-opened behind Ricks Caf and the Tutti Frutti ice cream business.
Park your bike or go directly into the open courtyard, which has palm trees and a few plants for seating.
The inside was devoid of tables today. They’re distributed throughout the courtyard to promote excellent health and well-being on this breezy 75-degree day.
Which is better, the chicken taco or the fish taco?
Unexpectedly, the server suggested the chicken tacos since they were her favorite.
It was good, a tad salty for me (or is that a reflection of the decrease in processed food in my diet here in Placencia? ), but the greatest surprise was the chicken, cheese, beans, peppers, onions, and pieces of avocados.
The service is unhurried, and the staff are kind. It’s a wonderful stop if you’re searching for a restaurant in Placencia.
Ruths of Placencia
You should stop at a restaurant or food stall if that is where all the locals and expats congregate.
This little shelter on Placencia Road, opposite from Wallen Market, is visited by persons on foot, bike, or automobile.
By far the most popular item that morning? Chicken burritos. Except for one buyer, everyone purchased multiples.
One Australian woman was kind enough to assist me in translating chicken, onions, beans, spices (may be more hot if you want that sauce added), and lots of cheese packed in a tortilla.
It takes approximately fifteen minutes to prepare, and we were served one at a time by the woman. Some residents would yell their orders through the screen and then return later.
It was enjoyable conversing with others as we waited. There isn’t much to hurry to here, and everyone at Placencia restaurants is delightfully patient.
Young guys on their way to work or down to the beach had lived there their whole lives.
The Australian ex-pat was just beginning her lengthy stay in Placencia; she had approximately two weeks on me and was packed with knowledge. This was her preferred fast stop.
One visiting family was only here for a week before continuing their exploration of Belize.
The chicken was eaten by everyone save one of the residents.
It was hot and filled with beans, and one was more than enough for a dinner; they were said to be much smaller than they were. Fortunately for me, they held up nicely to re-heating. I began stockpiling them for the days when I couldn’t leave my small island.
On my second visit, I tried the Stuffed Jacks. Two flour tortillas are loaded with beans, cheese, onions, tomatoes, seasonings, and chicken before being cooked.
For fried dough, the pastry is very light. It’s good, full, and, once again, the second-order fared well with this one; nevertheless, I suggest freezing it immediately and then heating it in the oven.
It’s a terrific spot to eat now or take away for later.
The Turtle Inn
The Turtle Hotel in Placencia, acquired by Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola to join their cadre of family hideaway resorts, is a favorite among residents and tourists for gourmet dining.
Come to lunch for the first time. Anticipate USD charges and ask for local pricing if you’re there for a lengthy amount of time.
Menu items range from Turtle Inn fish tacos to smoked chicken salad and Mediterranean quinoa salad, with both healthy and conventional options accessible. The Cuban Burger (prep time 20 minutes) was a grilled burger bun filled with beef chuck, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles served with sliced zucchini sticks.
The watermelon salad, a perfect combination of watermelon cubes, mint, feta cheese, arugula, and tomato with a citrus vinaigrette, was the most delightful start to the dinner.
The vistas are breathtaking. The resort includes 25 separate bungalows strategically situated along the white sand beach to catch the Caribbean sea breezes (Nico Cage has been observed, and the Coppolas’ daughter, Sofia, has a bungalow named after her).
You may even rent a private island only eight miles away.
The service is excellent, which leads to Mr. Coppola’s extensive wine collection.
When you return, maybe for the evening dinner, when they’ll be serving a special Dutch Indonesian influenced set menu with seven meats on a slow susan for the four of us to enjoy. There are two varieties of rice: white (no coconut this time) and yellow rice with saffron. And at least three different sauces. You don’t know how satisfying it is until you’re full and the food is still there.
When paired with the Coppolas’ red wine Eleanor, named for Mrs. Coppola, the guys in the company thought it delicious.
At Turtle Inn, you’ll discover terrific meals, a relaxing coastal atmosphere, and lovely people day or night. Try the Turtle for great dining in Placencia.
Vendors on the street
One elderly woman approached me on the first day for a $3 banana cake and would not let me leave without purchasing another piece.
Although one small child did not approach me with a coconut product (I cannot eat it), he did approach me many times with various goods ranging from popcorn to fudge. He is clearly not interested in my diet.
In his automobile, one person drove vegetables about.
Follow the locals if you see them racing out to capture someone.
I bought potatoes, carrots, and even a watermelon from him. While 75 cents a pound ($8) seemed excessive, it was delicious! I didn’t have a microwave in the first cabana I stayed in, so I learned how to light a gas oven and baked the potatoes the way this guy suggested, and it was excellent!
I believe the funniest vendor I heard was a pair. One guy on a bike with a huge thing protruding in front of the handlebars screamed Peets, and the other man jogging behind replied Za!, so we heard Peets Za! for almost 15 minutes. It was entertaining merely to observe them. And the pizza was delicious.
At your own convenience
The Chinese Supermarket, Mings, having locations at the tip of the town, halfway, and finally Top Value on the north end, is recommended by most residents. They have various American alternatives, but expect to pay a high price. For example, a small jar of Jif peanut butter cost $14.95. A can of 99 cent Arizona Iced Tea costs $3. This is the greatest place to go if you can’t create your own salad dressing.
Thus you may acquire a variety of meals from home, but you’ll have to pay for transportation.
Note that the Belize dollar is pegged at 50% of the US dollar, yet costs may still surprise you. Effectively, even though the BZD is half the value of the USD, you will be paying full US pricing for US goods, plus transportation costs. And the price of petrol was $11 a liter while I was there. That’s more than $40 per gallon of fuel.
Regarding vegetables, the stand on the other side of the road from Mings and the merchants that come through throughout the week will likely have better pricing and selection.
Eggs are an intriguing topic. These are not usually available at the produce stand; deliveries come on Tuesdays and Fridays as of this writing. On my first visit, I paid $7 for a dozen.
$1.At Mings, you may be able to acquire eggs (they don’t always have them) for $3.
Both locations will provide you with a plastic bag for your eggs. You may never appreciate the egg carton more than when you decide to buy a dozen (or more) eggs and place them in a plastic bag, bumping against each other depending on your method of transportation. That day, I was a bicycle basket. You may want to acquire a couple of extras simply to cover the losses.
If the fruit stand does provide an egg carton, make careful to return it so that another inexperienced newbie may use it. In the hamlet, this method of recycling is widely advocated. There isn’t much consumerism since there isn’t much available. Yet what they have is often reused and recycled.
I haven’t seen anything unusual at a vegetable stand in a long time. That occurred with a little, grey-brown circular fruit called sapodillo by the seller. I’d never heard of it, even under its several names, which included zopota, chikoo, sawo, and sofeda.
Most importantly, if you have the excellent pleasure to spend any time here, I hope you will try a new Placencia restaurant every day and sample dishes that are different from where you previously resided. The nice people and relaxed atmosphere make this a perfect spot to unwind for a week, a month, or a lifetime.