So, you’re going to Caye Caulker? I don’t know about you but once I decide on a travel location my very next step is to start researching the local specialties and where to eat. I hope that this post will help you find the best restaurants in Caye Caulker.
The food was better on Caye Caulker than we were expecting. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Sadly, it was not lobster season while we were there. Lobster season runs June 15 through February 15 and were arrived in May. I’ve since learned that if you go during the season you can enjoy inexpensive lobster for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Pretty good reason to plan a return trip!
General Dining Information
How to dress in the Restaurants on Caye Caulker?
Just about anything goes! The Caye Caulker restaurants are super casual. You won’t have to worry about dressing up here! Lots of places have no indoor seating and even the restaurants that do typically have sand floors. People wander in barefoot straight from their snorkeling expeditions. No shoes, no shirt, you can still have service.
Street Food on Caye Caulker
There is also a great street food scene on Caye Caulker. Definitely take advantage of that. The prices on street food are lower than in the restaurants and everything we tried was delicious. You will find street vendors frying up frye jacks, or grilling the catch of the day, or making papusas. Good smells drift everywhere.
How is the Service at Caye Caulker Restaurants?
The theme of Caye Caulker is GO SLOW and this seems to apply to restaurant service as well. It was never hard to get a seat, but the service could be a bit spotty. However, it was always friendly and, hey, you’re on vacation! Go slow!
Can You Drink the Water ?
It seems to be iffy. We were told that it is borderline, possibly fine, but no guarantees. They say that you should be ok brushing your teeth with it, but for drinking definitely use bottled. We loved that our hotel provided purified water for use in our room and we would make our own ice from the bottled water.
That said we did have drinks with ice at restaurants on a daily basis as well as our fair share of frozen alcoholic drinks and never had a problem. I would suggest being cautious.
Cash or Credit
You will need cash for many restaurants and definitely if you want to partake of the street food.
Best Restaurants in Caye Caulker
We LOVED Chef Juan’s kitchen. This may have been our favorite restaurant on the island. The location doesn’t have a view and is a bit off the beaten path, but the food is excellent. You order at the window and are called when your food is ready. I’ve heard that it can get a little bit busy, but it wasn’t while we were there. Every bite we had here was excellent. This place is very pleasant and laid back. I hear that they have added a bathroom since the last time that we were there.
Pasta Per Caso Anna & Armando
Italian food…on Caye Caulker? Yep, and really good, authentic Italian food. The salads were great and I felt safe eating them here – it was a nice change to have something green! You are seated at long tables often with other vacationers which is actually kind of fun. The pastas are well-made, both creative and delicious. This is a small place and seems to be very popular so it is one of the few restaurants in Caye Caulker that you will definitely want to make reservations for!
As you walk up and down the streets of Caye Caulker in the evenings you will see lots of people grilling alongside the road. Street vendors and restaurants both set up their grills so that passersby can see what is on the menu that night. We biked past Belizean Flava one evening and were drawn in by the luscious smoky smells. As we stopped to take a peek at the grill a table of 4 men told us that their meal was delicious. Then we discovered that the price included sides and dessert and a free rum punch. Sold! We really enjoyed our dinner here. The grilled chicken and fish were perfect and you can never go wrong with garlic mashed potatoes. Sadly, we were on Caye Caulker during lobster season, but I bet some grilled lobster would be great.
Ice N’ Beans:
Coffee with a view? Free donut served with a smile. Yes, please. This became our favorite coffee shop while on Caye Caulker. They had great cappuccinos and pastries. Our go-to became the cinnamon roll. The donuts are little and made to order so they come out piping hot from the fryer. But mostly, it was a beautiful way to start the day sitting on their back porch, feeling the breeze, watching the palm trees sway and enjoying a cup of coffee. Sublime!
Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks:
You’ve just gotta have a fry jack while you are on Caye Caulker. It is a local specialty and Errolyn’s is famous for them. You will also find the street venders serving up fry jacks. Basically a fry jack is fried dough that is stuffed with a filling, usually savory, occasionally sweet. Typically they are filled with things like ham and eggs, beans and cheese, chicken and ham, beans and eggs…you get the idea. You probably wouldn’t want to eat a steady diet of fry jacks but they are a cheap and easy and filling meal! You can fill up on one of these at Errolyns for less than $3. Note that it is only open for breakfast and lunch!
TIP: There is a stand next door with wonderful fruit juices!
Chef Kareem’s UnBelizeable Lunch
To me this is one of the best and most memorable place to eat in Caye Caulker. Chef Kareem just sets up his grill and starts cooking and his creations are amazing! His jerk chicken and pork are delicious with just the right amount of spice! It’s just fun to sit under a tent with the ocean breezes wafting the smoke from the grill. It feels perfectly tropical. I was SO sad that we weren’t there during lobster season because I have heard that Chef Kareem’s lobster is the best!
Are you needing something healthy to eat after your fry jacks? Namaste cafe is a pretty and calming place serving a healthy breakfast and lunch. My husband had their cold brew coffee and said it was wonderful. I had a smoothie and it was also delicious. They have milk alternatives for the smoothies as well. Everything was fresh and yummy. They offer yoga classes at Namaste Cafe as well!
Ok, I always want to be completely honest with my reviews. The theme at Fantasy Dining is “wine ‘n dine on island time.” I think the island time reference applies to the service which was friendly but very, very slow. Unfortunately it was not Caye Caulker slow, but more like indifferent slow.
I will say that the location is great. There is nice outdoor as well as indoor seating. I’ve already mentioned that the service wasn’t great, our food was ok. It wasn’t bad at all. I couldn’t complain, but I certainly wouldn’t rave either. Perhaps we didn’t order the right items. I had the special which was chicken stew that came with rice and beans and my husband had a pork stew with rice and beans.
There is a full bar here and the drinks were very tasty.
Barrier Reef Sports Bar and Grill:
We went here for drinks and I think it is a place you just have to go when your are on Caye Caulker. Barrier Reef Sports Bar and Grill, just called the Sports Bar by everyone, has an interesting atmosphere that is a combo dive/ocean/island bar and seems to attract a nice mix of tourists and locals. The live music was good as well.
On certain nights the Sports Bar has dancing and karaoke which I’m sure would be fun.
We stopped in this restaurant on the very last day of our vacation. We had actually dismissed it earlier in the trip as probably not very good. Why? Because it was bigger than many of the other restaurants, located right on the main drag, and actually had a real concrete floor instead of sand. Perhaps it was due to low expectations, but we were SO pleasantly surprised. It ended up being one of our favorite meals! We wished that we had time to return before we had to leave.
There were floor and ceiling fans running all over the restaurant which kept things nice and cool. My husband had a beer and I had a Coke and both were icy cold. (We found that drinks are typically served really, really COLD on Caye Caulker which was lovely in the heat.)
My grilled grouper sandwich was delicious and my husband had fried grouper which he loved. He said a little sprinkle of Marie Sharpes made them perfection. The fries were hot and crispy and it was all-together a delicious experience. We would definitely eat here again when we return.
Just so you know, Caye Caulker is not known for beaches. The island is surrounded by sea grass that sometimes washes up on shore and rots and is frankly, stinky. But dang it, we wanted our butts in the sand and our toes in the water so we headed over to Koko King.
This is a resort on the north side of the split. They have a ferry that runs back and forth for free and a public beach. They encourage you to buy something while you are at the resort and once you do you are given a wristband which “pays” for the “free” ferry ride. I have no idea what they would do if you opted to not make a purchase and get the wrist band! The beach at the resort has crystal clear water with pretty white sand.
There is a very large, covered, open-air restaurant built out over the water. The drinks were good and there was quite a large variety of food on the menu. The drinks and food were definitely more expensive here at this little resort than elsewhere on the island. We had an afternoon snack here one day of some surprisingly delicious nachos!
I think it’s worth a trip to Koko King just to sip a pina colada while relaxing in one of the inner-tubes available for visitors to use.
The Pelican Sunset Bar:
This ended up being one of our favorite little bars on the island. It is off the beaten tourists path so it was a little less expensive than others. It was quiet and had a nice breeze. I really like that it was built up off the sand because this seemed to help keep the bugs away. It has a pleasant and serene atmosphere. Great drinks and great place on the west side of the island to watch the sunset.
More Information About the Food on Caye Caulker
Everything you are served on Caye Caulker seems to come with a side of hot sauce. One specific hot sauce…Marie Sharp’s. And, y’all, puh-leeze, SO good! Habaneros are the pepper of Belize and this is a locally made habanero sauce. The factory is in Belize City and I’ve read that you can tour it.
The sauce definitely has heat, but it also has so much flavor. It’s a perfect combination. Marie Sharp’s is sold in all the little stores that dot the streets of Cay Caulker – not sure how such a small island can sustain so many grocery stores – they are everywhere. It is also sold in the airport after you get through security in case you want to take some home and are doing carry-on.
The sun and heat and ocean air all conspire to make Caye Caulker the perfect place to have an icy cold beer. Even if you aren’t usually a beer drinker you might find yourself ordering a Belikin. Belikin is the extremely popular brew produced by the Belize Brewing Company. They produce lagers and stouts as well as Guinness.
I confess that I am not much of a beer drinker, but I’m told that the Guinness is quite different from that which you might have had in the US or Europe. For years the Belize Brewing Company had a monopoly on the beers in Belize and it was difficult and expensive to get imported beers. That has changed recently and there are more options but you will still see Belikin beers everywhere!
Tip: Those little stores I mentioned above that dot the island? Many of them carry cold beer and this is the cheapest way to purchase one.
Fruit and Juice:
Just have them. Where ever and when ever you see them. I had some of the best fruits and fruit juices of my life on Caye Caulker. There was a little market stand on the front street with fruits and vegetables. I can’t remember the name, but if you see a place selling fruit ask if they have juices. We had a juice from a little place next to Errolyn’s with our fry jack and it was the perfect combination.
Oh my goodness they mix all different combinations of tropical fruits. Not only was it delicious, but also icy, icy cold and so refreshing in the heat. I will definitely not judge you if you decide to add some rum to your coconut, orange, and pineapple juice mixture.
Enjoy the Food and Restaurants in Caye Caulker!
There are plenty of fun places around town to eat. You might be surprised by the quality of the food.
Enjoy eating and drinking on Caye Caulker!
For more information about what to do on the island besides eat you can check out this post about what to do while you are on Caye Caulker.
If you are worried that Caye Caulker is just for young people I have written my thoughts about that here.
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