Where To Eat in San Ignacio: Vegan Friendly Spots

— Updated · 6 min read
rice and beans dish
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Many Belizean dishes in San Ignacio are inspired by neighboring countries Guatemala & El Salvador making our cuisine an interesting and unique.

San Ignacio Market

This local market is one of the best market's in the entire country. It's filled with food vendors that cook traditional dishes and serve them just like locals eat them at home. Local dishes include rice & beans, tamales, salbutes, panades, pupusas, fresh juices, coconut water, baked goods and other dishes.

local vendors smiling at farmers market
Photo of San Ignacio Market by Shane Gorski

There are a number of food stalls within the compound, all serving equally delicious dishes. My personal favorite are pupusas, which you can see in the picture below.

More info
  • Average Cost: $2.00 USD per serving
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 to 14:00 daily
  • Location: San Ignacio Market

Restaurante Típico Salvadoreños

Because of my intimate love affair with pupasas, my friends recommended me this food spot. Their specialty is pupusas, which are small tortilla looking food that is packed with one of a combo of these fillings: beans, cheese, mora, chipilin, or meat.

pupusas with restaurant name in the background
Photo of Restaurante Típico Salvadoreño by Roni Martinez

The restaurant serves other dishes like panades, burritos, and salbutes which are greasy but tasty. The drinks are good but may have too much sugar. If you're on a budget, I recommend taking your own water because drinks cost as much as the food.

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Cenaida's Belizean Food

Cenaida's is a special little food joint found in center of town. It's always filled with local people because the food is good and cheap. They have a wide range of dishes on their menu including specials for the day.

rice and beans dish
Photo of rice & beans served at Cenaida's Belizean Food

The rice & beans dish has a ton of flavor since it's cooked with coconut milk over a fire heart, which is the traditional way of preparing it.

More info
  • Average Cost: $4.00 USD per serving
  • Opening Hours: 11:00 to 21:00 daily (Closes earlier on Wednesdays)
  • Location: Far West Street

Mike's Kitchen

While the local's recommend foreigners to eat at Pop's Restaurant, Mike's kitchen is where all the locals go for breakfast. It's located right in front of the San Ignacio Market beside Lydia's. For breakfast, they offer beans, eggs and fry jacks. And for lunch the offer the traditional Belizean rice & beans. Nothing fancy, but the flavors are rich.

fry jacks, beans and roasted veggies
Photo of dish served at Mike's Kitchen
More info
  • Average Cost: $2.00 USD per ice cream
  • Opening Hours: 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily
  • Location: Savannah Street

Ko-ox Ha-nah

Ko-ox Ha-nah means let's go eat in Mayan language. It's one of the most popular spots in San Ignacio but for a good reason. It's centrally located, and they offer fair Costs and good service.

More info
  • Average Cost: $5.00 USD per serving
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM Daily (Closed on Sundays)
  • Website: Koox-Hannah
  • Location: #5 Burns Avenue
  • Extra: Offers Wifi

Authentic Flavors

This restaurant is owned by a lovely Garifuna lady. Her dishes are all locally-inspired with an emphasis on Garifuna cuisine. The plates include ingredients like coconut milk, curry, plantains and cassava.

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Cayo Twist

This isn't a restaurant, but they sell vegan ice cream (non-dairy). Who would have thought this existed in the little town of San Ignacio? They sell all sorts of flavors and I love them all especially the ones with local ingredients like rum & raisin or soursop. Give this place a visit and have fun trying out all the flavors. You'll love them :)

More info
  • Average Cost: $2.00 USD per ice cream
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 to 8:30 PM (Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • Location: Savannah Street

Street food is probably the absolute best way to experience local food

There are street vendors you won't find online because locals find them through word of mouth. I stumbled on these little hole in the walls because I lived in San Ignacio and my friends told me to check it out. Who knows the place better than locals right?

No Name Fast Food

There's a small place beside Tai San Store (Chinese Supermarket) where food vendors setup their tent and sell good old fast food.

fast food joint with no name
Photo of No Name Fast Food Place

This place is crowded every night. It's hard to miss it since it's by the town center. The menu has choices like: burritos, panades, salbutes and other fried food. It's cheap and tasty. The only caveat is that it only opens at night. All you have to do is put in your order a foreign lady that speaks Spanish will start working on it right in front of you.

More info
  • Average Cost: $1.50 USD per serving
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Daily
  • Location: Savannah Street

Creole Bread Lady

Creole bread is one of the tastiest bread in Belize. The secret sauce is in the coconut milk. From my experience, most of the vendors selling creole bread are creole moms selling to put their kids through high school or college.

If you're in San Ignacio, take a walk across the metal bridge and walk to main highway in Santa Elena Town. You'll find vendors lined up selling creole bread and other homemade treats like sweet bread, powder bun and coconut crusts. Each bread cost around $0.50 USD each.

If you don't want to walk too much, there is a vendor right in front of the San Ignacio Market. She sits at the other side of the pedestrian ramp selling creole bread and coconut crust.

More info
  • Average Cost: $1.00 USD per bread
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Daily
  • Location: Burns Avenue

Choco Banana Lady

This is a small shop that I found while walking the streets of Santa Elena one day. They sell chocolate-covered, frozen bananas with nuts on top. It sounds simple, but it's delicious, and it only costs about $0.50 USD each. As mentioned before, this store isn't on the maps so do your best to look around the area I pinned on the map.

The store is a small wooden structure in front of a school called St. Ignatius High School.

More info
  • Average Cost: $0.75 USD per serving
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Closed Sundays)
  • Location: George Price Avenue

Garnaches Lady

This is another place a friend recommended me when I moved to San Ignacio Town. Locals love partying and drinking on weekends and then have a craving for tasty cheap food.

girl preparing garnaches
Photo of vendors preparing garnaches

Garnaches is a circular tortilla chip with beans, cheese, and hot pepper sauce. It's tasty, cheap and can be made vegan by leaving out the cheese. The vendor comes out at night, but you can catch her in front of the Tai San Chinese Store.

More info
  • Average Cost: $0.50 USD per serving
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Daily
  • Location: Burns Avenue

Paradise Ice Cream

This is an old local store that sells homemade dairy ice cream with locally sourced ingredients. It's cost about $1.00 USD. Try the local flavors of sour sop or rum and raisin. The store is in front of Courts Belize and is open almost every day.

paradise ice cream shop
Photo of Paradise Ice Cream Shop
More info
  • Average Cost: $1.00 USD
  • Opening Hours: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (Closed on Sundays)
  • Location: Bullet Tree Road

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