Placencia is a hotspot for luxury travelers and those buying vacation or real estate homes in Belize. It has some of the best beaches in the country and is a great base for exploring lots of other options on the water or the jungle interior. There’s fishing, scuba diving, and easy access to howler monkeys, waterfall jungle excursions, and historic Maya excavations. It only has a population of 2200 though, so it’s an easy town to navigate.
The best restaurants in Placencia will also provide a great dining experience, whether that means a fancy lobster dinner with wine or a casual shack porch serving up authentic traditional Caribbean cuisine. To give you a shortcut on which Placencia Village restaurants are worth checking out, we asked local expert Larry France of Chabil Mar Villas to give us a rundown. Take it away Larry!
Placencia Village, “The Island You Can Walk To,” is best known for its beaches and excursions, but it is also a foodie paradise. The fine dining options, best gelato in the region, street food, and beachfront bars make this village a Belizean gastro paradise. It’s a big step up the dining scene in many other Central American destinations. Here are some places to check out on your Belize vacation, from high-end to basic.
Top Placencia Restaurants for Fine Dining
You can sit down to a five-course meal at one of the best restaurants in Placencia, then top it off with some great gelato for dessert. Sure, you can get all gussied up, but you don’t have to. Your choice! This is laid-back Belize, where you can come as you are or dress up for a night out on the town.
Most business owners in Placencia seem to spend more time outside than in front of a computer, so most of these dining spots don’t have a website. Try searching Facebook or Tripadvisor to find hours or more info. Here are some of the top places to eat when you venture out from your resort.
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita focuses on Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, the owner/chef from Rome delivering favorites you probably didn’t expect to find so far from Europe. It’s a nice spot for a vacationing couple that delivers consistently good dinners and desserts. And yes, you can get a good pizza and a glass of chianti if that’s what you’re craving.
Rumfish y Vino
This romantic spot on Placencia Square has both indoor and outdoor dining options and true to its name, it is known for having the best wine list in town. Order something nice from Italy to enjoy with your ceviche, flatbread, or the fresh catch of the day on pasta. See the full menu here.
This contemporary favorite in a garden space with 12 tables is the one to choose if your palate is looking for something surprising. The menu is quite a fusion of flavors, combining “influences of Spanish, Caribbean and Creole Cuisine with Pan-Asian cooking and flavoring techniques.” There’s plenty of local seafood in the mix of course, along with wide-ranging options like jambalaya and chicken curry.
Tutti Frutti Gelateria
A tasty splurge that won’t set you back much is the place nearly everyone seems to gravitate to in Placencia at some point: Tutti Frutti Gelateria. There are usually at least a dozen mouth-watering gelato choices and if you close your eyes, you just might forget you’re in the tropics by the Caribbean Sea.
Casual Placencia Restaurants, Home Cooking Style
On any given day or night you can check some of the best home cooking in Belize at , for example. Check out the beach bar scene all day, where most of the live music is found in the evenings, at local hangouts such as Barefoot Bar, Yoli’s and Tipsy Tuna. How about watching, or joining in with, the locals for the Saturday afternoon horseshoe tournament? Sure thing, no problem mon’. All are welcome.
Omar’s Creole Grub
Get the real deal from Omar, with options like coconut curry hogfish, whole snapper, conch fajitas, or other seafood, with a key lime pie slice for dessert. No alcohol served, but you can bring in beers from the supermarket across the street.
Dawn’s Grill n’ Go
Dawn’s Grill specializes in Caribbean and Belizean food, but they’ll throw in salbutes, lobster tacos, or a grilled chicken salad to mix things up. They serve breakfast too, so swing by anytime. See more info here.
Since it’s located at the Sea Spray Hotel, with De Tatch Restaurant you actually get a beachfront location with a view. They serve all three meals in a straightforward fashion, with the water views being what you want to look at instead of your plate presentation. Get fry jacks or a breakfast burrito in the morning, lots of fried and grilled seafood later in the day. They also have burgers and a few veggie dishes.
Fine Placencia Dining by the Water
While the best restaurants in Placencia Village are attractive dining spots, many of them do not let you enjoy a view of the water. If you’re staying at Chabil Mar, however, you can place your “dining room” wherever you want it.
Chabil Mar is a full-service resort where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served via their guest exclusive “Roaming Butler Service.”
All of Chabil Mar’s dining options are al fresco. You choose where you want to dine: Café Mar beach-side, the romance of the private pier, poolside in your bathing suit, or on your personal veranda overlooking the Caribbean Sea perhaps. No matter your choice, it’s all open-air among the palm trees, day and night, under the stars and cool tropical breezes. A guest recently wrote a review about dining there, “Café Mar is not a restaurant in the traditional sense of a building for congregation, but rather an experience in freedom and Mother Nature.”
In addition, because of their close proximity to the village, Chabil Mar’s guests get the best of both worlds. You can go from your villa suite to your favored dining spot by strolling the beach, jumping on a bike, or even kayaking or paddleboarding to this traditional fishing village a short distance away. You’re not isolated from the local experience in a remote resort miles down the peninsula.
Have you ever considered kayaking or paddleboarding to lunch, having a cocktail or cold Belikin beer, and then heading back to your resort while on vacation? With Placencia Village so close, it’s not only doable, it’s encouraged.
You can enjoy shopping, touring, tastes of Belize and nightlife in the village whenever you feel like it, not on a shuttle schedule. Then you can conveniently slip back to your private beach, pier, two infinity pools and villa at Chabil Mar.
No need for an all-inclusive resort in Placencia. You can indulge in all the great dining options of the compact area, following your day’s adventure, relaxing your days away on the beach, or replenishing your spirit in the infinity pools.
You might just decide to extend your stay in this “barefoot perfect” paradise. See more at the hotel website here.