The town market has a selection of cheap eats and is your best bet early in the morning if you have to eat and run to catch a bus just up the street.
For solid, super-cheap Mexican snacks and meals, Cactus Plaza has a very popular streetside café; drinks, beers, and juices are served all night (till the club inside closes, anyway). This is also the center of the nightlife on weekends. The club is open Friday–Sunday from 6 p.m.
There are plenty of Chinese options, but Chon King, near the park, is said to be the best. The Japanese seaweed salad and homemade dim sum make this a stand-out option. A close runner-up is the Romantic Bar and Restaurant, on the ground floor of the Mirador Hotel. Their diverse menu features daily specials such as curry masala gibnut, cowfoot soup, and lasagna. The restaurant has second sign that reads RD’s, not to be confused with RD’s Diner (tel. 501/422-3796) on 4th Avenue by the sports ground, which serves Belizean and American food, including seafood and pasta. On 5th Avenue across from the immigration office is Venky’s (tel. 501/402-0536), a takeout place for curries and other East Indian foods.
Patty’s Bistro (tel. 510/402-0174, 10 a.m.–10 p.m., dine in or take out) is a nice little option for authentic Belizean lunches and dinners, where the conch soup has a unique hint of coconut, as does the curry shrimp entrée (US$7.50). Fajitas and chicken dishes cost less.
Try the home-cooked daily specials in June’s Kitchen (tel. 510/422-2559), where rice ’n’ beans with stew chicken will set you back only US$4; breakfasts are huge and famous. You’re basically eating in Miss June’s living room or on her porch; breakfast and lunch daily, dinner by reservation only. The Purple Toucan Restaurant Bar and Grill, beside Atlantic Bank on 4th Avenue, features cochinita pibil, poc chuc, and other Yucatecan specialties. Also on 4th Avenue is Marcello’s Pizza (tel. 501/422-3275).
If hamburgers are your fancy, head to Butchies Bar and Grill (Mark Anthony Hotel, 2nd Ave. N. at 4th St. N., tel. 501/422-3141 or 501/631-4803, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m.). The Belizean food is on par with Patty’s and their ceviche is fantastic; the view is of the sea.
For bars, try Machie’s (2nd St. N. near 4th Ave. N.) for billiards and dominoes tournaments. On the south end of town, at Miami Beach, are two popular open-air bars; swing at Jam Rock while the bartender mixes a michelada, or have a cold drink and botanas at Primo’s Casita Bar across the street.