Best places to eat in Roatan, Honduras?
Just got back last night and I am surprised at the range of opinions on this page, but the entire island of Roatan is for sale right now and people are rushing in and opening businesses, including restaurants, so things are constantly changing, I guess. Luckily, we got there before there are any fast food places, but it won't be long. We did not have a bad meal the entire 10 days we were there. We loved everything we had. The food is cooked simply and everything seemed so fresh and healthy, how could you go wrong? In West Bay, the deli, Mangiamo, has roasted chickens that are really good. We had sandwiches there, too, and I hear their breakfast is great. We ate at Bite on the Beach, which has great food at reasonable prices. They employ a baker full time, too, and they have fresh bread and desserts. There is an incredible bakery in West End that is run by a French pastry chef who is set to open her third store on the island. The Coconut Tree in West End had really good food. The owner told us he worked for Emeril for 3 years. I would have to believe him based on the dessert he created of homemade vanilla ice cream with flan. Chippy's is a catering truck in West End that has really good classic fish and chips. There are about 5 tables next to it and it's hilarious (see picture). We also had dinner at a West End bistro (I don't remember the name, but it's right across from the water taxi dock) and it was really good Vietnamese food. The Thai place across the street there is supposed to be good, too. The dinner at the Lighthouse was good and at $18 for steak and 2 lobster tails with all the trimmings, you'd be a fool to not eat there at least once. At Banarama our breakfast was included and they told you what you were having but it was always really good. The appetizers and lunches are good there, as is the coffee. Dark and rich but not loaded with caffeine. At the little mall in West Bay there is a coffee place called Cool Beans. Good coffee and pastries and the owner is really cool. The best food we had was at the Vintage Pearl at the Island Pearl resort. When you walk by it in the daytime, it doesn't look like anything, not even a sign. At night when the doors are open and the tiki torches are lit, it is a magical combination of Napa Valley, beach and Mayan. The menu is creative, fresh, island-influenced food that borders on snooty but manages to not cross that line. They have a good wine list and good service. Beautiful place and beautiful food makes a beautiful experience. I can't wait to go back. Remember to please not order anything made of conch. They're endangered. And when someone serves it to you, it's probably not really conch anyway.
Ooloonthoo has amazing Indian food- their vegetable thali (~$20 US) was delicious! Each of the seven or so vegetables were cooked and seasoned differently, and to perfection. When I went, there were seven people in the restaurant and everyone ordered it. It's just that good.
I also liked the thai food at Le Bistro, and the grilled vegetable platter at the Argentine Grill (at Posada Arco Iris) was also really good (especially when you dip the veggies in the chimichurri sauce!). Rudy's banana pancakes were great for breakfast, and although I didn't really like the food at Pura Vida I had the best "smoothie" of my life- papaya melon that was probably blended with vanilla ice cream and extra sugar!
I don't know if this counts as a tourist trap because it's definitely in guidebooks, but I had the recommended banana pancakes at Rudy's (West End) and found them delicious. I was one of maybe 2 people in the restaurant. Sundowner's bar (also West End) had an incredible burger--it actually came from a restaurant across the "street" but I don't remember the name of it...it was better sitting at the bar and having someone bring it over. Bite on the Beach (West Bay) is good for seafood and very friendly service. When I was there, a huge sea snake appeared in their little pool by the ocean, we closed out the bar and I jumped in the pickup with the workers to get back to West End.
Other than that, I didn't find eating in Roatan all that spectacular, but maybe it's better if you spend a bit more....Bite on the Beach was probably $25 each including drinks, while the burger & fries at Sundowner's is about $7.
Nancy! Thank you so much for the reply. I also did not find the eats to be too spectacular overall in Roatan, but found a few jewels. I understand from regulars and residents that the ownership of restaurants changes quite frequently which is one reason why it's hard to pinpoint great dining establishments.
Our overall favorite was The Lighthouse in West End. Terrific, authentic, fresh food; great portions and friendly service. I note that we never found a place with great service; "island time" seems to be common.
Another high note was Angelo's Gelateria in West Bay Village. Alas, one cannot eat gelato for every meal.
The new deli in a shopping center just outside West Bay Village is terrif. It's called Mangiamo.
We alos enjoyed happy hour at Bite on theBeach. Very good fried calamari as in light on the fried and heavy on the calamari.
Il Pomodoro in West Bay Village gets lots of postive press for its pizza and I agree that it was tasty after a day on the water, but as far as pizza goes, it wasn't THAT great. (Washing it down with gelato seemed to make up for it.)
Festive options with tolerable food include Eagle Ray's in West End and and La Palapa in West Bay. I heard from the locals that Romeo's and Gio's (sp?) in French Harbour are both good. We never got around to that side of the island though.
We did notice that many restaurants smothered their food with garlic. The wise will inquire about the garlic on their entrees before ordering; having your own garlic breath come back at you through your regulator is pretty disgusting.