Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Latin America & Caribbean >
Dec 12, 2012 07:51 PM

San Pedro Belize

Ambergris Caye gets a bad rep as a haven for miscreants, John McAfee being the most recent. The island is safe, and the restaurants are good by any Caribbean standard. Victoria House, south of town, is 3 stars. In town, Fido's conch fritters, Vagabundos's lobster burrito, and everything at Elvi's Kitchen and Celi's is good. North across the cut, Capricorn is 3 stars. Freshest stone crabs you will find, from Caye Caulker that morning. Good wine list, also.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. BUMP for San Pedro, as we will be there in 10 days. Any other recs? Are these all still good bets?

    We will be stay at The Phoenix, and we are hoping to eat lots of local fare.

    8 Replies
    1. re: emiliewasmyeve

      Haven't been there since about Veggo's post, but generally speaking;
      I read so much good stuff about Capricorn, but it was a let-down (and to me, not worth the golf-cart drive-from-hell ride overland).
      I really liked roadside BBQ stands, usually served with hand-stretched tortillas.
      Buy a case of beer directly from the distributor.

      1. re: porker

        Porker, I'm sorry you didn't have a better experience at Capricorn. But you did get to pass john McAfee's house before it burned down....
        Jerry Jeff and Susan Walker live half the year at the other end of the island south of the airport, in a lovely home they built with a music studio.
        The Blue Water Grill at the Sun Breeze Hotel is good, and very central.
        The local beer, Belikin, is OK. The local rum, One Barrel, has an interesting vanilla flavor but is a bit sweet for me.
        Conch and lobster season varies year to year.

        1. re: Veggo

          Hmmm, I didn't realize I passed McAfee's place.
          I saw the sensational story as it unfolded, but did not follow the fine details.
          We happened to be in South Beach FLA when he landed there. The media was everywhere trying to get a few bits of footage of him.

          I feel the same about Belikin.
          We liked the vanill-y One Barrel (mrs. porker and i had a running gag: "two shots One Barrel" OK OK childish :-o ).
          Also popular, Jamaican Wray & Nephew overproof rum. Tastes like turpentine, but they have, ahhh, revealing advertisements (see below).

          If'n you're there in March, Lobster (feb-june) and Conch (oct-june) season *should* overlap, but lobster is just starting and might be slim.

          And remember, rice and beans are your friends!

          Pictures jog my memory...
          While in the International Airport, stop in by Jet's Bar for a drink or two and hot dog, maybe get a signed caricature by Jet himself.

          Celi's is mostly a takeaway, we loved their meatpies (depending on who you talk to, made in-house, or shipped in), storefront and inside menu below (curious to see 2014 prices).

          There are a few Chinese restos who's main business is fried chicken, which is usually good. We stopped into Bai Yun (south of the airport if I remember) and ordered some egg rolls, fried noodles, soup, etc.
          Between frying chicken pieces for to-go customers, the sole woman cook/counter girl/barmaid/dishwasher proceeded to miz flour and water for dough for the egg roll wrappers, chop cabbage for same, hand make won-tons for soup etc etc.
          97 minutes later (and 6 belikins later), we had our food.
          Their forté is definitely fried chicken...

          Try to stop into Wahoo's Lounge for their famous chicken drop. Lotsa fun.

          1. re: porker

            My dive buddies from Texas still fly through Belize City and then to Ambergris Caye. On my last few trips I visited friends in Playa del Carmen then took a bus to Chetumal MX where there is water taxi service to Ambergris Caye, Belize, with the necessary immigration offices at both ends. VERY convenient, as I have little affection for Belize City. There are also small charter flights from Corozal across the river in Belize to Ambergris and yes, there is a cheerful nearby bar. Added bonus: Belize/Ambergris have sufficient stable and legitimate banks to attract a wealthy clientele who support high end restaurants in San Pedro, by Caribbean standards. Not quite Providenciales, but good.

            1. re: Veggo

              "with the necessary immigration offices at both ends"

              Heh, I heard lotsa of people on Ambergris talk about how they get around said offices for cheap, Mexican beer.

              1. re: porker

                Honestly, it's legit at the docks in Chetumal and San Pedro and from the Airfields on Corozal and Ambergris. I have muled some money around, but all legit, it just requires numerous trips. All is good and above board or I wouldn't be here. Cheers!
                The easiest customs to elude is by boat from Cuba to Isla Mujeres, but I'm retired now.
                And please don't perpetuate the rumor that Belizean law is so easy to evade. Boast about the beauty, diving, and food! I think the diving at Ambergris, Turneffe, the Blue Hole near Lighthouse, and Caye Caulker, is among the best in the world. Thanks.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Hey Veggo, I had no intentions of perpetuating any rumors. It was my weak attempt at lighthearted talk of what could be of any bordertown area.
                  As for boasting, I'm always happy to tell others about the possibilitiy of a great dual vacation: laid back land-based adventure and beach bumming.
                  Mrs porker and I have great memories of Cayo, Ambergris and Placencia. We've been twice, but are postponing a third visit simply for want of seeing other places in the world.

                  1. re: porker

                    Porker, I try to go an extra measure not to dissuade travelers from enjoying an experience somewhere that I have enjoyed many times without a negative experience. Some places get some temporary and exaggerated press. I would posit that Ambergris Caye,Turneffe Island, Caye Caulker, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres are practically crime free.