Wow! This place is really something. I mean, it’s hard to find a bad meal in Belize generally speaking so when a place just knocks your socks off- you know its good. The Xunantunich Restaurant & Café is good, really really good! Ample, comfortable spaces encourage diners to linger over their perfectly prepared beverages and meticulously made meals. Everything is fresh, natural, lovingly made and beautifully presented. Seriously, if you are in the area you HAVE to stop in for a meal here, or at the very least a homemade ice-cream.
We had been up in Cayo on another pontoon trip (click here to read about our first time out on the Vaca Reserve- what an incredibly special excursion) and ended our adventure with an overnight in San Ignacio town. Our friend, Anna, had been raving about a new restaurant she’d tried on a previous trip so we dropping in for lunch before heading home to Placencia and I’m so glad we did! The Xunantunich Restaurant opened in January of 2020, barely 3 months before the pandemic shut down Belize. Talk about unlucky timing! But they persevered through closures and restrictions and curfews because the owner has staying power and passion. She’s poured her whole self in to this place and it shows.
The menu is varied and inventive; they’re doing it all: pizza, pastas, burgers, tacos, fancy coffees, steak, seafood, salads! Everything is done so well too, a step above standard for sure! Take the tacos for example. Lots of places make great tacos but Xunantunich elevates theirs with handmade Chaya and corn tortillas. Pick from a long list of natural teas and juices, sweetened with locally sourced honey from the family’s farm. We flipped for the shrimp tostones, oh my god they were so good! Half a dozen fried plantain patties with the most delicious pico de gallo and queso crumbles. I want to return again and again to sample everything else on the menu.
Don’t neglect the ice cream upstairs! They have a bunch of homemade flavors and all the fixings for some seriously decadent sundaes. If you’re visiting the Cayo district; especially if you are touring the Xunantunich site, stop in to the café across the street- you won’t be disappointed! A couple yards up the hill on the road across from the Xunantunich ferry, you can’t miss it. Check out their website (here) and follow them on Facebook (here)- their prices are SO reasonable and I’ll be stalking their specials on social media until I can get back up there to re-visit.
If you try it tell Lisbet (the owner) I said hi and that you heard about her on RealLifeRecess.