While Belize is known for its iconic Great Blue Hole or its impressive barrier reef and pristine beaches, it is also known for the extraordinary cuisine that satisfies visitors of all diets. From snapper to lobster, tuna, and conch, Belize's waters are teeming with delicious seafood, ready to go from sea to table. The waterfall-laden mainland is filled with small farms producing only the best, most flavorful fruits and vegetables. Tourists often note that fruits such as bananas, oranges, and pineapples taste completely different in Belize than they do in other countries. The benefit of farm-to-table produce is the depth of flavor and an entirely new profundity of satisfaction in every bite.
Without bias, at Itz'ana we happen to believe that the taste of Placencia is the taste of the best cuisine Belize has to offer. Placencia makes the perfect intersection between jungle and sea, beaches and bountiful farms. Being on the mainland, this location offers easy access to an abundance of fresh, locally sourced produce, dairy, and meats from surrounding local and organic farms. As if that's not enough, her perfect placement on the coast provides freshly caught seafood of all varieties. Placencia encompasses the best diversity of cuisine Belize has to offer, with its culinary highlight being our very own Limilia Restaurant. Guests describe Limilia's cuisine as "incredible", "outstanding", and "excellent" in their Tripadvisor reviews. Our onsite Limilia Restaurant has taken over the Placencia foodie scene, with local and international twists with a unique flare. Here's why:
From the local Mennonite farms, Toledo chocolate plantations, and Caribbean seafood vendors available, Itz'ana has the advantage of fresh food available year-round.
Itz'ana's culinary team, being all local, presents authentic and international dishes from Belize, Latin America and beyond. Food cultures that have integrated between the Maya, Mestizo, Spanish and Garifuna, have become a melting pot of an undiscovered cuisine for our guests
Belize only has two seasons. What mother nature produces through the wet and dry seasons is a natural wonder with a selection of fruits, vegetables and seafood that grow only according to the natural elements.
With minimal impact on the land and ocean, micro carbon footprint, small community farms, and processing, Itz'ana supports local purveyors and single origin products. A major win for our food and beverage success story.
These fresh, locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients are crafted into our world-class menu featuring the best of Belize's seasonal produce. Here are some of our favorite, fresh flavors that Belize has to offer and when you will be able to find them in season:
- Pineapple: available year-round. With fibrous yellow flesh and tangy yet sweet flavor, this refreshing fruit has more flavor in Belize. Why? It's simple. Pineapples taste better when they are harvested at their peak ripeness.
- Soursop: available March-May. This spiky green fruit is a Belizean favorite for eating alone or adding to icecream for an incredible, unique flavor. It has a surprising interior of a white creamy texture with large black seeds. This is a fruit you have to taste for yourself, as there are no words to describe it's flavor! Some say it tastes like a combination of strawberry and pineapple, others say it's a combination of mango and pineapple. A perfect balance between sweet and tangy, and oh so tropical in flavor! A must try on your next visit to Belize.
- Mango: available April-July. Whether you prefer mango crisp, crunchy, yellow, and sour served with salt and pepper (a Belizean favorite) or ripe, orange, juicy, and sweet, Belize boasts a wide variety of mangos (approximately 20 types). Which is your favorite? Well, if you're not sure, you just might have to try them all.
- Plantain: available year-round. As the exterior of your plantain turns from yellow to black, don't be alarmed! When the plantain is fully ripened, the skin becomes dark brown or black. This may not be very appetizing, but what awaits inside will be a pleasant surprise. When sliced and fried to golden perfection, the edges may become caramelized and crisp, but the interiors will be soft and sweet. This makes the perfect, DELICIOUS side to a variety of Belizean meals.
- Tamarind: available January-April. The tamarind tree produces a pod-like fruit containing brown pulp and large seeds. While a brown bean-like pod may not sound like something one would enjoy eating, we assure you that tamarind is more than meets the eye. Used for drinks, sauces, marinades, and desserts, tamarind is incredibly versatile, tasting sweet, sour, or tart, depending on its ripeness and the flavors it's paired with.
- Star Fruit: available November-January, May-August. Often used as a garnish at restaurants, star fruit slices are likely to be pushed to the side of your plate and overlooked due to bland flavors and boring texture. Not in Belize! Belizean star fruits are known for their sweet flavor with sour undertones, and crisp, juicy flesh. It's often consumed sliced and refrigerated for a refreshing treat, and is delicious in salads.
- Cashew: available March-June. Growing right on our beachfront, cashews are definitely a favorite at Itz'ana. These seeds, also known as nuts, grow from the tips of colorful fruits and are covered in a hard shell. After being removed and properly roasted, the cashew nuts texture is buttery, and the perfect balance of sweet and salty. This Belizean staple makes an appearance in several of our dishes such as our Sticky Shrimp Skewers.
Join us at Limilia Restaurant and experience these authentic Belizean flavors!