Many of you asked what we’re eating in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Well, we’re not starving, quite the opposite, actually.

First of all, food is generally cheap. Much cheaper than it was in Australia last year—I still shudder to think of these $5 muffins Down Under! Second, it’s fairly straightforward, you can actually recognize the ingredients. It’s not as “exotic” as Chinese food but it’s generally delicious.

So where do we eat? Sometimes in restaurants, sometimes in cheap comedores in the street. We don’t cook because most hotels don’t have a kitchen (unlike Australia, Canada or the U.S., there isn’t an extensive hostel network for backpackers) and because it’s not worth the hassle money-wise.

Breakfast, aka desayuno, looks more like the American breakfast than the light continental breakfast. It often includes eggs, beans, plantains (fried bananas), rice, tortilla or whatever combination of that. More gringo-ish options, such as pancakes or toasts, are often available.

Lunch, aka almuerzo, often includes the traditional “pollo, arroz y frijoles” (chicken, rice and beans). Generally speaking, chicken is the most popular kind of meat. And trust me, considering how annoying gallos (roosters) can be in the morning, you are quite happy to eat their kind. Rice and beans are very popular. Bread is replaced by tortillas, thin cornmeal pancakes, that usually come hot and in stacks of three to ten.

Dinner, aka cena, features pretty much the same basic ingredient—chicken, rice and beans. We haven’t been on the coast much so far so we haven’t had a lot of seafood.

Typical dishes we have eaten so far include:

  • Gorditas (in Mexico): small cornmeal pockets stuffed with bean, cheese, meat, etc.
  • Pupusas (in Guatemala, but it’s a Salvadorian dish): cornmeal mass stuffed with beans, cheese or really anything you want.
  • Quesadillas (in Mexico): large tortillas filled with cheese, chicken, bell peppers, etc.
  • Guacamole (Mexico): mashed avocados mixed with onions and tomatoes.

As for the sweets, well, we are never far from a panadería (bakery). Delicious (and cheap!) bread includes cinnamon rolls, apple turnover, sweet bread, banana and chocolate bread, etc. Items are usually fairly small and local are quick to fill a tray with them! Other street delicacies include thin waffles (popular in Mexico) with Nutella, or more surprisingly cheese and chocolate (I ditched the cheese and asked for chocolate only!).

Drinks are fairly unimaginative. The big names here are Coke and Pepsi, usually drank in old-style glass bottles. Other soda brands are available but they are rarer. Even Diet Coke or Coke Zero (my drink of choice) is hard to find in Guatemala for instance.

Licuados or aguas de frutas (milkshakes and fruit-flavoured drinks) are also popular, especially orange and pineapple. Beer, such as Gallo (Guatemala) and Belikin (Belize) is wildly available and is generally cheap but not that great—apparently (I’m not a beer drinker), it does the job and that’s it.

Comida Tipíca in Mexico
Comida Tipíca in Mexico
Quesadillas in Mexico
Chicken, Rice and Beans in Mexico
Flantas in Mexico
Street Food in Mexico
Pupusas in Guatemala
Chicken, Rice and Veggies in Belize

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  1. khengsiong January 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Your post reminds me of my time in California. Mexican food was common there…

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Yes, the US is quite big on Mexican food, or rather Tex-Mex.

  2. Tulsa Gentleman January 5, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Food, wonderful food. My understanding is that the majority of Central and South America lives on a steady diet of beans, rice, and chicken. Actually the food in your photos looks wonderful with lots of cheese and veges for variety. I suspect that after a month in Central America you will have experienced an amazing variety of ways to cook beans, rice, and chicken, all good. Thanks for remembering the foodies in your readers. I am enjoying your trip.

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      That post was fo you! 🙂

      Whenever we are sick of the beans, chicken and rice, we can always have gringo food like pasta. It´s actually quite popular here. And we had pizza a couple of times too. If anything, the food get a bit bland, not much spices.

  3. Cynthia January 5, 2012 at 5:53 am

    I’m dying of hunger in front of my computer! I just love this kind food esp. the black beans and unfortunately it’s not popular at all in France!

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      You are right, can´t remember seeing anything like that in France!

  4. Isa January 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    What about orchata de chuffa or almendra? I thought you could find it in central america too but it seems to be only in spain?

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      I´ve… never heard of that! So I´m guesing these are Spanish dishes?

  5. Lily January 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Wow the last photo makes me especially hungry! I think eating something different is one of the pleasure of travelling.

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Definitely! Plus all the food you eat abroad doesn´t count, right? 😉

  6. ristinw January 7, 2012 at 5:46 am

    The quesadillas and pupusas look like pancakes! ;D Are they spicy?

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Not spicy at all! There are a bit like Chinese bing.

  7. shionge January 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Yooo…making me crave for mexican food now 🙂

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      I´m sure you can find that in S¨pore!


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