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Rachel Jensen of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Food taken out and eat at Grand Baymen, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLike many other cities and towns, Ambergris Caye's restaurants and food prices vary widely depending on the shop and the season. There are a plethora of delicious and incredibly cheap food options on the island, including street food and locals' favorite spots. In Central Park you'll find cheap food stands that offer everything from burger to burritos for around $5. You'll also find authentic Belizean food at Boogie Belly's on Middle Street for under $5. Fruit and vegetable stands line the streets and offer great prices - don't be afraid to negotiate the price with the stand owner either!
 
While there are also plenty of higher end restaurants, I would venture to say most of the restaurants on Ambergris Caye cater to a price point somewhere in between.  Groceries, however, can be a mixed basket. Since the island imports most of its dried goods, some food will be decently priced and others will be staggeringly high simply because of the cost and weight of the item in relation to the cost of import. However, you'll learn quickly which goods cost more than you'd expect, such as nuts, and be able to adjust your shopping list. 
 
(Food taken out and eat at Grand Baymen, Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
Christian Burn of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Here in Ambergris Caye, the prices are very high for things that they have to import. Import duty is significant for every product that is produced outside of Belize. Within Belize, you can buy rice and beans and meat locally produced. You can also buy a variety of locally produced flour, sugar, fruits, etc. and you will be paying reasonable prices. But you are also not getting the best of the best. Belize exports their best quality goods to the North American market. If you want to buy North American brands like Doritos, Coca-Cola, Kleenex, or Purina then you will pay 20% to 30% more than you pay at home.
 
If you want American style or quality for the local produce, it is going to cost you the same or more than what it costs in the US. Some of this is because there are no crops on the island of Ambergris Caye. We have to bring everything to the island by barge or boat.  As a result, you are paying for the transport of products here.  If you were on the mainland of Belize, however, things are more reasonably priced.
 
One of the things that I love about Belize is that the majority of their produce is grown in Belize, so you are certainly buying seasonal produce and the pesticides they use are a lot less. They do not have genetically modified / GMO’s or genetically engineered food. GMO does not exist here. The produce grown here does not have the pesticides and the wax that they put on the produce in the US to make the produce look good, like what they do to oranges. As an example, the best and sweetest oranges in Belize are not orange; they are green because that is the natural color of an orange. It is generally dyed in the US when you have the bright orange skin on an orange. That is not the natural sweet color of an orange, not when they come off the tree anyways.
Matthew Hoy of Pelican Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Al Fresco lunch in Ambergris Cayre, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe cost of food in Ambergris Caye varies depending on what type of food you want to eat. If you eat like a local, you can eat very inexpensively. If you want to eat fine dining, the options are plentiful here on the island. You can pretty much fit any food budget that you are willing to spend. 
 
At the grocery stores, all the fruits and vegetables, and most of the meat in the country of Belize are produced by Mennonites. One really nice advantage is that it’s all organic and it’s non-GMO. Pre-packaged goods that are imported are more expensive than what you are used to in North America but fruits and vegetables are very affordable and meat is a little more expensive, depending on the cut and quality.
 
In comparison to the food in Toronto, there are a lot of major food products in Belize. The difference is pre-packaged food products here in Belize do not tend to be as fresh as you would expect in North America or in Toronto. My food budget here in Belize is very comparable to my food budget when was in North America but now I am buying more organic produce and meat than what I was buying in North America. There is no advantage for a lower cost of living here on Ambergris Caye because everything needs to be imported here and because of that there is always additional costs in getting the food here. You can still find very good deals but you have to learn how to be very creative in your shopping, which is a little different than what we would be used to in North America. Typically, in North America, most people would go to one store and do all their shopping there. Here in Ambergris Caye, you would probably go to two or three different stores to complete your shopping list.  
 
(Al fresco lunch in Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
Allan Lima of Blue Tang Inn – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Pedro Lobsterfest Icon – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe cost of food in Ambergris Caye depends on what you want to eat. Local people are used to local food and they know where to purchase it. If you visit a small grocery store in Belize, you will get better prices than if you go to the markets here. I know that back in the US, it’s different as the supermarkets there give you better prices than the small shops. But here, in Belize, it is the reverse.  
 
There are foods here that you will find in the US but because they are imported, they are more expensive. If you go to the big supermarkets, it would cost you a little bit more. American products are going to be way more expensive. Belizean, Mexican or Caribbean products are many times half the price of the American brands. 
 
There are big supermarkets in Ambergris Caye cater to everything that you need and you could just go shopping there. But local people go to the smaller supermarkets where they are used to shopping, and which has more reasonable prices. These smaller markets are not as big as the supermarkets in the US but they do have plenty of stock. 
 
(Pictured: image for San Pedro (the principle town on Ambergris Caye) Lobsterfest.  When Lobsterfest is going on, there are plenty of lobster available at the markets!) 

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