From incredibly fresh seafood to ethnic, fusion, and local favorites, food lovers will not be disappointed with the delectable cuisine available in the Bay Islands. In the process, by dining in the restaurants contained in this guide, you will be supporting the small businesses that keep this destination authentic and sustainable.
The Bay Island’s culinary style is centered on a base of foods that can be sourced locally from fresh seafood, to local herbs, rice, flour, and beans. Take the Honduran “Baleada” for example. This local staple has gained worldwide critical acclaim by the likes of celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver. Suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this simple meal made with homemade flour tortilla, smeared with refried beans, and topped with a sprinkling of queso duro (hard cheese), amasses a powerful burst of flavors that is simply magical. Add eggs, chorizo and avocado to make it a heartier treat to satisfy your hunger. You can also add some hot sauce made from local chile cabro to spice up your life.
Another “Catracho”/Honduran specialty is called the “Burrita”. A cousin of the baleada, this version replaces the flour tortilla with double stacked and sometimes triple stacked corn tortillas. The refried beans make a repeat appearance, and so does the scrambled egg, add melted cheddar cheese and some ripe plantain, and it is sure to make any visitor go mmmmm mmmm soooo gooood.
As far as local seafood goes, try a whole fried red snapper rubbed with chicken consommé or cilantro. Or ask your chef to throw that fish on a grill “pescado a la plancha” and try it with coriander, pepper, or with lemon grass. Other local favorites include Wahoo steaks with onions and peppers, freshly caught Mahi Mahi, shrimp, king crab, Caribbean scallops, and calamari.
You can also find lobster on the menu, but be aware that unless a lobster tail is at least 5 ½ inches in length, you’re eating an illegal juvenile lobster that has not had the chance to reproduce. Most reputable restaurants will not serve a lobster tail under 8 ounces. You can also support conservation in the Bay Islands by ordering the invasive and destructive Lionfish when you see it on the menu. Lionfish has become sort of a novelty item here in the Bay Islands, it is light and delicate, takes seasoning well, and can be made into lionfish tacos, sushi, on salads, smoked, and rolled into fish balls…yum!