Ice N Beans cafe Review, Caye Caulker, Belize

Ice N Beans, Caye Caulker Belize
Peanut butter smoothie at Ice N Beans, Caye Caulker Belize

Ice N Beans, Caye Caulker BelizeCaye Caulker: A tiny island, just five kilometres in length with no roads that’s situated just off the mainland in Belize, Central America, wasn’t a place that I expected to find a good coffee shop, yet Ice N Beans was just that.

Despite its undeniably Caribbean culture I was pleasantly surprised to see that when it came to eating, it wasn’t all jerk chicken and there were a surprising amount of veggie, vegan and gluten-free cafes and restaurants with Ice N Beans by far being my favourite.

With its early opening times, good coffee, gluten-free and veggie options this cafe has really tapped into what people want making it the go to place to chill on the island.

The Location

With its location right on the beachfront of Caye Caulker there couldn’t be a more idealistic setting for a coffee shop. The entire vibe of this paradise like island invites you to chill but If you really have some work to do then the little balcony area in this cafe that overlooks the ocean is the perfect place to go and be productive and if that doesn’t scream ‘life/work balance’ then I don’t know what does.

The Decor 

I don’t think anywhere on Caye Caulker could be described as fancy Ice N Beans is just another place that fits in to the chilled vibe of the island. The main building is essentially a wooden hut and this cafe is tiny inside but it has plenty of seats and benches out the front on the sand. Expect there to be a queue out the door, it’s a popular place but it’s well worth the wait.

The Menu

First and foremost Ice and Beans does great coffee. All their beans are organic and locally grown in Belize and they offer a huge range of hot, iced and blended coffee drinks. What sold it for me was the free hot donut that comes with every drink you order plus the multiple smoothie samples that I got handed while waiting in line: I had to start turning them down as there were so many.

With its early opening time at six in the morning this cafe is a must go for breakfast. They have lots of healthy options including yoghurt bowls that you can build your own by choosing the type of yoghurt, fruit and topping you want. They also do incredible yoghurt smoothies and protein shakes: The peanut butter and banana one was heavenly.

The cafe has a range of bagels on offer too: The Nutty Monkey with Nutella, banana and almonds was my favourite. Ice and beans mini donuts are also available to buy by the bag along with their iconic bubble waffles and rum balls.

The Prices

Caye Caulker is a really expensive island but Ice N Beans is one of the cheaper places with coffees costing around £2 and bagels from £3.

 

Belize: The Caribbean’s Hidden Secret

Reasons why you have to visit Belize- Central America’s most unique country

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Nestled in between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a country that’s undoubtedly Caribbean despite being in the heart of Central America. The only English-speaking country in the region, Belize is a fusion of both its Caribbean and its Latin identity. This former English colony mixes Reggae with Latin Trap and Rum with Tequila and although tiny it’s one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in Central America.

I only had a few days in Belize but having seen pictures of it online I knew I had to fit it in to my trip. While the country’s quite popular with Americans, overall it’s not as popular a choice compared to other Caribbean islands but Belize has so much more to offer in many ways. If you still need convincing, here’s a few more reasons why you should plan a trip to this hidden gem.

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Caye Caulker

If paradise exists, then it would probably look like the tiny island of Caye Caulker. Just eight kilometres in length this beautiful island an hours ferry ride of the main coast is the ideal escape away from reality. It’s a backpacker favourite in Central America and for good reason. This entirely walkable island boasts turquoise blue sea, the smell of BBQ cooking on the beach, no cars and the islands motto ‘Go slow’ makes relaxing obligatory. Make sure to go to The Split, a sandy area where you can relax, swim and have drinks by the ‘split’ of land in between the two parts of the island.

It’s cheaper than other Caribbean countries

Although Belize is one of the most expensive Central American countries, it’s a much cheaper alternative to a lot of the more popular Caribbean islands. Stay in hostels to save money and although an average BBQ meal cost around 15 USD you can save money by eating street food like fry jacks and tamales.0CC92628-B97E-46A1-8C24-D15EAA9123C0.jpeg

3A2A4331-0523-471C-AFE8-CD1C5AB3341BIt’s easy to get to other countries

The great thing about Belize is that you can combine a trip to the Caribbean with the chance to explore the other diverse and fascinating countries in  Central America. Unlike most the other Caribbean islands, Belize is so small and so centrally located that vibrancy of the rest of Central America is just a bus ride away. So, Belize may be the ideal choice for you if you’re after a little bit of everything.

6DB3CB4E-2A56-42F7-9F37-8B6E29D6C7DEFusion cuisine

Like most things in Belize, it’s cuisine has a little bit of everything. One of the favourites is BBQ which was always my go to. A typical BBQ meal costs around 15-20 USD and revolved around marinated jerk chicken, fish, prawns  or conch. This then comes with a choice of sides like baked potatoes, beans, veg or rice. Rum punch also generally made an appearance at the dinner table.

A lot of other Belizean staples have Latin influences.  Tamales are a traditional snack made of corn starch and filled with a variety of foods, and these are found all over  Central  and South America. Also a  typical Belizean meal of chicken, rice, beans and tortillas is not dissimilar to what you’d have anywhere else in the region. I also loved eating out in the ‘hipster’ cafes in Caye Caulker where you can find vegan food, brunch, falafel and smoothies.4AA009DD-B9D8-4A2E-9ECF-E6BC99025104.jpeg

Its history

It would be hard tp not witness the diversity between Belize and the other Central American countries and not wonder about its history. Once a former English colony, Belize was then used as a base for slaves who were bought over from Africa to work in the logwood industry hence  its strong Afro-Caribbean influence. Belize is also fascinating due to all its Mayan ruins that are dotted about over the country.895A67FF-F3A0-4556-8EA5-CA4EB7E788ED.jpeg

It’s English-speaking

Lastly Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America so it can make for a nice break if you’re travelling around Spanish-speaking areas for a while.

So, whether you’re looking for a short trip away or a longer trip around Central America, be sure to add Belize to your list. Although small this fun loving country packs a punch and delivers a beautiful coastline, reggae music and the chance to watch the sunset, with a glass of rum punch.