There is not shortage of places to eat in Utila. You’ll find standard American fare almost everywhere (generally underwhelming). You’ll also find higher-end options, some with various ethnic flairs. But for my stay in Utila, I focused on affordable local Honduran food, with a few splurges mixed in.
Small warning: opening days and hours can vary and sometimes defy logic. It’s best to have a back-up plan for dinner. I won’t quote opening hours in this article, because they’ll likely be out of date by the time you read this.
Baleadas Mama Rosa
Baleadas Mama Rosa become my go-to place for dinner. When I discovered the Honduran baleada, I was hooked. The baleada is probably the best value food in Utila. The best way to describe it is by comparing it to a burrito; while it doesn’t have rice, it has a base of refried beans and grated fresh cheese, and instead of rolled, the tortilla is simply folded. Eat it with a fork and knife, or just pick it up!
Beyond that, anything goes. Scrambled egg is a popular filling for a simple baleada. The veggie-avocado baleada was my favourite: refried beans, fresh cheese, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes and green peppers and generous slices of avocado. Add some hot sauce and you’re set!
Baleadas are also available with meat, from chicken, to pork, to beef to fish and seafood.
A single baleada is perfect for a light meal, or go for two if you’ve worked up an appetite. They’re generally priced from 25 to 80 Lempiras (US$1-3), depending on your choice of fillings.
Baleadas Mama Rosa is located on Main Street, east of the ferry terminal. There’s also a second location closer to the main intersection, Mama Rosa #2.
Gaga’s Grab N’Go
Located more in-land, Gaga’s Grab N’Go is a great breakfast and lunch spot offering a traditional Honduran breakfast, baleadas, Honduran appetizers, daily specials featuring chicken or pork, and burgers.
RJ’s Bar & Grill
Grill is the imperative word. Open only a few days a week, RJ’s Bar and Grill features a menu of grilled meat and seafood, accompanied by a selection of sides. The menu varies slightly each day based on what they have in stock, and some options disappear as the night goes on (so you know it’s fresh). You can’t go wrong with any of the grilled fish.
For more of a beachfront vibe, head over to Bando Beach. While there’s an entrance fee for the (private) beach, you can go to the restaurant without a cover charge. The ceviche is a solid option and the alambre (grilled meat, green peppers and onions with melted cheese and corn tortillas) is a crowd-pleaser.
Captain Willis Bistro
If you need to beat the heat in Utila, enjoy and elevated meal (and air conditioning) at Captain Willis Bistro. There’s a varied menu with a Honduran flair. The ceviche is delicious, served with a generous amount of fried plantain instead of the usual tortilla chips.
Tank’d Bar & Grill
Head to Tank’d Bar & Grill for comfort food and stunning sunset views from the second floor open-air dining area. They have a few lionfish dishes on the menu (although they don’t always have lionfish on hand, so don’t go just for lionfish), which is a sustainable fish option that helps the health of the local reef as these fish are invasive. I rarely go for pasta in restaurants, but the generous pasta dishes at Tank’d hit the spot after a big day of scuba diving.
There’s no shortage of food options in Utila. Let me know your favourite Utila restaurant in the comments below.