Budget travellers can eat very well in Honduras. The best way to start the day is with a licuado, a sort of fruit smoothie. Many places mix them with bananas and cornflakes, so they’re very filling. Most towns have markets where you can pick up a huge amount of fresh produce. With an eye on your budget, you’ll find that eating a big lunch is a better option than waiting for dinner. Market areas tend to be where you will find the cheapest comedores, where typical almuerzos of rice, beans, tortillas and meat can be had for around US$3–4.50. The larger cities have a decent range of restaurants, including an increasing number of fast-food chains. On the whole, you’ll pay US$5 for a good-sized lunch at a restaurant. The ever-popular Chinese restaurants routinely have portions big enough for two, making them a reliable budget option. Note that most shops and facilities close from noon to 2pm so that families can eat lunch together.
Some of the highlights of comida típica (local cuisine) in Honduras include anafre, a fondue-like dish of cheese, beans or meat, or a mixture of all three, sometimes served as a bar snack, and tapado, a rich vegetable stew, often with meat or fish added. The north coast has a strong Caribbean influence, with lots of seafood. Guisado (spicy chicken stew) and sopa de caracol (conch stew with coconut milk, spices, potatoes and vegetables) should both be tried at least once. Probably the most common street snack, sold all over the country, is the baleada, a white-flour tortilla filled with beans, cheese and cream; two or three of these constitute a reasonable meal.
Licuados or batidos are a mix of fruit juice and milk. Tap water is unsafe to drink; bottled, purified water is sold everywhere and many hotels have water machines. The usual brands of fizzy drink are ubiquitous.
Honduras produces five brands of beer: Salvavida and Imperial are heavier lagers, Port Royal slightly lighter and Nacional and Polar very light and quite tasteless. Rum (ron) is also distilled in the country, as is the Latin American rotgut, aguardiente. Adventurous connoisseurs of alcohol might wish to try guifiti, an elixir of various plants soaked in rum, found in the Garífuna villages of the north coast.