One of the best restaurants on the island just got better: San Francisco chef and long-time Utila resident Dave Ayarra took over The Island Café.
Dave’s Island Café (6:30–9:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat.) is next to Coco Loco Bar. The menu changes daily, and might include barracuda fillet in mango-chili sauce or masala chicken curry, and there is always a creative vegetarian option (a relief if you’ve been eating nothing but rice and beans during your Honduras visit). Main dishes run about US$5–7.
Utilian-owned El Picante (noon–2 p.m. and 4–10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 6–10 p.m. Sat.) serves up tasty fajitas and other Mexican standards.
Perhaps the best addition to Utila’s dining scene is
Indian Wok (tel. 504/3325-1934, 6 p.m. onwards Sun.–Thurs., although possibly changing to Mon.–Sat. in the future), located on the same pier as Tranquila Bar and Parrots Dive Center. It’s run by Canadians Shawn Thompson and Christine Peach, and the daily-changing menu has dishes from around Asia. There are usually both Indian and Thai curries, sushi rolls, and often the very popular Vietnamese spring rolls. Lighting is low, and the ambiance features soft music, candles, and cloth tablecloths. Prices range US$8–11 for oversized portions, and half portions are available for as little as US$4.
Popular with travelers is Bundu Café (tel. 504/425-3557, 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9:30 p.m. Fri.–Tues.) on Main Street just east of the center of town, serving crepe and waffle breakfasts, panini and salad lunches, and uncommon dinner dishes such as “beer con chicken” and deep-dish pizza (breakfasts US$3.50–5, lunch and dinner US$5–12).
Built out over the water, Mariposa Café (tel. 504/9754-9957, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.) is one of the prettiest places in Utila for a meal. The chef focuses on sourcing local meats, seafood, poultry, and seafood, and they have a wood-burning oven for making their own breads (not to mention pizzas). While the café was temporarily closed during our low-season visit (everyone deserves a vacation sometime, we suppose), it’s reader-recommended. Main dishes average US$5–10.
An unusual find on Utila, started by a transplanted Israeli and now run by an Utila woman who worked with him, is Ultra Light Café (tel. 504/425-3201, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.–Fri.) in Sandy Bay, with low-priced and healthy Middle Eastern–style food, such as falafel, hummus, and zlabia.
The burritos (US$4) at funky and fun Skidrow’s (6–9 p.m.) in Sandy Bay (opposite EcoMarine Dive Shop) are huge and filling. Come by on Mondays for a raucous Pub Quiz, popular with the expats.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition