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Bars in Placencia, Belize

A Homage to Our Two Favorite Bars in Placencia, Belize

A local expat offers a short homage to The Tipsy Tuna and the Barefoot Beach Bar – two of our very favorite beach bars in Placencia, Belize! This article contains a link (or links) to Amazon, from which, as an Amazon Associate, this website will earn a small commission if you make any purchases. Some other links are also affiliate links, where we will also make a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking, at no extra cost to you. 

Sitting at the end of a long peninsula, driving to Placencia in Belize isn’t dissimilar to experiencing the Florida Keys, with Placencia itself somewhat of a Key West-type place – although more laid back and much better, in my opinion!

What makes Placencia attractive is its miles of white sandy beaches, and with the pandemic over and tourism on the way back, it’s wonderful to see the town enjoying a rebound, especially on the famous Sidewalk, where much of the shopping and dining options in Placencia are located.

And there’s also the question of finding your favorite bar in town, which is where we want to help you right now.

After all, when you arrive in a place, whether on vacation or to live, it’s a major decision to make. So, what are the best beach bars in Placencia, Belize? There are two that come to mind for us straight away, to make it easy for you.

It’s going to be either the Tipsy Tuna or the Barefoot Beach Bar. Or even both!

These two bars sit right next to each other on the beach in the heart of Placencia. Which one should you go to? And how can they compete with each other anyway? On the outside, they both look exactly the same.

Scratch beneath the surface, though, and you’ll find some subtle differences.

Tipsy Tuna:

Tipsy Tuna has been around longer. It opened in 2000, as a small shack. Over the years it’s increased in size and added an upper deck. The owners have created something special here. Not only on your plate or in your glass, but also with their staff. They’ve hired and trained some of the finest on the Peninsula, behind the bar and on the floor and beach.

The great service and friendly attitude you find at the Tipsy Tuna can turn this place into a true home from home.

The menu offers both standard fares as well as local seafood choices. Every day you find a new daily special from the menu and/or the bar. I love their Mojito Tuesdays and various rum deals.

Barefoot Beach Bar:

The Barefoot Beach Bar opened in 2005. Like Tipsy Tuna, it’s morphed over the years into a multi-level bar/restaurant on the sand.

When you walk into the Barefoot, it seems like the place goes on forever. There are two levels of floor space, and two bars; one upstairs and one down on the sand. Sitting at the lower bar has the added attraction of people watching on the beach.

The food and beverage menu at the Barefoot is extensive, with an emphasis on gourmet burgers. The specials board is big enough; it usually takes a rum punch or two to decipher it for a tasty decision.

Visitors have to decide between these two bars in Placencia, Belize.

Signage is everywhere in Placencia, advertising one or the other. With tempting daily food and drink specials posted outside each entrance, it’s a dilemma.

I often watch people walk all the way through one bar, and then all the way through the other before deciding.

Although they both cater to vacationers, the Tipsy Tuna entertains more locals. More than likely because locals own it. The music pumping through it is often Belizean, and you feel that urge to jump up and move.

Expats tend to frequent both places, depending on the night.

It seems there’s always something going on at these two places. There are free Zumba Classes at the Tipsy and horseshoes competitions at the Barefoot. No matter which one; a cold beer, a refreshing cocktail, exciting food, and smiling faces are part of the deal.

Gary Peterson lives on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize, where he writes books about Central America and the Caribbean. Read more of Gary’s work on his blog

Gary Peterson

Gary Peterson

Gary Peterson has traveled and written about many destinations worldwide. He’s written travel guides for Europe including Italy, France, and the Greek Islands. For the past few years, he’s traveled extensively throughout Central America, publishing two books on Belize. Gary lives on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize, where he continues writing about Central America and the Caribbean.