The Man on the Bike Told the Truth - Adventure in Belize
By Jeff Rasley
My favorite hangout during the day was at Wish Willy's just off the main
street. Willy aka Maurice, is a Rastafarian, who graduated from culinary
school in Chicago and has studied philosophy. He makes an
extraordinary breakfast and steak dinners and is a very amiable
conversationalist. He cooks, clears his tables when he feels like it (or a
customer asks him to), and will rap philosophy until he has to wash
dishes for the next meal. His kitchen is in his house and the restaurant is
divided between the upstairs of the house and a wooden shelter beside
the house. Painted on the white, back door of the house in black letters is
a koan: "The man on the bike told the truth." A koan in Eastern philosophy
is a simple statement that tells a deep truth about which one should
continue to ponder throughout one's life.
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"Best grilled fish we had in our 7day stay”
Martina, February 2011 (Tripadvisor)
This was our first restaurant we tried and surprisingly delish! Out of the 3
dinners we ordered the grilled fish was by far the best that night and all 7
days we were on the Island! We also tried the jerk chicken and lobster.
They all came with grilled veggies and buttery potatoes which were very
good also. The rum punch wasn't the best we had on the Island but still try
it. Of course a laid back atmosphere and the "host" pulled one of the kids
into the kitchen to help cook. There were plenty of seats. Definite must try!!
Erik Terdal, December 2010
We had dinner at my favorite. Wish Willy. For BZD15, I got two grilled
lobster tails. Not two halves, but two entire tails. Plus fluffy white rice and a
huge serving of grilled squash and eggplant. All well seasoned--flavored
with fresh herbs; not spicy. Anyone who either A) is on a budget, or B) likes
good food, should eat there.
Rachel,June 2011, reply to ‘belizedragonfly’ who posted a bad
experience at another restaurant:
We’ve been to Caye Caulker several times …..That being said there is
really no reason you should be eating anywhere besides Wish Willy’s for
dinner. I’m serious. Some of the best food I’ve had anywhere.
Travelblog, february 2009
While on Caye Caulker, some people I met suggested we go to eat at this
place called wish willy’s.
The restaurant was just a guys front lawn with benches to sit down. He
grilled in the front yard and your menu was whatever he was cooking that
day. That food was in some ice chests outside and the grill looked like the
last time it was cleaned was when this island was still a British colony. I
wasn’t happy. But I didn’t want to be a pain to my new friends and cause a
scene. I played it safe and got the chicken. It was one of the best meals I had
ever had. I went back the next day for more.
So don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know what you are missing
by judging on appearances. I almost missed good food and you should
never miss good food.
“Best food on the island”
Reese, January 2010
We set out to find the best food on the island...and we found Wish Willy. Yes
you are in a yard at tables eating. But the food was not better anywhere else.
And trust me we tried a lot of places on the island. This was by far my
USA Today Travel:
Wish Willy's is considered one of the most unique restaurants on the
island. Willy and his Dutch girlfriend, Monique, create a combination of
European, American and Caribbean style food. After your dive, head over
to Wish Willy's. While there isn't a dinner menu, Willy will come to your
table and tell you what is fresh that day and cook you up a lovely gourmet
meal. Breakfast is also served daily at Wish Willy's, but if you go there for
lunch, Willy may or may not be in. If he's there, he'll fix you a great lunch.
“It's hard to be more laid back”
Jubjab, March 2010 (Tripadvisor)
This restaurant is like the definition of laid back. The staff will take a quick
nap in the hammock, while waiting for the lobster on the grill to get cooked.
They market themselves as quite cheap, but with no written menu or prices,
the total bill will end up to similar prices as in the other places. This is
definitely worth a visit, just for the atmosphere, but the food is not
extraordinary and neither is it dirt cheap.
“Be Patient, Worth the wait”
Trvlr2258, January 2011 (Tripadvisor)
Wish Willy's appears to be in the yard of the owner, Maurice's, house. At first
glance, we were skeptical but decided to give it a try and were glad we did.
Maurice is a very nice and extremely laid back guy. First time we went, he
was stretched out in his hammock and taking orders from there. My
husband had the whole snapper and said it was the best fish he ever had. I
had the jerk chicken and it was amazing. We went back for our last night.
We both had the surf and turf, which was supposed to lobster, shrimp and
filet mignon. I guess they were out of filet because we got a pork chop
instead, but it was excellent. The shrimp and the lobster also great.
The title of this post is in reference to wait to get a table and to get your food.
If you get there around 6:30 you can easily secure a table, but any later you'll
need to wait. Also, each time we were there they asked us for our orders a
couple of times and were also slow at drink refills. However, after spending
just a couple hours in Caye Caulker you will realize this is pretty normal and
you need to relax and go with the flow.
Definitely check out Wish Willy's. Our favorite dining spot of the trip. We will
“Best Food on the Island at a Great Price”
Jeff Bridges, December 2010 (Tripadvisor)
If you're on Caye Caulker and love it, you should definitely go here. But if
you're on Caye Caulker wondering, "Why the hell am I on Caye Caulker?"
then you should probably just leave the island. Go slow, man.
Wish Willy's turns out some of the best food I've ever had, and they do it at
an incredible price. Well, "they." Really it's just one guy, Maurice, who's
classically trained and about as laid back as anyone I've ever met—he
brings new meaning to the island's catchphrase, and he's a great guy to
sit and chat with on a slow night. The "restaurant" is basically the guy's
backyard, with a few plastic tables with a canopy-tent over some of them,
but dining under the stars is a huge part of the attraction. Bug spray is
almost always on hand, and almost always necessary. In other words,
this is exactly what Caye Caulker is all about—fantastic food without any
I visited with my girlfriend at the time, and for her birthday Maurice very,
very kindly baked her a delicious chocolate cake. We got all the people
we'd bumped into on the island—which is quite easy to do, really—and
had an amazing time. Whatever's being cooked, you can count on it being
Like I said, if you like the Caye Caulker experience, it doesn't get more
"go slow" than this—and I think that is a very, very good thing.
Lindsey Smith, March 2009:
Wish Willy, the restaurant I’ve eaten 3 out of my 7 meals on the caye at, is
indescribable. Maurice the owner, was very accomodating to my vegan
ways (the restaurant is ominivore, and from what I hear, the animal
carcass is amazing also). He grilled up the best veggie platter I have ever
had, hands down. I got his email so that he can let me in on his spice
secrets. usually I can pick out spices fairly well (at least the ones I cook
with most often: cumin, red pepper, tumeric, curry, dill, garlic, ginger,
poppy, fennel), but this guy had me stumped (though I;m sure you would’
ve deciphered it sister)… the only one I got was ginger, because the little
sticks of it were staring me in the face. I’m really gonna miss this place
and plan to bring ALL loved ones here, hopefully soon.
“We loved it here”
Shannamll, February 2011
We loved the food and
atmosphere here! Great food and
great prices. We ate there on our
last night and wish we would have
gone sooner. We went back the
next day for breakfast and that
was great too!
“Best value on the island”
Turneraw, February 2011 (Tripadvisor)
If you don't like Maurice's attitude, you are probably on the wrong island.
The first night we ate there, he loudly (and somewhat profanely) berated a
customer for changing seats and thus confusing the waiter, all to the
delighted amusement of the whole restaurant. Excellent grilled fish and
shellfish (yes, including lobster) and the cheapest drinks on the island.
Wish Willy's is the archetype of the Caye Caulker social environment and
is a not-to-miss. We went back for breakfast near the end of our stay, and
he prepared a special breakfast just for us in preparation for our snorkeling
outing. Maurice is a really interesting person if you take time to talk to him;
originally from Chicago, transplanted to Belize about a dozen years ago.
You will see him all over the island, including at the local fruit stands buying
fresh produce for his cooking. Give him a try; I think you'll be quite pleased.
Wow, were we ever impressed!
Looking for supper later, we came across a sign that said "Wish Willy" and
advertised shrimp, lobster, fish, or conch for only $18 BZD including all the
rum punch we wanted. That drew us down the side street like a magnet. A
couple of old shacks, a few picnic tables, a smoking wood BBQ greeted us
as we wandered in, and Willy himself asked us what he could cook for us.
We said we weren't sure, just something good, so he replied and I quote,
"Sit down, I'll cook you a good f@#king good supper." So we sat, his
assistant brought us some rum punch, and Willy returned later with a plate
of whole lobster and fresh snapper grilled on the BBQ, with to die for
mashed potatoes and vegetables. Wow, were we ever impressed!
We had read about Wish Willy's in
a guide book and decided to make
it our dining spot for the first night
on the island. When we found the
place it was closed. We waited a
day then tried it the next. Again
closed. On our last night on the
island we decided to try it one more
time - and this time he was open!
Willy was very apologetic and
explained he had been traveling.
"Listen, I gonna take really good
care of you" he said to us. That he
did! The chicken was out of this
world! The grilled veggies were
awesome, as well as the shrimp.
And if you're a drinker then you
won't be able to beat Willy's extra
strong, extra cheap rum drinks.
Willy is funny but cool and he
makes you feel right at home. We
are glad that we went back one
Great Food, great atmosphere, “this is the spot”
Eliza, August 2012
I had dinner here on my second night, I wish i would of had it on my first!
Great fish BBQ, everything was amazing, including the vegetables! the beer
is cold, and the prices and atmosphere are really mellow and cool, Willy is
a great host, and makes you feel at home. Loved this spot , defenitely give
this place a stop on your visit to the island!
Lynn, July 2012
Wish Willy himself served us a fabulous plate of fresh vegetables and very
tasty Jerk Chicken. The best Jerk Chicken we had ever tasted!!
Tyedye, July 2012
This is a must visit (make sure you are not in a hurry) very laid back, picnic
tables and friendly staff that take the Island motto "Go Slow" to heart...as
they should. The food is phenomenal I expected the lobster to be good
and it was but this was my first foray into Barracuda steak and it was
fabulous. It was a Great Birthday Dinner!
Matt, November 2010
Wish Willy's was easily the best
food I ate on the island as well.
Not to mention, Maurice, the guy
who runs it, is one of the coolest
and most down to earth people
I have ever met.