It often surprises people how early the night life comes to a close in Roatan. Bars usually close by 10 as everyone is up early to go diving, with the exception of Friday nights at Franks in the middle of West End if you want to dance until 3am. The usual is to meet around sunset which is surprisingly early 5:30-6pm for a sunset beer or cocktail and live music generally starts around 7pm in most bars and hotels, the line ups vary by day and week depending on what musicians are in town. Nightlife is very relaxed, you will find people rocking up straight from work at a dive shop still in their daytime attire or if you feel like getting dressed up that’s fine, but we wouldn’t recommend the stiletto heels, flip flops for men and women are all acceptable, in fact you will find many with no shoes at all, the true island life. Hondurans on the other hand seem to dress more formally, it seems to be a cultural thing but its perhaps also because they are more acclimatized to the weather. Live music tends to be cover songs by solo artists, bands of Latin mix covers and music sometimes with a dash of salsa and the outdoor beach club on a Friday is a very different kettle of fish as you can imagine. Some bars have even started mixing live musicians with their DJ set the music scene is getting more diverse by the week. For more cultural music you will traditional Garifuna music on a Sunday Day trip to Punta Gorda where you must try the traditional local machuca soup while you are being entertained with locals of all ages in colorful costumes dancing out the stories of their history.
Dining is another part of island life that ends relatively early, make sure you are seated well before 8pm as mostly all kitchens close at that time. If you are in a big group make sure to make a reservation there are some very popular restaurants such as Oasis which will need to make a reservation in order to ensure that you don’t miss the opportunity to dine in one of the best restaurants on the island by any standard in the world you will not be disappointed. In general fine dining on the island is expanding you can find gourmet, US steak and local equivalent are never far away. As it is a marine protected area you may be surprised that the menus are all jam packed with seafood but you can guarantee that everything is nice and fresh, the menu will change depending on the catch of the day from fishing charters. The island has recently expanded its cuisine to include sushi, indian curry, thai food and even vegan options. Some examples are but not limited to Dragon Fly Sushi in Sandy Bay, not to be missed, the Blue Elephant Thai West End and vegan options in Sea witches West End. Apart from that as it is an island most items on the menu need to be imported hence prices may reflect this. If you are looking for lower prices and a true island experience you should eat locally there are many small family run restaurants and street food dotted through the island. Usually serving your island staples of fresh fish, chicken or beef, rice and beans, plantains and tortillas all of which are a delicious warming flavorful big meal at a very low cost sometimes around $5 usually with a homemade juice made from whichever fruit is in season at that time. Keith’s beach grill in West End during and Loretto’s restaurant. You can even relax and stay at home and have Roatan Chef Service come with a gourmet island fusion to serve you straight to your table for a dinner party, the best of both worlds. The local staple is called a ‘baleada’ eaten anytime of the day or night. A baleada is a handmade tortilla made from flour usually made on the spot, a very impressive skill to watch. These tortillas are filled with refried beans and your choice of ‘mantequila’- (direct translation is butter but is more of a sour cream) or cheese and you add egg, chicken, beef, avocado add some spicey sauce to your tasting if you wish, you will be guaranteed to be filled for the day and all for the price of about $1-$2 dollars.
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