Dining in Costa Rica is not what it used to be. In the days of yore, the country lost points for its lack of a signature cuisine and a relative dearth of good restaurants, but all that has changed. Today, Costa Rica is celebrating an explosion of culinary delights with talented chefs who are excited to share fresh ingredients and exotic flavors, and now dining options abound at practically every bend in the road.Sofia and Chimera, sister restaurants in the Monteverde cloud forest offer specialties like plantain encrusted sea bass and coconut shrimp "lollipops," and some refreshing takes on classic favorites like the fresh lobster and juicy steaks at El Gran Escape in Quepos. Not surprisingly, seafood is a main attraction on both coasts and everywhere in between. On the Caribbean coast you might be surprised to find some of the best authentic Italian food at La Pecora Nera, and even the Mexican standards are out of this world at the Lizard King Resort's restaurant. Latin fusion is a term that has helped define the international flavor that is emerging as distinctly Costa Rican, like the creative plates served at the fancy El Nuevo Latino. Vegetarians are easy to please in Costa Rica, too, with places like Flor de Vida that emphasize fresh local ingredients, while kids and carnivores alike will love the schnitzel at the cozy Willy's Caballo Negro. With all the restaurants to choose from, don't forget to stop and sample a casado at a quaint roadside soda and enjoy gallo pinto for breakfast, both are simple, tasty and truly Costa Rican.
50m (164 ft.) inland from a well-marked turnoff on the main road south of Puerto Viejo
Excellent Italian food in a lovely open-air setting... read more
A gem of a restaurant in Monteverde... read more
Modern and posh fusion cuisine overlooking the Pacific... read more
Excellent Mexican cuisine with international specials... read more
Casual restaurant for tapas, wine and cocktails...
200 m east of Stanford's, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Puerto Viejo
Family style Italian restaurant in Puerto Viejo...
Easy to find, hard to forget gem in the center or Golfito... read more
Family-friendly favorite for schnitzel and more in Arenal... read more
Vegetarian cuisine with Asian flair in Monteverde...
Popular local favorite with excellent seafood...
Puerto Viejo's most exotic new place to dine after sunset... read more
Fresh exotic cuisine with local flavor and nightly specials... read more
Casual international restaurant in the center of town... read more