Veggie restaurant upstairs. Big menu, mostly vegetarian, good juices.
I ordered a coconut water, but they were out of coconuts. No problem, the guy stepped over the railing, walked across the corrugated roof to a coconut tree and cut 1 off the tree.
A beachside bar/restaurant run by a group of people from California I think. Stopped in for something to eat about 7pm, and had a couple tacos and a beer. They run free movies on a wall at 7:30 and 9:30 too, so sat around and watched that. They gave out free popcorn. Not much else to do at night anyway, so it was nice. The next day they had a band for their 3 year anniversary, and $2 tacos.
They have a pool table too.
Veronica's is a very small restaurant (more like her patio). There is no menu. She's a very sweet lady who makes all her dishes from organically grown ingredients. You feel as though you're in your grandmother's kitchen. It was a comforting feeling after being away from home for so long.
Favorite Dish: The soy mango shake and sweet bread.
Miss Helena's (pronounced Elena & not to be confused with Miss Elena Brown who has a Soda downtown) cooking is a mix of local, Caribbean & North American style meals.The portions were plenty big enough & her personal service & conversations were something we looked forward to each morning!
For bird lovers, Miss Helena has bunches of over ripe bananas hanging beside the soda that attracts several species of birds & the nests of Oropendola's are hung around as decor.The soda has no walls,a thatched roof & tiled floor. Miss Helena herself is what makes this soda so special!
Addendum...we went back in Jan./06 & Miss Helena was still there...charming as ever! Finally tried her well known homemade gingerale....Wow..the first few sips have a real bite but you soon aqquire a taste for it! Apparently it's also a cure-all for just about everything! And you have to try her special hot sauce......it's mucho hot!
Another addendum...we went back in Nov./06 & again in Mar./07 & sadly Miss Helena no longer cooks for the public due to health reasons (her own). She has become a very good freind of our & regularly treats us to her fantastic breakfasts in her own home. Her father & husband are also delightful company. She made up a batch of her "HOT" sauce for us to take back with us to Canada...WOW...mmm good!
Addendum Dec.2008......no more camping at Miss Helena's but she does have a couple very nice, clean & cheap cabinas she rents out.
Favorite Dish: The Ham & Cheese omelettes were by far the best we had anywhere in Costa Rica!
Absolutely fantastic Banana pancakes! She picked the bananas "fresh" from the bunch she has hanging near her kitchen.
Her Typicals (beans/rice & either fish or meat)
were very tasty & as cheap or cheaper than other Sodas in P.V.
We were last at the Chili Rojo in Dec. 2008 & it was down near the beach. Since then it has opened in the new mall type building on main street. I'm sure the prices will be even higher now.
Favorite Dish: We had burgers...not bad...not great. We also had the 2 for 1 Mojitos...they were good but the price was pretty steep so the 2 for 1 deal was basically mute. For 4 of us to have 2 sinks each & burgers...over $60.00 US! Ouch!!! We told our very good friend who lives there how much it cost & she flipped & went & confronted the waitress. She asked why it had cost so much??? The waitresses response..."they were tourists". We won't be back.
We love this place. The breakfasts are excellent...real strip bacon too. The coffee is served in individual press type containers. They have really nice baked goods & the truffles are to die for.
Favorite Dish: I love the fact that we could actually get bacon strips just as good as we get in Canada.
My boyfriend and I were lured into this one restaurant, located right off the main street in Puerto Viejo, because of their happy hour which was 2 for 1 cocktails. The special was from 3pm-6pm and stated so on their sign they had placed out on the street. As we cruised along the road, we noticed the sign and decided that we would come back when happy hour was in business. When finally coming to the restaurant around 4:45pm, we sat down at the bar and ordered two cocktails. The girl, a very unfriendly tica, made our drinks and gave us our bill. Problem #1: The bill didn't include the happy hour price. When my boyfriend asked her about the happy hour special, without even eye contact the whole time, the girl responds back with, "the sign isn't out so you don't get the special." My boyfriend tried again saying that the special was done at 6pm and it wasn't even 5pm yet. She then responds with, "the sign isn't out, so you don't get the special." Not wanting to argue, he decides to just pay and we'll leave because he was so mad that they were ripping us off. Not even five minutes had passed where the girl went outside, grabbed the sign, and putt it more in an area for people to see it. So rude! Problem #2: They charged us $9 per cocktail. I mean, it was ridiculous how expensive these two cocktails were. Needless to say, the terribly rude bartender girls and the shady business they conduct there were enough for me to come home and write about it. DO NOT GO TO EL DORADO if you're a tourist. They hate you. No joke.
Favorite Dish: I didn't eat the food to know if it was good. We were too turned off by the bill of the drinks and the mean service that we didn't want to blow anymore money or waste our time.
AVOID! CLIP JOINT! AVOID!
One fine evening this past February, my wife and I went for a stroll along the main drag of P.V. in search of a restaurant. We were suckered into trying our luck at Salsa Brava. The torches, the waterfront location, the 2-for-1 cocktail special, the spiel of a drunken old ex-pat from New York--we bought the pitch hook, line and sinker.
Straight out of the gate, there was trouble. Something about the 2-for1 cocktails; a qualification. My wife smoothed it over. Two drinks arrived.
We ordered entrees. Tuna, Japanese style for me; calamari for my wife. The plates arrived. My tuna tasted fine, but was raw in the middle. I told my wife I wanted to send it back for more cooking--and by the way, how was the calamari? She said it was like rubber. I tried to cut it. Sure enough, it was like a Bridgestone. Impossible.
I summoned the waitress, a young Tica, and told her the following: I was enjoying the tuna, but would like it broiled until the was medium in the middle. My wife, unable to cut the calamari (see for yourself, show it to the chef, etc), would like to order another dish. The waitress had no trouble with my request for additional cooking time; she had trouble, however, with my wife's request for a substitute entree. She made a face and acquiesced. My wife ordered the same tuna that I had ordered.
A few minutes passed. The waitress brought out my tuna, which presumably had spent time on the broiler. As she was placing it before me, I requested that she please keep my entree warm until my wife's entree was ready so that we could eat at the same time. The waitress said no.
SAY WHA? I said, my Jersey blood beginning to boil. You mean to tell me that my wife and I have to eat in shifts?!?
Correct, I was informed. The kitchen wasn't set up to keep entrees warm.
Things were getting uglier, but once again my wife defused the confrontation by suggesting that we share entrees; we'd share mine, then share hers when it arrived. I tossed a mental coin. Heads, I turn over my table and look for a fight, devil take the hindmost; tails, out of deference to civility, I suck wind and we eat. Tails came up. My wife and I shared the entrees, but as you might imagine, the dinner was ruined.
Getting our check was the last straw. The waitress ignored all our requests for the tab until we got up and began walking out. All of a sudden the check appeared.
Stay out of this joint. The food is overpriced and the service is worse than awful. They treat diners with absolute contempt.
Immensely popular spot which is packed every night. The curries are all really good but could have been more spicy. They offer a breakfast special ($4) which are good as well. They also do an all you can eat sushi ($12) on Thursday nights but I've heard from several people that the service is unusually slow and they only bring you one or two pieces of sushi at a time.
Favorite Dish: The chicken curry with rice was pretty darn tasty!
A fun place to hang out with some of the cheapest beers in town. The BEST margaritas in all of Puerto Viejo (be sure to order with a premium tequila). They also have a 50oz giant margarita for $16. The food is pretty good as well. I recommend the chicken skewers which come with a really good peanut dipping sauce. Pad Thai and the Thai peanut chicken (huge portions) were out of this world. The tacos al pastor were also good but needed some salsa or something as they were a bit dry. Quesadillas were good but smothered in a bit too much cheese
Favorite Dish: Thai peanut chicken = YUM
We ordered chips and guacamole, tacos, and enchiladas. The chips and guacamole took a loooong time to arrive (30 minutes) and then we didn't get our main courses for another 30 minutes after that. The food was all really good but I wouldn't recommend it based on the slow service.
We were promptly brought our drinks along with our appetizer of guacamole and chips. The guacamole was good but the chips were pretty soggy with the oil used to fry them. We then waited for a really long time for our arroz con pollo. It was almost as if they had to wait for the rice to grow and the chicken to hatch and mature so they could make our meal. I don't know if the cook forgot or was taking a long break, getting high or what. We saw other dinners waiting quite some time as well. I guess when the tips are included in the bill there isn't much incentive for fast service. We won't be going back to Stanford's.
The BEST coffee I've had anywhere! Yummy fruit salads with yogury and granolla. Fresh fruit drinks. The huevos rancheros are also recommended. Rodger, the owner is very attentive to his customers. It also attracts some unusual people based on the sign out from that advertises "conspiracy consultations".
De Paso - One of our favorites. We ate there about four times. Great, inexpensive place close to the beach with a sand floor. The best tacos we had in Puerto Viejo. The guacamole, chicken dishes, and steaks are also all good.
The top spot on my list of favorite places for beers, cocktails and people watching. The nachos are good but defiantly not a low calorie meal (lots of cheese). Pizzas are good as well as the casados. Cocktails are decent and they have a happy hour every night where you can get 2x1 of a few select drinks.
Favorite Dish: Decent pizza and casados are available