Miss Helena's Soda: THE best breakfasts!!!
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.
- Budget Travel
Rest.Oro / El Loco Natural/ Chili Rojo Rest.: More Good Food
All of the above restaurants were excellent,varied & reasonably priced. The Rest. Oro has great seafood.The El Loco Natural has great food ,live music some evenings & an outside balcony where you can watch all the happenings on the main street below.The Chil Rojo Rest. is Thai type food & really tasty.Camarones (shrimp) are cheap in most sodas & restaurants & cooked every way you can imagine-I practically lived on them! The Sodas(small cafes that serve "Typicals"-rice,beans & meat or fish) are of course the cheapest & if it looks busy then chances are they have the best food!
Favorite Dish: Camarones!!!!! The shrimp are big & scrumptious in most cafes!
- Budget Travel
Coco Congo: The Best Plato Tipico
This restaurant is located across the street from Playa Negra, just north of Puerto Viejo (on the right as you drive into PV). The restaurant is owned by a Brazilian man, Manchi, who loves to chat. We ate breakfast here on morning on our way into town. His Plato Tipico is the best that I've had in any CA country. There is some seasoning in the rice and beans that is to die for. Check it out!
Leave a comment and let me know if there is something that I could add to make this tip better!
Favorite Dish: Plato Tipico -- see above
@t E's Restaurant (Rockin' J's): @t E's Restaurant - A fun place to hang out
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
De Paso: Good and inexpensive food at De Paso
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.
Cafe Rico: Cafe Rico - BEST coffee ever!
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".
El Loco Natural: Great food, fantastic ambience
This second floor open air restaurant is colourful, chill and sexy. The food is rich in flavour and spicy- vegetarian and even vegan options are always available. Live music on weekends, great service. Watch out for the EXTREMELY spicy Panamanian chile put on the table with the cutlery. This is a spice to kill even the toughest chile-lovers. Try a bit at first and don't mistake it for bean soup or pour a whole bunch on your food.
Favorite Dish: Try the green madras curry with fresh fish or the smoky chipotle cream sauce with veggie stirfry (get some water, it is pretty hot!)
Cafe Rico (Rick's Cafe): Good Food and Laundry Cafe
Cafe Rico is where the expats hang out in Puerto Viejo. They have the best coffee in town and take in your laundry for wash and dry and you'll get a free cup of coffee. The owner is Roger and he is from England. They serve a great breafast and a good lunch. No dinner. He does have a few "cabinas" for rent. He rents bicycles and motor scooters. Roger knows everything in town. He's a good guy.
Favorite Dish: It's a breakfast and lunch place. They do a great fresh fruit plate with granola and yogurt. He serves only Cafe Britt coffee. I've never had better.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Chili Rojo: Absolutely Delicious!
One of my favorite restaurants of all time. The dishes are wonderfully spiced and are very filling. There's a wide variety of food and I wish I had more time to have one of everything off the menu. The dishes are reasonably priced and are well portioned.
Favorite Dish: THE CHEESEBURGER! It sounds very basic but, the meat is incredibly spiced and the fries crispy. The pineapple smoothie is to die for!
????????: YUK in Manzanillo
Friends of ours highly recommended Maxi's Restaurant in Manzanillo. Unfortunately we were there too early in the a.m. to eat at Maxi's. Instead we ate in the bottom right hand corner of the Maxi's Rest. building in a small Soda -big mistake! We ordered Ham & Cheese Omelets & they were WAY too undercooked! Besides the fact that the omelets were (yuk) runny, we couldn't keep the flies off our food & to top it off the cook & waitress couldn't care less that we were even there! We talked to others who were there & they were treated the same & everything they ordered was awful.In short, the service stunk & the food was bearly edible
- Road Trip
Mr. Street Vendor: that funky looking food on the side of the road
No matter where you are in the world, there is nothing quite possibly better than street food at 2 in the morning. I am not even going to argue this statement. You just gotta believe that no matter how disgusting something may seem, it is oh so delicious going down the hatch.
This street vendor was no exception. I had just come from the town's reggae party and it was raining outside. The electricity went out in the entire town, except for those fortunate enough to have generators. Well this guy didn't have any problem as he continued to cook over his charcoal grill. I ate my odd combination of a hamburger bun topped with a mystery meat shiskabob (or you also had the choice of a hot dog) with cabbage and some funky green and red creole style sauces poured on top. Now try to eat this with your hands (as there were no utensils) while the rain is pouring down onto your food. Also, you are walking a good 10 minutes back to your accomodation in the PITCH BLACK as there are no glimpses of light anywhere...that is till some unsuspecting car pulls into the road and nearly runs you over because you are invisible to them.
Now if that isn't a memorable experience, then what is?
- Budget Travel
Great coffee & baked goods!!
The coffee in Costa Rica is excellent!
Be warned it is served strong & if you like cream in your coffee ask for a little extra as they will only put a drop or two in.
There are a few bakerys in P.V. & they all smell heavenly & the baked goods are wonderful!
- Budget Travel
Veronica's: Organic Goodness
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.
Elena Brown: Skip this one
We were told this place had the best Caribbean food..maybe it was an off night but it was a disappointment! The food was cold and not great. Wouldn´t go again. No one there... should have been a clue.
- Budget Travel
El Dorado: Great place to people watch
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
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