Acuarelas Restaurant: Restaurant with great Volcano views
This is another restaurant close to La Fortuna town that rewards you with great volcano views on nice and sunny days. We did not eat here (we went to Linda Vista instead), but you should consider it if you do not have enough time to get to Linda Vista Restaurant. It will take you about 45 minutes to get to Linda Vista from Acuarelas.
Acuarelas restaurant is located inside the Montana de Fuego Resort and Spa.
Rostipollos!: Great local/regional chain
This is a delicious regional chain with several CR locations. The one I went to was in the Multiplaza mall in Escazu. As the name suggests (if you speak Spanish), the menu revolves around chicken, and it is good!
Favorite Dish: Try the "Plato Surtido" (Assorted Plate) for nice sampler at dinner. It was only about 3000 colones when I was there (a little over $6)
Rostipollos: Chain of chicken
Chain of restaurants offering a wide variety of roasted chicken options and local plates. On the menu, you could find patacones, tortillas de mais, elotes, frijolitos molidos, yuca frita, ...
Clean, colorful, thoughful and inviting concept, it's a good way of having an inexpensive and tasty meal. They also have "express" counters and delivery service (call them from your hotel).
Favorite Dish: For diner, we had a chalupa de pollo (big plate of chicken, vegetables, flat bread and condiments) and chicken sandwhich which were quite good and of impressive quality. The desert selection in itself might be worth a visit at this restaurant, we had a flan de coco and a divine Tres Leches (three milks) cake. Still can't believe myself, how good it was!
All that and drinks for 17$. We visited the one in Alajuela, neighbour to the international airport and Hampton Inn, and a rendez-vous point for many shuttles.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Toad Hall: On the road from Nueva Arenal to Fortuna
On the side of the dirt road and overlooking the jungle and Lake Arenal is the Toad Hall, a combination restaurant and gift shop.
I remember that the prices were higher than normal and the food was pretty good but not great.
We were the only ones there at the time. so it may not be a popular spot due to it's location, about 5 miles outside of Arenal.
They sell art from Costa Rican artists:
Ceramics by Cecelia Figueres and Oscar Zeledon; Paintings by Ana Barrientos, Ruth Borchers, Fernando Paramo; Woodwork by Barry Beisanz; & Banana paper items by Mauricio Mata, Ana Ligia.
As it turns out this too is for sale at $625,000.
Favorite Dish: Well, my son Colin is a vegan, so travel dining can be an adventure. Beans and rice and salad usually works out well. However, it seems like fruit was the only breakfast option around Arenal. As you can tell from the picture, he was getting a bit tired of that.Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Road Trip
El Mirador Restaurant: Million $ Views !
This is an Oasis from the dry dusty roads and hot sand. The food is typical Costa Rican cuisine with a very large menue. It is an open air, large restaurant with million $ views of the cove and beaches below.
Favorite Dish: Snapper, fresh fruit and GIANT Sodas or fresh juice.
La Amistad Hotel Bar/Restaurant: Quiet and elegant
Don't speak Spanish? That's OK. Asta, the bar/restaurant manager here, is from Lithuania and speaks fluent English, Spanish and several other European languages.
She took over this restaurant in 2009 and has done a wonderful job with it.
The menu is not extensive, but it is varied. It has a few seafood dishes, soups, a few pastas and risottos, a few red meat and chicken dishes, a couple of Asian entrees and a good selection of local dishes. Meals are always served with an elegant presentation and the restaurant and bar are almost always quiet enough to enjoy pleasant conversations without shouting or straining to hear.
And the prices are very reasonable -- many dishes are less than $10 U.S.
And if Caesar is on duty, he is a wonderful waiter who always takes good care of his customers.
Favorite Dish: The fillet of tilapia with mushroom sauce-- tilapia con salsa hongos -- is my favorite.
RESTAURANT DISCO GUANACASTE IN...
RESTAURANT DISCO GUANACASTE IN ALAJUELITA (IN AIRPORT AREA) GREAT LATIN MUSIC WITH NICE ATMOSPHERE
DONA LELA (A BIT OUTSIDE OF SAN JOSE): VERY TYPICAL TICO-FOOD FOR PLEASANT PRICES
Favorite Dish: CASADOS, MARISCOS (MOSTLY NOT TOO CHEAP)
Soda: Costa Rican Food leaves a lot to be desired
Costa Rica was awesome, but if you are foodie, leave your foodie traits back home, and be prepared to eat because you need nourishment, that's it.
To bo honest, the food is not all that bad, but when you've had other latin american food, like Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Argentinian, etc...you would be dissapointed with CR's food. While all these different countries have similar ingredients and have a lot of the same dishers (rice, bean, and meat) they all taste awesome and different. In Costa Rica there is nothing special about it. It leaves a lot to be desired.
If you want to eat "typical" food, eat at Sodas and not the regular restaurants. Here you will get the best value and eat where the locals eat (well the ones that can't afford to eat at the fancy intertantional cousine restaurants). I have typical in quotes, because they sall tons of non typical dishers like enchiladas, tacos, hamburgers, hotdogs, ceviche, etc...none of these are typical CR food.
The one dish that is fairly typical is Gallo Pinto, which is a mixture of rice, beans, and cilantro all cooked together. However, while the taste varies, it's not all that great and they love their rice really aldente, almost too undercooked. Having said that, Gallo Pinto is also typical in Nicaragua, but it may not be typical at all.
Favorite Dish: I would just ask what they have fresh right now and that's it.
San Clemente Bar and Grill: The best place to eat in Dominical
Dominical is a really small town and there are lots of places to eat, but we really liked San Clemente Bar and Grill. The place is very well run, the food is excellent and cheap. It was the only restaurant in Dominical where we could really enjoy a meal without having to yell at each other due to the loud music played on the speakers.
We ate here several times during our stay in the area and I really recommend this place if you want to eat a good meal in a really nice atmosphere, without loud music and a bunch of high school kids acting up like monkeys :)
Favorite Dish: everything tastes good here; make sure you try their desserts: bomb and prestinos are delicious!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Restaurante Bar Coto: Great place to eat in Orosi
We visited the town of Orosi on a rainy day (we really had no sunny days while in the Orosi Valley) and we decided to eat at a place close to the town church, since we wanted to visit the church anyway. Restaurante Bar Coto was the one that hit the spot! We liked the look of the place, the location and the friendly atmosphere.
Service was a little bit slow, but again, no service in CR will be as fast the one you get in the USA or Canada. It was, however, much faster than any service we got in Rome while eating at a restaurant :)
The food was good and their drinks were excellent. I had some pineapple batido that was delicious! Food portions were big (again, we could not eat everything that was on our plates) and the price was very decent. Their prices are a little bit more expensive than the ones at Sanchiri Lodge and Mirador Restaurant, but nothing to stop us from returning here in case we wanted to eat in town again.
At this place, service is not included in the bill, so keep that in mind when you pay your bill and add few colones on top of it for the waiter.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Sanchiri Mirador and Lodge Restaurant: 100% organic food prepared fresh!
This is the best place to have lunch in Orosi Valley while enjoying superb views of the valley. The food is 100% organic and the service is slow since they prepare the food right after you place your order, but the wait will not bother you since the views of the valley are to die for!
The food is very good and decently priced and the service is excellent. The portions are huge and most likely you will not be able to finish your plate unless you have a big appetite! I do not really recall any of their plates to be more than 12 US dollars (and this is for steaks!) - taxes and tip included.
The restaurant has 2 big sections: one in which they serve food to organized tourist groups that stop here during the day while visiting Orosi Valley and one section for the rest of the tourists. There is also a smoking only section here.
The public bathrooms are big and very clean.Related to:
- Budget Travel
The Rico Tico Bar & Grill: Great Casual Dining Experience With Great Views
This restaurant was the inspiration behind our decision to check out of our original hotel choice and check into Si Como No. The Rico Tico Bar & Grill is located at Si Como No and the food was absolutely fantastic, the quality was consistent, the staff was extremely friendly (but who isn't friendly in Costa Rica), the fruit smoothies were so fresh and delicious (my mouth is watering now just thinking about them) and the views were unforgettable.
The restaurant is surrounded by nature and breath-taking views of the forest and the ocean below. There is so much natural light coming into this restaurant because the ceiling is made of clear glass. They offer unique lunch and dinner options and for those staying at the hotel they offer a wonderful buffet breakfast with an omelet bar. Plus, they have options for all food tastes - meat eaters, seafood eaters and veggies all have fantastic options to choose from.
If you decided not to stay at Si Como No, although you really should indulge a bit for this experience, at least save a lunch and a dinner for The Rico Tico Bar & Grill. You'll get a guaranteed good meal, friendly service and amazing views.
Favorite Dish: I loved the vegetarian sandwich with grilled eggplant, zucchini, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes and Tico pesto sauce with melted cheese on homemade focaccia bread served with Tico fries.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Family Travel
Soda Y Express Kristina: Great food but will never eat there again!
I really liked the way Soda Y Express Kristina looked like and decided to eat dinner here. The food was good, but I was unpleasantly surprised when we had to pay more for the food just because we did not have enough colones to cover the cost of the meal and we decided to pay in American dollars(they did not want to accept a combination of American dollars and colones). The exchange rate they gave us was 420 colones per $1 US. Most places we ate at and were giving 500 colones per $1US, so I was expecting pretty much the same here.
The owner of the restaurant and his wife were there and they told us that this was because we were paying in dollars and not in colones. Our waiter came to us to apologize for this incident, telling us that the owner had too much to drink and this is why he was behaving this way. I wanted to argue with the owner, but my husband stopped me from doing it since we were on vacation and the amount was not that big. I explained to him that was not the amount that bothered me, but the gesture of the owner. I let it go, but I left the restaurant with a bitter taste in my mouth and I will surely avoid eating here next time we are in the area.
Pollo Campero: Better Than KFC
Great fried chicken can be had at this chain of restaurants found throughout Costa Rica and Central America. If you go with a group they can tailor to your needs. I went with a group of seven people once and was able to arrange for a meal of 14 pieces of chicken, 7 fries, 7 cole slaws, 7 soft drinks and 7 ice cream cones for less than $40. Similar to KFC you can get the chicken with the original battered coating or crispy. They also have deep fried cheese squares.
Avoid the Touristy Spots
You will find as you travel through Costa Rica that there is quite a difference between resteraunts that aim and tourists and those that aim at locals. The touristy resteraunts charge three times as much, have a more Americanized menu and so on. Skip these places. Go to a resteraunt where the locals eat, eat much cheaper and eat the traditional foods. Use your regular awareness about what foods to eat and which not to eat and enjoy the INCREDIBLE cuisine that Costa Rica offers. You will find that hotels that offer a continental breakfast will feed you the best continental breakfast you will ever have. Fresh cooked eggs, fruits, breads, meats, it is all delicious. And never awake in a day in which you do not drink a cup of Costa Rican brew. You will crave the flavor for months to come when you get home. Overall I have to rate the food in Costa Rica as phenomenal, even if it is repititive. But skip the touristy spots and eat with the locals. 'Sodas' are a good place to start, and don't be confused when you don't see a traditional Mexicali menu, the eats here are quite a bit different! No burritos, tacos are taquitos and so on. Enjoy!
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