If you follow the dusty, pebble-scattered dirt road to Playa Langosta from Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s dense Pacific coast, you’ll observe a small stop sign jutting from tropical foliage, demanding you to halt—for tacos. The sign serves equal parts recommendation and warning, as it’s the last place to catch a bite before Tamarindo’s ubiquitous eateries give way to Langosta’s private beach estates.
Tamarindo is a surf town. This ethos is on full display at Playa Tamarindo where surfboards are stabbed upright into the sand like candles on a birthday cake and bobbing bodies float offshore in seek of a ride. Just off the southern end of this beach is Taco Stop, a humble open-aired taco hut run by two Argentine brothers, Juan and Francisco, who dole out delectable fish tacos during the day and hang ten in the mornings and evenings (serving hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
That a Mexican bedrock is mastered by a pair of Porteños in a country foreign to both simply adds to the mystique as perfectly charred slivers of white fish come out cradled in thin, homemade tortillas mounted with cabbage, diced tomatoes, cheese and a smothering of salsa verde. Baked-in-house tortilla chips accompany every order along with guacamole whipped with Costa Rican avocados. The frothy fresh-fruit smoothies are blended with locally sourced sweet bananas and dewy watermelons. The chalkboard menu says they have burritos and salads, but I couldn’t bring myself to find out.
For a real surf and turf, grab a two-hour surf lesson from Fran (self-proclaimed best looking instructor in town) for 30 bucks, then post up at his shop and claim your post-wave-cruising tacos that come included.
Nate Storey is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure