Restaurants in Costa Rica

Dave Lauridsen

Historically, Costa Rica’s culinary scene was dominated by beans, rice, and sautéed meat. Fortunately, a wave of local and international chefs at the... Read More

Historically, Costa Rica’s culinary scene was dominated by beans, rice, and sautéed meat. Fortunately, a wave of local and international chefs at the helm of popular restaurants have been introducing new cuisines and reimagining traditional recipes. Whether you’re at a casual beach stand or an upscale, white-tablecloth affair, fresh, uniquely Central American ingredients are always at the forefront. If you prefer traditional Latin American or Caribbean fare, try the national dish gallo pinto (translation: spotted chicken).

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  • Park Café

    If you're seeking a Michelin-starred experience in Costa Rica, Park Café is as close as you can get. After all, Chef Richard Neat worked under Joël... Read More

  • Al Chile Viola

    Al Chile Viola, also known as the Purple Pepper, is an elegant Italian restaurant in the beach town of Playa Santa Teresa. Candles and crimson-hued... Read More

  • Gingerbread Fine Restaurant

    Start a meal at Gingerbread Fine Restaurant with an order of stuffed calamari—and save room for the signature Boca Negra (a brownie topped with ice... Read More

  • Al Mercat

    Al Mercat, which means “to the market” in Catalan, opened recently in San José's gastromonic district, Barrio Escalante, to rave reviews. Chef José... Read More

  • Cool & Calm Café

    At this waterfront spot in Manzanillo, diners can choose from indoor seating and beachfront tables made of tree trunks. Chef Andy Cook Campbell, a... Read More

  • Graffiti Restro Cafe and Wine Bar

    Started by an Alabaman who learned to cook in New Orleans, Graffiti is now legend in gritty Jacó. It's tricky to find the nondescript space, however, as... Read More

  • La Luna Restaurant at Gaia Hotel

    The five-star, open-air restaurant atop Manuel Antonio's Gaia Hotel & Reserve, boasts panoramic views of the Pacific and surrounding rain forest... Read More

  • Maxi's by Ricky

    Ricky Barthley and his wife relocated their funky, decades-old restaurant from Manzanillo to the hilly suburb of San José, but the duo continue to turn... Read More

  • Hotel Quelitales Restaurant

    Just outside the mountain town of Cachi, Hotel Quelitales entices guests (and non-guests on weekends) with one of the best traditional Costa Rican... Read More

  • Cocina Clandestina

    Hidden in the jungle near Montezuma’s famous waterfalls, this newcomer is making serious tacos. Fresh fried fish like sea catfish is served in homemade... Read More

  • Bromelias del Río

    This Colombian-owned bakery perches by a mountain stream just off Highway 32, on the way to the Caribbean. It offers just a few tables with views to a... Read More

  • Pangas Beach Club

    Enjoy an alfresco seafood meal on the beach where the river meets the ocean. Wooden tables at this restaurant surround a giant ficus tree aglow with... Read More

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