Restaurants in Costa Rica

Amanda Pratt

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

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

Chef Camille Ratton marries French technique with fresh Central American ingredients. Don’t miss the tarta de pasiones with crème of... Read More

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

In the picturesque mountain town of San Isidro de Heredia, this European-style coffee shop sells cups and bags of premium coffee, including the beloved... Read More

Surprisingly, frozen coffee hasn’t really become a thing in Costa Rica. But on a hot day in San José, there is one place to go for a Frappuccino-style... Read More

Cloe, Maia, Andrea and Carlos Velardes, a family of Peruvian surfers, came to Playa Negra on the north Pacific coast in search of “peace, nature... Read More

Though it’s got a name that suggests local fare, this is an expat restaurant that kills it. Soon after the British owner opened this little indoor... Read More

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

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

Elevating the Costa Rican soda—the Tico version of a corner diner—to new heights, Cuenca eschews the standard mom-and-pop operation tacked... Read More

A San José institution for nearly 40 years, this steakhouse is the kind of place where Costa Rican coffee barons and their international... Read More

At sunset, there is a Great Gatsby-like atmosphere at the happy hour at El Galeón restaurant, as yacht owners and guests arrive from the nearby... Read More

This restaurant and “fish head bar” in Quepos is sport fisherman’s dream. Fresh delicious fish is served right off the boats that dock in the Quepos... Read More

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

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

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

A chic, open-air terrace—surrounded by jungle palms that are illuminated at night —is the best place to enjoy La Hacienda’s Latin... Read More

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

Arguably the most authentic Italian restaurant in Costa Rica, Lanterna is also considered the best table in the Jacó area—a valuable... Read More

Located in a complex of decades-old stone buildings that once housed a mountainside monastery, this elegant French restaurant has three parts—all... Read More

Named after its now-deceased mascot, an 800 pound pink pig, Lola’s beach café continues to delight visitors with its idyllic scene at Playa... Read More

This sexy new restaurant is part of the hotel El Mangroove—a getaway on the northwestern coast. The décor is natural, all stone and hardwood, and the... Read More

About 100 meters north of the elementary school in Manuel Antonio, the wooden, blue seafood restaurant Mar Luna sits on a hilltop overlooking the... Read More

At this indulgent breakfast buffet there is gallo pinto. There are cheese-covered breakfast casseroles. There are also eggs, sausages, hash browns, a... Read More

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

Miss Junie came to Totuguero from Nicaragua and brought her culinary expertise with her, which she channeled into establishing one of the best-known and... Read More

In the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, this place is basically a tent stretched over a few tree trunks and a small kitchen. But everybody knows it and... Read More

The German owners of this charming inn have been serving the same breakfast since they opened the place at the turn of the century: eggs, tomato, and... Read More

One of the best ways to sample Costa Rica’s cornucopia of tropical fruits is with a batido, a fresh smoothie made with water or milk, and the... Read More

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

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

Set in the palms, right on the beach outside of Montezuma, Playa de los Artistas demands that you arrive early for sunset, then enjoy your gourmet... Read More

This place started in the beach town of Malpais, but soon the owners expanded the restaurant to the well-heeled suburb of Santa Ana the upscale Avenida... Read More

This charming local restaurant in San José’s Barrio Amón serves up large portions of Costa Rican breakfasts (read: gallo pinto and more gallo pinto).... Read More

Every Saturday morning, the expats who live near the base of Chirripó—Costa Rica’s tallest mountain—gather at Restaurante Marin for breakfast. And you... Read More

Yes, the signage is obnoxious. But this small chain of fish taco bars is actually super-delish. The ordering is half the fun, as you choose from a few... Read More

Located next to a supermarket in the town of Santa Elena, this small eatery stands out with its sleek black-and-white décor and a contemporary... Read More

Back To Top