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