5 best restaurants in Costa Rica
Our favourite places to eat. Enjoy awesome food and stunning decor.
Finest for foodies
Former two-star Michelin chef Richard Neat is the brains behind Park Café, set in the pretty indoor garden of an old mansion (now a stunning antiques shop) in downtown San Jose. The ever-changing menu is varied, creative and well-priced, featuring dishes such as marinated red snapper with aubergine puree and tomato confit, and roasted duck breast with cannelloni. Sit beneath the flowering orchid tree or beside the fountains sipping a chilled Sauvignon before sharing a tasting menu of desserts.
Sabana Norte, 100 metres north of RostiPollos, San José
Tel: 506 2290 6324 www.parkcafecostarica.blogspot.co.uk
Local Latin fare
With its Nuevo Latino cuisine and cooking methods, Sofia has established itself as one of Monteverde’s most romantic and stylish dining venues. Tucked away on a little road between Santa Elena and the Cloud Forest Preserve, it offers an interesting cocktail list to accompany dishes including sweet-and-sour fig-roasted pork loin, plantain-crusted sea bass, and seafood chimichangas. Relax under soft lighting for an evening overlooking the forest through elegant arched windows.
Turnoff to Jardin de Mariposas, Cerro Plano, Monteverde
Tel: 506 2645 7017
Tel: 506 2750 0490
La Pecora Nera
Perfect pasta, glorious gnocchi and fresh fish – La Pecora Nera is Costa Rica’s answer to traditional Italian fine dining. Select a bottle from the large list of wines and feast upon everything from the country’s classics to grilled tuna or starfruit and shrimp carpaccio. This romantic, elegant eatery run by a Tuscan native (who also presents a selection of nightly specials and suggestions) makes a welcome change to the area’s casual beachside cafes.
3 km/2 miles southeast of Playa Cocle, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Cocles, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 70403
Creative international cuisine
Run by master chef Mr Lemon, this restaurant offers an adventurous menu drawing on an array of worldwide cuisines. Don’t be put off by the setting on the second-floor of a small shopping complex – you’ll find Jacó’s best, most creative meals here. Friendly staff, fine ingredients and a wide-ranging wine list are complemented by decadent desserts like peanut butter ice cream pie. For mains, don’t miss the succulent steaks or coconut-crusted shrimp.
Playa de Jacó, Jacó
Tel: 506 2643 2591 www.lemonzestjaco.com
Surf and sunset
Without a doubt one of Costa Rica’s best beachfront restaurants, Lola’s boasts an enviable setting on the sand at Playa Avellanas, where it serves snacks and hearty dishes like fish tacos and wood-fired pizza. Stay all day, lounging under palm trees in wooden chairs and hammocks, watching surfers ride the waves (or giving them a go yourself!) then enjoy the island’s best sunset views while sipping a cocktail. A surfer’s paradise named after the restaurant’s pet pig…
Tel: 506 26529097