The best restaurants in Costa Rica are close to home.
Give your taste buds a tour of the freshest foods in the region.
Cafe Mono Congo: Eat good, feel good.
A great option for vegetarians, vegans or anyone looking for a fresh dose of wholesome goodness. Enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch right on the river. They prepare their own salsas, dressings, sauces and breads in-house. They use organic free-run eggs, fluoride-free sea-salt, real butter and organic fruits and vegetables all sourced from the local farmers markets.
- Open: Daily 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Location: Playa Dominical main entrance at Pueblo Del Rio Center.
- Telefono: +506-6312-8766
Phat Noodle: Asian fusion brings on the heat.
Originally a food truck operating out of a Volkswagen bus, this restaurant’s popularity quickly forced them to expand. Famous for serving a variety of noodle bowls, curries and rice options you can choose your own protein and spice level. Spices range from mild to Thai-hot. The restaurant also sources all their ingredients locally and is another great option for vegans and vegetarians. Enjoy an extensive menu of tropical cocktails, wines and beers to keep your mouth cool.
- Open: Daily 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Location: Playa Dominical main entrance at bottom of hill and left.
- Telefono: +506-6268-9919
Fuego Brew Co.: Best craft beer in Costa Rica.
Known as the treehouse brewery, this is a one-of-a-kind venue. They have more than 20 types of craft beer made onsite with organic ingredients that pair well with a healthy pub grub menu. They also roast their own organic coffee that can be purchased in the Fuego Coffee Roasting Co. Cafe. They’re located in the heart of Dominical, where the river meets the ocean and jungle meets the beach.
- Open: Daily 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Brunch on Weekends.
- Happy Hour from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Latin Dance: First and third Friday of the month.
- Location: Playa Dominical main strip, across from school.
- Telefono: +506 -8447-7045/ 8373-0635
Langosta Feliz: Best Seafood around.
A long-time, family-run business that specializes in lobster, ceviche and fresh-caught seafood. Try their infamous seafood platter that overflows with razor clams, mussels, crab claws, shrimps and garlic butter. A 'small' platter is plenty for two. Grilled fish and seafood soup are also available.
- Open: Daily 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Location: Across from the entrance of Matapalo Village.
- Telefono: +506-2787-5214
La Palapa by Cuna del Angel Hotel: 100% gluten-free.
Famous for being the first international gourmet cuisine that is entirely gluten-free, you can enjoy a menu brimming with variety. The menu features a delicious porcini mushroom with truffle cream, a spinach tagliatelle pasta with artichokes, or a warm surf n’ turf salad. Top it off with some homemade ice cream or an exquisite chocolate tort. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a great selection of drinks and a menu for kids.
- Open: 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Location: At Cuna del Angel Hotel, across from the highway main entrance to Casa Big Sur.
- Telefono: +506-2787-4343
Bar Jolly Roger: The best place for hot wings and cold beer.
The closest restaurant by foot from the house, this place offers 21 different wing flavors, 22 beers and 12 types of tequila. Join them every Saturday for a game of poker with a crew of 22 expats. They’re always open to newcomers.
- Open: Daily 12 p.m. to 9.pm.
- Location: Walking distance from Casa Big Sur.
- Telefono: +506-8706-8438/ 8858-8841
Tortillas Flats: The best beach bar.
This bar truly captures Dominical’s vibe. Conveniently located in front of the beach, they offer American, Mexican and Tico food. Be sure to try their signature cocktail— a passion fruit basil margarita. Join them at sunset for live music jams and every Saturday night for disco.
- Open: Daily 11:00 a.m. 11:00 p.m.
- Location: On Playa Dominical beach.
- Telefono: +506-2787 0033
Por Que No? By Costa Paraiso: Slice of paradise.
If you blink, you’ll miss it. This secret spot is tucked away on a small side street located right off the main highway. The restaurant features an incredible view of a small cove and beautiful island. Enjoy brunch or dinner while listening to the waves crash against jagged rocks and refresh yourself with delicious drinks and the cool ocean breeze. Reservations are required.
- Open: Tuesday to Sunday. Breakfast/brunch 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bocas and stone-oven pizza 5:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays closed.
- Location: Look for the sign before reaching Dominical.
- Telefono: +506-2787-0025/ +506- 8658-4344
Sushi Dominical: Satisfy your sushi craving.
Tucked away in an open-air setting overlooking the Río Barú, this restaurant takes advantage of the fresh fish caught daily in Dominical. We're big fans of their Ahi tuna poke salad and tuna sashimi, plus the unagi and rainbow rolls. The menu is complemented by a selection of Japanese beers and sake.
- Open: Daily 1 p.m. to 10 p.m
- Location: Playa Dominical main entrance, bottom of hill at Pueblo Del Rio Center.
- Telefono: +506-8826-7946
La Parcela: Restaurant with a view.
The food and service are not always on, but it's great for a drink with monkeys and incredible sunset views. We highly recommend their cassava chips and lobster.
- Open: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Location: Ten minutes from Casa Big Sur, on the way to Dominical, turn left.
- Telefono: +506-2787-0016
Pescado Loco: Fresh fish and chips.
A little food shack that offers tasty grilled fish, fish tacos, fried shrimp and onion rings. They all pair well with a cold beer or homemade iced tea. The fresh snapper comes straight from the beach and the vegetables are sourced from the local farmers market.
- Open: Monday to Saturday - 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays closed.
- Location: Playa Dominical main entrance, bottom of hill at Pueblo Del Rio Center.
- Telefono: +506-2787-4073/ 8424-7293
Soda El Coco: Authentic Costa Rican cuisine.
One of the oldest restaurants in town serving all kinds of Costa Rican dishes. Try their ceviche and chips, chili guaros shots and micheladas. Good food, great price and amazing service.
- Open: 8:00 a.m. 11:00 p.m.
- Location: Follow the main strip in Dominical all the way to the south end of the beach.
- Telefono: +506-2787-0235
Beehive Restaurant: Mediterranean delights with a pool.
A little oasis off a busy highway, this restaurant is known for serving amazing Mediterranean cuisine. Their dishes are abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, that pair well with fish, lamb and poultry. The bar offers a large variety of wine, local draft beers, specialty cocktails, fresh fruit juices, smoothies and artisanal coffee. Spend the day eating, chilling and hanging by their pool that’s free to use for paying customers.
- Open: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tuesdays closed.
- Location: Uvita five minutes south from Playa Hermosa.
- Telefono: +506-4702-3939
Mosaic Wine: Over 40 bottles from around the world.
There’s something for everyone. Certified wine experts will help you find the perfect bottle and help you pair it with an amazing charcuterie platter. Local cheeses, cured meats, gourmet olives, fresh bread, seasoned almonds and roasted red peppers make it the ultimate party. They also offer Paninis and sushi.
- Open: Monday to Saturday - 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Happy hour from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Location: Located 300 meters past the BCR towards the Uvita Waterfall.
- Telefono: +506 2215 0068
Pizza Time: Best pizza in the area.
The pizzas are excellently prepared on a wood-burning stove; topped with roasted garlic and dried tomatoes, you get to order a delicious thin crust pizza. You can have a meaty pizza or veggie. The vegetarian pizza is usually what clients ask for most. The menu also offers calzones and Caesar salad.
- Open: Daily 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Location: Located one kilometer from the main town of Uvita on the Costanera Highway at Casa Del Leon.
- Telefono: +506-8312-9818 /2201-5300
Sibu Cafeteria: The best cafe in Uvita.
This little cafe is nestled in a strip mall on the main highway. Latte art, eggs Benedict, chunky brownies and homemade lemon pie are all on the menu. Owned and operated by a hardworking couple, they also make excellent salads, burgers and thin-and-crispy pizza. Try one of 10 different cuts of steak, all hormone and additive free, from a local farm in San Carlos. We also recommend the red snapper in avocado sauce. Wash it down with a house craft beer or smoothie.
- Open: 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Location: Downtown Uvita across from the BCR bank.
- Telefono: +506-2743-8674
The Dome: Home of the best Caribbean Coconut Chicken in the South Pacific.
North American menu with a hint of Jamaican culinary artistry. Quality dishes and absolutely fresh ingredients. Eggs benedict are the best. They also serve burgers, burritos and salads.
- Open: Daily 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Location: In the center of Uvita across from the Firestone. About 14 minutes south of Casa Big Sur.
- Telefono: +506-2743-8506
Citrus: Modern Mediterranean cuisine.
Citrus is creative cuisine in a contemporary and cozy ambience. With an inspired Mediterranean menu featuring a few international dishes, they consistently deliver Michelin worthy dishes for a fraction of the price.
- Open: Tuesday to Sunday - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays.
- Location: In the Commercial Center Tangara.
- Telefono: +506-2786-5175
Exotica: International world-class dining.
Gourmet fusion food served in a tranquil jungle setting. Spend the evening exploring flavors from around the globe that melt together in one bite. Their signature dishes include Tahitian fish Carpaccio, duck breast with a port and pineapple sauce, and chili-chocolate cake.
- Open: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Location: One kilometer from highway’s main entrance to Ojochal.
- Telefono: +506-2786-5050/ +506-2786-5051
Pancito Cafe: Authentic French bakery.
They serve many French specialties such as homemade pâté, rillettes, marmalades and imported cheese. Dine in or take out.
- Open: Monday to Saturday - 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Location: Plaza Delfin, 25 meters from the main entrance of Ojochal.
- Telefono: +506-8729-4115/2786-5774
Kua Kua by Hotel Three Sixty: Adults only
Inspired by the journey of a butterfly, the restaurant offers a rotating menu to reflect each season’s prime produce and protein availability. Every morning the kitchen staff will visit local markets and fishermen to ensure the freshest ingredients are available for the chef. Join them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Open: Daily by reservation only*
- Location: Pass the Ojochal entrance and the next bridge, first dirt road on your left, follow it until you see a blue water tank on your left. Look out for Three Sixty Hotel signs.
- Telefono: +506-2100-9206/ 2258-1017
El Avion: World-famous airplane restaurant.
The Fairchild C-123 was used in Nicaragua civil war by the CIA as a secret mission. El Avión (the plane) has some of the best dining views. The restaurant features great seafood dishes like coconut shrimp, seafood curry and yellowfin tuna steaks.
- Open: Daily 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Location: Follow the main strip toward Manuel Antonio beach and you will see the front sticking out.
- Telefono: +506-2777-3378
Gabriella’s: For the beef lovers.
It’s hard to find great steak in Costa Rica, let alone grill it well. But Gabriella’s is a top contender for producing the juiciest Angus steaks in the region. The steaks are flat iron seared at 1000 degrees to lock in juices then seasoned and grilled to perfection. If steak isn’t your thing, they have a great selection of pasta and seafood. We suggest coming for sunset as the veranda overlooks the marina showcasing a spectacular view.
- Open: Daily 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Location: Marina Pez Vela, Quepos.
- Telefono: +506-2519-9300
Emilio's Cafe: Coffee with an Ocean view.
This rustic cafe offers a variety of Spanish and Mediterranean dishes available for breakfast and lunch. Enjoy your coffee with some French toast or indulge in some calamari with wedge fries, tuna poke bowls or a falafel salad. The grilled red snapper is also worth ordering. They have a great selection of desserts including a delectable key lime pie.
- Open: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Location: 40 meters before hotel Mariposa, main road to Manuel Antonio National Park
- Telefono: +506-2777-6807
Arbol Restaurant by Makanda Boutique Hotel
The restaurant offers dishes that transform old, familiar recipes into new original textures, forms and combinations. Surrounded by a tropical forest, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Arbol creates a special ambiance by mixing the natural scenery with contemporary style.
- Open: Daily 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Location: One kilometer west from Centro Commercial Plaza Vista, Manuel Antonio
- Telefono: +506-2777-0442