A guide to food and drink in Costa Rica

The food and drink you’ll find on Costa Rica holidays offers a rich diversity of options. You’ll find traditional Costa Rican specialities and Spanish influenced dishes, as well as Middle Eastern, European and familiar international favourites. Restaurants are often very relaxed and laid-back, particularly those in the area’s seaside resorts.

Exploring Costa Rica's Delicacies

The beachside venues are perfect for stopping off between beach activities, and sit alongside a plethora of restaurant-bars with superb views of the surrounding countryside. You’ll also find several intimate fine dining venues for romantic meals and special occasions. Fresh fish and seafood is hugely popular on the coast, and lots of venues serve tasty dishes featuring local fish, lobster, prawns and mussels.

No matter where you stay in Costa Rica, make sure you try the coffee too. It’s a massive part of life here and the passion that coffee farmers have for their craft, as well as baristas who pour us those timeless blends, make for a smooth and silky cup of java every time.

Beachside views and tasty seafood at La Langosta Feliz, Playa de Matapalo

La Langosta Feliz is located right on Playa de Matapalo beach, so you’ll get great sea views while you dine. It’s also really convenient for having a delicious lunch or snack during your relaxed beach days. This busy restaurant has a light, airy feel and a laid-back vibe that makes it popular with locals as well as visitors.

You’ll find a wide selection of tasty menu choices here, including traditional Costa Rican specialities, Spanish and international dishes. Try delicious classics including homemade chunky soups, baked tuna and fresh seafood dishes such as prawn paella, mussels and lobster linguine.

Lebanese cuisine and fresh fruit smoothies at Falafel Bar, Playa Tamarindo

You’ll find some of the best Lebanese, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine in the Guanacaste region at Falafel Bar. Located in the centre of Playa Tamarindo, this restaurant looks a bit like a giant palm-leaf beach parasol and has a relaxed atmosphere with big open windows and an outside terrace.

An ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans, they serve freshly made pitta bread, falafels and hummus. There’s also a wide selection of meaty options such as succulent lamb kebabs, plus traditional Lebanese cakes, fresh fruit smoothies and delicious coffee from local Costa Rican beans.

Spectacular views, craft beers and fresh oysters at The Lookout, Playas del Coco

The Lookout is an American style restaurant-bar that’s the place to go for delicious food and fantastic views on any Guanacaste holiday. It has an open-air rooftop terrace where you can enjoy stunning scenery of tropical forests, rolling hills and a spectacular coastline as you dine.

The menu choices here include both American and Costa Rican style dishes. Try fresh oysters with sea salt served on silver platters, avocado fritters and a variety of tasty tapas plates. They also serve a good range of craft beers and cocktails, so you can relax with a few drinks while you take in the glorious Costa Rican sunset.

Fine dining and French cuisine in the woods at Villa Deveena, Playa Negra

Head to Villa Daveena if you’re looking for exquisite fine dining and some creative culinary flair, French style. This classy little gem is tucked away in a quiet area, making it ideal for romantic dinners, special occasions or celebrations with groups of friends.

The extensive French menu offers delicious options such as crispy duck ravioli, spicy shrimp, braised short ribs and a tasty selection of tapas dishes. They have an impressive French wine list to accompany your meal and also serve a range of tasty desserts, including freshly made creme caramel.

Diverse menu and freshly created dishes at Abbocato, Playa Panama

Abbocato features Italian, Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, so you’re sure to find something to please on its diverse menu. Owned and run by two innovative chefs, you can expect deliciously interesting flavour combinations and beautifully artistic presentation here. With an elegant interior and relaxed atmosphere, this is an ideal choice for an extra special holiday meal.

The restaurant has both an a la carte menu and a regularly changing daily menu, with dishes freshly created from seasonal local produce and ingredients such as fresh fish and seafood. Try their four course tasting menu which features two superb appetisers, a main course and tasty dessert.