A guide to the best restaurants in Playa Tamarindo

As a buzzing tourism hub for Costa Rica holidays, you’re going to find a tremendous selection of treats on the menus dotted around Playa Tamarindo. The town welcomes visitors from across the world, and that’s given its restaurants an international slant. That said, you can expect to find local seafood and authentic home cooking too, so trust our guide to find the meals that best fit your travel style.

Let in your love of pastry at Pasta Casera Tamarindo

While they might look similar to the Cornish pasties we have at home, there’s a little more going on in Latin America’s empanadas. This pastry is lovingly folded around cheeses, meats and seafood, making for a filling snack during the day. There’s plenty more homecooked flavour to savour here too, from sweetbreads and custard tarts to crusty loaves and fully loaded bocadillos – a type of baguette.

Taste some tropical pepperoni at Pizzeria La Baula

With a rustic yet idyllic exterior that almost has you thinking you’re away in Italy, there’s also a touch of the exotic at Pizzeria La Baula. It’s here that the finest Italian meals can be had, from pristine pasta dishes to, of course, the pizza that keeps everyone coming back time and again.

Load up on guacamole at the Green Papaya Taco Bar

Fish, salad and meat tacos line the tables of the lively Green Papaya Taco Bar, although you’re going to find a good selection of burritos here too, each wrapped and flavoured with the finest traditions of Mexico. The nacho bowls are laden with crunchy goodness and the dessert menu is rich in chocolate and cream temptations.

Try some Caribbean cuisine at Lola's

Playa Tamarindo is on the Pacific coast rather than facing the Caribbean, but with sublime cocktails and seafood right here on the beach patio, who’s splitting hairs? Fish and chips by the sea is always a delight at Lola’s, although crisp salads and hearty American greats are just as sure to entice.

Try brunch at Santa Rita Cafe

Coffee is huge in Costa Rica, so you can expect a cup of the good stuff with serious oomph at Santa Rita Cafe. The food served here is made with detailed care and attention, earning it plenty of fans in the local community. You can expect hearty breakfasts, buttery croissants and a good choice of vegan and vegetarian options.

Load your plate high at Black Stallion Cafe & Surf Saloon

An adventure lodge as much as a restaurant, you can stock up on barbecued meats at Black Stallion Cafe & Surf Saloon after an active day of hiking and riding ziplines on your holiday to Costa Rica. Salads and desserts are also in plentiful supply and after dark this rustic venue comes to life with live music acts, so make sure you bring your dancing shoes.

Indulge in Lebanese cuisine at the Falafel Bar

It’s not just this place’s namesake falafel that entices visitors, as the lamb kebabs, steamed vegetables and succulent salads are similarly set to get tummies rumbling. The Falafel Bar is a distinctive venue that offers great views of your surroundings so dining in the sun here is always a treat.

Embrace serenity at Bamboo Sushi Club

Japan’s most famous food is in plentiful supply here, together with sashimi, teriyaki and other flavours sourced from Osaka to Tokyo. Bamboo Sushi Club also reaches a little further afield, with treats like spring rolls and prawn salads. The courtyard has the appearance of a Zen garden, so you’re invited to eat among the greenery for a true taste of inner peace.

Birds of a feather flock to Gallo Fino

Chicken is a dish that people love worldwide, but they definitely know how to do it in Costa Rica. At Gallo Fino you can expect to find hot fried chicken, tasty roast chicken like we love back home and jerk chicken with spices sourced from Jamaica.

Let the flavours in at Schnitzel Heaven

You may be far, far away from Europe, but that doesn’t mean Costa Ricans haven’t learned the secrets of a hot and tasty schnitzel. A huge variety of German food and drink can be found at Schnitzel Heaven, as well as a chunky, creamy potato salad that always fills a hole.