Vegetarian food? Rec. for SJ, Arenal, Manual Antonio

Old Aug 31st, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Vegetarian food? Rec. for SJ, Arenal, Manual Antonio

Hi all, Thanks to many of the rec. on this list, I've already booked my trip for 2008! Now I wanted to see if I could get some recommendations on places to eat where vegetarians can be easily accommodated. Our whole family are vegetarians and one of us is mostly vegan (no eggs, no cheese). I know that rice and beans are always an option, but hear mixed things as to whether they contain lard/pork/bacon. Any specific ideas or restaurants rec. would be very welcomed - we like beans, rice, pasta, veggies, fruit, tofu (maybe impossible to find?), hummus, veggie burgers, etc. Not vital, but are there any natural/healthy good places around? Thank you, Jenn
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 06:50 PM
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We have some vegetarians places...but where are you going???

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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 08:10 PM
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My husband is vegetarian - but not vegan. In San Jose, his favourite restaurant is Lubnan - the Lebanese restaurant on the Paseo Colon across from the Torre mercedes. Falafel, hummus, tabouli, babaganoush etc. They have a vegetarian platter.
There is Vegetarian restaurant called Vishnu - with several branches. The main one is basically right in the central area of SJ

In general the vegan will be alot harder. There are lots of pizza and pasta options for ovo-lacto vegetarians.
In the Quepos/MA area, where we spend most of our time when in CR, my husband does sometimes eat rice and beans. But he always questions them as to whether they use lard or any meat product. The trick however is to make sure that the person you ask 100% understands what you are asking.. which may not always be the case.

In Quepos, we often eat at the Escalofrio. It is authentic Italian and he eats either some type of pasta or Pizza and salads. Hotel Plinio used to have a really good spinach lasagne but we haven't been there for about 1 and a half years - so can't guarantee that its the same.
El Patio - which is part of Cafe Milagro in Quepos has had a hummus sandwich on the lunch menu - but they do keep changing so again not sure if it will be there.
At Salsipuedes which is more for bocas and watching the sunset, I think he had some sort of grilled vegetables.

Gato Negro, another Italian place on the MA road has good spinach ravioli

We eat guacamole at Dos Locos. You can get it at other places.

You can get a good variety of salads at El Gran Escape in Quepos. They also have vegetable fajitas which my husband eats all the time...

In general my husband has not problems finding food to eat. We do cook alot in our condo and often buy textured soy at the supermarket. Have not looked for tofu.

Hope this helps abit. Good luck.

Pura vida,

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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 09:33 PM
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A useful phrase I learned was "sin manteca?" (without lard) for being sure about the beans.

As always, it'll be tougher for the vegan in your family, but as a vegetarian I can tell you that you won't have to go out of your way to find places to eat where you're going. That's one of the reasons I love traveling to Costa Rica... I know I can have great food everywhere. You can always order a vegetarian "casado" wherever you go -- this is a big platter of beans and rice, plantains, veggies, a mixed salad, sometimes cheese, etc. Very easy to find in all the small local restaurants.

I remember Cafe Milagro as being a good choice in Manuel Antonio, too.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for the ideas. If anyone has any others, I'd love to hear them. To the person who asked where we were going.... sorry for the confusion, it was in the subject line. We are going to San Jose, Arenal/La Fortuna and Manual Antonio/Quepos - all in Costa Rica. Thank you. Jenn
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