Arenal, Monteverde, and the Northern Lowlands Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Arenal, Monteverde, and the Northern Lowlands - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. Celajes

    $$$ | Costa Rican

    In the wood-polished dining room of Hotel Belmar, this elegant restaurant, whose name means “sunset clouds,” is indeed the best place to admire...Read More

  • 2. Orchid Coffee Shop

    $$ | Bakery

    It’s astonishing the level of culinary perfection that comes out of this A-frame shack. Yes, the menu is enormous, but take your time and let...Read More

  • 3. Que Rico

    $$$ | Italian

    Just below the main road is this lovely Italian-inspired restaurant where wooden tables are draped with red-and-white linens, and soft music...Read More

  • 4. Café Caburé

    $$ | Argentine

    Launched by Argentinean–Bostonian owners who longed for quality chocolate made from local cocoa, this restaurant-bakery-chocolateria is one...Read More

  • 5. De Lucía

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Cordial Chilean owner José Belmar is the walking, talking (in five languages) menu here, and he's always on hand to chat with guests. The handsome...Read More

  • 6. Don Rufino

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Although this is one of the more upscale restaurants in the area, there's no need to dress up here: this is La Fortuna, after all. The L-shape...Read More

  • 7. El Gran Abuelo

    $$ | Costa Rican

    There’s no shortage of steak houses near Arenal, but El Gran Abuelo pushes to the front of the pack with perfectly grilled steak. Tender and...Read More

  • 8. Gingerbread

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Ignore the chalkboard menu and let chef Eyal guide you for what might just be the best meal you’ll have in Costa Rica. The Israeli native (who...Read More

  • 9. La Choza de Laurel

    $$ | Costa Rican

    The smell of rotisserie chicken, porterhouse steak, and fresh fish bathed in garlic attracts passersby to this open-air restaurant a short walk...Read More

  • 10. La Lechería

    $$ | Café

    Long before tourists flocked up here, dairy farming was the foundation of Monteverde's economy. Quakers still deliver dairy to what is locally...Read More

  • 11. Los Platillos Voladores

    $$ | Italian

    It might not look like much from the outside, but this Italian restaurant has homemade dishes like tortellini in sage butter, lasagne with bubbly...Read More

  • 12. Monteverde Beer House

    $$ | Middle Eastern

    Middle Eastern food and craft beer are a rarity in Santa Elena (or anywhere in Costa Rica), but this bold combination has filled a void in the...Read More

  • 13. Morpho's

    $$ | Costa Rican

    With its rain-forest murals, glass patios, and tree-stump tables, you’re never far from nature in this restaurant named for the mesmerizing...Read More

  • 14. Pizzería de Johnny

    $$ | Italian

    Since 1993, travelers have been making their way to this stylish but informal Italian restaurant with candles and white tablecloths. Thin-crust...Read More

  • 15. Rain Forest Café

    $ | Costa Rican

    Reasonable prices and excellent quality have made this café a traveler’s favorite, with meals ranging from churrasco and empanadas to salads...Read More

  • 16. Soda y Pizzería La Parada

    $$ | Costa Rican

    La Fortuna's only late-night eatery does a brisk business, and it's a convenient place to grab a quick, cheap meal and stock up on snacks for...Read More

  • 17. Sofía

    $$$ | Latin American

    Bilingual waiters in crisp black aprons scurry attentively around the three dining rooms serving a wide variety of dishes. Start with yuca croquettes...Read More

  • 18. Stella's Bakery

    $ | Café

    This local institution is a good place to get an early-morning fix before heading to the Monteverde Reserve. Pastries, rolls, muffins, natural...Read More

  • 19. Tramonti

    $$ | Italian

    Named for a town in southwestern Italy, this glass-walled restaurant is warm and inviting with dangling fairy lights, hardwood floors, candles...Read More

  • 20. Tree House

    $$ | Eclectic

    It's more about the setting than the food and service at this two-story restaurant built around a 60-year-old ficus tree on Santa Elena's main...Read More

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