Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Restaurants

Seafood and fresh fish are tops here, followed by fast food—pizza, tacos, barbecue—to satisfy the hordes of hungry surfers and beachgoers. But there are many sophisticated restaurants, too, offering Asian-fusion, Italian, French, and international cuisine, especially in the tourist-heavy beach towns of Hermosa, Flamingo, Tamarin
Seafood and fresh fish are tops here, followed by fast food—pizza, tacos, barbecue—to satisfy the hordes of hungry surfers and beachgoers. But there are many sophisticated restaurants, too, offering Asian-fusion, Italian, French, and international cuisine, especially in
Seafood and fresh fish are tops here, followed by fast food—pizza, tacos, barbecue—to satisfy the hordes of hungry surfe

Seafood and fresh fish are tops here, followed by fast food—pizza, tacos, barbecue—to satisfy the hordes of hungry surfers and beachgoers. But there are many sophisticated restaurants, too, offering Asian-fusion, Italian, French, and international cuisine, especially in the tourist-heavy beach towns of Hermosa, Flamingo, Tamarindo, Nosara, and Sámara. Many restaurants, especially tourist-oriented ones with dollar-denominated menus, do not include the 13% tax plus mandatory 12% service. By law, menus are required to show the total price including tax, but many owners flout this law. Be sure to ask if taxes are included; otherwise you may be surprised by a bill that’s 25% higher than you expected.

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  • 1. Café Liberia

    $$$ | French

    Step back 150 years into one of Liberia's grandest mansions, complete with an original ceiling painting of cupids, doves, and garlands of flowers...Read More

  • 2. Gusto Beach Creativo

    $$$ | Italian

    A romantic setting, ocean breezes, and a creative, Italian menu make this the most popular restaurant in Sámara. By day, rustic wooden tables...Read More

  • 3. Mama Gui

    $$ | Italian

    Elegant design aligns with ultra-sophisticated Italian cuisine at this exciting new restaurant. Italian recipes infused with tropical flavors...Read More

  • 4. Mario's Cuisine

    $$$$ | Seafood

    A set four-course dinner, by reservation only, served at 8 pm sharp, in the home of prodigy-chef Mario Rivera, makes this underground supper...Read More

  • 5. Nectar

    $$$ | Seafood

    Savor the experience of the Florblanca Resort's fabulous garden setting at this poolside alfresco restaurant. Fresh seafood is the specialty...Read More

  • 6. Pangas Beach Club

    $$$ | French

    You can’t get any closer to the water than at this outdoor beach garden, where rustic tables are shaded by enormous ficus trees draped with...Read More

  • 7. Playa de los Artistas

    $$$ | Italian

    Arty driftwood tables and sculpted chairs scattered along the rocky beach and an inventive Mediterranean menu have made this one of the most...Read More

  • 8. Playa Langosta Beach Club

    $$$ | French

    This beach club–restaurant–lounge–jazz club is the most romantic and sophisticated dining spot on the beach. By day, you can lounge by the pool...Read More

  • 9. Product C Playa Carmen

    $ | Seafood

    For the freshest, tastiest, and most affordable seafood in town, make a bee-line to this fish market and restaurant with the most entertaining...Read More

  • 10. Restaurant Deevena

    $$$ | French

    An unexpected outpost of divine French cuisine, this oasis of elegance overlooks a sparkling blue pool edged by lush palms, while lounge chairs...Read More

  • 11. Seasons by Shlomy

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    At his intimate, poolside restaurant in the casually chic Hotel Arco Iris, innovative chef Shlomy Koren, Israeli-born and Cordon Bleu–trained...Read More

  • 12. The Lookout

    $$ | Seafood

    As if the breathtaking view high in the hills above Playas del Coco weren't enough, the innovative menu at one of the few oyster bars in Costa...Read More

  • 13. Tres Hermanas Bar-B-Q & Grill

    $$$ | Barbecue

    You can't miss the giant white Brahman bull and the King Kong–size howler monkey at the turnoff from the Pan-American Highway, heading for the...Read More

  • 14. Ylang Ylang Restaurant

    $$$ | Vegetarian

    One of Montezuma's most scenic and sophisticated restaurants, Ylang Ylang is nestled between the beach and the jungle, offering views of waves...Read More

  • 15. Angelina’s

    $$$ | Italian

    Guanacaste-inspired and locally sourced, the cuisine here pays tribute to the owner's Italian roots. This restaurant is one of the area’s more...Read More

  • 16. Aqua Sport

    $$$ | Peruvian

    There’s not much “aqua sport” going on at this Peruvian beachfront restaurant, unless you count drinking margaritas in a hammock. It’s the kind...Read More

  • 17. Beach Box

    $ | Mexican

    On the dirt road to Playa Avellanas, just before you hit the water, is the appropriately named Beach Box—a breakfast joint serving fresh-squeezed...Read More

  • 18. Black Stallion Surf Saloon

    $$$$ | Barbecue

    This “Costa Rican cowboy saloon with a surfer twist” is a full-day experience that starts with zip lining, horseback riding, and ATV tours,...Read More

  • 19. Café de Paris

    $$ | Eclectic

    Vestiges of the original Swiss-French owners linger on at this bakery and alfresco eatery, open for breakfast and lunch. In addition to hearty...Read More

  • 20. Café Playa Negra

    $$ | Peruvian

    The stylish creation of Peruvian artist Andrea Raffo, this hacienda-like hall showcases her art, with squares of stained glass built into the...Read More

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