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, 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. Cactus

    $

    It's easy to miss this unassuming eatery surrounded by cactus on the road to the beach, but you would be missing out on some of...Read More

  • 2. Gusto Beach Creativo

    $$$

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

  • 3. La Bodega

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    Linger as long as you'd like for breakfast or lunch on the open-air deck, where you'll be served fresh, local, and organic food. Daily specials...Read More

  • 4. La Luna

    $$$

    Dawn to dusk, this casually chic restaurant overlooking Playa Pelada is the most scenic place to have breakfast, lunch, cocktails, or dinner, with tables spilling...Read More

  • 5. Langosta Surf Club

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    If you want to feel at home on vacation, head to this family-friendly neighborhood sports bar featuring in-house roasted deli meats, local artisanal products, and...Read More

  • 6. Limonada

    $$

    Friendly staff are at your service while you kick back on cushioned sectional seating or long wooden tables with your toes in the sand. The...Read More

  • 7. Restaurant Deevena

    $$$

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

  • 8. The Surf Box

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    Pop into this charming spot with “California cool” and cozy up in the corner booth, where the clean white walls set a backdrop for rainbow-hued...Read More

  • 9. Ylang Ylang Restaurant

    $$$

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

  • 10. Bistro Cantarana

    $$ | International

    You can usually count on creative, au courant dinners at this upscale, pricey second-story restaurant in the trees. The menu changes depending...Read More

  • 11. Bohemia Café

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    Take a beach break and stop at this funky open-air café for a smoothie or espresso, and stay for a panini or avocado toast—just make...Read More

  • 12. Café de Paris

    $$

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

  • 13. Café Del Sol

    $$$

    There's something for everyone any time of day at this three-story bakery/bistro/lounge/cocktail bar.  In the morning, there are savory quiches and homemade granola as well...Read More

  • 14. Café Playa Negra

    $$

    This surf café features such Peruvian specialties as ceviche and causa (cold mashed potatoes studded with shrimp and tuna chunks). The menu also includes a...Read More

  • 15. Destiny Café & Restaurant

    $$ | American

    A feast for the senses, this plant-filled haven has coffee, smoothies, and food that look lovely and taste delicious. Whether you order the...Read More

  • 16. El Sano Banano Restaurant

    $$

    Montezuma’s first natural-food restaurant is named after the chewy dried bananas made by the owners, who also own the upscale Ylang Ylang resort on...Read More

  • 17. Guayoyo Coffee House

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    An exuberant mix of American and Venezuelan favorites makes this breakfast spot a favorite of locals and tourists alike who come for the coffee and...Read More

  • 18. Makoko

    $$$

    At El Mangroove’s trendy poolside restaurant, guests can dine with a glimpse of the ocean or head indoors to the more formal dining room enclosed...Read More

  • 19. Marie's Restaurant

    $$

    A Flamingo institution serving beachgoers and locals for more than three decades, this popular restaurant has an array of sandwiches and salads, as well as...Read More

  • 20. Nogui's

    $$$

    Pleasing a loyal legion of local fans since 1974, Nogui's offers a hearty menu of seafood and meat dishes that pair perfectly with a tamarind...Read More

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