Manuel Antonio and the Central Pacific Coast Restaurants

You'll find the liveliest dining mix in the country outside San José here, especially in Manuel Antonio. The crowd of international visitors has brought about a crowd of international cuisines ranging from Japanese to Italian, but, as you'd expect in a coastal region, seafood still reigns here. For traditional Costa Rican cuisine, your best bet is a roadside soda where locals gather for their daily casado (rice, beans, plantains, and an entrée of chicken, beef, or fish).

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  • 1. La Luna

    $$$ | International

    It’s hard to know what’s more impressive—the view or the cuisine at this restaurant without walls, where the sun melts into the Pacific and...Read More

  • 2. Side Street Bisto

    $$ | French

    By the creators of Graffiti Restro, this laid-back bistro dishes up fresh salads, baked goods, nano brews, and gourmet sandwiches on artisanal...Read More

  • 3. Cafe Agua Azul

    $$$ | Seafood

    Follow your nose to this simple second-floor room offering breathtaking views by day and a deliciously inventive selection of seafood by night...Read More

  • 4. Café Milagro

    $$$ | Café

    In 1993, university students Adrienne Pellizzari and Lance Byron first came to Manuel Antonio on a summer vacation, but it was their quest for...Read More

  • 5. El Lagarto

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Meat lovers can get their fix at this local grill, where sizzling cuts are seared on a wood-fire grill and served on chopping blocks. Anyone...Read More

  • 6. Emilio’s Café

    $$ | Mediterranean

    Sweeping views, organic cuisine, and a bohemian vibe are what you’ll get at this popular café where soft jazz sets the stage for all kinds of...Read More

  • 7. Graffiti Restro Cafe and Wine Bar

    $$ | Eclectic

    The gritty-gourmet concept of this Jacó hot spot plays with the senses, starting with an interior that blends graffiti with soft candlelight...Read More

  • 8. Green Room

    $$ | Café

    Bordered by a white picket fence, this charming café serves meals prepared with organic ingredients delivered daily by local farmers. A tin...Read More

  • 9. Kapi Kapi

    $$$ | Asian

    Low lighting, ocher walls, dark hardwood, and potted palms provide Manuel Antonio's best ambience for dinner, despite the lack of an ocean view...Read More

  • 10. Marlin Restaurant

    $$$ | Costa Rican

    The outdoor tables are pretty much always full, owing to a location on Manuel Antonio's busiest corner, across the street from the beach near...Read More

  • 11. Mirador Restaurant

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    White tablecloths, glass walls, and yellow-and-blue-checkered curtains contribute to the sophisticated but not overly stuffy atmosphere of this...Read More

  • 12. Restaurante El Pelícano

    $$$ | Seafood

    It may not look like much at first glance, but this open-air restaurant across the street from the beach serves some dishes you'd be hard-pressed...Read More

  • 13. Ronny's Place

    $$ | Costa Rican

    A spectacular sunset view comes with friendly, attentive service and a small but tempting menu that includes such typical Tico dishes as sopa...Read More

  • 14. Runaway Grill

    $$$ | Seafood

    This favorite with sportfishermen ("You hook 'em, we cook 'em"), is the town's best place for seafood, serving everything from shrimp scampi...Read More

  • 15. Steve n' Lisa's

    $$ | Eclectic

    A convenient location, free Wi-Fi, and good food make this roadside restaurant, just south of the entrance to Tárcoles, a popular pit stop for...Read More

  • 16. The Backyard Bar

    $$ | Eclectic

    Playa Hermosa's original nightlife spot has two seating areas, each with its own bar. Television sets on the wraparound bar in the front room...Read More

  • 17. Victoria’s

    $$$ | Italian

    If the sound of live music by Rafa Mora (Costa Rica’s leading classical guitarist) isn’t enough to lure your senses, then the smell of brick...Read More

  • 18. Nuevo Latino

    $$$$ | Latin American

    The most formal restaurant at the Los Sueños Resort (though dress is still Costa Rican casual) has large arched windows facing cascading water...Read More

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