Costa Rica attracts ex-pats and tourists from all over the world, and Costa Rica restaurants reflect that rich global diversity. The best Costa Rica restaurants run the gamut from Brazilian to Pan-Asian to upscale Continental to comfortable Tico cuisine. The spectacular views, the international chefs, and the splendid local produce and seafood combine to make Costa Rica dining an unforgettable experience. The choices are impressive.
Tin Jo in San Jose stands far above hundreds of other Costa Rica restaurants offering Chinese cuisine in so many ways. In addition to featuring the most adventurous Asian cuisine in Costa Rica, Tin Jo also offers tradition Szechuan, Cantonese, Indian, and Malaysian dishes expertly prepared. If you can only visit one Costa Rica restaurant in San Jose, make it Tin Jo.
If, however, Asian cuisine just isn’t your favorite, Grano de Oro Restaurant in San Jose serves elegant Continental cuisine in a low key, relaxing atmosphere. The open air seating in their lushly planted courtyard is truly special, and the desserts at Grano de Oro are positively decadent. Located in the boutique hotel by the same name, Grano de Oro makes for an especially appealing place to linger over lunch and enjoy rich food and strong coffee
For the truly adventurous, the elegant colonial décor of San Jose’s Bakea sets the stage for some of the most creative fusion cuisine in the world. Bakea has become one of the best restaurants and hottest destinations in San Jose, so call ahead if you plan to check it out and keep an open mind.
If ultra-fresh seafood served within sight of the Pacific coast is your idea of a dream Costa Rica restaurant, Camaron Dorado at Playa Brasilito will not disappoint. The seafood here practically jumps out of the ocean onto your plate, and is presented casually and attentively just steps from the breaking waves. Come as you are, eat well, and stay late.
Sophia, one of the best Costa Rica restaurants in the Santa Elena and Monteverde areas, is fairly new, but the Latin fusion fare is special. Small and intimate, Sophia is a great place to sample the rich traditions of Central and South America done up with a creative gourmet flair.
Ginger, one the best Costa Rica restaurants in Guanacaste for Asian fusion cuisine, features a list of unusual cocktails that match the creative dishes on the menu. Located near Playa Hermosa, Ginger is known for its unique spin on Spanish tapas, those popular small plates that allow visitors to sample a bit of everything while enjoying good conversation.
Puerto Viejo’s La Pecora Nera offers some of the best Italian cuisine you’ll find anywhere, definitely a surprise find on this remote Caribbean coastline. A good strategy here is to follow the chef’s suggestions and order the nightly specials. You’ll think you’ve been temporarily transported to the Mediterranean.
And for pure beachside funkiness, you can’t beat Playa de los Artistas in Montezuma. One of the best beachside Costa Rica restaurants, Play de los Artistas serves fresh seafood in big ceramic bowls or wood slabs lined with banana leaves. A few beachside tables make up the entire dining area, so make sure to arrive early.