Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica is known as the gateway to Corcovado National Park, and happily, dining in Puerto Jimenez is lively and delicious. No matter whether travelers are seeking adventurous fare or a comfortable taste of home, Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica offers dining choices that satisfy and delight.
For traditional Costa Rican fare and fresh seafood dishes at unbelievably low prices, Bar Restaurant Agua Luna is the place to go. The first restaurant visible when arriving at Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica by boat, Bar Restaurant Agua Luna is also one of the most popular. In addition to the filling local dishes and fish platters, this restaurant also offers a variety of traditional Chinese dishes.
Juanitas Mexican Bar and Grille serves hearty American-style Mexican dishes and seafood at very affordable prices. The nightly happy hour attracts a big crowd, and every Thursday visitors and residents of Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica come to Juanita’s for the weekly crab race, complete with betting and prizes. Tuesday night is movie night, and the 5 AM opening posted is not an error, so Juanitas is definitely the place to go for an early start or a very late return.
Soda Carolina, also known locally as Bar, Restaurante y Cabinas Carolina, remains the main hangout for budget travelers and backpackers, and also functions as Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica’s information center.
The casados (daily specials) at Soda Carolina are very filling and tasty and usually run less than $3 USD, but the fresh fish is the most popular entrée. The black bean soup is very good, and Soda Carolina also offers a variety of ceviches. For authentic Costa Rican food, Carolina is the best bet.
Jade Luna, located by the old cemetery, serves fusion cuisine and eclectic, creative fare at reasonable prices, while Il Giardino, located downtown, serves good pizza, traditional pasta dishes, sushi, and is a local favorite.
Most of the lodges around Drake Bay and beyond Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica include three meals in the cost of the accommodations.
Lapa Rios, Costa Rica’s most dramatic ecolodge, features a spectacular open-air dining room with a 49-foot spiral staircase in the center that leads to an observation deck. With dramatic surroundings like that, food takes a bit of a secondary role, but as it happens the food is very good too.
Finally, for the truly adventurous, Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp provides family style open-air dining on picnic tables surrounded by deep forest. Just reaching Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp is an adventure in itself: Guests take a chartered plane to a gravel landing strip near Carate, then hike along the beach for 30 minutes (about one mile) to reach the camp.
After all of that exertion, just about anything would taste good, but again, it so happens that the food is delicious, and the accommodations are unforgettable.