Best of Costa Rica’s Top 10 Restaurants


Update: Who knew this would be so controversial. :-)Let me clarify a few things about this list. 1. It mainly covers the Central Valley area. While we do travel out of the area we do not eat out of the area enough at any one place to be able to evaluate it property. 2. You must be able to get a meal for 2 for under $60. and 3. Consistency is key. Please visit my blog I wrote on this subject to understand more of my guidelines that I used to select the following places. Yes there are 3 US chain restaurants. That is just the way it is. There are none that I have found that can replace them for the items I suggested you eat at each one. They meet all my requirements for being on this list.

Best of Costa Rica’s Top 10 Restaurants you must visit when you are here in Costa Rica. We will start with 10 and count down!

10. SOLO Camaron – It is reasonably priced and the food has good flavor. Don’t go in there with a large crowd. It is a small space, but comfortable. Clean and the service is very good. Everything and I mean everything has shrimp. So if allergic you may want to avoid it!

9. Hooters – Is pretty much the same as they are in the states. You only go in there for 2 thing. One is the wings and the other well it is what it is. 🙂 We have tried a few other items on the menu and were not impressed. They do have a limited selection of wings sauces, unlike in the states. If you are in the mood for wings this is your place to go no doubt!

8. Tony Roma’s It is a little on the pricey side, but not as bad as some places. If you are looking for a good Italian meal this is your place to go. Don’t get the beef products as tey are on the tough side, but pasta is delicious!

 7. Chilis – After being here for over a year we finally went and we were pleasantly surprised. It was really good. It had the best pizza I have had in Costa Rica. I know sounds strange, but it is true. So for no other reason you should go here for the pizza! The prices are reasonable. Our friend who was with us said they had the best ribs he has ever eaten in Costa Rica as well. Give it a try.

6. Sisso Another new find and we loved it. If you are a vegetarian this is one of the best places to go no doubt. They don’t have a salad bar, but they do have a make your own salad. So always a plus in my book. Food was good, prices were very good for what you got and the place was nice. Service was very good.

5. Los Antojitos – This is one of our favorite places to have lunch. I’m sure dinner would be just as excellent. We have been to two different ones and the food and services was great at both of them. So if you see on in your travels stop in and have a bite. You won’t regret it. I love their grilled salad!

4. Alida Ristorante – If you like a true Italian pizza this is your place. It has that thin crust you are hoping for and they are tasty. They have a great salad and the other food is good as well. It is a little pricey, but worth it. Nice place and great service.

3. Grego’s Bar and Grill – We do go here often. The prices are a little high for a bar, but not really that bad. The food is good! The only problem with it is the consistency of the food. One week its good, next its ok, than it is good again. I love their chicken soup! It is served with an egg that is cooked by the heat of the broth. Our favorite is the Chicken and the Corvina and I do like their churrascos as well but it is hit and miss as to its toughness.

2. Kay’s Gringo Postres – Is one of our favorite places to go in Atenas. The food is good, reason prices, and the desserts are a little bit of heaven. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but worth a stop on in no doubt. It is the Cheer’s of Costa Rica just no booze. The staff is friendly and helpful and you will always find helpful people.

1. La Trocha – If you want a good steak this is the place to go! We love their steaks! Their ceviche is very good as well. Service is wonderful and the owners are just great people. If  you get their pasta dishes they do sauce it very generously! They have a signature sauce that is great! I love their jalapeno sauce!  If you want just a bit of heat or full tears and red lips you can get it. Just tell them how hot you want it! They will cook your steak medium rare! The only way to have a steak!

So that pretty much covers it. If you are here for 7 days or 10 days this list pretty much has you covered. Check these places out and let me know about your experience.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!



Categories: Food, Restaurant Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Best of Costa Rica’s Top 10 Restaurants

  1. I was surprised that Arroz con Mango didn’t make the list. I’ve eaten there several times and not been disappointed.

    I enjoy your blog.


  2. Hooters, Tony Roma and Chili’s are not Costa Rican restaurants, they are stinking low level franchises in the US. There are great restaurants here like La Finca that we discovered yesterday in Sarchi, while off the beaten path. Break out and explore a little. If you are going to rate CR restaurants, then keep it to CR, not US wanna-be’s, otherwise you missed McD’s, KCF and Taco Bell.


    • They are restaurants in Costa Rica so they make the list. I use the following as my guide to the ones I listed.

      As I stated in the facebook group and I will restate it here. Tony Roma’s for Italian food as no CR restraurant can give the consistancy in the quality of that type of food. Be happy to hear of one that does and will try it. Hooters only for its wings! Nothing else. As stated they have the best wings. Chili’s is Pizza and Ribs! Again no other places I have eaten at and I have eaten at a lot of places can deliver 90%+ the same food as these places. So they stay on the list. The facebook group Gringo’s Expats that I run has given me some new places to try and I am optimistic that they could be removed from the list at some point, but my experience for reasons stated still stand. Sorry you are unhappy with my list. As for La Finca, Here is my review of them. I have only been there once and they got a good review, but since I have only been there once I can not put them on my list. There are hundreds of restaurants I have eaten at that did not make the list. 3 are US chains out of the 10. The other 7 are Costa Rican. Thanks for reading!


  3. Howard Purdy

    Hi Bunky
    I always enjoy reading your restaurant reviews. As for your top 10 I will admit that only 2 would be on my list; Alida’s and La Trocha. But we all have different taste in food and types of restaurants. It would be fun to see what other Gringos would list as their top 10.


    • Totally agree. 🙂 On the Gringo’s Expat group I am getting more suggestions. I’m going to be a busy man eating. Damn I am going to gain back all the weight I lost if I eat at all the suggestions I have been given since starting this list. 🙂 I’m already 6 reviews behind. Now I will have many more to do.


    • Audrey

      I have eaten at Alidas in Atenas and the food was awful! It was partially frozen in the middle and had almost no flavor. Maybe it was an off day for them but I will never return.


  4. Bill Bennett

    It would seem to me that “San Jose” would be more appropriate than “Costa Rica” in this context. There are certainly some fine restaurants in Guanacaste — at least better than Hooters or Tony Roma . . .


    • Could be but in the category of wings and Italian food they were the best I had sampled on a consistent basis. Hooters wings were always good each time we went and same for Tony Roma’s. All others we have tried have never produced the same quality food 2x. It is sad, but true in my experience so far. It is my hope more people will give me more places to try that will knock them off the list next time I write one. We will see.


  5. Pingback: Zarcero, boy did you have a surprise for us! | Best of Costa Rica

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