Dining out and partying in Tamarindo Beach can be the best part of your visit and vacation in Costa Rica. Tamarindo has a wide variety of restaurants, bars and night clubs; from quick and cheap to fine international dining. You’ll also find some restaurants go out of their way to accommodate families and children, typically with a separate play area. It enables the kids to get fed and then go play in a safe controlled area, typically with other kids! By no means should these restaurants be avoided if you are without kids – you’ll miss out on some great food.very service, catering services, and private chefs are also available; especially helpful for weddings and private gatherings.
Of our favourites (in no specific order):
- La Baula – favourite pizza, family place, wonderful. Don’t miss gelato for dessert (coconut, hazelnut, etc)
- Dragonfly – just up the road from La Baula. Amazing service, food, presentation, flavours, ambiance.
- Sprout – just relocated across street from Witches Rock Surf Camp. Excellent, healthy, clean cooking. YUM!
- Surf Shack – for your burger, sports, chicken fix. Kids will love this, as I do. On the circle, near Noguis.
- Noguis – tends to be a meeting place for North American visitors and local gringos. Excellent banana cream, coconut cream, and pineapple pie. Good food of all varieties. On the beach.
- El Mercadito (food court style) just up from Patagonia – clean, safe, great assortment of excellent options. Entertainment in the courtyard some evenings. All I’ve eaten here has been very good.
- The Red Door – Inspired food with flavours from around the world. Delicious plates, amazing presentation, nice quiet ambiance. Beachfront across from Best Western, a pleasant distinction from the oceanfront restaurants along the tourist strip.
- Patagonia – Argentina Steakhouse and Seafood
- Bamboo Sushi Club – Fresh and delicious; non-sushi selections also. Excellent mojitos!
- Pangas. Great atmosphere, wonderful food, can get $$. On the estuary and stunning ambiance. Delicious.
- Breaking Bread – Healthy breakfast and lunch choices, all freshly made on location, and excellent coffee! Oren is a wonderful host. Did I mention the freshly baked breads and challah?
- Pico Bistro – Stunning beachfront setting, delicious coffees and creative entrees. Just across the street from Sunrise. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Seasons – Always a treat, now under new ownership. i hear it’s even better. At Hotel Arco Iris.
- Langosta Beach Club, also has Friday night live entertainment. Great atmosphere, wonderful food, can get $$.
- Black Stallion – This is an event! More of a family style traditional BBQ and fiesta, one price for all you care to enjoy. Suggested for teens and older. Fun, Fun, Fun; and plenty of comradery. Couple the meal with zip line, horse trip, etc.
- Cafe Tico – wonderful coffee, bakery items, and breakfast dishes. Hang with the locals, relax anytime. Now two locations, on both sides of town: one by Super2001 and the bookstore, and a prime spot in front of Sunrise!
- Green Papaya – Isreali guys. Very good. Freshest tuna, salads, wraps.
- Shaka Food – family owned and super healthy, the small place is typically packed. Great for take out! Just outside of downtown, next to Tamarindo Coffee Roasters.
- Longboards – good BBQ
- Pasta Casera – love their grab and go pastas, sandwiches, and empanadas. You can also get ‘make your own’ pizzas here.
- El Vaquero / Volcano Brewing – on the beach. Good beers, food from Witches Rock Surf Camp. A choice place for watching the sunset with a cold one; often with live music.
And for your coffee fix, don’t miss Tamarindo Coffee Roasters, just beyond the AutoMercado (on the other side of the road). This is the real thing, and the art of coffee like you’ve never experienced (or tasted) before.
Tama has basically 2 paved roads, though many of these restaurants are off on side streets or unpaved roads. Scope things out during the daylight, so you feel comfortable after dark. While you’ll be able to walk to many of these restaurants, some will be easier by car or taxi.
Just out of town:
- Head to Punto Tranquilo in Huacas for lunch or Dinner. My favourite. Run by a French couple, typical CR food served up right. I love their ceviche and the Chifrijo
- Another great place for lunch in Villa Real: Soda Las Palmas. Typical foods, it’s where all the locals eat at least once a week. The real deal.
- For an extra special occasion or a real treat, head out to Playa Negra and enjoy Villa Deevena. Renowned French chef, rivaling the best food in any major US or Canadian city! Incredible wine cellar. Amazing what one can find in the middle of the jungle!
If you have a dining experience to share, please feel free to add a comment below!