Hidden Food Gems You'll Only Find in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Happy belly food ©James Anderson/Tartar Group
Happy belly food ©James Anderson/Tartar Group
Photo of Jenn Parker
13 July 2017

Guanacaste is a province in the northwest Pacific region of Costa Rica. It is well known for its beaches, beautiful forests, luxury resorts and boutique hotels, dive spots, and surf breaks. This province of Costa Rica also has an impressive selection of amazing restaurants. Tamarindo alone has over 100 different dining options. Whatever you have a taste for, you can likely find it in Guanacaste. There are a few restaurants that stand out from all the rest though.

Cafe y Macadamia

Bakery, Bistro, Cafe, Sandwich Shop, Central American, Healthy, Fusion, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Map View
Lake Arenal
Not a bad lunch view | © Ben Haeringer / Flickr
Cafe y Macadamia is one of the top restaurants Guanacaste and a must-try if you are driving up to the Arenal Volcano. They have salads, sandwiches, soups, traditional Costa Rican dishes, and international plates too. Everything is locally sourced, fresh, and tongue tantalizingly delicious. They also make incredible coffee, smoothies, teas, and juices.

Meal service:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dessert


Open Kitchen, Boutique, Outdoors, Gourmet

Villa Deevena

Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Fusion, Contemporary, French, Seafood, European, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Map View
Villa Deevena is truly a hidden gem and is tucked away in the small surf town of Los Pargos (Playa Negra). This renowned restaurant is absolutely extraordinary. The setting is charming and intimate and the food is masterfully crafted by Chef Patrick Jamon. They have an impressive wine and cocktail menu, delicious appetizers, and as fresh as you can get seafood. This is a local’s special occasion type of restaurant and would be highly recommended to anyone visiting the area.


Restaurant, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Mediterranean, Seafood, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Map View
Seasons is an exquisite gourmet Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Tamarindo. It is one of the best restaurants in the area. Chef Shlomy prepares uniquely creative dishes using only the finest and freshest ingredients. Everything on the menu will make your mouth water. It is a great place to order several appetizers and share, if you can’t decide on one dish. Seasons does not accept credit cards, so make sure you bring cash.

Walter's Fish and Cheese

Bistro, Charcuterie, Craft Ale Bar, Wine Bar, Italian, Vegetarian
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Walter’s Fish and Cheese is an Italian gourmet store and restaurant in Langosta. This adorable small shop has a few tables out front where you can order cheese and meat platters, appetizers and small plate specials, delicious wine by the bottle or glass, craft beers, and a Negroni cocktails. There is live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Walter’s Fish and Cheese is a local favorite and amazing spot to come for a glass of wine and a speciality plate made by Walter himself.

Soda Las Palmas

Restaurant, Central American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free
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Soda Las Palmas is a traditional Costa Rican soda located in Villa Real right outside of Tamarindo; one of the best sodas in Guanacaste. While in Costa Rica, it is highly recommended that you indulge in the local food and this is the spot to do it. Everything is made fresh everyday and the prices and the experience are unbeatable. This family owned, quaint, clean, and authentic restaurant is one that you will probably want to eat at more than once. Make sure you get there before 10am if you want Gallo pinto!

Stop Cafe

Bakery, Cafe, Sandwich Shop, Healthy, Fusion, Vegetarian, Gluten-free
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Everything is delicious
Everything is delicious | © Courtesy of Stop Cafe
Stop Cafe is a cute little cafe between Huacas and Tamarindo. Everything is made to order using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. They have plenty of great options for breakfast and lunch on their chalkboard menu and also make the most delicious coffees. The owners are as sweet as can be and will make you feel right at home in their cafe.

El Huerto de Playa Grande

Bistro, Pizzeria, Restaurant, Fusion, Mediterranean, Italian, Seafood, Vegetarian, $$$
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So fresh
So fresh | © Courtesy of El Huerto de Playa Grande
El Huerto de Playa Grande is a Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Playa Grande that serves up the best pizza in all of Guanacaste. The open-air restaurant is intimate and inviting and the service is exceptional. Aside from their spectacular pizza selection, they also make great salads, seafood, pasta, and meat dishes. The Mediterranean salad, Mexican pizza, chocolate lava flow dessert, and homemade limoncello are the top recommendations.

La Marejada

Bistro, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Fusion, Seafood, Italian, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
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Fresh and homemade
Fresh and homemade | © Courtesy of La Marejada
La Marejada is one of the best restaurants in Playa Grande. Their menu has something for everyone from fish tacos and whole red snapper to homemade pasta and antipasto platters to share. They also serve up a great breakfast. This small and charming restaurant is part of a boutique hotel that is only a quick hop away from the beach. This is a great place to come for a romantic dinner.