Costa Rica is home to around 300 named beaches and 912 miles (1,466 kilometers) of coastline between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, so you can bet there there are a lot of pretty cool beach bars nestled in there. There are definitely more than 10 awesome ones, but the following are considered by locals and tourists alike to be among the coolest.
Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Gastropub, Pub Grub, Central American
El Vaquero is the type of bar you might be picturing in your head when you imagine a local beachfront bar in a tropical country in Central America. The small bar is covered by a thatched roof and there are several long picnic tables in the sand that overlook one of the best surf breaks in the bay. El Vaquero serves up icy cold brewed on-site craft beers and the popular brands such as Pilsen and Imperial. There also make great cocktails and have a full menu of tasty fusion bar food. Bonfires and live music are not rare occurrences, and the sunset is spectacular from this spot.
Bar, Restaurant, Fusion, Central American, Pub Grub, Seafood, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Lola’s is a well-known restaurant and daytime beachfront bar in Playa Avellenas. Named after a pig named Lola (who has since passed away, but Lolita has taken her place and can be seen wading in the waves or resting behind the main part of the restaurant), Lola’s is not only a beautiful open-air establishment, it is also one of the best places to spend the day. They serve up incredible dishes such as fresh ceviche, fish tacos, and even fish and chips alongside delicious smoothies and cocktails.
The Costa Rica Sailing Center is your one-stop shop for an outrageously fun day that lasts right into the evening. Aside from the sailing (lessons, races, and rentals) and other activities (paddle-boarding, kayaking, swimming, and volleyball), CRSC has a great restaurant and bar. Their beers are the coldest, their chili guaros are the most delicious, and their menu is packed with delectable options. Sunsets here come complete with a beach bonfire and often live music or some entertainment.
Coco Loco is an exquisite beachfront bar and restaurant located on the white sands of Playa Flamingo. Here, you can sip a rum drink out of a fresh coconut with your toes in the sand. The service, setting, food menu, and cocktails are truly something to rave about. Coco Loco has been a local favorite since it opened in 2012.
Bar, Restaurant, Central American, Fusion, Seafood, Tapas, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
El Chiringuito is a relatively new beachfront bar and restaurant in Tamarindo. It has become a hit amongst the locals and sunset happy-hour seekers. Aside from having cold beers and made-to-order cocktails, they also serve up some delicious tapas-style dishes and fresh-as-you-can-get seafood. This is a great place to kick it with friends old and new, and enjoy some adult beverages and tasty tapas.
Bar, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Gastropub, Restaurant with Rooms, Central American, Fusion, Pub Grub, Seafood, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Vegan, $$$
Banana Beach is perfectly situated on the stunning beach of Santa Teresa. There are multiple different types of seating options to ensure your absolute comfort as you kick back and relax on the beach. While they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, happy hour (two-for-one cocktails) is especially popular here, and you can’t beat the sunset view or the cool vibes.
Bar, Gastropub, Restaurant, Central American, Pub Grub, Seafood, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Vegan, $$$
Tortilla Flats is located directly across the narrow cobblestone street from Playa Dominical. This open-air bar and restaurant exudes a cool and laid-back vibe. It’s the perfect spot to come and chow down on a great plate of food and some icy beverages after surfing or sunning on the beach. The happy hour (4–6 p.m.) is popular and attracts a mixture of locals and tourists.
Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Gastropub, Restaurant with Rooms, Pub Grub, American, Central American, Vegetarian, $$$
B. Bar is a burger and craft-beer gastropub in the little bohemian beach town of Montezuma. What this town might lack in size, it makes up for in cool vibes, hippie energy, and beautiful beaches, forests, and waterfalls. B. Bar fits right into the scene. They serve up several micro-brews from Costa Rica, vegetarian options, a great selection of homemade sauces to go with the burgers, and even a stellar pizza (if you ask for it, as it’s not on the menu). This cool spot it located at the base of the Montezuma waterfalls and has a view of the Pacific Ocean.
Tasty Waves Cantina is the epitome of a cool bar. Located on the popular and beautiful Playa Cocles, Tasty Waves Cantina is a hip bar where you will be treated like a local. They have killer tacos, perfectly made cocktails, icy beers, and different events happening throughout the week to keep you entertained. If you are staying in the area, it is likely that you fall in love with Tasty Waves Cantina as your go-to happy hour, party, and taco spot.
Bar, Pub, Central American, American, Caribbean, Pub Grub, $$$
The Lazy Mon is an institution in Puerto Viejo, created by six friends out of a revitalized disco that used to be called Stanford’s. The Lazy Mon is perfectly situated in front of the famous Salsa Brava surf break. You can dine on amazing pub grub, throw back a few drinks, and listen to a variety of local live music. There is typically some sort of live music around sunset, but on Sundays they host an incredible open jam night.