The relaxed Caribbean beach town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica not only has some of the prettiest beaches in Costa Rica, along with upscale Costa Rica boutique hotels, Puerto Viejo also is the gastronomic capital of the Costa Rica Southern Caribbean Coast.
Puerto Viejo’s dining scene reflects its widely-varied international population – Caribbean, Italian, Argentinean, Mexican, Asian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, North American, and of course, Costa Rican.
“Considering the size of Puerto Viejo – a small beach town – you wouldn’t expect to find such good specialty restaurants, like Italian and Spanish,” said Daniel Chavarria, director of Enchanting Hotels of Costa Rica. “And you have excellent Caribbean cuisine restaurants, and many trendy places. There is a lot to offer in such a small place. You have many possibilities to go out to eat.”
From fresh seafood to paella, pasta, sushi and steak, be sure to try these 10 top restaurants in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica during your visit.
Located in Hotel Le Caméléon in Playa Cocles, Le Numu serves a mix of Costa Rican Caribbean cuisine, creative international dishes and tropical cocktails in a contemporary, chic ambience. The restaurant’s name “Numu” means Chameleon in the indigenous Bribri language. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hotel Le Caméléon’s beach club, La Sula Sea Lounge, serves cocktails and lunch from Le Numu out on the beach at Playa Cocles. Le Caméléon Hotel also can arrange for candlelight dinners on the beach. The beach club also is ideal for weddings, exclusive beach parties and other events. (+506-2750-0501)
Eco-friendly eclectic-style restaurant, bar and lounge overlooking the sea on the edge of the road in the center of Puerto Viejo. Serves Latin fusion cuisine and organic products with an ocean view. Open 5:00-11:00 p.m. for dinner, with a full bar. (+506-2275-0902)
Serving traditional Italian dishes, the family-style restaurant has been in Puerto Viejo for 20+ years. It is located on the main road in front of the famous Salsa Brava surf spot. There is a little bar for pizza and cocktails. Open for lunch and dinner. (+506-2750-0257)
Offering freshly made hearty breakfasts, lunches and specialty baked goods, this little café is located just off the main road in the center of Puerto Viejo. There are only a few tables that fill up fast. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sundays; closed Mondays. (+506-2750-0723)
This upscale Italian restaurant serves authentic Italian dishes in a sophisticated ambience; centrally located on the main road near the middle of Puerto Viejo. Open for dinner, with a full bar. (+506-2750-0817)
Traditional Costa Rican Caribbean cuisine served in a casual, family-style atmosphere behind the main road of Puerto Viejo. This is definitely a local’s hang-out. Open for lunch and dinner. (+506-2750-0598)
Authentic Italian cuisine prepared by an Italian chef is served in a romantic, yet family-friendly, open-air restaurant; located on the main road in Playa Cocles. (+506-2750-0490)
This very popular restaurant on the main road in Playa Chiquita serves international-California fusion cuisine served up by the owner-chef from San Francisco. Open 5:30-9:30 p.m. (+506-2750-0162)
This Middle Eastern restaurant serves fresh pita, hummus, falafel, salads and other traditional fare. Located where Playa Chiquita meets Punta Uva. Open 1:00-9:00 p.m. for lunch and dinner. (+506-2756-8173)
This traditional Caribbean restaurant has been around for many years on the beach in Manzanillo. It is famous for fresh fish and seafood. (+506-2759-0673)
Hotel Le Caméléon is one of the few upscale Costa Rica boutique hotels in the Costa Rica Southern Caribbean region. Located on Playa Cocles, to the south of Puerto Viejo, Hotel Le Caméléon is an Enchanting Hotel of Costa Rica featuring modern rooms, beautiful tropical architecture and lush jungle gardens.
Daily 30-minute flights on Nature Air or Sansa Airlines between San Jose and Limon; then drive less than an hour to Puerto Viejo and Playa Cocles. Driving from San Jose to Puerto Viejo takes approximately 4.5 hours.
Article by Shannon Farley