Central Valley Restaurants

Growing Escazú has become as metropolitan as San José and has the restaurant selection to prove it. Elsewhere, as befits this cradle of the country's tradition, typical Costa Rican cuisine still reigns.

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  • 1. La Divina Comida

    $$$$ | Peruvian

    The country’s top Peruvian restaurant uses fresh local ingredients to recreate Peru’s greatest hits, served with style. A variety of ceviches...Read More

  • 2. Taj Mahal

    $$$ | Indian

    This burst of northern Indian flavor is a surprising treat. Richly swathed in warm fuchsias, red ochers, and golds, the mansion's dining area...Read More

  • 3. Andiamo Là

    $$$ | Italian

    One of the Central Valley's trendiest restaurants stands out with its daily fish and meat specials, including starter carpaccios of salmon,...Read More

  • 4. Bacchus

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Take a Peruvian chef who trained in France and an Italian owner, and the result is this solid member of the local dining scene. Duck breast...Read More

  • 5. Bar y Restaurante Coto

    $$ | Costa Rican

    A local institution since 1952, this large rancho restaurant and bar is famous for its huge meat platters—we're talking 1 to 1½ kilos (2¼ to...Read More

  • 6. Bar y Restaurante El Mirador

    $$ | Eclectic

    Perched on a ridge several miles north of town, El Mirador has a sweeping view of the Central Valley that is impressive by day but more beautiful...Read More

  • 7. Barbecue Los Anonos

    $$ | Barbecue

    Costa Ricans flock here to enjoy Los Anonos’ family-friendly grill fest. Your best bet is the grilled meat, and there is plenty to choose from...Read More

  • 8. Bromelias del Río

    $$ | Costa Rican

    This simple garden dining spot in the far northern Central Valley makes a great breakfast stop if you’re on your way to the Caribbean. Fortify...Read More

  • 9. Búlali

    $$ | Café

    The name means “honey” in Costa Rica’s indigenous Bribri language, and that—rather than refined sugar—provides the added sweetness to the baked...Read More

  • 10. Chez Christophe

    $ | French

    Escazú's very own French-style bistro makes a great place for a breakfast or lunch of sandwiches on baguettes or croissants—the ham or smoked...Read More

  • 11. Delicias de Mi Tierra

    $$ | Costa Rican

    A string of típico Costa Rican restaurants line this road, and make for popular weekend dining spots for Ticos. The "Delights of My Land" is...Read More

  • 12. Freddo Fresas

    $$ | Costa Rican

    Fresas means "strawberries," and they’re the star at this rustic wooden place on the way to the volcano. They end up on your corn pancakes...Read More

  • 13. Gallo Rojo

    $$ | Asian

    An upscale tour of the street food of east and southeast Asia focuses primarily on the owner’s mother’s native Taiwan, with flavors from Japan...Read More

  • 14. Jalapeños Central

    $$ | Mexican

    Tasty, hearty, filling Tex-Mex food and a gregarious owner make this basic downtown joint a great place for lunch or dinner. Everybody seems...Read More

  • 15. Jaulares

    $$ | Costa Rican

    All the cooking here is done with wood, which adds to the rustic ambience of terra-cotta floors, bare wooden beams, and sylvan surroundings...Read More

  • 16. L'Antica Roma

    $$ | Italian

    More than 40 versions of pizza baked in a wood-burning oven are the main event at this popular upscale Italian eatery. Every pizza comes with...Read More

  • 17. La Casona del Cafetal

    $$ | Costa Rican

    The valley's most scenic and famous lunch stop sits on a coffee plantation overlooking the Cachí Reservoir. It's firmly on the beaten path,...Read More

  • 18. La Garza Bar y Restaurante

    $ | Costa Rican

    With weathered, blond-wood tables and chairs, and big windows with a view out onto the central park, La Garza is a popular meeting spot with...Read More

  • 19. La Princesa Marina

    $$ | Seafood

    This large open-air eatery (part of a small chain), at the intersection of the old Alajuela–Grecia road and the road to La Garita, is popular...Read More

  • 20. La Puerta del Sol

    $$ | Costa Rican

    A cut above the usual soda, this large, long-established restaurant across from the basilica has been feeding pilgrims for seven decades. Along...Read More

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