Manuel Antonio and the Central Pacific Coast Restaurants

You'll find the liveliest dining mix in the country outside San José here, especially in Manuel Antonio. The crowd of international visitors has brought about a crowd of international cuisines ranging from Japanese to Italian, but, as you'd expect in a coastal region, seafood still reigns here. For traditional Costa Rican cuisine, your best bet is a roadside soda where locals gather for their daily casado (rice, beans, plantains, and an entrée of chicken, beef, or fish).

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  • 1. Amancio's Pizza Pasta and Drinks

    $$

    Taste the passion that the chef and owner has for the simple things in life: fresh ingredients, made-from-scratch bread and pasta, and sauces that simmer...Read More

  • 2. Emilio’s Café

    $$

    Just inside the doors of this popular café you'll find sweeping views, organic cuisine, and a chic vibe that sets the stage for all kinds...Read More

  • 3. La Luna

    $$$$

    It’s hard to know what’s more impressive—the view or the cuisine at this restaurant without walls, where the sun melts into the Pacific and La...Read More

  • 4. Cafe Agua Azul

    $$$

    Follow your nose to this simple second-floor room offering breathtaking views by day and a deliciously inventive selection of seafood by night. The lunch menu...Read More

  • 5. El Hicaco

    $$$

    It’s the setting that will lure you, but the food that will keep you on repeat at this seafood restaurant just steps from the sand....Read More

  • 6. El Lagarto

    $$$$

    Meat lovers can get their fix at this local grill, where sizzling cuts are seared on a wood-fire grill and served on chopping blocks. The...Read More

  • 7. El Patio de Café Milagro

    $$$ | Café

    This cozy café is the only place in town that serves its own fresh-roasted coffee, with an eclectic menu serving inventive dishes like chilled...Read More

  • 8. Graffiti Restro Cafe and Wine Bar

    $$

    The gritty-gourmet concept of this upscale Jacó hot spot plays with the senses with a menu that features fresh, locally grown ingredients. Check the blackboard...Read More

  • 9. Green Room

    $$

    Bordered by a white picket fence, this charming art café serves meals prepared with organic ingredients delivered daily by local farmers. The ever-changing chalkboard menu...Read More

  • 10. Marlin Restaurant

    $$$

    The outdoor tables are pretty much always full, owing to a location on Manuel Antonio's busiest corner, across the street from the beach near the...Read More

  • 11. Mirador Restaurant

    $$$$

    White tablecloths, glass walls, and yellow-and-blue-checkered curtains contribute to the sophisticated but not overly stuffy atmosphere of this hotel dining room on the top terrace...Read More

  • 12. Ohana Sushi Tapas Bar

    $$

    Don't worry about getting dressed up for this unfussy sushi fusion restaurant, built from a colorful shipping container, found driftwood, and recycled pallets. The food...Read More

  • 13. PuddleFish Brewery

    $$

    This brewery tasting room serves tasty American-style pub grub. Sit in the modern outdoor area under the shade, or belly up to the bar inside...Read More

  • 14. Restaurante El Pelícano

    $$$

    It may not look like much at first glance, but this open-air restaurant across the street from the beach serves some dishes you'd be hard-pressed...Read More

  • 15. Ronny's Place

    $$$

    Just behind the original location is a new and improved venue where a spectacular sunset view comes with friendly, attentive service and a tempting menu...Read More

  • 16. Runaway Grill

    $$$

    This favorite with sportfishermen ("You hook 'em, we cook 'em") is the town's best place for seafood, serving everything from shrimp scampi to fresh tuna...Read More

  • 17. Samui Thai Bistro

    $$$

    The chefs at this popular corner restaurant have mastered Thai cuisine with a Costa Rican twist, starting with the ginger fish, cashew chicken, lobster pad...Read More

  • 18. Steven Lisa's

    $$

    A convenient location, free Wi-Fi, and good food make this roadside restaurant, just south of the entrance to Tárcoles, a popular pit stop for those...Read More

  • 19. The Backyard Bar

    $$

    Playa Hermosa's original nightlife spot has a wooden deck in back overlooking the beach that is great for lunch and sunset, mostly because of the...Read More

  • 20. Victoria’s

    $$$

    This Italian eatery is the perfect place to stop for brick oven pizza or homemade pastas. Thin and crispy top picks include New York style...Read More

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