Ten Best Value Restaurants in Costa Rica

For the best value in dining options in Costa Rica, budget savvy travelers and foodies alike head to the Caribbean coast, where some of the country's freshest - and some would say best- food may be found. Inspired chefs have started to flock to Puerto Viejo de Limon, but that hasn't turned it into a tourist trap- instead, you can sit down to a satisfying meal made with organic ingredients grown right around the bend, or even in the front yard. Start the day at Pan Pay, where you'll enjoy a view of the beach while lingering over generous plates of eggs and gallo pinto; then take away fresh baked baguette and pastries- all for a few thousand colones (about $6). Seek out Soda Lidia a few streets inland for authentic Caribbean cuisine; Miss Lidia's casados served are infused with a rich flavor that has made this place a local favorite. The Lizard King Cafe dishes out generously heaped delicious plates full of local organic flavor that may be worth more than their weight in gold.  Burgers comes with 2 x 1 beverages, and you get to enjoy a meal in the Lizard King's breezy cafe, a few steps from the legendary Salsa Brava beach

De Paso
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica


Candlelit tables twinkle from the sand, beckoning pedestrians from the side of the road De Paso is nestled between the trees and the water's edge. Named for the path that connects the road to the jungle path and the beach, this little restaurant...  Read More



At the center of Puerto Viejo a large hand painted sign points the way to "The Best Damn Coffee in Town." Cafe Rico also serves some of the best breakfasts around and offers a mighty fine lunch selection, too- all served in a shady, open-air...  Read More



Maxi's Restaurant is truly a classic, planting its stilts in the sand several decades back, when it was the only restaurant in all of Manzanillo, and it practically still is. Located at the very end of the long road that runs all the way from...  Read More

Veronica's Place


Veronica's Place is a completely vegetarian restaurant on the Caribbean coast where the chef owner is Veronica herself, a Puerto Viejo native whose roots trace back to Jamaica and whose culinary style reflects her deep knowledge of local...  Read More



The Point is a friendly, casual sports bar on Playa Negra Beach in Puerto Viejo de Limon that offers sports on seven screens and Costa Rican craft beers on draft. With the opening of The Point, the region finally has a place where visiting...  Read More



Bread and Chocolate is now an institution of a cafe in Puerto Viejo, where locals and tourists enjoy gathering to partake in some wholesome breakfasts, lunches, and signature baked goods. Highlights include handmade truffles, delectable...  Read More

Tasty Waves Cantina
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica


Named for the stellar Caribbean surf that unfolds just across the road, Tasty Waves Cantina does much to revive the classic surfer vibe that first drew tourists to the area; whatever the weather, from the torrential rains that bring mud slides...  Read More



At Soda Lidia, traditional dishes like rice and beans infused with coconut and served with chicken in Caribbean sauce will delight your senses and fill your belly- and all without putting a dent in your wallet. It's a casual place nestled...  Read More



Whether you're in the mood for American-style pancakes made with real organic chocolate and golden bananas or a platter of huevos rancheros, the Lizard King Café has something on its menu for all. Burritos at the Lizard King are legendarily...  Read More

Pan Pay
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica


Pan Pay is Puerto Viejo's most popular spot for locals; here is where everyone comes for coffee, croissants, baguettes for later, and to catch up with the neighbors. If there's a soccer game on, you can watch it here. It's a casual open-air spot...  Read More


Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia