Costa Rica's Homestyle Restaurants Bring Heart and Soul to the Table

Tuck into a stack of "Health Nut" pancakes at the Lizard King Resort in Puerto Viejo de Limon while ensconced in a cozy corner booth of the open window cafe and you'll wish you never had to go home. The comfort food served here is created with organic ingredients like the fresh papaya atop the pancakes and perfectly fried platanos served with homemade bread. Even the beef for the the gourmet burgers is ground by hand at this modern homestyle restaurant. A few doors down, the Italian family of Amimodo has been cooking up their family recipes at their ocean front restaurant, and it's a longstanding favorite for Italian comfort food near the center of town. At Veronica's Place, vegetarians get the royal treatment and the breezy upstairs dining room can easily accommodate family dinners. Across the country in Puerto Jimenez, Il Giardino's family recipes are the secret to this cozy restaurant's success, and in Turrialba, Restaurante Don Porfi extends unparalleled hospitality alongside its menu rich in comfort food. In San Jose, Doris Metropolitan's humanely treated and pineapple fed cows make delectable steaks, nicely complemented by homemade loaves of sourdough bread. But for just about any occasion, there's La Criollita, the original family style restaurant in the heart of San Jose.


Bakea makes its home downtown in a historic home that's been upfitted quite eclectically – one room boasts a Plexiglass floor that provides underfoot lighting to showcase the house's original foundations. Another room boasts a postmodern...  Read More

La Casona del Cafetal is a restaurant and event destination located amidst a sprawling coffee farm, offering excellent cuisine and sweeping views of its lushly planted grounds, complete with a glistening lake, Lago de Cachi. The ambience alone...  Read More

A lovely atmosphere met with generous portions of delectable fare make Restaurante Don Porfi a longstanding favorite in Turrialba, and an excellent choice for both family gatherings and romantic dinners. The owner is a gregarious gent named...  Read More

With a name like Chimera, one might expect an a diverse selection of food, and this Santa Elena restaurant delivers. Every plate is a creative fusion of flavors, many of which are Latin, all of which are wrought from the bounty of local...  Read More

In the southernmost corner of Costa Rica in the postcard perfect region known as the Osa Peninsula, lies Il Giardino, the first, and many agree, the best, Italian restaurant in Puerto Jimenez, owned and operated by an Italian family that takes...  Read More

La Criollita
Photo courtesy of slamonica

La Criollita is an excellent place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has something on the menu for everyone. The fare is traditional Costa Rican; generous portions of meat, chicken and fish with rice, beans and salad on the side, and big...  Read More

Airport - Sjo

Those with a hankering for high-quality meat should look no further than Doris Metropolitan, a stand-out- and stand alone- restaurant in Costa Rica. Embracing the locally-grown movement wholeheartedly, Doris Metropolitan partners with a cattle...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica

Amimodo is an old-school yet new-school family style and family friendly Italian restaurant on the main road in Puerto Viejo. A nondescript, single story cafe style that's invitingly and casual from the street side and the beach side, Amimodo...  Read More

Whether you're in the mood for fluffy pancakes made with real organic chocolate or a platter of huevos rancheros, the Lizard King Café has something on its menu for everyone. Burritos at the Lizard King Cafe are legendarily delicious flour...  Read More

La Criollita Restaurante (no relation to La Criollita in San Jose) is a charming roadside restaurant near the lush green city of Cartago, a "soda" in the traditional sense in that this is a homestyle cafe with just a handful of tables, serving...  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