If you've made it to Puerto Viejo, you must visit The Lazy Mon at Stanford's, day or night, before you leave town, and in which case, you may decide to extend your stay. The Lazy Mon is a casual beachfront- as in you can go for a dip in between drinks- bar with a laid-back nightlife that's inviting to all walks of life. Live music is on Sundays and it is the place to get lost and discover all kinds of music styles. Happy Hour drink specials are advertised along the road each night, but it's always a happy time at this easy going place. Open on Sundays is the place to be
Recommended for Late Night because: Late night specials at The Lazy Mon include a deliciously stacked cheeseburger.
Sophia's expert tip: Happy Hour specials are posted on the street side sign.
Tex Mex is conveniently located at the center of town, a big open-air spot on a corner of the main intersection in front of the beach. Wherever you're going, you're going to pass Tex Mex, and whoever's there will see you coming. During the day, it's a simple place to enjoy a decent cup of espresso or a fresh fruit smoothie. At night, it promotes two for one cocktails, sometimes free for ladies, and bills itself as "the most dangerous bar in town." Besides that, it's the best spot to catch sports events on the flat screen TVs around the bar.
Recommended for Late Night because: Try something Mexican to soak up the sins of the evening.
Sophia's expert tip: Coffee drinks are made with Cafe Britt, Costa Rica's best gourmet brand of coffee.
The first of its kind in Puerto Viejo de Limon, KOKI Beach is a truly eco-friendly establishment; a bar, restaurant and lounge made almost entirely from reclaimed materials that takes relaxing and dining and turns them into art forms. With a full bar and a lunch and dinner menu that incorporates lots of local organic produce, Koki Beach invites guests to relax and stay awhile, while giving them plenty to look at- the water's edge is just across the way, and the design details like the unique chair collection and tables made from old doors will have you feeling inspired, and impressed.
Recommended for Late Night because: Stay late and you may find yourself drinking and dancing with the staff.
Sophia's expert tip: Koki Beach is a great place to go on holidays to see unique artistic presentations like the wine bottle tree at Christmas and take advantage of seasonal specials, like the ceviche.
Clearly named for the undeniably 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 to the places perched along the coast, like Tasty Waves is, to the punishing yet rewarding rights and lefts that make Cocles the most coveted spot along the Caribbean to surf, this winsomely laid-back bar restaurant and beachfront lounge spot with a pool table is happy to be there, and share the beauty of this beautiful place with tacos, tequila shots, and of course, Tasty Waves.
Recommended for Late Night because: Stayed too late to walk back to your hotel and these folks will be happy to call you a cab- no easy feat after dark.
Sophia's expert tip: Check Tasty Waves Cantina's famous Taco Tuesdays, for good vibes, good times, and of course, good tacos.
It took awhile, but finally the Pirates have planted their flag again in Puerto Viejo de Limon, and some say it's about time. The Point Bar and Grill offers sports on seven screens and Costa Rican craft beers on draft. Now the region has a place where fellow pirates can feel right at home while having a few cocktails and a bite to eat while gazing out at a black sand beach. Don't let the immense skull and crossbones, fool you, this spot is full of friendly people and fun times. Find The Point on the outskirts of Puerto Viejo in Playa Negra.
Recommended for Late Night because: Should you find yourself around Playa Negra after dark, you should seek sustenance from the friendly pirates at The Point.
Sophia's expert tip: Soak up brews with the burger and fries, it's the best and made with high=grade beef.
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 serves up some excellent, and inexpensive, plates from afternoon til night. Fish tacos are one of many specialties, including pizzas, pastas, and a seafood dish of the day, and there are always two-for-one drinks on happy hour special. This is a beach casual place, flip flops and shirts are optional, a pura vida vibe is the only requisite for dining here.
Recommended for Late Night because: The cozy vibe makes it nice to settle into a table here long after the sun has set.
Sophia's expert tip: Try the two for one mojitos at happy hour and chocolate cake for dessert.
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 San Jose down through Puerto Viejo, Maxi's stands overlooking the beach It's this prime location, mixed with the familiar, laid-back vibe of its proprietors, a menu stocked with fresh seafood Caribbean dishes, and a bar that makes Maxi's such a landmark. The two story, open-air restaurant is casual enough for flip flops and board shorts, but cool enough to host special occasion dinners, parties, and game-watching, too.
Recommended for Late Night because: It's really the only good place to grab a bite to eat late night in Manzanillo.
Sophia's expert tip: Go for drinks and the view- it's also a nice place to celebrate a birthday.
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 doesn't need to toot it's own horn; those in the know have been coming here for excellent authentic Italian dishes and special occasions since the doors opened nearly twenty years ago. The seating spills out from inside to out, and there is a little bar inside for pizza and cocktails. Some nights a live band plays spirited Caribbean music, but mostly it is a mellow vibe.
Recommended for Late Night because: A pizza from Amimodo makes for a great midnight meal.
Sophia's expert tip: Happy Hour is on most days, with inexpensive tapas and "drinks of the day" specials, like a Pipa Loca, fresh green coconut spiked with rum and garnished with an exotic flower.
Although it's a fine Italian restaurant first and foremost, with experienced chefs in the kitchen that turn out exceptional dishes based on authentic Italian recipes that come to life with Costa Rica's bounty of fresh ingredients, Cafe Viejo is also a great place to enjoy a cocktail at the bar, and on special nights, dance to the beats of talented DJs who frequently hold later night events at the restaurant. Slightly more sophisticated than its beachfront counterparts, the bar at Cafe Viejo wraps around and spills almost on to the street, and it couldn't be more centrally located on the main road near the middle of town.
Recommended for Late Night because: Open til 1am every night (except Tuesdays) Cafe Viejo is the open the latest of them all.
Sophia's expert tip: On some weekends the restaurant becomes a DJ spinning dance party after the dinner dishes have been cleared.
Chile Rojo is perhaps Puerto Viejo de Limon's most popular restaurant with locals and tourists, but that doesn't mean it's always crowded. Contrarily, even on the busiest of nights, it's not uncommon to score a great table; occupying an open-air, second level space in the center of town, every seat at Chile Rojo offers an excellent view. Billing itself as "Thai Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar," Chile Rojo is also a live music venue for local acts, and a champion of the "farm to fork" movement. Fresh caught fish is a focal point here, though there are often guest stars, such as the locally raised lamb that was featured in a curry. Mondays there is an all-you-can-eat buffet, and Fridays and Saturdays there is live music.
Recommended for Late Night because: Open until 11pm everyday except Wednesday, Chile Rojo is one of the few restaurants to serve so late into the night.
Sophia's expert tip: Happy Hour is everyday (except Wednesday) from 6 to 8pm.