• Grano de Oro Restaurant (San José): This elegant little hotel has an elegant restaurant serving delicious Continental dishes and decadent desserts. The open-air seating in the lushly planted central courtyard is delightful, especially for lunch.
  • Park Café (San José): A former Michelin two-star chef has set up shop in the interior patio garden of an old downtown mansion. The results are predictably fabulous. The regularly changing menu here is always varied, creative, and fairly priced.
  • Abbocato (Playa Panama, near Papagayo): The dynamic husband-and-wife chef team here serves up two unique nightliy tasting menus—one Asian, one Mediterranean—executed with skill and creativity.
  • Product-C (Santa Ana): This is just about my favorite seafood restaurant in Costa Rica, and it's not even on the coast. Fresh fish is bought at the Puntareanas docks around dawn every morning, and these folks even raise and harvest their own oysters.
  • Dragonfly Bar & Grill (Tamarindo): Southwestern American and Pacific Rim fusion cuisines are the primary culinary influences at this popular restaurant. Portions are large, service excellent, and prices fair.
  • Lola's (Playa Avellanas): With a perfect setting on the sand and excellent hearty fare, this is one of the best beachfront restaurants in the country.
  • Nectar (at Florblanca Resort, Santa Teresa): Guanacaste's best boutique resort also has one of its best restaurants. The menu changes nightly but always has a heavy Pan-Asian fusion flavor to it. The setting is romantic and subdued, in an open-air space just steps from the sand.
  • Playa de los Artistas (Montezuma): This place has the perfect blend of refined cuisine and beachside funkiness. There are only a few tables, so make sure you get here early. Fresh, grilled seafood is served in oversize ceramic bowls and on large wooden slabs lined with banana leaves.
  • El Lagarto (Playa Sámara): Witnessing the giant grill stations being fed with fresh coals from a raging fire overhead is worth the price of admission here, but the food and ambience are also fabulous. The menu is large, and the fresh seafood and massive steaks are all expertly prepared.
  • Cafe Caubure (Monteverde): In addition to the eclectic world cuisine served here, there's a delicious, wide-ranging, and very tempting selection of chocolate treats. Enjoy the casual open-air seating on the second floor balcony, and afterwards take a chocolate tour or visit the Bat Jungle.
  • Lemon Zest (Playa de Jacó): Set unpromisingly on the second-floor of a small shopping complex, this place serves up the best and most creative meals in Jacó. A wide range of world cuisines influence the adventurous menu here, which is complemented by a good wine list, and topped off with stellar desserts.
  • Stashu's Con-Fusion (Puerto Viejo): Small town, big tastes. Local legend Stashu cooks up tasty curries, along with meals that have Thai or Mexican sauces.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.