Looking for the best restaurants in Tamarindo? That could be a tall order. Because, while Tamarindo may measure just a mile from tip to tail (that’s north to south), it’s as close as Costa Rica’s sandy beach towns come to a bursting metropolis.
What we mean by that is that Tamarindo is packed with great places to dine, shop, relax, and be entertained. And you could spend every breakfast, lunch, and dinner of your vacation trying a new restaurant, and still only make a small dent in all the dishes and dining spots on offer.
So, to aid in your foodie planning, we’ve gone out and done the very hard work of sampling, tasting, and savoring dishes from some of the best restaurants in Tamarindo. Admittedly, there are many that we love to almost the point of obsession, so this was a tough list to build. And it is by no means comprehensive.
That said, it is a good start. So, in alphabetical order, 10 of our favorite restaurants in Tamarindo, fresh for 2022:
When you’re craving authentic Sicilian cuisine, look no further than Antichi Sapori. An ode to heritage – to Sicily’s Greek, Arab, Hebrew, Norman, Mediterranean, and North African influences – this is easily one of the best restaurants in Tamarindo for 2022.
Blending the tastes of Sicily with a modern flavor, Antichi Sapori is home to incredible food, excellent service, and an intimate ambiance that’s ideal for a romantic evening, special event, or cozy evening. Dietary needs or restrictions? Summoning a bit of epicurean magic, Antichi Sapori also has gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
Phone: +506-4032-0032 ext. 2035
Located on the Tamarindo Diria’s Grand Boulevard, El Pelícano tempts your palate with fine dining, excellent service, and an unparalleled atmosphere – especially its chic outdoor terrace, overlooking the boulevard!
With a nod to its name – El Pelícano, or The Pelican – the restaurant serves up some of Tamarindo’s best seafood, paired with international cuisine, American-Costa Rican fusion, and a fantastic drinks menu. The creative and artistic plating adds a special touch, and the hospitable service is top-notch.
Phone: +506- 8502-2110
We love Enea’s for its ultra-fresh, delicious, and authentic Italian cuisine – especially the pizzas! Because, while this local favorite serves a wide range of classic dishes – everything from Caciucco” fish soup to homemade pasta with ragú alla Bolognese – most head here for the pizza!
Completely homemade and infused with the freshest basil, oregano, and other ingredients, Enea’s pies are both straight out of Italy and incredibly local. Be sure to try the house pie, Della Casa, a white pizza with mozzarella, provolone, onions, and Italian ham!
Stay Here: Lomas del Mar
Tamarindo | 4 Beds | 4 Baths | 8 Guests
When you close your eyes and dream of paradise, it likely looks something like Casa Lomas del Mar: Blue skies and bluer pool waters. Green everywhere, flanked by the startling sapphire of those just-for-you Pacific Ocean views.
Lomas del Mar is a spectacular home, conveniently located just north of downtown Tamarindo and perfectly positioned above views of Playa Grande and Las Baulas National Marine Park. With this as your backdrop, relax on your sun-splashed terrace and in your private, infinity-edge swimming pool. Lounge in the outdoor sitting room and whip up a cool drink in your chef-ready kitchen.
You’ll love the second-level, oversize master suite, where you’ll find two walls of floor-to-ceiling glass that frame Pacific Ocean views – perfectly appreciated from your private, ocean-view balcony. This is a retreat all our own, paired with the luxury of expansive spaces to share with your nearest and dearest.
All this, in an exclusive community within walking distance to Playa Grande and Tamarindo. To surf and sand, to one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting sites. And to everywhere and everything you’re here to taste, savor, and enjoy. Welcome!
Phone: +506- 2653-1268
If you love Middle Eastern flavors and creative cuisine, you’ll love the casual vibes and great menu at Tamarindo’s very own Falafel Bar.
Home to excellent vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, as well as meat-forward dishes, Falafel Bar serves up a lot of what you crave – everything from the trifecta of hummus, falafel, and baba ghanoush, to rice with lentils, fried eggplant, and chicken shawarma – to a few sneaky new favorites, including delicious stuffed grape leaves!
If you’re feeling particularly peckish, make your own mezze – a small plate smorgasbord, like a Middle Eastern version of Spanish tapas – and build a tabletop filled with everything that strikes your fancy. Your palate will thank you!
Phone: +506- 2653-0863
With the unique style and tropical flair that Green Papaya is known for, this local favorite and taco bar welcomes diners to a chill ambiance and excellent experience.
While you can visit Green Papaya at any time, this is the kind of place we love to go when everyone’s craving something different. That’s because this is the kind of restaurant that spans cuisines and fuses flavors, traveling the globe from Costa Rica to Mexico and into the sea. Be sure to try the mahi mahi or seared ahi tacos, and do not miss the coconut curry shrimp!
Phone: +506- 8395-6184
Fresh. Local. Organic. These are La Bodega’s three promises – and ones they fulfill wonderfully!
One of our go-to choices for breakfast and lunch, La Bodega has a small-but-mighty menu that leans hard on local ingredients somehow alchemically transformed into culinary magic.
The breakfast sandwiches are downright epic and the lunch menu is varied – everything from a filling chicken sandwich to authentic bulgogi (Korean beef barbecue). But, what’s really surprising is how well they do with food allergies and needs; much of their menu caters to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diners.
Phone: +506- 2653-1376
Home to a relaxed atmosphere and a breakfast-to-cocktails menu, NOI Bistro is the kind of place you go to once and then find yourself returning, as often as you can during your stay. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available!
That’s because this unassuming little bistro serves up a relaxed atmosphere and delicious dishes, from stacked banana pancakes and colorful lunch bowls to tuna tartare and creative cocktails (served until 10 p.m.). Don’t forget to ask for their famous chocolate volcano!
Phone: +506- 2653-0024
Located directly on the beach and one of Tamarindo’s favorite after-hours spots, Pangas is more than a restaurant: it’s a beach club, a foodie favorite, and the go-to place for Pacific sunsets, nighttime fire dancing, and dining with your toes in the sand.
Speaking of dining – it’s top-notch at Pangas! There are so many reasons why this casual-yet-upscale restaurant is a Tamarindo favorite, and so many of them reside in the varied and delicious menu. From wahoo carpaccio and pineapple-chili glazed chicken wings to fire-grilled lobster and fresh yellowfin tuna, Pangas offers daring and creative approaches to tropical fusion cuisine.
Inarguably one of the best restaurants in Tamarindo for breakfast and brunch, the Santa Rita Café promises a relaxed ambiance, superb coffee, and an excellent menu.
From fresh smoothies to all-day breakfast, here you’ll find something to quench your thirst and soothe your cravings. We love the fresh-fruit smoothie bowls and generous omelets but we won’t lie: Santa Rita’s really shines when it comes to their out-of-the-box and indulgent menu items, like their breakfast burger, which includes five cuts of pork and beef, and their special tortillas, which pile tomato and avocado onto cheese-stuffed homemade tortillas.
Tamarindo | 8 Beds | 8.5 Baths | 20 Guests
It doesn’t take long to discover why Casa Puros Dieces is named for the “perfect ten:” This is one of Costa Rica’s largest, most luxurious, and most breathtaking private villas.
An oceanview, Balinese-style mansion set high above the Pacific on a lush hilltop, this very spot is where sea meets sky, travel meets dreams, and the horizon meets your feet. Stand here and just take it all in. Let your gaze sweet down these breathtaking, coastal expanses. Appreciate the play of light over sun-dappled sands. And take a deep breath, as the ocean breeze ripples through your hair.
For this, right here, is a special place. And it’s all yours. So, spend some time in the infinity-edge swimming pool. Learn the real meaning of indoor-outdoor living – of drifting from one space to the other, from sun to shade, with nary a care. And luxuriate in these unparalleled views, which travel from cerulean sea to green landscapes to striking sunsets, all in the span of an hour.
Phone: +506- 2653-2346
What can we say? We love a good burger! And Surf Shack serves great burgers.
Let’s start with the basics: Surf Shack handcrafts all its burger patties, which are in turn stacked (including double or triple!) and shaped into everything from a humble hamburger to the Blue Ribbon Blue Cheese Burger, which pairs blue cheese and bacon with sautéed onions and garlic. You can substitute chicken breast into any burger (same price) or make it a fish sandwich for just $2 more.
Surf Shack also serves chicken wings, tacos, salads, hotdogs, and apps (think: chips & guac, sliders, and fries with all the extras), plus a kids menu.
Sushi lovers know that some of the best sushi can be found near the ocean. And we sushi lovers in Costa Rica know that some of the best local sushi can be found at one of the best restaurants in Tamarindo: Wabi Sabi Sushi.
Wabi Sabi offers that oft-sought but not-oft-found balance of quality, presentation, and price. All three are exceptional, especially if you choose one of the restaurant’s mixed sushi platters, which combine many of their client favorites onto a plank, a boat, or another presentation.
Be sure to order your perennial favorites but we also encourage you to try some Costa Rican sushi fusion, which often infuses sweet plantains, mango, cream cheese, and other local ingredients into classic Japanese sushi rolls.
Phone: +506- 8759-0901
Look, we’re not going to waffle on this: We’re here for one obvious reason and one obvious reason only. The waffles!
You won’t be disappointed at Waffle Monkey! Easily one of our favorite breakfast spots, this Tamarindo mainstay serves up almost any waffle variation you can dream up, from churro waffles (a handmade Belgian with melted butter and cinnamon sugar) to easy & cheesy (a handmade Belgian topped with ham, cheese, herb butter, and parmesan).
Want to make it even better? The restaurant can make any waffle vegan or gluten-free! You can also add mouthwatering extras to any order, including fresh fruit, eggs, ice cream, Nutella, or peanut butter.
Need Another Restaurant Recommendation? Seeking Other Planning Advice?
For a country smaller than West Virginia, Costa Rica is vast. Its promises are many, its wonders expansive, and its to-dine lists long. So really, it begins with you: What flavors do you want to experience? What do you want to see and do? Where do you want to go?
At Luxury Villas Costa Rica, we have two specialties: homes at and on the best beaches in Guanacaste, and you. Yes, you. Because a great vacation is rooted in heart – in what you hope to get out of your travels. So please, tell us why you’ve chosen Costa Rica. If you don’t know exactly where you want to go, even if you haven’t whittled down your wish list, we can help. We love to help.