Foodies will love our list of restaurant favorites in and around Jaco Beach, the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
Naturally, visitors to Costa Rica want to try the local cuisine; good food is always part of a great vacation. Here are our top 10 picks in and around Los Sueños Resort, near Herradura and Jaco Beach on the Central Pacific Coast.
From casados to international cuisine, these restaurants get high marks from foodies and critics alike.
- Lemon Zest Restaurant, at Playa Jacó, features an innovative international menu. The Peruvian Red Quinoa Crusted Shrimp appetizer is sure to tempt, as will the duck comfit, slow-roasted and served in a blackberry reduction sauce, Dorado Francaise or Caribbean St le Jerk Pork Chop. The restaurant makes the most of Tico flavors and influences. Reservations recommended.
- Frommer’s rates El Pelicano “the best local restaurant in Playa Herradura.” Don’t let the setting scare you off; El Pelicano does seafood with a local flair. The daily catch is your best bet, but rustic dining al fresco on fresh ceviche, fish and other Tico standards just can’t be beat. Most meals include a trip to the salad bar.
- Tico Times called Graffiti Restro Café & Wine Bar a hidden marvel of “defiant and delicious artistry.” On Jacó’s north side in the Pacific Center (close to the KFC), its menu features Cajun, Creole, Asian and Central/South American dishes, grilled chicken wings with chipotle passion fruit glaze, Mexican steak nachos or blackened mahi-mahi with pineapple mango chutney, plus quirky cocktails.
- El Galéon, a contemporary/international steakhouse overlooking the Los Sueños Marina, is a Travel + Leisure Favorite. A variety of delicious Angus steaks, naturally, top the menu, but inquiring foodies can also try super scallop sliders, house-smoked duck breast salad, free-range boneless whole-roasted Cornish hen or seafood Calaloo.
- Lanterna Ristorante, also at Marina Village in Los Sueños, brings authentic Italian cuisine to Costa Rica: stuffed calamari, carpaccio di manzo, saltimbocca ravioli, lasagna (the house special), freshly made pastas, as well as daily risotto and seafood specials. Open only for dinner, reservations recommended.
- The Green Room, in Jacó, successfully mixes American, vegetarian, Tico and international cuisines for a laid-back, hang-loose twist on dining. From freshly caught fish to simple grilled cheese, local ingredients and imagination amp up health-conscious fare. Try the local fruit and flower beers or the guanabana margarita.
- Tsunami Sushi in Jacó gets high marks for its daily specials and tempura-fried specialties: the sunburn roll or crunch rolls, lightly-tempura fried, crispy rolls filled with tempura shrimp, crab, avocado and cucumber. There can be a long wait for a table but fans say it’s worth it.
- Soda Rustico offers delicious cheap just off Playa Jacó. A neighborhood favorite, choose the cafeteria-style buffet for a good sample of classic Costa Rican dishes. The Olla de Carne beef stew with local vegetables—pear squash, cabbage, corn, potatoes, cassava, taro root and yams—is also worth a try.
- Bambu, Los Sueños Marina Village, serves a pan-Asian menu of colorful and boldly flavored dishes such as the chilled tatake tower and sushi options include rainbow and California rolls, as well as its unique mak daddy, a flash-fried, panko-crusted, no-rice roll packed with tuna, salmon, red snapper and avocado.
- El Hicaco, at Playa Jacó, started life as a typical soda in the 70s. Over time, the new ingredients and recipes created a fusion of tipico and international flavors. The specialty is lobster prepared in different ways or just grilled. Jumbo shrimp cocktail, seafood platters, mahi-mahi, pasta and the dish of the day fill out the choices; a great place for delicious food at sunset.