Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo Top Restaurant Picks by Meal
Chiringuito is the most beautiful breakfast spot in Tamarindo—right on the beach in the sand—and they have the hands-down best coffee. Their breakfast menu includes European, American and Costa Rican selections. Their gallo pinto in a tortilla bowl is great, but please do not miss the French toast. OMG. The French toast. (Also open for lunch, super-fun sunsets, and dinner.)
Café Tico is a cute little café tucked in beside Tamarindo’s bookstore. Prices are amazing, the food is delicious, the portions are generous, and the staff is friendly. We recommend their gallo pinto. You know what that is, right? You will by the time you leave Costa Rica! (Also serves lunch.)
Breakfast Grinds has the best American breakfasts you can get outside of the 50 states. They also serve Costa Rican and continental plates, but if you’re an American looking for a taste of home, this is your spot. Pancake lovers, this is the one place in Tamarindo–and perhaps in Costa Rica–you can be sure you will be happy with them. Otherwise, we recommend the breakfast sandwich. Big wow. (Does breakfast, lunch, and burgers/wings at dinner.)
Nogui’s, right on the beach at the cul-de-sac where Tamarindo’s beach road ends, is Tamarindo’s orignal restaurant. For the last 40 years, Nogui’s has been the place to sit and relax in the shade with a cold smoothie or beer and a some fresh local food. The location and the menu selections (traditional rice/bean plates, sandwiches, huge salads) place it as our top Tamarindo lunch pick. Oh, and the pie. Yes, the pie. (Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
Our second lunch pick (and keep it open as a budget-friendly option for dinner) is one of Tamarindo’s newest additions: El Mercadito. El Mercadito is an open air food-court-style spot where individual kitchens offer their specialty menus: poke bowls, curries, a vegan booth, sushi, an Argentinian grill, Venezuelan arepas, a burger shack, an ice cream stand and a French bakery are all circled around an actual boat which houses The Medusa Bar. This is a picky eater’s paradise.
Fish and Cheeses
We know. The name is weird. We didn’t name it but OMG do we love it. You have to go to Langosta for this one, but for sure don’t miss it. Wild Walter, the owner from Milan, makes everything fresh, including the mozzarella cheese. No lie. This is an Italian restaurant/deli/mini-market like you never dreamed you’d find in Costa Rica. Like Italian beer? Montepulciano, anyone? Of course you have have it for lunch! You’re on vacation! And, yes, you can come back and have more for dinner.
Pangas Beach Club
Everybody knows the best place for dinner in Tamarindo is Pangas Beach Club down by the estuary. In fact, this is one of the restaurants that you really need to call ahead for reservations. There’s usually room for everyone in the beachfront dining area under the palm leaves and stars, but Pangas does host a lot of private events as well so we recommend you make the call: 2653-0024. If you can’t get in at dinner, you can always enjoy their amazing Guanacaste fusion menu at lunch.
Pachanga, Pachanga. How in the world do you decide what to eat at Pachanga? Italian chef Maurizio has an extensive menu of artisan pizzas, homemade pasta, fish, meat, salads… The prices are great, the portions are generous, the ambiance might be described as Tamarindo Old-School Chic, and the staff is friendly. We love Pachanga. We love the funky building that’s housed it for the last 25 years. We love Maurizio and his pasta.
Bamboo Sushi Club
Costa Rica, obviously, is an ideal place to get fresh fish, and Tamarindo’s Bamboo Sushi Club makes the best sushi in town. And the best 2 x 1 mojitos, we might add. What’s not to love about the freshness of that combo? Eating at the Bamboo Sushi Club (also open for lunch), is like being seated at a table in a secred tropical garden. Centrally-located but removed from street noise, the Sushi Club is right up at the top of our list of places to start out a great night in Tamarindo.