Manuel Antonio Restaurant Guide

Costa Rica Eats Restaurant Guide: Manuel Antonio

Agua Azul √√√√ ♥

Near Villas del Parque, on the Manuel Antonio road
INTERNATIONAL The view at this small open-air restaurant is one of the best in Manuel Antonio. You’ll have to come early to get a seat close to the railing, especially if you’re coming for sunset. The Tuna Margarita, a tangy fresh tuna ceviche, is a great way to get things going. You’ll find excellent and creative fresh fish dishes and other mains, as well as a wide selection of bar food favorites. Thu–Tue 11am–10pm. $$$


Barba Roja √√√ ♥


On Manuel Antonio Road, about midway between Quepos and the park entrance
INTERNATIONAL/SEAFOOD/SUSHI This popular joint serves up good contemporary fare and sushi in a lovely open-air setting with a view over the jungle to the sea. There’s a large outdoor patio that’s great on warm evenings. The food is dependable, if not inspiring. Tue–Sun 10am–10pm; Mon 4–10pm. $$$


Café Milagro √√√√ ♥

Downtown Quepos just over the bridge, and on Manuel Antonio road
CAFÉ Excellent fresh-roasted coffee drinks, baked goods, fruit drinks and ice cream treats are the main draws here, but you can also get full breakfasts, as well as hearty sandwiches and good fresh salads. Two locations, both are comfortable and inviting, and offer crafts and coffee for sale. Daily 6am-10pm (high season); 6am-6pm (low season). $$


El Gran Escape √√√√ ♥

Facing the water, just over the bridge as you enter Quepos
SEAFOOD This is a deservedly popular Quepos seafood restaurant. Portions are large, prices are reasonable and the fish is as fresh as can be. Don’t pass on a plate of fresh sashimi as a starter. Beyond the fish, you can also get well-prepared steaks and massive burgers. The large open-air space is often quite full, and the bar is a popular local hangout. Wed–Mon 8am–11pm. $$$


El Patio Bistro Latino √√√√√ ♥

At Cafe Milagro, on the Manuel Antonio road
INTERNATIONAL  After dark, the popular Café Milagro coffee house transforms into one of the area’s best restaurants. The small menu features nightly specials, as well as a regular offering of salads, appetizers and a selection of meat, fish and poultry main dishes. Sauces and inspirations are taken from various world cuisines, and often feature creative combinations of exotic ingredients. Be sure to save room for some excellent desserts and, of course, some home-roasted coffee. Daily 6pm–10pm. $$$$


Kapi Kapi √√√√ ♥

On the road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio
FUSION/NEW COSTA RICAN  Set back from the road, a refined and elegant air pervades this open-air restaurant.  Candles and atmospheric lighting make it quite romantic. Asian spices and flavors and contemporary takes on Costa Rican classics are the strong suit here. Try the rum-glazed grilled shrimp on sugar-cane skewers. These folks boast a very good wine list. Daily 4 pm–10pm. $$$$


La Luna Restaurant √√√√ ♥

Inside Hotel Gaia
INTERNATIONAL/FUSION/TAPAS  The restaurant at this luxury hotel serves up excellent and inventive fare in a beautiful open-air dining room with a view over the hills of Manuel Antonio. In additon to full meals, this is a great place to come for sunset cocktails and tapas. A range of world cuisines are represented on the menu, and given the emphasis on the spa here, there’s also a good selection of vegetarian and low-cal options. Daily 6:30am-10pm.  $$$$


Mar Luna √√√ ♥

On the road to Manuel Antonio
INTERNATIONAL/SEAFOOD This hillside restaurant began life as a mildly upscale soda. However popularity has gone to their head a bit, and prices have skyrocketed. Still they do offer up great views, well-prepared fresh fish dishes and local specialties. Tue-Sun noon-10:30pm; Mon 4pm-10pm. $$$


Restaurant Marlin  √√√

Facing Playa Espadilla, near the National Park entrance
SEAFOOD/COSTA RICAN This long-standing open-air joint is the most popular roadside restaurant serving the area around the National Park entrance and Playa Espadilla. Almost always bustling, they serve up fresh fish, hearty casados, reasonable prices and an ocean-view. What more could you ask for? Daily 7am-10pm. $$$


Sunspot Grill  √√√√ ♥

At Makanda-by-the-Sea
INTERNATIONAL This longstanding favorite has consistently been one of the most refined and romantic restaurants in Manuel Antonio. Meals are served poolside under a series of open-air fabric tents. The kitchen here serves up an intriguing variety of fresh fish, meat and poultry dishes, with constantly changing nightly specials. Daily 11am-10pm. Reservations necessary. Somewhat limited hours in the low season. $$$$

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