Monteverde Restaurant Guide

Costa Rica Eats Restaurant Guide: Monteverde


Café Caburé √√√√ ♥


At the Bat Jungle, about midway along the road between Sta Elena and the reserve.

CHOCOLATES/INTERNATIONAL Set on the second floor, above the Bat Jungle, this cozy and inviting place serves up excellent food and tantalizing deserts. Main course options range from such exotic fair as shrimp curry and chicken mole, to hearty burgers and healthy wraps. Homemade organic chocolates are the crowning achievement here, and you can buy them by the kilo to go, or enjoy them baked into the stellar chocolate-walnut soufflé. Mon–Sat 9am–8pm. $$


Chimera √√√√ ♥


Cerro Plano, on the road between Santa Elena and the reserve

INTERNATIONAL/TAPAS This cozy little restaurant specializes in a variety of creative tapas. Be sure to try the coconut shrimp “lollipops” which come with a mango-ginger dipping sauce. The tortilla soup is also excellent. Save room for dessert. These folks have a good wine list, and make a range of fancy, contemporary cocktails. Daily 11:30am–9:30pm. $$$


Johnny’s Pizzería √√√ ♥


On the road to the preserve, beyond El Sapo Dorado

ITALIAN/PIZZA This excellent pizzeria and Italian restaurant is one of the most popular joints in Monteverde. Pizzas are thin-crust and baked in a wood-burning oven. The ambiance is tropical, warm and lively. There are some wonderful seats outdoors on a covered veranda surrounded by thick foliage, plants and flowers. The newest addition here is the upstairs Farallones Tapas Bar. Daily 11:30am-10pm. $$$$


Morphos  √√√ ♥


Downtown Santa Elena, next to the Orchid Garden

COSTA RICAN/INTERNATIONAL This popular downtown restaurant specializes in filling and economical meals, with a good selection of healthy and vegetarian options. Morpho’s is a bustling hangout for the backpacker and local crowd, who come for the free Wi-Fi. Daily 11am-9pm. $$


Pizzería Tramonti  √√√


On the road to the reserve, next to Hotel El Bosque

ITALIAN/PIZZA This rustic restaurant serves up excellent wood-oven baked thin crust pizza, as well as a variety of pastas, and a few main courses. You could eat in one of several rooms just set just off, the road, but when the weather’s nice, head for the outdoor back patio. Daily 6am- 9am; 11:30am-10pm. $$$


Sofía √√√√ ♥


Cerro Plano

FUSION/NEW LATIN This creative restaurant has tables spread around several rooms of this somewhat sprawling little building. My favorite tables are near the large picture windows overlooking the lush gardens and forest backing the place. Some standout dishes include the seafood chimichanga, and chicken in guayaba sauce. If you drink, don’t pass up their ginger mango mojito. Daily 11:30am-9:30pm. $$$$


Stella’s Bakery √√√ ♥


On the road to the reserve, across from CASEM

INTERNATIONAL/PASTRY This little coffee-shop and pastry place also offers up a daily selection of hearty lunch offerings served cafeteria-style. You might find lasagna alongside some quiche, in addition to the broad selection of sweet treats. A remodeling and expansion has greatly improved the ambiance here. Daily 7am-5pm (low season); 6am-9pm (high season)


Trio √√√√ ♥


Downtown Santa Elena, below the supermarket

FUSION/BISTRO  This is my favorite restaurant in the town of Santa Elena, by far. Part of the mini-local dynasty, which also includes Chimera and Sofia, this place has a more casual menu and vibe, although it’s still got owner Karen Nielsen’s signature focus on new and creative concoctions. The burger here features sundried tomatoes mixed into the patty, and is served with figs, arugula and caramelized onions. Daily 11:30am-9:30pm. $$$


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