Rave #2: Lola’s

I can’t remember who first turned me on to Lola’s, or when it was. But I do know it was long before the place had been “discovered,” and long before the restaurant’s (original) namesake pet pig had passed on. Simply put, Lola’s is my favorite beachfront restaurant in Costa Rica. It’s the whole package: heavy handcrafted wooden tables and chairs set under large canvas umbrellas and ample shade trees, with feet in the sand. Hammocks are strung between coconut palms and almendros closest to the waves.

Fresh seared tuna is served over an organic micro-green salad or as a sandwich on fresh ciabatta bread. The “Dutch” French fries are crisp and perfect, and come with a homemade garlic aioli. The fresh fruit smoothies are manna on a hot beach day.

Way back when, Playa Avellanas was virtually unknown. Sure, surfers had the steady beachbreak pegged. And beyond them, a handful or so of Tamarindo locals and tourism insiders would meet Sundays at Lola’s.  But that’s about it. Now, if you want a table on Sunday (or most any other day of the week, it seems), you better get there early.

LolaToday, Don and Christi have expanded and opened Lola’s Norte, at the Las Catalinas resort development at Playa Danta, just north of Sugar Beach. The vibe and menu are the same, and the crowds have yet to discover this outlet.

So what’s your favorite beach restaurant in Costa Rica? A few of my runner-ups included Sobre Las Olas in Cahuita, Gusto Beach in Samara, and Playa de Artistas in Montezuma.

***Note: The photo of Lola playing in the water is borrowed from Flickr’s Creative Common’s public use photo section.***

5 thoughts on “Rave #2: Lola’s

  1. Happy to hear that Donatus has found steady work as a bus boy @ Lola’s..
    Remember when they first opened with 6-8 tables and we
    would stop after me giving Donatus a whooping on the golf course.

    What great times… It has been 8-10 years and I am returning
    to Costa Rica mid December with my golf clubs. My hope is
    Donatus has practiced enough and I know Christie will have
    everything in order with fine food and a few beverages.

    Can’t wait to see the little one.

    Bob Pudenz

      • Bob, we look forward to seeing you at Lola’s soon! Don’s golf game has improved since we sold Lola’s Norte and are relaxing a bit more in Avellana. We have added chicken, fish and shrimp tacos with homemade corn tortillas to the menu, and have added about 20 tables since you were last here. I assure you that it is still the same vibe and great place you remember.

        Elliot, how did we miss you???? We are always here, but we were running around a bit on Thursday preparing for a private party that evening. I hope you received good service and food. We always appreciate you stopping by and would hate to disappoint one of our favorite fans. PLEASE let us know when you’re coming by again…

        xoxoxoChristi, Don, Eden & Nikki

        • Exactly, you guys were running around and not at the restaurant. We had a great time and great meal, as always… Sorry to have to miss the big party!

  2. Eliot, we thank you so much for your “rave” review and your continued support. We don’t know who you turned you on to Lola’s either, but we’re very glad they did! Love your blog and look forward to the eBook. We agree with all the places you recommend and can’t wait to read more of your great writing.

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