in Monteverde Costa Rica
Nightlife & Restaurant Guide
Monteverde Costa Rica
A guide to restaurants in Monteverde Costa Rica. Locations, and telephone numbers of the many places to eat and drink in Santa Elena and Monteverde. Note though that there are many restaurants and hotel-restaurants in Monteverde: old, new and ones under different management. Sometimes it is impossible to compile and maintain a complete and up-to-date listing of ALL places offering food, however, we do our best!
What to expect to find in the restaurants of Costa Rica. Click here for a glossary of typical foods in Costa Rica
The sections below are divided into 4 parts. Each part lists the names of the restaurants, bars and coffee shops - Click on them for more information.
Night Life – Music, Dance and Food
Bar Amigos - music, dancing, pool, drinks and extensive menu(more..)
Bar Domingos - music, drinks, pool and dancing(more...)
Tres Monos Cafe Arte y Musica en Vivo - crepes, salads, bagels, desserts (more....)
Restaurants/Coffee Shops/Take-outs in Santa Elena
Don Miguel (Hotel Ficus) - varied menu (more....)
Common Cup - baked goods, snacks and drinks (more....)
Café Las Orquideas - baked goods, crepes, pitas, paninis, soups and drinks(more....)
Morpho’s Restaurant - varied menu (more....)
Chunches Café(upstairs) - bagels, breakfast, salads, sandwiches and cakes (more....)
Taco.Taco - burritos, quesadillas and tacos (more....)
Super Pollo El Pueblo - fried chicken take-out (more....)
Jimenez Bakery - baked goods and drinks (more....)
Mar y Tierra - seafood, steak and chicken(more....)
Musashi - japanese cuisine (more....)
Soda Chelo - fast food and typical Costa Rican food (more....)
Tico y Rico - varied menu (more...)
Tree House - varied menu (more....)
Inka Verde - authentic peruvian cuisine (more....)
Monteverde Shop (Cheese Factory Outlet in Santa Elena) - ice-cream, milkshakes, cheese, hamburgers and drinks(more....)
La Maravilla - varied menu (more....)
Natsha Pizzeria - pizzas, hamburgers, tacos eat in or take out (more....)
El Marquéz - seafood restaurant (more....)
Restaurants/Coffee Shops/Take-outs and Hotel-Restaurants Located Between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve.
Casa del Café Monteverde - local coffee and empanadas (more....)
Antawara (Hotel Ficus) - authentic Peruvian Food(more....)
Poco a Poco Hotel Restaurant - varied menu (more....)
Monteverde Lodge Restaurant - varied menu(more....)
Di Kary Pizzeria - varied menu (more....)
Johnny’s Pizzeria and Restaurant - varied menu (more....)
Mediterrenean Restaurant (Hotel Heliconia) - mediterranean cuisine(more....)
Sabores Ice-Cream Parlor - ice-cream, milkshakes, drinks and snacks(more....)
Sofia's Restaurant - new age latin cuisine(more....)
Chimera - latin infused tapas(more....)
De Lucía Restaurant - varied menu (more....)
Jiminez Bakery - baked goods and drinks (more....)
Las Riendas (Hotel El Establo) -varied menu or buffet options(more....)
Laggus(Hotel El Establo) -varied menu (more....)
Hotel Montaña Monteverde Restaurant - varied menu(more....)
Caburé Argentine Restaurant/ Coffee & Chocolate Shop - argentine specials(more....)
Tramonti Pizzeria and Restaurant - varied menu (more....)
Stella's Bakery Art Coffee Shop and Restaurant - baked goods & sandwiches (more....)
Soda La Cuchara de la Abuela - typical authentic Costa Rican food (more....)
Monteverde Cheese Factory - ice-cream, milkshakes, cheese and snacks (more....)
La Chimenea and La Galería(Hotel Fonda Vela) - international menu (more....)
Monteverde Reserve Restaurant -varied menu (more....)
Monteverde Reserve CaféColibri - baked goods and sandwiches (more....)
Restaurants and Hotel-Restaurants Located in Other Areas of Monteverde
Further Descriptions ......................
Night Life – Music, Dance and Food
Bar Amigos(Tel: 2645-5071)
Located in the center of Santa Elena Bar Amigos is very popular with local Costa Ricans (or Ticos as they are more commonly known). In addition to drinks, they also offer a new and improved restaurant menu offering “bocas” (light snacks), tacos, hamburgers, casados (typical Costa Rican dish) pasta and other tasty main dishes. There is definitely some magic going on in this kitchen!
During the day there is more of a relaxed atmosphere with satellite TV and latin music. Then from 7pm onwards it starts to liven up. In the evening in addition to the food which is served until 11pm there is sometimes live music or a dj and there is always a HUGE dance floor where you can get your groove on. Every Wednesday there is kareoke and you are sure to have a good laugh! If you like to play pool then there is an area downstairs with 4 pool tables, which is open until 12am.
Price Range: $5 - $15
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 12:00pm - 2:00am
Bar Domingos(Tel: 2645-6282)
This is definitely more of a local bar for ‘Ticos’. Can be a bit ‘rough and ready’ as well as a lot of fun. It is situated opposite the plaza (soccer field) in Santa Elena, on the road towards Sky Trek and the Santa Elena Reserve. The bar offers karaoke on Thursday nights, and live music and dancing from time to time. There are several pool tables available on the second floor and a few tables and chairs where you can sit and watch the locals dancing on the fist floor.
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 12.00pm to 12.00am
Tres Monos Cafe Arte y Musica en Vivo(Tel: 2645-6774)
This cute lounge-cafe is part of Di Kary Pizzeria, located in the Cerro Plano area on the road between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. If you are looking to sit back and relax then this is the perfect spot! There are a couple of hammocks on the covered decking outside if want to rest your feet or maybe even have a siesta! Offers a variety of food but it's famous for its Aztec Soup and for those with a sweet tooth you'll love the selection of desserts; the maracuya cheesecake and the crepes flambé with rum, served with apples are just a few of the utterly mouth watering options! There is LIVE MUSIC every Friday and Saturday night and Thursday at 6:30pm is MOVIE NIGHT (Alternative Spanish Cinema.) Tuesday is reggae night. Sometimes there are art exhibitions so if you want to see some local talent then stop by to take a look. Prices are the same for everyone!
Opening Hours:Tuesday to Saturday 3.00pm to 12.00am
Restaurants/Cafes/Take-outs in Santa Elena
Don Miguel (Hotel Ficus) (Tel: 2645-5157)
Don Miguel is a classy restaurant that is located in the lower part of Hotel Ficus. The entrance to this hotel / restaurant is on the left just after Common Cup in Santa Elena. It is open to the general public. The restaurant is surrounded by lush forest and has a very relaxing feel to it. The perfect place to go if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the town. It offers tasty typical authentic Costa Rican food.
Price Range: $5 - $20
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 6:30am - 9:30pm
Common Cup (Tel: 2645-6247)
This cute coffee shop is situated in Santa Elena opposite La Ferriteria (hardware store.) Offers a small varriety of soups, sandwiches and salads. A selection of delicious baked goods; cakes, brownies, cookies, cinnamon rolls; smoothies, and great coffee is also available. Their coffee comes from numerous local sources in Costa Rica. The Common Cup is proud to support “THRIVE Farmers Coffee”, which makes it possible for the farmers to sell directly to consumers and affiliates and thus participate in their coffee’s retail profit. They have free roasting sessions (you can walk in whenever you want and ask for one) where you learn about the coffee process and at the end you can purchase the coffee. There is a small room with sofas where you can chill out and there is also some outside seating.
Price Range: $2 - $7
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7:00am – 6:00pm
Cafe Las Orquideas (Tel: 2645-6850)
You will find this cute coffee shop located in the center of Santa Elena next to the ‘Orquid Garden.’A fusion of different foods are brought together to make new and exciting homemade dishes. Only local produce makes its way into the kitchen supporting both local farmers and ensuring high quality food. There are a selection of tasty pitas, paninis and sweet and savory crepes. The iced mokaccino topped with homemade whipped cream is a true delight! The dessert cabinet is always full of tasty treats because the chef is constantly inventing something new, one day it was a banana and chocolate layered cake covered in a crispy meringue. There are also great fresh fruit juices of all the colors of the rainbow. A hit has to be the pineapple and basil juice! The service is excellent and the atmosphere is extremely inviting. There is also an outdoor terrace area which is a pleasant place to sit.
Price Range: $2 - $12
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7:00am - 7:00pm
Morpho’s Restaurant (Tel: 2645-7373)
This interesting architecturally designed restaurant is located by the side of La Pension Backpackers Hostel in Santa Elena. It has been hand painted (nature and wildlife) inside and out with organic paint giving the feeling that you are in the forest. The restaurant has a very pleasant atmosphere and it’s a very popular place to eat! Offers a wide selection of dishes; typical Costa Rican food, pastas, fish and meat dishes. The food offered includes vegetarian options too. They also serve soups, salads, sandwiches and hamburgers. There is also a selection of hot and cold drinks, including a wide range of natural fruit juices in water, milk or yoghurt. Try their delicious variety of desserts and ice creams – some of which you may find impossible to resist! After enjoying the tasty food at Morpho’s you can visit the famous Monteverde Orquid Garden, which has one of the largest collections in Costa Rica and if you present your food receipt then you will get a $2 discount.
Price Range: $6 - $20
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11.00am – 9:15pm
Chunches Cafe (upstairs) (Tel: 2645-5147)
This small coffee shop is located in the center of Santa Elena on the second floor in Chunches Librería. There is a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a bagel, salad and if you have a sweet tooth there are brownies, banana cake and chocolate granola bars. A selection of hot and cold drinks are also on offer. There is a large section of new and used books and a book exchange for those that want to swap a book of their own.
Price Range: $2 - $6
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 8:00am - 5:00pm (Closed Sunday.)
Taco . Taco (Tel: 2645-5051)
This small kiosk is attached to La Pension Backpackers Hostel situated in the center of Santa Elena, across from Chunches Librería. Offers a selection of tasty tacos, burritos and quesadillas and if your preferred concoction isn’t available then you can build your very own (choice of filling, crunchy, topper and salsas.) Service is quick and the food is tasty!
Price Range: $3 - $7
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00am - 8:00pm (Closed Sunday.)
Super Pollo (Tel: 2645-5174)
This small fast food restaurant is located opposite Banco Nacional, in the centre of Santa Elena. The menu offers a small selection of food; fried chicken, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos, hamburgers and sandwiches. Eat in or take out.
Price Range: $3 - $7
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00am – 10:00pm
Jimenez Bakery (Tel: 2645-5035)
The bakery is situated below Mar y Tierra restaurant in the center of Santa Elena. Offers freshly baked bread and many other delicious things to eat; cakes, empanadas, bread and granola as well as a variety of hot and cold drinks. This is the perfect place for those who are taking early morning tours or an early morning bus.
Price Range: $1 - $3
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 4:00am – 6:00pm / Sunday 4:00am – 10:00am
Mar y Tierra (Tel: 2645-7111)
This quaint little restaurant is located on the second floor above the Jimenez Bakery and has a view looking out over the center of Santa Elena. Offers a wide option of gourmet dishes and is proud to offer various fusions of natural fruit sauces and organic vegetables. A selection of wine and cocktails is available. There is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and the service is good.
Price Range: $6 - $40 (dish for 2 people.)
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm
Musashi Japanese Cuisine (Tel: 2645-7160)
This small, cozy restaurant is the only place in Monteverde that serves Japanese cuisine. It is located in the center of Santa Elena, next to the bus ticket office. The service is excellent and although the prices are a little high the quality of food is good. If you want fast food then eating here might not be such a good idea, as each dish is prepared individually. The sushi rolls are handmade by a professional sushi chef. There is a relaxing atmosphere and there is a simple Japanese style decoration.
Price Range: $10 - $145 (the highest price is a sushi boat that serves up to 6 people.)
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00am – 11:00pm
Soda Chelo (Tel: 8627-6220)
This small, traditional soda sits next to the bus ticket office in the center of Santa Elena. It offers tasty dishes, from fast food like tacos and hamburgers to typical Costa Rican casados with your choice of meat or vegetables. The servings are very generous.
Price Range: $1 - $6
Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday 6:00am – 8:00pm
Tico y Rico (Tel: 2645-5204)
This typical Costa Rican restaurant is situated in the center of Santa Elena opposite Musashi Japanese restaurant. There is a wide selection of dishes from typical gallo pinto and casados to fast food, like fajitas, nachos, hamburgers and gallos. There is also a special menu that offers chicken, fish, meat and vegetarian options. Tico y Rico has something for everyone and the service is good.
Price Range: $5 - $18
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7:00am – 9:00pm
Tree House Restaurant (Tel: 2645-5751)
The Tree House is famous for its beautiful fig tree that grows right in the center of the restaurant, giving diners something to admire while enjoying their food! This gigantic tree was planted about 60 years ago, long before the town of Santa Elena even existed and climbed many a time by children. The restaurant offers more unusual choices than some of the neighboring restaurants, as well as pizza, sandwiches, Mexican dishes and typical ‘casados’ (rice and beans.) There is an extensive wine list, a selection of exotic cocktails, beer and delicious coffee. The coffee comes from Santa Maria de Dota (part of the Tarrazú region) and is renowned for its excellent quality. Here at the Tree House: high quality coffee + specialist coffee chefs ‘baristas’ = the perfect cup of coffee!
Depending on the season there is live music most evenings: A duo known as “The Club 2” offers a mixture of Latin music; reggae roots, salsa and bachatta. There is also a marimba, which is a musical instrument in the percussion family and Trova, which is one of the great roots of cuban music tree. Service is excellent along with a real feel good and relaxing atmosphere.
Price Range: $7 - $27
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00am - 10:00pm (until 9:00pm in low season.)
Inka Verde (Tel: 2645-5751)
This small Peruvian restaurant can be found just before you get to Bar Amigos. It shares the same kitchen/chef as the Tree House restaurant, the difference being that Inka Verde’s menu offers a selection of typical Peruvian dishes; ceviches, bisteak and seabass made by a true Peruvian chef from Huaráz. The food is tasty and of a high quality, as well as being reasonably priced. The service is good and Inka Verde also uses a new electronic system called ‘I-waiter’ (invented by the owners of the two restaurants) which is used to take orders and charge, ensuring fast and efficient service.
Price Range: $6 - $15
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 12:00pm - 10:00pm (until 9:00pm in low season.)
Monteverde Cheese Factory Outlet in Santa Elena (Tel: 2645-6558)
Located opposite the Tree House restaurant in the center of Santa Elena. Offers a variety of delicious ice-cream choices and milkshakes as well as packets of cheese and other products made in the famous cheese factory. Also serves fast food like hamburgers and coffee. Eat in or take out.
Price Range: $2 - $7
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00am - 8:00pm
Trio (Tel: 2645-5274)
This stylish restaurant is located in Santa Elena next to the Super Compro supermarket. It offers international cuisine infused with exotic Latin flavors, making each dish unique. The hamburger with arugula and figs is a must try – it’s definitely not your normal everyday hamburger! There is a great list of exotic cocktails and a small selection of mouth-watering desserts – the brownie sundae with mint glaze is delicious! When the weather is nice you can dine outside as there is a small outside balcony area. The service is excellent and the atmosphere is very relaxing.
Price Range: $5 - $20
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30am – 9:30pm
La Maravilla (Tel: 2645-6623)
This medium sized restaurant is located next to the Jimenez Bakery in the center of Santa Elena and is very popular with locals as well as visitors to Monteverde. La Maravilla has been open for about 11 years now. Offers a wide selection of food but it’s renowned for its typical Costa Rican dishes; gallo pinto, casados and ceviche. They also offer a variety of juices made with fresh fruit.
Price Range: $5 - $12
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00am – 9:00pm
Natsha Pizzeria (Tel: 2645-6919)
This small pizzeria is located next to La Maravilla Restaurant underground, in the center of Santa Elena. Offers a large selection of pizzas (small, medium and large), lasagna (meat, chicken and vegetarian), pasta and salads. Eat in or take out.
Price Range: $7 - $19
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm
El Marquéz (Tel: 2645-5918)
This seafood restaurant is located along the way from the Jimenez Bakery, in the center of Santa Elena, before you take the road to the Santa Elena Reserve and Skytrek. The restaurant specializes in a whole range of very tasty fish recipes including a whole sea bass, served with fries and salad, as well as various other fillet options or seafood dishes and a range of prawn dishes. The restaurant also offers some chicken dishes and hamburgers, salads etc. The restaurant owner prides himself on always using fresh products. Well worth a visit and popular with local residents as well as tourists.
Price Range: $6 - $41 (special seafood dish for 2.)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm (Closed Sunday.)
Restaurants and Hotel-Restaurants Located Between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve.
Casa del Cafe Monteverde (Tel: 2645-5901)
Casa del Cafe Monteverde is situated in the Monteverde Plaza 'mall' only a short walk up the hill from the town of Santa Elena. This coffee shop serves light, medium and dark roast coffee along with a variety of other hot and cold drinks, sweet cakes and savory empanadas. There are always samples of light, medium and dark roast coffee available for you to try. The service is excellent and if you have any questions about coffee then there is always someone eager to inform you. They offer a Coffee Tour that starts at 8:00am and leaves from Casa del Café but if time is short and you can’t do a tour then don’t despair, as you can still learn about coffee right there in the shop.
Price Range: $1 - $4.50
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7:30am – 6:00pm
Antawara (Hotel Ficus) (Tel: 2645-5157)
“Antawara” the name of this new stylish Peruvian restaurant literally means “Copper Star” or “Copper Shine”. The Inca’s believed that this star represented the cosmic forces of the mountains. Just before sun rise a red-colour of early dawn is reflected from the star and this copper-coloured light gives the ancient people, peace of mind and harmony with the environment.
This elegant restaurant is situated on a hill with views of the Santa Elena town and the gulf of Nicoya (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.) An exclusive Peruvian Chef from Lima will prepare your food making sure to add that special touch of authentic Peruvian flavors. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy a cocktail or two with your loved one/s in an elegant and comfortable atmosphere. No matter what time of day you choose to dine and providing it is clear you’ll be astounded by the views and the spectacular sunsets are one of the best in town!
Price Range:$7 - $60
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30am – 10:00pm
Otocuma - Poco a Poco Hotel Restaurant (Tel: 2645-6000/ ext 220)
“Otocuma” means peace and tranquility in the dialect of the Costa Rican indigenous people. This hotel restaurant is situated 50 meters after El Ranario (The Frog Farm), on the back road leading out of Santa Elena towards the Monteverde Reserve. A combination of rustic and modern décor gives the restaurant a relaxing atmosphere. There are also stone columns with beautiful hand carvings of indigenous symbols. Offers breakfast, lunch and dinner; a selection of typical dishes and Costarricense infused cuisine too. Reservations are recommended to ensure a table. Every day there is a new special dish of the day. The bar offers a variety of wine and cocktails. There is a stylish decking area and also the swimming pool area where you can dine. Sunsets from Otocuma are spectacular! Also if you visit the restaurant you will have access to use the swimming pool and Jacuzzi! There is live music every day 7:00pm – 9:30pm (Classic, Romantic and Acoustic.) Reservations are required!
Price Range: $6 - $24
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - Breakfast 6:30am – 9:30am / Lunch and Dinner 11:30am – 9:30pm / Bar 11:30am – 10:00pm
Monteverde Lodge Restaurant (Tel: 2645-5057)
This beautiful, rustic styled hotel restaurant is open to the public and offers a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere in which to dine. The hotel is surrounded by lush forest, located off the road after Hotel Poco a Poco, on the back road leading out of Santa Elena towards the Monteverde Reserve. Offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Reservations are recommended because each meal is served within a specific time period (*see opening hours.) For breakfast each main dish comes with coffee or tea, orange juice, a bread basket with jam and a fruit salad. The lunch menu has a small selection of salads, sandwiches, typical Costa Rican casado, pasta, quesadilla and kebabs. In the evening the restaurant is magically transformed; at 5:30pm the impressive wood burning chimney is lit giving the restaurant a homely yet elegant feel. Dinner menu offers a larger selection of starters, pasta, fish and meat dishes served with your choice of sauce. There is an inviting outside patio area. The option of booking a special dinner out on the patio is available at an additional cost, candles are lit, creating a magical atmosphere for 2 (maximum of 12 people.) Monteverde Lodge offers 21 varieties of wine - the largest wine list in Monteverde! There is a cozy seating area by the bar where you can relax and enjoy a cocktail or two. Reservations are required!
Price Range: $6 - $23
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday Breakfast 6:00 – 8:30am / Lunch 12:00pm – 2:30pm / Dinner 6:00 – 8:30pm / Bar 12:00pm – 10:00pm
This rustic restaurant is located on the second floor, above a souvenir shop and local mini market; in the Cerro Plano area on the road between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. Offers a selection of Italian cuisine, as well as typical Costa Rican dishes.
Price Range:$8 - $25
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 12:00pm - 9:30pm
Paul Raulitos (Tel: 8308-0810)
This cute little kiosk is located next to Farallones Tapas Bar. The menu offers a small but tasty selection of "fast" yet healthy food. There is chicken and pork (whole, half or a quarter portions) which are roasted in a large wood burning oven. These portions are served with a handmade tortilla and chimichurri or banana ceviche. There are also empanadas and enyucados available.
Price Range: $2- $14
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 9:00am - 9:00pm
Farallones Tapas Bar(Tel: 2645-5066)
This stylish bar is located above the famous Johnny's Pizzeria. The price range is slightly lower than that of the restaurant below. The decor is still very elegant and the atmosphere is relaxing. There are two flat screen TVs with sky if you feel like relaxing while having a tasty snack or a drink.
Price Range: $6 - $25
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 5:00pm - 12:00am
Johnny’s Pizzeria and Restaurant(Tel: 2645-5066)
An elegant restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere, Johnny’s Pizzeria is a popular place to eat, offering a wide range of pizzas (baked in a traditional wood burning oven) and pastas, meat, and some fish specialties together with a good selection of wines. There is a terrace if you prefer to eat outdoors. It is not the cheapest restaurant in town but far from being expensive and the food is excellent with very attentive staff. For large groups it is probably best to make a reservation and a special package can be put together. If there are more than 30 people in a group and at $30 per head live music can be requested. The restaurant is less than a kilometer from Santa Elena and a taxi will charge around $2 for up to 4 people from Santa Elena.
Price Range:$10 - $30
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 11:30am - 9:30pm
Mediterrenean Restaurant (Hotel Heliconia) (2645-5109)
The restaurant can be found within the Hotel Heliconia which is located in the Cerro Plano area, on the road between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. Offers an extensive menu with pasta, pizza, meat, vegetarian and seafood options. The pizzas are baked in a wood buring oven! There is Happy Hour every day from 5:00pm - 7:00pm where you can enjoy 2 for 1 on a selection of drinks. The atmosphere is relaxed and the surroundings are pleasant. Reservations are recommened.
Price Range:$8 - $25 (* $18 – special package incl. appetizer, main dish, dessert and a drink.)
Opening Hours:Monday to SundayBreakfast6:30am - 10:00am /Lunch & Dinner11:00am - 9:30pm / Bar 11:00am - 10:00pm
Sabores Ice-Cream Parlor(Tel: 2645-6174)
If you're an ice-cream lover then don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste Monteverde’s very own delicious ice-cream made locally at the famous Monteverde Cheese Factory. As well as the wide array of ice-cream flavors Sabores also offers snacks; sandwiches, paninis, pizza and not to forget the heavenly homemade desserts; cinnamon rolls and brownies. Every week they tend to have a special promotion which is advertised on the window. Imagine checking your emails while enjoying a scrumptious sundae smothered in warm chocolate sauce. Pure bliss! There is also a small garden area where you can hang out too if you don't fancy being inside and yes, the wireless works outside too.
Price Range:$1 - $6
Opening Hours:12:00am – 8:00pm (Closed Tuesday.)
Sofia's Restaurant(Tel: 2645-7017)
This New Latin Cuisine restaurant is located in Cerro Plano, across from Sabores the Ice-Cream Parlor. Offers a variety of latin infused dishes. It has a relaxing atmosphere with dim lights and candles, perfect for a nice dinner with a glass of wine or one of their famous, exotic cocktails.
Price Range:$6 - $22
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 11:30am - 9:30pm
Chimera (Tel: 2645-6081)
This latin infused tapas restaurantis located in Cerro Plano, across from Hotel El Establo. It run by the same owner of Sofia’s Restaurant. Itoffers a small selection of unique dishes to choose from for a tasty lunch or dinner. How do the coconut shrimp lollipops with a mango dipping sauce sound or if you fancy trying something a little more typical of Costa Rica then the patacones with a garlic herb mayonnaise dip are delicious! Like Sofia's Restaurant, Chimera is also famous for its cocktails, only here you will find a whole different selection.
Price Range:$4 - $14
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 11:30am - 9:30pm
De Lucía Restaurant(Tel: 2645-5337 / 2645-6659)
This quaint, wooden restaurant is located in a peaceful spot on the road towards the Finca Ecológica and Butterfly Garden. Offers a variety of typical Costa Rican food but it is renown for its steak dishes. There is a selection of vegetarian options to choose from too.
Price Range:$8 - $20
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 12.00pm - 9.00pm
Jiminez Bakery (Tel: 2645-6675)
The bakery is located across from the Hotel El Establo in the Cerro Plano area, on the road between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. Offers freshly baked bread and many other delicious things to eat; cakes, empanadas, bread and granola as well as a variety of hot and cold drinks. If there is a special occasion like a birthday and you are looking to buy a fancy cake then look no further.
Price Range:$0.50 - $20 (* highest price is for a whole cake.)
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 5:30am - 6:00pm
Las Riendas (Hotel El Establo)(Tel: 2645-5110)
Las Riendas is one of two elegant restaurants that can be found at theHotel El Establo,located at the entrance of the hotel. It offers a varied gourmet menu in addition to a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet option. There is Happy Hour every day from 5-7pm, where you can enjoy 2 for 1 on a selection of beer and cocktails. Reservations are required!
Price Range:$8 - $26 - gourmet menu / $15 - breakfast buffet / $28 - lunch and dinner buffet
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 6:30am - 10pm *High Season /Monday to Sunday 6:30am - 2pm *Low Season
Laggus (Hotel El Establo)(Tel: 2645-5110)
Laggus is located in the centre of the Hotel El Establo grounds in a modern, two storey building. The restaurant is very spacious with balconies on both floors. It offers a selection of gourmet cuisine, high in both quality and quantity. There is Happy Hour every day from 5-7pm, so you can enjoy 2 for 1 on a selections of drinks before you dine. Relish the spectacular views of the hotel grounds, large lake (home to freshwater fish - Common Carp), the gulf of Nicoya and on a clear evening a breathtaking sunset. On the second floor there is a special lounge-bar area with televisions, where you can sit back and relax, or if you are feeling active, why not try your hand at pool! In the high season there is live music twice a week so make sure you check what is on the agenda. This restaurant really is a hidden gem nestled within a hidden gem; otherwise known as Monteverde. Reservations are required!
Price Range:$8 - $26
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 2pm - 10pm
Hotel Montaña MonteverdeRestaurant(Tel: 2645-5046)
This large spacious restaurant is part of the Hotel Montaña, one of the oldest hotels in Monteverde, which is located in the Cerro Plano area, on the road between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. The restaurant overlooks beautiful landscapes and the Gulf of Nicoya. You can also watch a spectacular sunset. Serves a variety of national and international cuisine. Reservations are required!
Price Range:$5 - $20
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday Breakfast6:30am - 9am / Lunch & Dinner 12pm - 9pm
CaburéArgentine Restaurant/ Coffee & Chocolate Shop (Tel: 2645-5020)
Located just across the way from Tramonti Pizzeria this classy Argentine Café/ Restaurant is perched oup away from the roadside (above the bat jungle.) There is a large patio area with numerous tables and an amazing view out over the forest. You can sit inside or out and the sunsets are pretty spectacular too. The Argentine owner offers a delicious selection of wraps and sandwiches each with their special Argentinean influences. In addition to the Café/ Restaurant there is now a NEW chocolate tour. You will learn about the chocolate making process and get the chance to purchase from the many wonderful handmade chocolates on offer. Yummy!
Price Range:$2 - $15
Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday 9:00am – 8:00pm
Tramonti Pizzeria and Restaurant(Tel: 2645-6120)
This elegant restaurant is located just before CASEM and Stella’s Bakery on the road from Santa Elena up to Monteverde. It is a good option for those staying in hotels close to the Monteverde Reserve. The owners of the restaurant are Italian therefore the menu is full of tasty, genuine Italian dishes. The restaurant offers a range of different foods; pizzas, pastas and salads and is tastefully decorated. The pizzas are highly recommended because they are baked in a traditional wood burning fire oven (the seafood pizza is great!). There is a friendly and relaxing atmosphere and the service is excellent.
Price Range:$10 - $15
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30am - 9:30pm
Stella's Bakery Art Coffee Shop and Restaurant (Tel: 2645-5560)
This stylish bakery/ restaurant offers a relaxed and feel good atmosphere. Located across the way from CASSEM Stella’s Bakery Art Coffee Shop is surrounded by beautiful gardens that attract a lot of wildlife. There are various seating places outside and there is also a stand where fruit is left not only attracting birds but from time to time white-faced monkeys and raccoons too. You can choose from a variety of freshly baked goods; cakes, cookies, fruit pies, lasagna, chicken pot pie, quiches and also fresh soups. The savory goods are served with an organic salad. There are two menus; one is for sandwiches and you get to select each ingredient; the type of homemade bread, each filling and a dressing. The other menu has a few set dishes like the typical gallo pinto, pancakes and omelets.
Price Range: $6- $10
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 6:30am – 5:00pm
Soda La Cuchara de la Abuela – typical authentic Costa Rican food (Tel: 2645-5190)
This small, traditional soda is run by a group of local ladies and is located in the Monteverde area inside CASEM at the back (across the way from Stella's Bakery/ Restaurant.) There is a cozy atmosphere and you can either eat in or take out. When the weather is nice there is a small seating area outside the front of CASEM where you can enjoy a bite to eat while soaking up the sun. The prices are probably one of the best in Monteverde. All the food is made using a wood burning stove and you can order handmade tortillas, gallo pinto or a typical casado. Coffee is served the traditional way using what is known as a “chorreador”. Although the service is a little slow it is definitely worth the wait, especially if you are seeking typical homemade Costa Rican food.
Price Range: $2 - $5
Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday 7:00am – 5:00pm/ Sunday 8:00am - 4:00pm
Monteverde Cheese Factory (Tel: 2645-5150)
The Cheese Factory is situated in Monteverde surrounded by forest. You can eat in or take out. There are about 20 different flavors of ice-cream to choose from. How about a sweet mango sorbet or maybe a creamy coffee ice-cream? There is a small seating area that looks out on to the forest and their menu offers a small selection of salads, hamburgers and drinks. You can buy a selection of cheeses, yoghurt and a type of sweet fudge from the little shop. Inside the shop you’ll find a window that allows you to observe the cheese process. Although the workers are not always in this section of the factory they can often be found there in the mornings Monday to Friday.
Price Range:$2 - $7
Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday 7:30am – 5:00pm/ Sunday 7:30am – 4:00pm
La Chimenea and La Galería (Hotel Fonda Vela) (Tel: 2645-5125)
Hotel Fonda Vela has two restaurants. LaGaleríais elegant and spacious with tropical views. You might even spot some wildlife whilst you dine! La Chimenea is a cozy restaurant with a wood-burning fireplace. There is abalcony which offers spectacular views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the sunsets are truly beautiful. Both restaurants offer a variety a tasty international food.
Price Range:La Galería:$7 - $35 / La Chimenea: $10 - $35
Opening Hours:La Galería:Monday to Sunday 6:15am - 8:30pm / La Chimenea: Monday to Sunday 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Monteverde Reserve Restaurant(Tel: 2645-5402)
Situated at the entrance of the Monteverde Reserve. It is a large restaurant with a balcony that looks out over the forest. Why not enjoy a tipical meal or a tasty snack before or after you hike. You can also make up your own tasty fruit or vegetable juice!
Price Range:$3 - $10
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 7:00am - 4:00pm
Monteverde Reserve CaféColibri (Tel: 2645-5532)
This small cafe is located just before the Monteverde Reserve Restaurant by the hummingbird garden. They offer local coffee, sandwiches and some baked goods. If you want a snack before or after you hike then this is a great place, especially since it's surrounded by the buzz of the beautiful hummingbirds home to Central and South America.
Price Range:$2 - $5
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Restaurants and Hotel-Restaurants Located in Other Areas of Monteverde
Sabor Tico (Tel: 2645-5827)
This typical restaurant is located outside of the center of Santa Elena, in front of the "la plaza" (local football pitch) on the road between the town of Santa Elena and the Santa Elena Reserve. The majority of the food served is typical of Costa Rica but they do have a few fast food options; hamburgers and quesadillas. The servings are extremely generous and the food is tasty! Sometimes you might be lucky enough to watch a local soccer match whilst you eat.
Price Range:$3 - $8
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 9:00am - 9:00pm
El Jardin Restaurant (Selvatura)(Tel: 8520-6185)
This rustic restaurant is located in the Selvatura Park with beautiful views of Selvatura's main gardens and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Offers a variety of national and international cuisine, from hamburgers to tipical rice dishes. There is something for everyone!
Price Range:$7 - $18
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 9:30pm - 4:00pm
This pizzeria with real wood fire ovens is located on the turn off towards Skytrek and Selvatura (the junction just before you turn towards Canitas) when you just leave the plaza of Santa Elena. Offers a large selection of pizzas (small, medium and large), pasta and salads. Eat in or take out.
Price Range: $7 - $19
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday
Glossary of Typical Foods in Costa Rica:
Most restaurants now serve lots of western food- pizzas, pastas and sandwiches. But you can still find in local restaurants and sodas (cafes are often called "Sodas") many of the following dishes:
Arreglados- sandwiches (but not like our typical bread snadwiches) or tiny puff pastries stuffed with beef, cheese, or chicken.
Arroz con pollo(o pescado o carne) - a basic dish of rice and chicken (or fish or meat).
Casado- arroz (rice), frijoles (black beans), carne (beef), repollo (cabbage), and plantano (plantain). Avocado (aguacates) or egg may also be included. Served for lunch and supper. One of the most popular dishes you will find.
Ceviche- marinated seafood, often chilled, made of corvina (sea bass), langostinos (shrimps), or conchas (shellfish). Normally served with lemon, chopped onion, garlic, and sweet red peppers.
Chorreados- corn pancakes, often served with sour cream (natilla).
Elote- corn on the cob, either boiled (elote cocinado) or roasted (elote asado).
Empanadas- turnovers stuffed with beans, cheese, meat, or potatoes.
Enchiladas- pastries stuffed with cheese and potatoes and occasionally meat.
Gallo- tortilla sandwiches stuffed with beans, cheese, or meat.
Gallo pinto- the national dish (literally "spotted rooster"), made of lightly spiced rice and black beans. (often served with eggs and tortillas). Served traditionally at breakfast (desayuno).
Olla de carne- soup made of squash, corn, yuca (a local tuber), chayote (a local pear-shaped vegetable), ayote (a pumpkin-like vegetable), and potatoes.
Palmitos- succulent hearts of palm, common in salads.
Patacones- thin slices of deep-fried plantain. A popular Caribbean dish. Served like French fries.Picadillo- a side dish of fried vegetables often with meat.Sopa negra- a creamy black soup, often with a hard-boiled egg and vegetables soaking in the bean broth.Sopa de mondongo- soup made from tripe (the stomach of a cow).Tamales- boiled cornmeal pastries stuffed with corn, chicken, or pork, and wrapped in a banana or corn leaf. A popular Christmas dish.Tortas- Mexican-style corn pancakes or omelets.