Costa Rica

Going for a bite …

A sophisticated dinner will cost you at least $40, a decent dinner still $20, a pizza or lunch $10, in almost all cases (even the most sophisticated one) the waiters don’t know what they’re doing or what they’re supposed to do. Some places I went for dinner:

  • Tin Jo, in downtown San Jose: An extremely varied menu with dishes from all over Asia, and almost all of excellent quality. Some pretty nice live decor is the result of a clientele that seems quite affluent.
  • La Esquina de Buenos Aires, next to Tin Jo in downtown San Jose: At least here, for a moment, you can return to Argentina. The meats are insanely excellent and the deserts are beyond words. The service is good too, by the way. Go there with a good appetite because it’d be a waste any other way.
  • Cafe Mundo, in the colonial district in San Jose: I went there twice. The first time I experienced very good food, the second time it sucked. Weird ! Anyways you will enjoy the place for its somewhat funky but relaxed atmospere.
  • Bakea, in the colonial district in San Jose: very sophisticated displays of culinary prowess, and it tastes awesome too, in a carefully restaurated old building. Just remember this will cost you.
  • Paraka pizza, in Sabana Norte: sometimes pizza can be soooo good
  • San Telmo, in Paco Mall in Escazu: I really don’t understand how they managed to fuck up the meat so badly, but I guess you could go there to enjoy the “pan de campo” because it is pretty good
  • Bacchus, in Santa Ana: decent Italian food, with some chique clientele
  • Pane e Vino, in Escazu and Santa Ana: great pizzas and an all-out dedication to Italian cuisine.
  • Samurai, in Escazu: My first check in a Japanese restaurant is whether the chef is Japanese. Sorry that this restaurant didn’t pass. So of course they didn’t have one of the most common Japanese dishes (Ten Don) on the menu. But they did know what it was and didn’t do such a bad job.
  • La Cocina a Lena, in el Pueblo in Guadeloupe, San Jose: touristic place with average food and very little garnishings, although the lomito was pretty good.


  • Giacomin, in Escazu (a little difficult to find but ask around because it’s worth it) and Santa Ana, and I believe also in San Pedro: high end at a reasonable cost ! The also have really good Italian gelato (the only place that I found in the whole of Costa Rica) and free WiFi (but I had serious problems connecting with an Acer laptop - I’m rather suspicious of their Apple Airport setup, although I had no problems connecting with my iBook) ! The service is not always up to par I think, and if you want to meet people it’s better to drop by after around 3-4pm, when it starts getting busy.
  • Plaza Colonial, not far from the Scotiabank building in Escazu: a plaza with a number of small cafe’s, with a number of free WiFi spots (note that I could browse but I couldn’t send email - never found out why)
  • Il Panino, in Paco Mall in Escazu: nice food, good atmosphere, has HotSpot WiFi (at a cost)
  • Vivaldi: only go to the one in the Scotiabank building in San Jose. They have great sandwiches. The one in the MultiPlaza shopping mall has a smaller selection without the great sandwiches.
  • Bagelmen’s (various locations): some sort of “McBagel”, since it’s a bit of a McDonalds business formula, but they do have free WiFi in the Escazu franchise
  • Mundo Gelato, in Paco Mall in Escazu: this is not a franchise of the Mundo Gelato in Vancouver and Rome that has world class gelato - you’d be better advised to ignore this place in Escazu since it’s gelato is some experiment in battering frozen water
  • News Cafe, In Hotel Presidente in San Jose: full of gringos (or other foreigners) hooking up with (local) girls. The food is not bad but I did feel a little awkward, having the same kinda company an’ all.

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