Costa Rican Food in Nosara. How to Eat Like a Local
One of the best ways to integrate yourself into the Nosara community, at least on a culinary level, is to approach it like a local. Luckily, Nosara is home to a multitude of talented local chefs and a great range of dining options. For those looking to get a true taste of locally produced Costa Rican food in Nosara, and support Tico-owned establishments, here’s Nosara Mango Realty‘s short and sweet guide to some of the best restaurant choices.
Rancho Tico, one of the oldest and most well-loved restaurants in Nosara, is the go-to spot for local celebrations and delicious, inexpensive local dining. Located on the corner of Nosara town, beyond Rancho Tico’s humble exterior lies a king-sized rancho, complete with a bar, dancefloor, and lots of dining tables. With a range of specialty Asian and Latin American sauces, Rancho Tico transforms standard Costa Rican food into something memorable. The extensive menu and warm, ambient, local atmosphere makes Rancho Tico popular with locals and tourists.
Location: Nosara Town
Call: 2682 0006
Rosi’s Soda Tica
Ask anyone where to find legit, local, authentic Costa Rican food in Nosara, and nine times out of ten, the answer will be Rosi’s. Rosi’s has three locations, two in central and North Guiones, and one in Pelada. The menu is the same selection of tried, tested, tasty local dishes, including casados, the ever-popular “huevos rancheros.” and a wonderful fish soup with veggies. Soulful Costa Rican cuisine, honest prices, in a lively, unpretentious atmosphere.
Locations: Central Guiones, CASH ONLY
North Guiones, all payments accepted
Playa Pelada, all payment accepted
Call: 2682 0728
Pacifico Azul – a fine seafood dining experience that serves the best avocado salsa on the planet. Carlos Sibaja, the proprietor is a much loved long-time local whose hosting skills are matched only by his cooking. Standouts include fresh snapper, lobster, and ceviche. However, Pacific Azul also knows how to cook a steak. The food is insane, and the portions are more than ample. If you fail to leave room for the chocolate brownies and banana tempura, you’re missing out. Locals, tourists, and expats are all return guests at Pacific Azul. To find out why, reserve a table.
Call: 2201 8984
Reservations: 8347 0150
Almendros is a hidden, understated gem on the side of the road in Esperanza.The menu is an eclectic mix of local and foreign, and it features ceviche, fried calamari, chicken parmesan, wings, and nachos served on candlelit tables in a casual, super-friendly environment. On rare occasions, Almendros is known to host some of the best live musicians in the country, so reserve your spot early.
Call: 4700 3937
Located just before the turn-off towards the Nosara airstrip, Lili’s Pizza cranks out some of the tastiest and most well-priced pizzas in the area. They also have a cantina-style food bar serving fried chicken, fresh casados, and lots more. Their delivery service is the busiest in town, and, on any given evening, Lili’s pizza is packed with locals. Cheap, easy, and delicious.
Location: Nosara town
Call: 2682 0571
Sabor de la Montana
There are multiple reasons that Sabor de la Montana (taste of the mountains) is an unforgettable experience. To get there you’ll drive 45 minutes up the sublimely steep and remarkably pretty Zaragoza road. It’s high enough that when the clouds roll in, you might wish you packed a sweater. When you see the views and taste the food, however, you immediately understand why so many people happily make that hike on a regular basis.
Location: Nosara town
Call: 8550 7622
Famed mainly for their large, scrumptious brick oven-fired pizzas, il Pepperoni, close to the beach on the main road to Playa Pelada, also serves fresh casados, tuna burgers, pasta, and much more. The service is fast. The servers are first-rate, and the huge, palapa-style rancho in which they work is a pleasure to relax in. In the daytime, il Pepperoni operates a juice bar, taco bar, and bakery.
Location: Playa Pelada
Call: 8334 9999
Guiones Brew Co (Olivias Pizza)
Located smack bang in the heart of North Guiones “Little Italy,” everything on the GBC menu, from the appetizers to the pizzas and craft ales, is created with a level of love and care that you can taste. The master chef is a pizza dough mixologist, who works his craft in the open kitchen in full view of guests, and the beers include an in-house selection of IPAs. During the high season, it can be hard to get a table at Guiones Brewing Company. But it’s worth the wait.
Location: North Guiones
Call: 8848 0135
Eating at Soda Playa Garza’s restaurant feels like dining on a tropical deserted island, but with cold beers, home cooking, and ingredients that take only hours to get from the ocean to your plate. Casados, lobster, whole snapper, and other great dishes that would cost the earth in any metropolitan city, are locally priced. Soda Garza is all about ridiculously fresh seafood, an incredible beachfront atmosphere, and the warm welcome of the local family that serves it. Hands down some the most delectable Costa Rican food in Nosara.
Location: Playa Garza
Call: 2656 8375
Basilico has been a packed-out pizza joint for over a decade, which tells you all you need to know about the food, consistency, quality, service, and ambiance. The pizzas are big, tasty, and well-priced. The pasta, gnocchi, and salads are equally delicious, and the cocktails are wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing strong. Check out live music Saturdays, when all pizzas are priced at just $10. Or, sit at the bar and take in a futbol match any night of the week.
Call: 2682 1472
The fact that Playa Pelada was incorporated into the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in 1984 means beach bars in the area are essentially banned. Exceptions to this rule are anything built pre-1984. Olga’s is one of those incredibly rare exceptions. If you’re looking for cold beers, good local fare, and a great spot to watch the fishing pangas come and go while mingling with locals, long-time expats and stray dogs, then Olgas is it.
Location: Playa Pelada
Call: 6224 3219
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Pelada, Tonito’s is chill, authentic, and easy to miss. This also means you’ll miss out on healthy, delicious, well-priced dishes served by a sweet, welcoming local family. The atmosphere is open and the tunes are great. Tonito’s serves some of the tastiest Costa Rican food in Nosara. It also stays open late, which makes it one of the only places to get an after-hours drink or bite to eat. If you’re stuck on what to choose, the casados come highly recommended.
Call: 8572 2669
Located in a large, plaza-style rancho in North Guiones, Gabi’s Play is home to a bunch of different restaurants that cater to all tastes. The location, huge range of dining options, and kid’s park make these small, independently owned businesses super popular with big groups, families, tourists, and locals. Tico owned eateries include Sushi Mar, and Soda la Barra.
Location: North Guiones
A set lunch buffet that varies daily, and includes the usual staples of rice, beans, and salad make Terraza, located within the Bomba Plaza, Nosara’s quickest and most popular fast food joint. Great local food, friendly staff, good prices, lots of seating, and a mini playground for the kids. Highly recommended.
Location: La Bomba
Call: 8601 2000
Located on the road running along the east side of Nosara airstrip, Celajes is all about high quality authentic Latin cuisine. Favorites include pasta shrimp curry, whole snapper, breakfast burritos, mushroom chicken, and home made orange juice. Cool, creative cuisine, served in a clean, casual, open environment. A true taste of high-end, Costa Rican food in Nosara. It’s also a fun place to watch the air traffic land and take off.
Location: Adjacent to the North side of Nosara airstrip
CALL: 4431 0431
If you have ever been to the bank, gas station, or hardware store, you’ve probably encountered Jose Lopez, better known as “Arepa.” Arepa has lived in Nosara most of his life. As well known as for his personality as for his food, his many talents include singing, jokes, story telling, and making ceviche. His eatery, which sits a moments walk from the bank, sells ceviche by the cup. To find out why both the ceviche and the guy who creates it are considered local treasures, simply walk in, say hello, and sit down and enjoy.
Location: La Bomba opposite Banco BCR
Call: 8734 7704
Chicharronera La Nosareña
Chicharrones: a Costa Rican culinary marvel considered a national staple throughout the country. Although other meats are sometimes used, Costa Rican chicharrones generally consist of deep fried pork, often served burrito-style on a soft corn taco shell. Although it was easy enough to find a decent chicharrone in the Nosara area, it wasn’t until last year, when the Chicharronera La Nosareña food truck opened, that the chicharrone game changed forever. At 1000 colones a piece, the chicharrones my rank as the best, most delicious bang for your buck in Nosara.
Location: Directly after Rinde Mas on the road to Nosarar Town
Call: 8332 2728