Playa Tamarindo has over 100 food options to grab a bite to eat. Within a twenty-minute stroll downtown, you’ll find everything from Subway – to food trucks – to smoothie bars – to white table-clothe fine dining – to impromptu street vendors grilling their “very good, delicious” mystery meat skewers. You could very well spend your full 90 day-tourist visa in Tamarindo and still not try all the options… But just because Tamarindo has all-you-could-ask-for-and-more when it comes to food, that doesn’t mean you should refrain from exploring other dining options in Guanacaste’s rustic beach towns to the south. Tamarindo has it all, but there are many worthwhile things to do in Playa Avellanas and southwards.
Traveling ten-minutes south from Tamarindo, the coastal beach road turns to dirt and the genuine, rustic feel of Guanacaste becomes prevalent. For many foreigners who now call Guanacaste, “home”, this simple life immersed in the jungle is exactly what they were looking for years ago. Continue south on this well-traveled beach road for about fifteen minutes and you’ll pass through Playa Avellanas which is a stunning white-sand beach with a handful of restaurants and a playful sandy-bottom surf break for all levels. Continue south for ten more minutes and you’ll reach the core surf town of Playa Negra which is another gorgeous beach with a powerful, rocky-bottomed surf break that challenges all wave-riders.
If you’re on this adventure and are seeking things to do in Playa Avellanas while enjoying a wonderful culinary experience, keep handy this list of the top 7 restaurants in Playa Avellanas and Playa Negra. Locations are in order from north to south.
Located along the main road right before Playa Avellanas, SoulShine is a 7-room Mediterranean chic’ hotel that is surrounded with lush green vegetation and perhaps the most delicious brunch in the whole province of Guanacaste. Sweet or salty, everything on offer is delicious. Owners Yael and her husband Roee relocated to Costa Rica from Israel 2 years ago and take pride in their traditional Israeli dishes fused with local ingredients from Costa Rica. Hands down, Soul Shine has the BEST French Toast in the area. The mix of flavors and influences will make you want to taste everything and come back often
Located at the main intersection of Playa Avellanas, il’ Rustico has an authentic Italian taste from a young couple that came to Costa Rica from a little town in central Italy with their grandmother’s recipes. Their menu includes pizzas, pastas, fresh green salads, beers, wines, and classic desserts with a Costa Rican twist. A perfect meal at Il’ Rustico would be the Italian salad with fresh feta and kalamata olives paired with their prosciutto and arugula pizza and topping it off with their signature passion fruit cheesecake.
Gelato Magico by Chef Kamu
The newest addition to Playa Avellanas is La Esquina, a wonderful social and gastronomic experience at the main corner in town. For many, the highlight of La Esquina is the 100% vegan, 100% natural, 100% organic gelato shop owned and operated by world renowned chef Kamu known as Gelato Magico. Each customer is taken on a culinary journey when deciding from the unique variety of flavors from ceremonial cacao, to salted caramel with fried pecans, banana and peanut butter with cacao nibs, Pistachio, Pineapple and Passion fruit explosion, and many more. Waffle cones are made on demand with each order and the owners are truly nice people from the Czech Republic
Lolas Playa Avellanas
Founded in 1998 as a place for friends, family and the few adventurous surfers for lunch and a drink, Lolas Playa Avellanas beachfront restaurant is now on their 24th year of their labor of love. While striving to keep the feel of the local surf hangout, Lola’s has done much to expand to accommodate the thousands of daily guests in the high season and to be caretakers of our beloved Playa Avellana and the surrounding community year round. Aside from being stewards to the local community, Lola’s is perhaps the best place in Guanacaste to enjoy a toes-in-the-sand meal at the beach. There is something on the menu for everyone including fresh fish tacos, pizzas, ceviche, smoothies, salads, and more. The perfect beach day would be an all-day surf day with intermittent breaks for Lola’s ceviche and an ice-cold Imperial domestic brew.
Located along the main road entering Playa Negra, Corazón Cafe is a welcoming public space serving top quality breakfast foods in a rustic surf atmosphere. Corazón Surf Cafe is open from 7am – 12pm and serves cold-pressed juices, fresh fruit smoothies, superfood bowls, delicious avocado toasts, grilled paninis, and more. All food is fresh and locally sourced. Corazon Cafe’s coffee comes directly from their all-natural farm in the famous “Zona de Los Santos” in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. Coffee is fresh-roasted on site, and served in espresso drinks, cold brews, and a variety of hot brew options. Don’t miss their Sunday special which consists of a pig roast and full organic chicken orders with coleslaw and all the fix-ins.
Located along the main beach road in the town of Playa Negra, Jalapeno Eatery & Market is a fun and casual burrito and taco restaurant with organic fresh food, MSG free products, and a variety of delicious dishes made-to-order. The cuisine at Jalapeno has Mexican roots with hand-made corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo made daily, guacamole made fresh to order, catch-of-the-day fish, premium Costa Rican pork, all bathed in their home-made hot sauces which have been made famous for the right combination of spice and savoriness. Signature smoothies, cocktails, and deserts are also available for well-deserving surfers after conquering the heavy waves of Playa Negra.
Located about 100 meters off the main road in Playa Negra, Villa Deevena’s setup is reminiscent of a classic B&B of southern France. Opened in 2009, Villa Deevena Restaurant offers a varied menu of original dishes in a casual setting. The menu can be described as “classic French with flavors from all over Asia — emphasizing local, tropical ingredients which are grown, caught or gathered near the restaurant”. Customers embark on a true gastronomic experience with a menu items like: Sautéed grouper filets bathed in a coconut curry and served with a carrot-ginger mousseline; Chanterelle Mushrooms stuffed into ravioli with sage; Lobster served with Ponzu sauce and a crown of avocado; Orange duck made with mandarins (from a tree outside the restaurant) and a bit of ginger. Get a sitter for the night and enjoy a truly exquisite gastronomic experience at Villa Deveena
This rustic route south of Tamarindo is perhaps the most beautiful stretch of surf and sand along the Nicoya peninsula. We hope that this list proves useful for you when exploring the more regal side of Guanacaste.