A vacation in Tamarindo. A getaway to the Pacific. A trip with your feet buried in the sand.We’ve set the stage and now, you know what’s coming – an epic, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, you deserve an epic, unforgettable, and once-in-a-lifetime meal. Several of them, hopefully. You deserve the most delicious, the most memorable, and the best dinners in Tamarindo.
We are here to serve. We live here. We dine out often. And so, we have our favorites. We know. Because we’ve done the legwork (and the fork-work); we’ve ordered a few duds and had many more meals we’ll never, ever forget. Because we live here, on the Pacific. We live here, in Costa Rica. Here, where the freshest seafood, meets the freshest fruits and vegetables, meets some of the freshest takes on upscale beach cuisine.
And so, we bring you our choices for the best dinners in Tamarindo: seven incredible opportunities to make memories while you satiate your cravings for fresh-caught seafood and seared veggies, cold soups and rack of lamb, Argentinian barbecue and shrimp cocktail. We encourage you to try them all – especially anything that involves the Catch of the Day and/or signature tropical cocktails.
But, the real litmus test is, does it make your mouth water? Because that’s the common denominator here: We want your most memorable, most innovative, and all around best dinners in Tamarindo to be the meals that most excite you. The food that tempts you. Because, Tamarindo has it, whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or a gluten-free celiac, a meat-loving barbecue fiend or a sea-faring foodie.
We hope the memory of these meals and these experiences are a kind of souvenir you’ll cherish forever. And so, without further ado, seven of the best dinners in Tamarindo:
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Bamboo Sushi Club is one of those places that seems so wonderfully out of place: Located smack in the middle of town, you’d think this would be a wild-and-wacky part spot. But, it’s not. Walk into the zen-like garden setting and you enter this sweet, sometimes romantic, and decidedly tranquil spot: a sushi bar that welcomes you home, every time you drop by.
The menu is as inviting as the atmosphere: From rice bowls to fresh-sliced sashimi, salads to Asian dumplings, sizzling woks to bamboo soup, noodle bowls to specialty rolls, everything there is fresh from the Costa Rican sea, with the exception of the salmon. (Sorry, no cold water rivers here!) It’s fresh, it’s fabulous, and we promise all you seafood-aficionados will love it!
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If you’re after a here-but-not-here kind of vibe – a tropical oasis that feels far removed from the hustle and bustle – then we wholeheartedly recommend Barefoot Restaurant Lounge. The vibe here is true to its name: barefoot, beachy-casual, but with an upscale twist. The result is a restaurant that emphasizeshealthy dining, with a variety of vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, and fish and seafood dishes – a blend of local ingredients and international flavors, with a mouth-watering culinary nod to Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
We love almost everything on the menu, but we have a special place in our palates for the marinated seaweed salad, grilled fresh-caught mahi mahi, and the Pico Poke, which is a mango-fied Costa Rican version of Hawaiian tuna poke. The signature Barefoot mojito, which is 100% natural, is also one of our favorites.
Dragonfly Bar & Grill
Phone: 2653-1506 or 8554-2723 | Website
Vacationing in the tropics, you might think it would be pineapple season, or tuna season, or anyseason year-round. After all, it’s almost always warm and sunny in Costa Rica, so why wouldn’t we almost always have the same produce? It’s logical thinking but it’s not true: We have very distinct seasons – and our best food follows the seasons.
Enter Dragonfly Bar & Grill, which offers some of the most innovative and delicious seasonal menus. Everything on offer is fresh: Fresh from the sea, fresh from the earth, fresh from the oven. The result is ever-changing but always promising, offering Tamarindo delicacies that range from grilled red snapper and vegetarian Buddha bowls, to red-hot Thai beef and sesame-seared yellowfin tuna. We absolutely recommend scouring the daily specials! Oh, and did we mention? Dragonfly’s cocktail menu is nearly unbeatable – including almost every iteration of martini. Bottoms up!
Langosta Beach Club
Phone: 2653-1127 | Website
When you think “beach club,” you probably envision sunny pools and your feet in the sand. And Langosta Beach Club offers that, but it also ranks as one of our favorite dinner spots in Tamarindo (okay – technically, Langosta!).
Since a meal is more than food alone, we’ll start with the atmosphere: Langosta Beach Club is upscale but not fussy – set apart from the crowds, surrounded by tropical gardens, and home to a uniquely tranquil atmosphere, we promise you won’t regret arriving early. (Be there in the 5-5:30 range, if you want to catch a front-row seat to sunset!)
Beyond a very special setting and ambiance, Langosta Beach Club serves up excellent food. Think: crispy scallops, goat cheese Caprese salad, grilled lobster, seabass truffles, beef tenderloin, and all the sushi you can dream. Add to that, a list of tropical cocktails, fine wines, artisan beers, and even fresh fruit drinks to quench your thirst and fulfil all your cravings.
Phone: 2653-0024 | Website
It’s no secret that Pangas is one of our favorite spots in town: it’s a favorite meeting space, a spectacular bar-restaurant, a special occasion spot, and one of our top choices for seafood in Tamarindo. So, yes – here we are again and again, Pangas deserves a spot on our list.
Located at the northern tip of Tamarindo, both beachfront and estuary-front, Pangas is named for the traditional panga “ferry” boats that ford the estuary that separates Tamarindo from Playa Grande. This is a spot of shady trees and sandy floors,brilliant sunsets and candlelit evenings, crashing surf and live music. It’s picture-perfect and a wonderful choice for beach-elegant meals: succulent lobster and fresh-caught snapper, rack of lamb and grilled octopus, shrimp skewers and chilled avocado-cucumber soup. We also love the full bar, offering bold reds and whites, local beers, and tropical cocktails.
Patagonia Argentinian Grill & Restaurant
Phone: | Website
There’s a lot of seafood on our list. So, what do you do when you’re in the mood for a great steak? You head to Patagonia, an authentic Argentinian Grill that serves up everything you’ve ever missed about Argentinian fare.
We’re talking stuffed empanadas and smoky barbecue, stuffed eggplant and savory milanesa, homemade raviolis and braised lamb. But, best of all, that famous Argentinian meats: skirt steak, pork ribs, beef tenderloin, boneless chicken, New York strips, ribeyes, and everything else your barbecue-loving taste buds could dream up. Bonus: It’s all served on Patagonia’s lovely outdoor patio. Be sure to order a drink to accompany the sunset!
Bonus: Picnic on the Beach
What’s a beach vacation without a picnic on the beach? A missed opportunity, that’s what.
We live in Tamarindo and we’re here to tell you – you need to pack a picnic and enjoy it on the beach, at least one evening while you’re here. It can be as simple as cold roasted chicken from the grocery store or simple sandwiches you slap together, or fancy-pants takeout and sushi to go. Whatever sets your taste buds ablaze, whatever floats your beachy boat – that’s the perfect picnic.
Choose your favorite spot. Time it for sunset. Bring a blanket or beach towel. And then, settle in. Crack open a cold lemonade, fresh-cracked coconut water, or fresh-juice mangoes. And then, settle in for the best evening ever. Because a picnic, on the beach, in Tamarindo, at sunset is as vacation-perfect as it gets.
Palate awakened? There’s more than one reservation to make!
Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s foodie capitals. We don’t just say this because we live here – it’s true, Tamarindo’s international restaurants and food culture offer an eclectic, incredible meal scene that will never, ever get boring. Not even if you vacationed here for several weeks, every year for the next several decades.
So, if you love your beach vacations with a side of amazing, you’ll-never-forget-it food, Tamarindo is definitely your place. First stop: Identify the Tamarindo vacation rental perfect for you and your vacation style. Then, start planning your adventure. And finally, be sure to ask us for updates on favorite restaurants, secret picnic spots, and where you do and don’t need a reservation.
We’ll hook you up. Because we foodies stick together.
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