- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Quepos is blessed with excellent options for dining.
The place to start your day is El Patio Café (tel. 506/2777-4982, 6 A.M.–6 P.M. daily), serving gallo pinto, granola with fruit and yogurt ($4), ice cream sundaes, homemade baked goods, sandwiches, raspberry iced mochas, lattes, and espresso to be enjoyed in a delightful airy space. Next door, the same owners have Café Milagro (tel. 506/2777-1707, www.cafemilagro.com, 9 A.M.–5 P.M. Mon.–Sat. low season, 6 A.M.–10 P.M. high season), which roasts its coffee fresh and sells iced coffee, espresso, and cappuccino.
Head to La Dolce Vita (tel. 506/2777-1843, 10 A.M.–10 P.M. Mon.–Sat., 4–10 P.M. Sun.), a lovely Italian-run deli-café with glazed concrete floors and rough-hewn wooden furniture. The menu ranges from spinach ravioli ($9) and lasagna to delicious gnocchis ($10), sandwiches, and homemade desserts. It can get hot, despite ceiling fans. The mercado central, by the bus station, has budget sodas serving local dishes.
My favorite restaurant is El Gran Escape Restaurante (tel. 506/2777-0395, www.elgranescape.com, 6 A.M.–11 P.M. Wed.–Mon., $5–20), serving salads, seafood, surf and turf, tuna melts, enchiladas, killer burgers, and coconut curry chicken, with large portions at bargain prices.
Adjoining El Gran Escape, tiny Tropical Sushi (tel. 506/2777-1710, 4:30–11 P.M. daily) serves quality sashimi and sushi. All-you-can-eat sushi is served 5–7 P.M.
For Mexican fare, head to Dos Locos (tel. 506/2777-1526, 7 A.M.–11 P.M. Mon.–Sat., 11 A.M.–8 P.M. Sun., $3–15), offering breakfast omelettes, plus chimichangas and chili con carne; my burrito gigante was superb. It has live music on Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon. Mexican-themed Monchado’s (tel. 506/2777-1972), one block north and east, competes and has an excellent tongue in salsa ($5.50), plus live music in high season.
Hugely popular, Escalofrio (tel. 506/2777-0833, 2:30–10 P.M. Tues.–Sun.) is an atmospheric Italian spot open to the street and serving spaghetti and pizza. You can also gorge on banana splits and shakes at this “Italian ice cream factory.” There’s free WiFi.
You’ll think you’re in New York when you pop into Gastronomía L’Angolo (tel. 506/2777-4129, 8 A.M.–9 P.M. Mon.–Sat.), a real Italian deli with hams and cheeses, plus paninis and pastas. For baked goods, head to Musmanni, one block north of the bus station.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition