For breakfast, head to the Bakery Café (tel. 506/2642-0458, 6 A.M.–6 P.M. Mon.–Sat.) for gallo pinto, banana bread, soy burgers, and tuna sandwiches served on a pleasant raised patio; or to
El Sano Banano (tel. 506/2642-0638, 7 A.M.–10 P.M. Sun.–Wed., 7 A.M.–midnight Thurs.–Sat.), where I recommend the scrambled tofu breakfast. This popular natural-food restaurant serves garlic bread, pasta, yogurt, veggie curry, and nightly dinner specials. It also has fresh-fruit thirst quenchers and ice cream, and prepares lunches to go.
I also like Puggo’s Chef (tel. 506/2642-0325, noon–11 P.M. low season, 8 A.M.–11 P.M. daily high season) for its colorful deck with Caribbean-style furnishings. It’s a great venue for enjoying Greek or tuna salad ($6.50), Asian noodles, spiced kebabs, or toasted eggplant on lentils ($6.50). Fresh-baked focaccia comes with your meal. Its delicious lemon-and-mint smoothies are just the thing for hot days. Israeli owner Maya is a great host.
Tiny Café Las Delicias (tel. 506/2642-1132, 7 A.M.–midnight daily) is a great place to watch the street action. It serves crepes, sandwiches, tortillas, ceviches, and scrumptious lemon pie with coconut water from the husk.
Vegans will thrill to Orgánico (tel. 506/2642-1322, 10 A.M.–6 P.M. Mon.–Sat. low season, 10 A.M.–8 P.M. Mon.–Sat. high season), a bakery serving all-organic dishes. Choose from an Aztec bowl with quinoa and beans with green and pineapple salsa ($9) or lemongrass ginger curry with brown rice ($8). It also serves smoothies and ice cream, and has a pleasant, airy patio.
For ocean views, head to Restaurante Moctezuma (tel. 506/2642-0058, 7:30 A.M.–11 P.M. daily, $3–10), at Hotel Moctezuma; this atmospheric open-air eatery serves local fare and seafood.
The best dining around is at Ylang Ylang (tel. 506/2642-0068, 7 A.M.–9:30 P.M. daily, $5–15), serving delicious fusion fare in romantic surrounds by the beach. The menu includes chilled gazpacho, fresh sushi, and Asian-inspired jumbo shrimp in pineapple and coconut sauce.
You can buy fresh produce at the organic fruit and vegetable market, held in the park every Saturday at 10 A.M.