Sunset at Samara beach
Sunset at Samara beach

The pristine white sands and calm waters of Playa Samara may be among the top reasons why it is a travelers' hub (I know I love hanging out here), but the eclectic and local cuisine offered in this region is just as attractive. There are plenty of Costa Rican all-inclusive resorts in the region where you can just walk to and from your hotel room. From fresh exotic fruits and organic farms to carefully crafted dishes served beach side, Playa Samara is just as much a foodie's paradise as it is a beach dweller's dream. I may only be a tree frog, but I've hoped my way through Playa Samara quite a few times and noticed the sights and smells of a few popular restaurants. Although I couldn't indulge myself, that doesn't mean you shouldn't!

Olla de Carne a delicious Costa Rican stew
Olla de Carne a delicious Costa Rican stew

Ahora Si Veggie

Ahora Si Veggie Restaurant opened its doors in October 2010 as the first vegetarian restaurant in Samara. Serving up innovative dishes, fresh fruit cocktails and specialty wines, this locale has been rated as one of the best. There is a rotating list of daily specials, and there is always at least one raw meal offered. Owner Sabina Salvatore creates homemade coconut milk for cooking, as well as various vegetarian, vegan and raw dishes like soy hamburgers, white lasagna with plantains and gnocchi.

Casa Esmeralda

Serving up traditional Central American dishes for reasonable prices, this locale is a favorite for both travelers and locals. This spot may not be overlooking the splashing waves of the Pacific, but the large, open dining room still boasts a breezy, tropical vibe. Casa Esmeralda specializes in seafood, which is caught daily, as well as meat, pasta and other delectable plates.

Kung Pao Shrimp
Kung Pao Shrimp

El Ancla

There's no better way to spend your evening than sitting beach side with a cocktail in hand and a scrumptious meal on your plate! El Ancla specializes in fresh seafood, local and imported liquors and a welcoming atmosphere where locals and travelers can mingle.

Al Manglar

Just because you're in Costa Rica doesn't mean you can't indulge in exquisite international cuisine, and Al Manglar is one of those exceptions. Surrounded by a typical Costa Rican “Rancho,” this restaurant and pizzeria serves up authentic Italian cuisine complemented with a glass of wine. The menu features homemade bread, gnocchi and real Italian pizza. Ask the locals and they will likely tell you this is the spot to find legendary lasagna!


Spring Rolls
Spring Rolls