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Costa Rican Food isn't very spicy. Instead, it's based on fresh ingredients with rice and beans being the main staple or comfort food. 


​Plenty of great nearby restaurants. Prices are reasonable in most places, but if you want cheap eats, keep a lookout for sodas and smaller restaurants off the beaten path. Here are a few nearby places we've visited. Share your experiences, and we'll update this for other F'inn guests.

  • Father Roosters - Down the hill from Azul Paraiso, take a left to Ocotal Beach. You can't miss it. Great food and drinks. Fantastic view.  Friendly service. A bit Americanized (Jimmy Buffet and Johnny Cash on the airwaves), yet it feels like it belongs. Prices aren't bad for a place right on la playa.  

  • Maracuya - Translation "passion fruit". The food is world-class and so are the drinks & service. You won't be disappointed if you pick a drink from the passion fruit menu. On the higher-end side. The cost for two foo-foo drinks and seafood risotto was $55 for one person. It is a classy place where you may want to wear something nicer than a t-shirt and flip-flops, though some diners were casual. Maracuya is located at the nearest beach, Pez Vela, also known as Azul. When heading down from Azul Paraiso, when you reach the second steep hill (downshift section), turn left at Pez Vela road. A short distance ahead, you'll be stopped at a security gate. Tell him you are going to Maracuya or la playa and he'll let you through.   

  • Zi - In downtown Coco. Driving back to Coco, turn left when you reach the town. Zi is a short distance down on the left. Open-air restaurant. Good selection of familiar (American), fish tacos, and bar food. Fish tacos were sabroso! Live music. Decent prices.

  • Coconutz - in downtown Coco. Same direction as Zi. Coconutz is a brewery with all kinds of bar food. Fun environment, with live music, and swings in place of some bar stools. The food was ok. Prices are decent.

  • Seafood Papagayo - Downtown Coco in the same area as Coconutz.  Disappointing. Would not return. 

  • Pollolandia - On the right side of the road as you turn toward Ocotal from Coco. This is basically the KFC of Costa Rica.  Decent prices and if you like KFC, you'll probably like Pollolandia.

  • La Casita Del Marisco - Located on Playa Hermosa, on the north end of the beach. It looks like a dive from the outside.  Great seafood at average prices.  Open bar/restaurant overlooking the beach. The tuna filet with ginger sauce was fantastic.

  • Aquasport - Also located on Playa Hermosa. Has a more charming atmosphere than La Casita Del Marisco and is on a more beautiful stretch of the beach, but the food wasn't as memorable. The restaurant is known for its Peruvian dishes, but the menu has everything, with good vegetarian options, burgers, seafood, rice dishes, etc.   Reasonable prices.

Further afar....

  • Monkey's Bar - Located at Playa Matapalo, Monkey's Bar is near the center of the beach and reachable by car or walking from other parts of the beach. Unique bar tucked about 100 yards from the beach. Prices were pretty high for most items, but their fish tacos were reasonable, and delicious if you can handle deep-fried.

  • Hemmingway's - Situated right above the beach in Potrero, overlooking the sea and the Flamingo peninsula. Hemmingway's has the best seafood found so far in Costa Rica, and great drinks. Blackened Tuna sliders and Mahi Mahi Burgers are delicious.

  • Coco Loco - Playa Flamingo. Great setting right on the beach. Decent food, and decent prices. Once you reach Playa Flamingo, drive the dirt road down about a half mile. Coco Loco is on the right but also has seating directly on the beach to the right.

  • Lapa Lapa - Way up north on Playa El Jobo, 25 mins West of La Cruz. Good bar food and beer prices. A nice spot under the shade on a beautiful beach.

Shopping/Grocery Stores

Our place has a full kitchen, plus a gas grill out on the deck. Being 12 minutes from Coco, you might want to stock up on groceries for convenient breakfasts, snacks, and drinks, or plan a night of grilling while looking out over the ocean and listening to the howlers. There are 2 grocery stores on your left as you turn from Coco toward Ocotal and the selection is good. American brands will be more expensive. If you eat like the locals and don't mind sampling their chips, dips, fruit, etc., groceries are quite affordable. Here are a few pointers:

  • Beer: Imperial is advertised everywhere and there's nothing wrong with it, but we preferred Pilsen. Try both and see what you think. Neither is a craft beer. More like Tecate or Bud.

  • Water: The water is safe to drink in Costa Rica. The water filter in the condo refrigerator has been replaced and updated. If you still prefer buying bottled water, you can buy big bottles at any grocery store. 

  • Pouches: Don't rush past the pouches on the shelf; all kinds of stuff comes in pouches....refried beans, salsa, ketchup, tomato sauce.

  • Food items you're used to: You won't be able to find many of the things you're used to at home, like heavy cream (Costa Rican cows don't produce the heavy fat content that American cows do that is needed for heavy cream), all of the chip brands you're used to, or boxed mac and cheese. What you will find is another variety of foods that you can try. Try some of the different styles of cookies, or nacho chip bags and see if you discover something new that you like. An easy and favorite dish is 2-3 pouches of black beans, make some rice in the rice cooker, add some of the pouch salsa, a bit of lime, and some of the spices you'll find in the cabinet. Perfecto! You have several meals to enjoy and save in the provided Tupperware. 

More of an American Grocery Store

There are times when you might want some items that cannot be found at the regular grocery stores in town. For example, cream for your coffee, or half and half (crema dulce), or sour cream (crema agria). You can find these items at Auto Mercado. The store is pricier, like going to Whole Foods, but if you're desperate, it is an option. You can find this store as you're heading back out of Coco, towards the airport, on the left-hand side. (2 min past the turn off to the condo)


Super Walmart

If you want to buy in bulk, stop at Walmart near the airport before heading out to Ocotal. It's a good spot to stock up on groceries if you're going to be in Costa Rica for a long period. Also, if you want to travel light, you can stock up on supplies like sunblock rather than packing them for the flight. When leaving the airport, turn left/East on Route 21 toward Liberia (or ask the rental car agency which way to turn if you're not sure). Walmart will be on the left-hand side about 7 miles down the road. 


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