Food and drink are one of the greatest joys of travel: New flavors, new ingredients, and new takes on the flavors and ingredients you already know and love. And yet, it can be challenging to narrow down your options to the select few you’ll have time to sample while visiting. With that in mind, these Tamarindo restaurants and happy hours represent some of our favorites in and around town.
Tamarindo is a veritable smorgasbord of world cuisines making your personal choice from among the best restaurants in Tamarindo all the more challenging. To get you started on your way to guaranteed deliciousness, here are a few of our favorites.
Phone: +506-2438 9569
When you want to chase the sunset, El Chiringuito promises to be one of your favorite stops! Located on a quiet stretch of coastline, this beachfront gem promises incredible food and delicious flavors – everything from octopus kebabs and whole grilled snapper to meat carpaccio and kid-friendly chicken fingers. Been out fishing? They’ll even cook up your catch of the day!
In answer to anyone who has ever said that you can’t enjoy the best of two worlds, we present El Sapo, both a creative pizzeria and an imaginative cocktail bar! Because here, one of our favorite Tamarindo restaurants earns its cred with its familiar pies and the chef’s special fried pizza (you read that right! FYI, it’s similar to a calzone), or the option take your palate into fine dining territory with the Master Chef pizza, (mozzarella cheese, fresh mushrooms, and white truffle oil), peppered mussels, and a host of other dishes. Don’t forget to pair it with a cocktail!
You had us at fish and cheese! And while that’s true, Fish and Cheeses truly aims to please, with a full menu of fresh fish and Italian cheeses that pair beautifully with fresh, homemade pasta, authentic Italian sandwiches, hand-tossed pizzas, bistro fair, and some of the best lasagna in Costa Rica. In town for the weekend? Fish and Cheeses also serves up live music, every Friday!
Gracing a gorgeous slice of Tamarindo beachfront, Nogui’s is one of those jack-of-all-trades places that somehow seems to master it all, too. For here, in addition to offering one of the choicest locations for Tamarindo restaurants, you’ll also discover some of the most delicious (and yet, decidedly un-fussy) seafood in town: shrimp & pineapple kebabs, lobster tacos, and fried or grilled fish to pair with steak, chicken, and a variety of vegan options.
Disguised as an unassuming bistro, NOI is a dining superhero that can take you from breakfast to sunset – and then, straight into cocktails! Home to the kind of relaxed atmosphere you crave while on vacation, here you’ll find everything from stacks of breakfast pancakes and lunch sandwiches to ultra-fresh Costa Rican ceviche, tacos, tuna tartare, and vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, to boot. Don’t miss out on their now-famous chocolate volcano dessert!
We’ve said it many times before and we’ll likely say it many times again: Pangas is, hands down, one of our favorite Tamarindo restaurants! There’s a lot to love here, from its mouthwatering seafood and beachfront location to its brilliant sunsets and evenings beneath the twinkling lights. Because Pangas is all about great food in the perfect ambiance: at the foot of the Pacific, beside the estuary, and with your choice of sandy outdoor or refined indoor seating.
Happy Hours in Tamarindo
If you’re looking for the best places to crack open a cold one or try out a Costa Rican cocktail, then these happy hour spots (many, also our current favorite Tamarindo restaurants) offer beach views and a wonderful ambiance matched only by their creative drink menus.
Phone: +506-2438 9569
In addition to some of Tamarindo’s best seafood, El Chiringuito has built itself some serious happy hour buzz. And for good reason! Located directly on the beach, this is one of our favorite local sunset spots – the perfect location to dig your toes into the sand and watch the sun go down, a $2 beer or $5 drink in hand. Plus, you can stay for dinner (see above) and enjoy some of the best seafood you’ll find at Tamarindo restaurants!
If you crave the sand between your toes and the Pacific at your feet, then you owe yourself a visit to Nogui’s at sunset. For here, where sun meets sea, Nogui’s offers not just incredible seafood (including a smattering of happy hour-appropriate finger foods!) but also great drinks, including 2×1 specials and $5 wine every night, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. That said, we firmly believe that almost any Nogui’s drink special pairs perfectly with grilled shrimp kebabs. Just saying…
When you’re seeking an elevated happy hour experience, Pangas is the place to be: The breeze in your hair, the surf at your feet, and the outdoor lights to create that perfect evening ambiance. Even better, their already excellent drinks menu is even better during happy hour (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.), when you can find 2×1 deals. If you can, definitely stay long after sunset and order a special meal. If you’re short on time, plan on just apps!
While Patagonia doesn’t strictly offer a regular happy hour, they do run regular 2×1 margarita specials – and they’re not stingy with the hours, either, as they typically run all afternoon, when available. Beyond that, we love Patagonia for its cozy ambiance, authentic Argentinean cuisine, and great drinks menu, which offers local beer, clerico and sangria by the pitcher, and a full menu of tried-and-true cocktails, including mojitos, caipirinhas, daiquiris, and more.
A bar and grill with just the right amount of sass, Wild Panda goes long (verrry long) on its beer and hand-crafted cocktails. And we love it! From its local and craft beer options to house wines and tropical cocktails – think pineapple & passion fruit mojitos and a sunset sangria with seasonal fruits – this is a place that aims to please. And please you, it will, thanks to all-day 2×1 specials that include their Panda signature cocktails: frozen mojitos, frozen watermelon & vodka, and frozen pineapple & rum. They also offer $2 beer and $3 wine for daily happy hour, 3 to 5 p.m.
Stay Here: Ibis Condo #9
Tamarindo | 3 Beds | 3 Baths | Sleeps 6
Wondering if you can be both surrounded by nature and within walking distance to lively, wonderful Tamarindo? Welcome to Ibis #9, just 100 meters (about a block) to the Pacific Ocean, overlooking a 650-acre nature conservancy, and across the way from the Langosta Beach Club (to which you’ll have access).
You’ll love this home’s spacious interiors, tropical woods, and oversized deck with a plunge pool and loungers. And you’ll love that you have access to the community’s nature preserve and Langosta Beach Club, featuring a full fitness center, Pilates and yoga studio, a French restaurant, a great bar with a spectacular ocean view, and a large infinity-edge pool looking out at the warm Pacific.
Best of all, one of the howler monkeys’ favorite trees is just outside your window! Welcome to paradise.
Stay Here: Puesta del Sol
Tamarindo | 6 Beds | 6 Baths | Sleeps 16
Where sky and sea come together, Puesta del Sol is truly a special place. Because here’s a question: Have you ever dreamed of flying? Of spreading your arms, your hair blowing in the breeze, and allowing your heart and soul to soar?
Puesta del Sol is a little like that.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking Tamarindo, this is a spectacular home of 300-degree panoramic views and architecture designed to amaze. Named for the sunset – or, more precisely, for the “setting of the sun” – Puesta del Sol is upscale yet warm, both remarkable and welcoming. Oversized windows both frame the view and an expansive infinity pool bids you to spend your mornings, your afternoons, your every moment on the terrace.
And then, there’s Puesta del Sol’s namesake: the blazing tropical sunset that sets the sky on fire, a riot of jewel tones, bright fluorescents, and muted pastels. Because, while this is a home built on details and rooted in refinement, it always remembers and honors the very reasons you’re here…
Need a Recommendation for Tamarindo Restaurants?
That just happens to be our concierge, Cris’s specialty!
She’s an expert in Tamarindo travel: Digging beneath the surface and reaching beyond the norm, Cris not only makes it her job to know Tamarindo (and its restaurants), but to get to know you, too! She’s like a real-life guidebook who expertly overlays Tamarindo’s most iconic experiences and must-do adventures with your needs, preferences, and plans. What’s more, she’ll work with your budget. Any budget – really.
It begins with our welcome packet, which you’ll receive after you make a booking. It’ll introduce you to many of our favorite things, so have a look. Start building your wish list. And then, talk to Cris and let the fun begin. It’s part magic, part expertise. And, as we said, completely free. So go ahead, pick Cris’s brain! She can’t wait to hear from you!