10 Best Restaurants in Playa Negra

Playa Negra, Guanacaste (also known as Los Pargos) is the sleepy little surf village just a few kilometers south of Drift Away Eco-Lodge. It is home to the famous surfing beach with the same name. It has a couple of small grocery stores, a church, and a surf shop. But for such a small place, it boasts a wide variety of restaurants –  from Mexican to French to Peruvian to Costa Rican food – there’s wood-fired pizza, farm-to-table meals and Costa Rica-grown organic coffee. You’ll want to budget enough days at the eco-lodge to try them all! This is a quick list of some of the great restaurants in Playa Negra, Guanacaste (in order of distance – closest to farthest – from Drift Away Eco-Lodge).

10 Best Restaurants in Playa Negra

Kon-Tiki Playa Negra

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.7 km

Kon-Tiki has been famous for its wood-fired pizza since a Peruvian couple opened it in Playa Negra, Guanacaste in 1992. The pizza oven is located right in the middle of the restaurant so you can watch your dinner being made! It has a cozy dining atmosphere where you can dine inside or out. There are vegetarian pizzas, too. Check out the new cocktail bar that now accompanies the restaurant – with creative homemade cocktails and Costa Rican craft beer. There’s live music on some weekends and the restaurant is almost close enough to walk to. 

Kon-Tiki Playa Negra hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Piko Negro

Distance to Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 2.3 km

This is another pizza place that you’ll notice as you enter Playa Negra. It features some fun decor, with hand-made wooden furniture hewn from giant logs. Prices at Piko Negro are bit cheaper than Kon-Tiki, and the restaurant can sometimes deliver right to Drift Away Eco-Lodge and if not, they offer take-away. Like all pizza joints, Piko Negra caters well for vegetarians who can tailor their own pies to suit their diets.

Piko Negro hours: Closed Mondays

Corazón Surf Café

Distance to Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 2.6 km

milk poured into cup of coffee

Photo courtesy of Corazón Surf Café

We love Café Corazon, the house coffee of the Corazón Surf Café. It’s what Drift Away Eco-Lodge serves at our juice bar and provides free of charge in all our guest rooms. It is 100% natural organic coffee sourced directly from its sustainable hillside coffee farms in Zona de Los Santos, Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Packaged in bio-friendly bags the coffee is a tasty souvenir to take home! We sell them in the Drift Away Eco-Lodge shop. 

Corazón Surf Café is a great place to chill with a morning brew. The cafe also serves up smoothies, cold-pressed juices with local fruit as well as  acai and pitaya bowls. 

Corazón Surf Café hours: TBA

La Vida Buena

Distance to Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 2.9 km

La Vida Buena restaurante sign with sunset

Photo courtesy of La Vida Buena

Owner, Willie, will take care of you at this local favorite with a menu that will have something for everyone, from fish to chicken to burgers to pizzas. La Vida Buena is a place to enjoy homemade Costa Rican food. Vegetarians can choose from a couple of pasta dishes, or ask for a meat-free burrito or casado. Diners can beat the heat and dine in indoor, air-conditioned comfort. If they can, they will deliver to Drift Away Eco-Lodge.

La Vida Buena hours: Open every day from 11 a.m. To 10 p.m. 

Café Playa Negra

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3 km

tuna on plate with salad and potatoes

Photo courtesy of Café Playa Negra

Café Playa Negra specializes in Peruvian food, with a menu of more than 30 dishes that combines Peruvian and Costa Rican flavours. It’s famous for its ceviche, but there are also international dishes and a children’s menu. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are always looking for freshly-caught fish so ask about the catch of the day. There are no vegetarian dishes on the dinner menu at Cafe Playa Negra, so you’ll have to ask about meat-free options, or enjoy some tasty patacones or yuca chips. Besides ceviche, Café Playa Negra is also known for its daily fresh-baked desserts.

Café Playa Negra hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Closed Tuesdays

Jalapeño Eatery & Market

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3.1 km

three smoothies, blueberry, strawberry and banana

Photo courtesy of Jalapeño

Jalapeño describes itself as a fun and casual restaurant with organic MSG-free fresh food, and a variety of delicious dishes made-to-order. A tasty breakfast and lunch stop best known for its burritos, with tortillas made by hand accompanied with homemade sauces. They make fresh Pico de Gallo every day, made-to-order guacamole, and serve organic chicken, and fish caught by the chef himself!

Jalapeño Eatery & Market hours: Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Villa Deevena French Restaurant

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3.4 km

waiter pouring red wine for guest sitting at restaurant table with white linen

Photo courtesy of Villa Deevena

Villa Deevena French restaurant is probably the most upscale restaurant in Playa Negra, and is making headlines around the world – most recently in the New York Times! It’s French fine-dining in a beautiful setting, yet informal enough that you can still wear your flip flops. The menu is prepared by Chef de Cuisine Patrick Jamon, who moved to Costa Rica and opened Villa Deevena in 2009 after serving the president and dignitaries at a high-end restaurant in Los Angeles.  As the NYT article states “…the cooking emphasizes local, tropical ingredients grown, caught or gathered near the restaurant.” The menu is mainly meat and seafood. Vegetarians can ask for the gnocchi gorgonzola without ham, or ask the staff for other options – they are happy to make other vegetarian dishes that are not on the menu.

READ NEXT: New York Times profiles Villa Deevena 

Villa Deevena hours: Breakfast 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Lunch 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Dinner 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. (last reservation)

Hotel Playa Negra

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3.4 km

thatched roof palapa Hotel Playa Negra

Hotel Playa Negra boasts the only restaurant in Playa Negra that is on the beach. Dine under a palm-thatched rancho overlooking the Pacific Ocean and watch the surf and the sunset with a cocktail. The menu has many Costa Rican food items to choose from such as casados. It also serves fresh fish, lobster and seafood, and tenderloin steaks, as well as hamburgers, sandwiches and pasta. The restaurant says it has vegetarian and gluten-free dishes and kids’ meals. 

Hotel Playa Negra hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the bar stay open later at night

La Ventana

Distance to Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3.8 km

la ventana natural foods cafe juice bar catering

Photo courtesy of La Ventana

La Ventana specializes in whole, natural foods, fresh juices, gourmet organic coffees & teas. Jen, the owner, serves up breakfast, lunch, and food-to-go. The cafe is air-conditioned and features the work of local artists. There are several vegetarian options on the menu as well as homemade waffles, bagels, and granola. For lunch, there’s the tuna teriyaki bowl, the lemon hummus wrap or the vegetarian chili. Ask about the kimchi! 

La Ventana hours: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. closed Sundays

LaTica Lodge Alternative Resort

Distance to Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 5.6 km

overhead view of people eating meal around a large wooden table

Photo courtesy of LaTica

This is a fantastic, beautiful new dining option in Pargos. The owner is an architect, and it shows in the property’s stunning design and layout. It features Zeidy’s Kitchen, a restaurant that serves the resort’s guests. Non-guests must make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance, as the meals are served up from scratch every evening. Meals are served family-style, with farm-to-table vegetarian and meat dishes with a single, all-inclusive price. You don’t know what you’re going to get until it’s put down on the table! So be sure to mention any specific dietary requirements or requests when you book.

La Tica Kitchen hours: call ahead

The restaurants in Playa Negra, Guanacaste are making this place more than just a surf destination. Culinary and foodie types will enjoy the feast of restaurants in Playa Negra and in neighbouring Playa Avellanas (see our blog on those), and they are all a quick drive from Drift Away Eco-Lodge. Ask our receptionist to book your table today!

Restaurants in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica – More Than Lola’s Beachfront Restaurant

Drift Away Eco-Lodge may seem remote, but we are close to a surprising number of great restaurants in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. Dining is one of the great adventures our guests experience when they visit!

A variety of restaurants all within a few kilometres offer Italian cuisine, Costa Rican traditional food and fusion dishes, home-cooked meals, and great pizzas – and you can enjoy them in lush, tropical, outdoor spaces or at a restaurant on the beach.

All these restaurants accept major credit cards and are all within a 2-kilometre radius of the Drift Away Eco-Lodge.  We recommend you try any one of these Playa Avellanas restaurants, and our friendly and helpful staff will happily book your table!

Best Restaurants in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

Lola’s, Playa Avellanas

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.6 km (1 mile)

Lola's Beachfront Restaurant

Dine with your toes in the sand at Lola’s on the beach at Playa Avellenas

Lola’s restaurant is a famous Costa Rican beachfront restaurant.  It’s located right on the beach in Playa Avellanas and offers a great view of the surfers riding the waves. Dine with the sand in your toes under the shade of the palm trees, with a great lunch menu with organic food – good ceviche, poke and burgers, served with ice-cold beers. This alone makes it a great dining destination, but it may be most famous for its mascot – a giant pig named Lolita! Sadly, Lolita passed died of old age in late 2019. Now, 2 of the cutest little piglets call Lola’s home – Ave and Ana (Avellanas).

pig in ocean with waves

Lola, a late resident pig at Lola’s restaurant

Lola’s restaurant uses organic produce and free-range organic chicken and eggs. We recycle, compost (or feed Lolita!) and convert fryer oil to biodiesel. We support the local communities, police, schools, children’s advocacy groups, lifeguards, beach clean-ups, animal clinics, a variety of local charities and several environmental projects.

Vegetarian mains include a veggie burger and pesto pasta. There are also a variety of salads and some veggie pizza choices.

Lola’s, Playa Avellanas Hours of Operation: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Mondays

Mauna Loa

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 2.1 km (1.6 miles)

Mauna Loa is named after one of the volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian Islands – a tribute to our own “Little Hawaii”, a favorite surfing spot nearby. Mauna Loa has a great outdoor dining atmosphere with quaint tables sprawled over its property with romantic lighting. The menu offers authentic Italian food, homemade pasta and pizza, and Mauna Loa’s famous tiramisu. There is sometimes live music as well which adds to the ambiance of the evening.

Vegetarian options include pizza and pasta dishes.

Mauna Loa Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., & 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Closed for several weeks during Green Season.

Il Rustico

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.6 km (1 mile)

Another Italian food favorite is Il Rustico. The restaurant prides itself on its home-cooked meals, with homemade pasta and pizza served in a cozy rustic cottage in the forest. The young couple who operates the restaurant is from a small city in central Italy and came to Guanacaste with their grandmother’s recipes. The lasagna is fantastic! Some nights there is live music.

Vegetarian options include pizza and pasta dishes.

Il Rustico Hours of Operation: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Closed Thursdays. Closed for several weeks during Green Season. 

Restaurante Blu

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.2 km (0.8 miles)

Blu Restaurant, Playa Avellanas

Blu Restaurant, Playa Avellanas

Restaurante Blu bills itself as “Costa Rica Fusion”, and is a trendy little place that makes great cocktails – and a mean Moscow Mule! Blu is famous for its creativity and photo-worthy presentations, like its signature smoky sirloin tip burger served under a glass dome full of smoke! Its saucy chicken wings are also served smoked in a sealed glass jar that releases the savory aroma when you open it. Our guests rave about it!

Vegetarian mains include pizzas, gnocchi, and a Mediterranean Platter.

Restaurante Blu hours: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Closed Wednesdays.

Gregorio’s

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 0.8 km (0.5 miles)

Gregorio's outdoor open-air restaurant and bar

Gregorio’s outdoor open-air restaurant and bar

Gregorio’s Bar and Restaurant has an authentic, rustic Guanacaste feel – it’s not a restaurant on the beach, but it’s pretty close. It serves typical Costa Rican food like fried chicken and fish, arroz con camarones (rice with shrimp) and cheap Costa Rica beer. Great for budget travelers and those who want an alternative to the touristy, more upscale restaurants. Staff are friendly – even if you don’t speak Spanish – and the ribs appetizer plate is a meal in itself!

Vegetarian choices include veggie casados, or a variety of local veggie options like papas fritas (fries), Gallo Pinto (rice and beans), and grilled vegetables. Or get a veggie burrito or quesadilla.

Gregorio’s hours: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day

Playa Avellanas restaurants cater to all tastes and budgets. A culinary adventure awaits on your next visit to Drift Away Eco-Lodge in Guanacaste, Costa Rica!

Read Next: Best Restaurants in Los Pargos/Playa Negra