Here are some of our family’s favorite, must-visit, best restaurants in Nosara. Whether you are putting together a family surf trip to Costa Rica, planning a solo surf mission, staying in Nosara for a week or a month, here are some of the best restaurants in Nosara that are sure to scratch every itch.
Update 2022. Here again for a month. Great to see some new places among the old favorites. Here’s the latest.
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Best Restaurants in Nosara (Playa Guiones)
La Brassa Argentinian Grill
My most recent surf trip to Nosara was getting late in the off-season and deeper into the rain. While most Nosara restaurants were empty or closing up, La Brassa was packed.
La Brassa Argentinean Grill is clearly the newest hot spot in Nosara and may be the best restaurant in town right now.
The Guilded Iguana Restaurant
With the remake of The Guilded Iguana Hotel comes a new restaurant right in the center of this part of Nosara.
Even in the rainy season while much of Nosara was empty, the restaurant at The Guilded Iguana was packing them in. Of course, most of the people here are guests of the hotel. Like everything else they did here, it is nice.
Pacifico Azul in North Guiones has great food, really amazing seafood, and one of the best outdoor dining areas in town. It is a bit on the higher end of the price range, but not at the very top (like say, La Luna in Playa Pelada, see below).
We generally tend to stay on this side of Nosara and Pacifico Azul is often our go-to spot for that first, we just got into town, meal.
And it is a regular for that once-a-week meal when I get tired of cooking or want to drag the kids away from their favorite, 10 Pies.
Pacifico Azul definitely has a quieter, family vibe compared to some of the other Nosara restaurants, plus its location is a bit off by itself compared to the cluster of restaurants that has developed on this side of town.
That being said, if you are looking for quiet and mellow, are staying at a place like The Nomadic or somewhere up on Calle Mango (my favorite street in town), Pacifico Azul is a go-to spot for you without having to walk or drive into the busier part of Nosara.
I mentioned it above, so I might as well just get right to it. 10 Pies is my kid’s favorite restaurant to eat at in Nosara.
It is generally pretty crowded but has a great space to eat and a more diverse menu than the name lets on.
We cook in on our long stays, so the break of getting a good pizza and a beer is welcome by everyone. But you can also get a solid casado plate if you are like me and like to eat that pretty much every meal.
On my most recent solo surf trip to Nosara, it was clear that plenty of other people are jumping on the pizza bandwagon. Just in this north side of town there are now three or four other pizza places.
10 Pies remains the favorite, however, for now.
Beach Dog Cafe
Beach Dog Cafe has become a classic Nosara restaurant and would definitely rank as the best restaurant in Nosara for many people. Beach dog really has great food and is especially fun on open mic nights.
Unlike many other restaurants in Nosara, Beach Dog Cafe is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner option, so you may even find yourself there a couple of times in the same day, especially if you are staying on the south side of Nosara.
The pickle guacamole is excellent as are the cocktails. Beach Dog Cafe always has a fun vibe and, of course, a hard-to-beat location right on the main intersection in town.
If you are staying on the south side of Playa Guiones, Beach Dog Cafe will be a regular spot for you.
Beach Dog Cafe has also taken over a couple of spots at Gaby’s food court on the north side of Guiones. Keep this in mind if you are over on this side of town (or, like me, find that being down in the front row during the rainy season can just feel overwhelmingly wet and buggy).
Rosi’s Soda (and Rosi’s Soda #2) satisfy that need for a classic local Costa Rican food – whether it is gallo pinto in the morning or a casado plate for lunch.
When I’m roaming around Costa Rica, this is pretty much all I eat and I like comparing them from one place to the next. Rosi’s is up there with the best, and if you are looking for that solid meal after a few hours of surfing in the morning, Rosi’s can’t be beat.
Depending on which type of place I am staying at, I can either eat at Rosi’s every day, or actually not that often. This is due to the fact that they aren’t open for dinner! If I am eating breakfast at my house, AirBnB, or if where I am staying offers a breakfast, then I tend to miss out on Rosi’s.
However, like on my most recent surf trip to Nosara, in a room with no kitchen, I at the classic gallo pinto with some eggs a couple of cups of coffee at Rosi’s pretty much every day after a few hours of early-morning surfing.
If you are on this program and are dragging your starving bones to breakfast each morning, Rosi’s Soda is your spot.
Al Chile has a fantastic location right on the main drag in Guiones.
We tend to use it as an afternoon cocktail spot to get out of the heat in the middle of the day, but the food is great too. For some reason, Al Chile tends to be a good spot for howler monkey sightings as well.
So adult cocktails and monkeys for the kids – win!
If you have a sweet-tooth among you, then Le Bistrot is your spot. While I tend to keep my food pretty simple, I’ve got one kid who needs that chocolate crepe every once in a while.
It’s a great treat, especially since they are living the active, healthy life while they are here! Sugar fix. Done.
Plus, this part of the main street in Playa Guiones is actually pretty convenient from the other side of town due to the jungle path that cuts through right next to The Nomadic Hotel.
Finally, I will add that Le Bistrot is also on the list for some of the best coffee in Nosara. Their shaded patio is a great place to grab either your morning cup with breakfast or that afternoon espresso.
La Ventanita is a cool new place in South Guiones and is certainly a welcome addition to people staying on this side of town.
With good coffee, fresh wraps, smoothies and sandwiches, it is a great spot for that post-surf breakfast or lunch.
Olo Alaia is a surf cafe right in town that is a must-stop for you coffee connoisseurs out there. They offer up some basic cafe eats as well. What is worth keeping on top of while you are in Nosara is whether they have any patio parties planned.
They will regularly pull out the grill, or have someone else offer food. When this is happening, there’s no better place to grab a beer and a bite to eat. You will feel like you have been invited to a family backyard bar-b-que.
Update: On my last trip to Nosara, there was a food truck more permanently parked outside of Olo Alaia to take advantage of the location and patio space.
Gabby’s Food Court
Gabby’s is a cool food court over on the very north end of Guiones and offers a convenient way to perhaps try a few different restaurants in Nosara all at once.
After all, some days you need to go buffet style when people can’t agree.
Here are some of the options for restaurants in Nosara if you decide to hit Gabbys. They might change a bit, but seem to be pretty stable for year to year.
Best Restaurants in Playa Pelada
La Luna is a world-renowned restaurant just north of Nosara in Playa Pelada. The food here is amazing as is the view of the sunset from the patio as waves crash on the beach just steps away.
There is a reason why Playa Pelada often gets the nod as one of the most beautiful beaches around, and La Luna gives you the chance to soak it all in over a fantastic meal. It is definitely one of the most pricey food options in the area, but can be a very special treat for your trip.
Tonito’s Bar and Restaurant
Just down the road from La Luna is one of my favorite places to hit up whenever I am in the area. Tonito’s Bar and Restaurant brings me back to when I first started coming to Costa Rica over 20 years ago.
Good food, relaxed vibe, and cool people hanging out. I love sitting at the bar and watching the family at work. I always end up in some great conversation with a local or another wandering surfer. Swing by and leave some time to just hang out at Tonito’s.
Nosara Beach Hotel
Nosara Beach Hotel is still finding its groove after re-opening right before the pandemic hit.
Despite the name, the access to Nosara Beach Hotel is actually over in Playa Pelada. As you can see from the picture, if you are going for a restaurant with a view, it is going to be hard to beat the restaurant in Nosara Beach Hotel.
Best Restaurants in Playa Garza
Pilo’s Bar and Restaurant
Whenever people ask me for advice about what to do on their trip to Nosara, the first thing I say is to make sure you get the ceviche at Pilo’s in Playa Garza. It is absolutely worth the trip to get out of town, take a swim, and grab some of the best, freshest ceviche you will ever have over a couple of cold beers.
You will truly feel like you have made it to your tropical paradise as you sit and soak in the beeze.
Best Restaurants in Ostional
Restaurant y Pizzeria Ostional
If you make the trip up to Ostional to see the turtles or have a sunset surf in the empty waves (and you should make this trip), then you should go ahead and grab a bite at the Restaurant y Pizzeria Ostional while you are up there.
Good food, fun vibe, dogs at your feet. A great place to hang out while you are waiting for the guides at Ostional park to begin the turtle watching.