Culinary

Sweet Treats: Costa Rica’s Best Dessert Places You Must Try

Traveling to Costa Rica on an adventure vacation AND have a sweet tooth? Lucky you! The country’s passion for homemade, wholesome desserts is legendary and you’d be well advised to indulge during your time here at one of the country’s most revered sweet-eries. From fancy city restaurants to street stalls and holes in the wall, Costa Rica’s best dessert places you must try will satisfy your craving in every which way.

POPS Ice Creamerie, country wide chain

If there’s one thing that’s likely to make your eyes POP during your travels through Costa Rica, it would have to be the sight of one of this ice-cream parlor’s franchise banners. POPS makes ice cream the way ice cream was meant to be made, with natural ingredients and flavors and none of that powdery stuff that’s become so common back home nowadays. Whether on a cone or in a cup, or added to a delicious banana split or milkshake, POPS ice-creams are the bomb! Try the fresh coconut and mango ice cream after a sweaty day of hiking and you (and your taste buds) will be in 7th heaven.

Estukuru Chocolate Factory, La Fortuna

Costa Rica chocolate dessertEstukuru is the kind of place you need to visit, even if it meant walking there from San Jose. Yep…it’s so good it’s worth the 100-mile long trek! Luckily, this dreamy chocolate factory is nearby Arenal so a visit is super easy to fit into your itinerary.

Offering a great array of flavored home-made chocolates, along with cakes, crepes, drinks and a host of other delights all made using the powder of the gods, Estukuru is the kind of place that makes you rethink your notion that the best Costa Rica chocolate is all sent abroad. Take a fascinating tour of the factory and small plantation, enjoy the air-conditioned dining room and feast till your heart’s ready to burst. We do!

Chez Christophe, San Jose

If you could combine anything in the world and create perfection, it would have to be an authentic French bakery which uses only the freshest, locally-sourced Costa Rican ingredients. Voila, Chez Christophe, where you’ll discover how perfect French croissants can be when made with fresh Costa Rican butter. The amazing dessert fridge is enough to make you weak at the knees yet if you’re the kind of person whose eyes belie their stomach then you’ll be happy to know that Christophe sells a lot of ‘miniature’ desserts so you can try all sorts of different goodies before you burst. And then…you’ll probably want just one more macaroon for the road.

Creperie & Café Entre Nous, Heredia/San Jose/Alajuela

Crepe dessertThe French have well and truly taken over Costa Rica and, luckily for you, they’re opening all the best dessert bars. With its quirky décor and warm ambience, Entre Nous is one of the country’s most charming little secrets, one that seems to be appearing all over the central region.

Popular with young Ticos and increasingly more prominent, this artisanal creperie serves sweet and savory treats and tempts guests with an impossible-to-resist cake table that’ll tug at your heartstrings. Home-made and super fresh cakes, not to mention waffles, pancakes and more, Entre Nous is a one-=stop-heaven for lovers of wholesome and delicious food enjoyed in a welcoming locale.

Cafeoteca, San Jose

A new wave of totally hip and trendy joints have started to spring up all over the country and whilst some are a bit of a hit-and-miss, Cafeoteca really delivers on the goods. True coffee aficionados will love this place, as you can sample different local varieties, but as far as desserts are concerned that’s really where this place shines. Lovers of sweets as well as coffee, the guys at Cafeoteca take their desserts seriously and you’ll find a wide range of seductive treats such as the delectable passionfruit cheesecake and an array of perfect pastries to complement your top-notch cup of coffee. You’ll find this gem of a place in the beautiful Escalante neighbourhood of the capital and you can read more about its concept, right here.

La Princesa Café, Tamarindo

Should one really travel all the way to Costa Rica to savour Swedish chocolate-coconut balls? If that savouring is to be done at La Princesa then YES, by all means! Tamarindo’s most delicious sweet treats come out of Janet’s revered café and, we might add, healthy savory ones too. From home-made brownies to creamy cheesecakes topped with decadent berries, addictive cinnamon rolls and gluten-free macaroons, La Princesa convinces you, once and for all, that decadent desserts can be heaven for your body. Organic, home-made sweet treats and, hands down, one of Costa Rica’s best dessert places you must try.

Ready for an adventure vacation in Costa Rica? How else are you going to burn all those extra calories?! Come whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip lining, biking and horseriding with us for a week or two and your dessert indulgence can really be totally guilt free. Visit our Costa Rica Adventure Vacations page and do contact us for more info.

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The Best Foodie Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica foodie toursFoodie tours are becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica and make for fantastic additions to active vacations, where the emphasis is, primarily, on enjoying the adrenaline-pumping pursuits for which this country is so revered.

Mind you, the cuisine in Costa Rica and the country’s predilection for organic, home-grown ingredients and home-made food, means your taste buds will be delighted at every single meal here. Nevertheless, with the latest addition of Costa Rica to the slow-food movement and the world’s recognition of the country as an exceptional fresh-food grower and producer, food tours can add an in-depth experience to what is already bound to be an unforgettable journey.

Selection of the best foodie tours in Costa Rica for 2018:

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour – La Fortuna

Consistently rated THE favorite food tour in the country by visitors, Don Olivo is not to be missed if you’re in the Arenal Volcano region. This 2hr guided trip offers a behind the scenes look not only at local chocolate production methods but also all the other goodies grown in this luscious and prolific family-owned farm. Tastings are generous and varied (of fruit and cane sugar juice as well as mouthwatering chocolate) and, combined with the passion of the hosting family, help make this the most delicious and high-rated tour of all.

Costa Rica Cooking – La Fortuna

Cooking classes for the gourmand traveler who loves nothing more than to get involved in the making of local specialties, Costa Rica Cooking classes are inarguably the most polished and professional in the region. US chef and Costa Rica restaurateur Scott Alan and his dedicated team of local chefs will astound you with their culinary creations which, you follow all the steps correctly…can be your creations too! Local favorites and international delights using organic local ingredients make up the sumptuous meals in the cooking classes, which you can either help create or just admire and learn. Scott and his team will happily organize bespoke classes for families or groups of friends traveling together, and you can incorporate a visit to a local farmer’s market as well, for that ultimate ‘farm to table’ foodie tour experience.

Foodie Tours Costa Rica – San Jose

San Jose can be overwhelming to the unaccustomed, with the sprawling and busy city usually seen as a mere springboard for onwards travels through the country. But if there’s one reason to hang around for a day, it would definitely be Foodie Tours Costa Rica. Ingenious Adriana Font, the brains behind the concept, creates foodie tours itineraries that are custom-made for each client, matching tastes and interests with local hidden spots to deliver a personalized service that’s impossible to beat. Whether you want to delve into the vegetarian side of Costa Rican cuisine, or fusion, desserts or perhaps a farm-to-table experience (which includes 6 meals in 3 different restaurants) Adriana will take your taste buds to new heights and showcase the city’s trendiest and best eateries. Moreover, you’ll learn a lot about local cuisine and ancient recipes. A small, tailor-made service that’s certainly found its niche-market in the capital, Foodie Tours also organizes public tours on occasion, so check with their FB page before you go.

Tropical Gardens Cooking School – Playa Samara

A gorgeous private home set up to accommodate authentic cooking classes that incorporate organic local produce, a love for the earth and a desire for wholesome, healthy cooking, the Tropical Garden Cooking School is an absolute feast for all the senses. The cooking is traditional, the ingredients locally grown and the menu designed with your tastes and dietary restrictions in mind. A splendidly luscious foodie experience in one of Costa Rica’s most delightful coastal regions. A variety of cooking tours are on offer, including tamales-making and bond-fire cooking.

A foodie tour or cooking class makes for a wonderful add-on to Costa Rica adventure vacations. Keen to taste your way through the country as you indulge in exceptional adventure? Let us know! We’ll be happy to organize cultural and culinary experiences for your next trip with us.

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