Diving headfirst into a new culinary world is one of the best things about traveling and never is this prospect more delectable than when visiting Costa Rica. Although the country has suffered for years from a somewhat valid reputation as a less-than-inspiring foodie destination – with local fare being labeled bland when compared to that of its neighbors – a brand new culinary wave has picked up momentum. Fusion cooking has taken over the world and in Costa Rica it has become an incredible way to propel the amazing fresh produce for which this country is so revered, into culinary superstardom.
What happens when you blend delightful French, Italian, Asian and international flavors with world class organic Costa Rican produce? A whole new world of decadent deliciousness.
Visit one, two or all of the following world class restaurants on your next adventure trip to Costa Rica and discover just how tasty this tropical haven can really be.
Restaurante Grano de Oro, San Jose
French culinary master Francis Canal has a knack for fusion creation, and his delights at the Hotel Grano de Oro’s signature restaurant are no exception. Step into this fine-dining establishment and we guarantee you’ll be swooning before you even take a single look at the menu. The charming old-world décor and impeccable service leave no doubt that you have just entered one of Costa Rica’s most precious hotels, and the elegance certainly complements the quality of sumptuous fare on offer.
Although Monsieur Canal has reached cult status in San Jose, thanks to his heavenly crème brûlée, you really ought to savor at least two more dishes before succumbing to this sweet sin. If the Costa Rican organic snails sautéed with wild mushrooms and camembert cheese, served in a faultless pastry shell, don’t get your juices flowing, then perhaps the crème brûlée of porcini mushrooms, spicy gorgonzola and goat cheese will. Home-made pasta and a selection of fine meats and seafood will definitely appeal to every taste. Just do make sure you leave room for dessert…that organic vanilla custard crème brûlée is really as good as it sounds!
Sobre las Olas, Cahuita
Take just one unforgettable bite of the ceviche prepared at Sobre las Olas and you’ll be forgiven for thinking this alone is reason to visit Costa Rica. This gorgeous little gem is set along the pristine shores just north of Cahuita town and is owned by a couple of Italian chefs who have imported the flair and tastes of their homeland and incorporated that with the best and most organic local produce available.
Seafood is the absolute highlight of any feasting here, with fresh muscles, squid, swordfish and lobster cooked to perfection with abundant herbs and olive oil. A few meat and vegetarian options are also available. Looking for a super romantic spot and drool worthy dining experience? Then don’t walk past Sobre las Olas! When it comes to iconic seaside locations, they really don’t get better than this. For reservations, call +506 2755 0109.
El Mirador Bar & Restaurant, Manuel Antonio
The Manuel Antonio National Park hides many treasures, with Arenas del Mar being just one of them. In this spectacular resort, set amidst tropical wilderness, you’ll discover one of the most phenomenal ‘dinner with killer view’ spots n the whole country. El Mirador has been involved in an exciting new concept in the last few years, whereby some of the best chefs from the US are flow in periodically, to spice up the menu using the best local ingredients available. The eclectic and very creative creations are nothing short of extraordinary. Think yellow fin tuna prepared with avocado and spicy pineapple salsa, or grilled zucchini, sweet potato and almond mousse. And that’s just the entree! Add a 5-leaf sustainability rating to the golden setting and scrumptious meals and you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing Costa Rican culinary treasure.
Stashu’s con Fusion, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Ever been served a meal that looks so good you almost don’t want to eat it? This perfectly describes Stashu’s meals in a nutshell. Creativity is at the forefront of all that emerges from the kitchen of this gorgeous establishment, along with a head-spinning injection of spicy Asian flavors. Curries, stir fries and seafood tacos are just a few of the treats on offer. Boasting a laid back and serene atmosphere, cool live music and impeccable service, Stashu’s has really come a long way since its inception as one of Puerto Viejo’s very first eateries.