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We love Jaco Beach in Costa Rica for so many reasons- it’s close to San Jose and our hometown of San Ramon in the Central Valley. We have our all-time favorite accommodations there, and there is so much to do.
Plus, the beach is gorgeous. And, it’s just got that quintessential beach town vibe. Also, you don’t really need a car rental here- the whole town is very walkable. Wondering about visiting Jaco with your kids? We’ve done it quite a bit with great success!
I often cook our favorite Costa Rican recipes when we go to the beach- mostly to save money. However, we do like to eat out a few times when we are on a beach vacation- it gives me a break from the kitchen! There is so much food in Jaco, Costa Rica- but these are our favorite Jaco restaurants that we have tried over the years.
If you are wondering what to eat in Costa Rica, don’t forget to skim through our 30+ Foods To Rry in Costa Rica post.
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Our Favorite Jaco, Costa Rica Restaurants
We love Rioasis Pizza- it’s our favorite pizza shop in town. Not only is it Costa Rican owned and operated, we think they have the best pizza.
Located along the main strip, you can walk off the beach and enjoy a cold beer at one of the many picnic tables in the open air (no beach views, however).
Or, you can do what we do- we order Rioasis Pizza to our vacation rental and enjoy pizza and beer at sunset. They even have live music sometimes- just check the chalkboard at the front entrance to see what’s going on for the week.
Expect huge pizzas, tons of toppings, and super-friendly service. Pizzas range from $20-$10, and they also serve pasta, seafood, and nachos and have a full bar. Oh, and did I mention breakfast? Truly our favorite Playa Jaco restaurant.
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Soda Marea Alta
This little restaurant on the south end of the main strip is also locally owned and operated and has amazing typical Costa Rican food. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and are practically always open. It’s also just a block from the beach, so it’s a great place to walk over to for a meal break and head straight back to the beach.
Expect an ample menu of Costa Rican casados, picadillos, gallo pinto, chicken and rice, and more. We took my parents here and they said it was the best meal they’d had in Costa Rica in years.
This restaurant has zero web presence- it’s a local favorite with absolutely great food. Expect to pay between $3-$10 per meal, and for the staff to speak just a little English. Also, expect huge plates of delicious Costa Rican food prepared with love.
Note- There is also a place called Soda Marea Baja that is near the main highway in Jaco. It’s a buffet style place (there’s even a salad bar), the food is very good, it’s super cheap and they do sell beer. However, it’s more of a truck stop/buffet than it is a restaurant experience.
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The Green Room Jaco Beach
The Green Room is a fusion restaurant located along the main strip in Jaco, about a block from the Mas Por Menos supermarket. With a focus on fresh local cuisine, organic ingredients, and high-quality food, this is a very popular restaurant in Jaco. The Green Room Cafe prides itself on being very friendly to vegans in Costa Rica.
Freshly squeezed juices, kombucha, a huge brunch menu, ingenious cocktails, sandwiches, and more, The Green Room prices are a bit higher than other places, expect to pay between $10-$20 per person.
Dinner means a decent wine list, craft beers, and some fun dishes like fish tacos. This is the quintessential restaurant for those visiting Costa Rica for the first time and wanting to ease into the local cuisine and food culture.
Marisqueria el Recreo
Marisqueria el Recreo is a literal hole-in-the-wall restaurant located on the main strip, identified by a list of the menu items on the main marquee.
It’s very bare-bones- the floor is made of rocks, the roof is an aluminum structure, and there is no formal door. Tables are covered in vinyl and there are old TVs showing Costa Rican programming. The kitchen is tiny, and the service is friendly. It’s a popular spot with locals.
This is a traditional Costa Rican restaurant, and if you are well-versed in traditional Costa Rican cuisine, you can ask for anything you want to eat and they can probably make it.
Service is a bit slow, prices are rock bottom, and they offer lots of fresh seafood. They had some of the most delicious jumbo shrimp I’ve had in a long time. When we went they were so good to our kids- they took them crayons and gave them fresh juice while we waited for our food.
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Along the South end of the beach is an open-air restaurant called The Point. It is recently going under a remodel, but it’s adjacent to a surf school and a super-budget hostel. This restaurant perfectly captures the quintessential pura vida spirit of Jaco.
Offering relaxing chairs right on the sand, a great reggae soundtrack, and fast, efficient service, we headed here for a quick breakfast and it was delicious. They offer full Costa Rican breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and great sunset cocktails. It’s a great place to watch the beautiful sunset Jaco Beach promises each night, and I promise, you’ll have a great time here.
This place is super cheap, friendly, laid back and great for families with kids. The girls were swinging in hammocks while we used the free wifi before lunch came- and we were right on the beach. we just took our beach stuff with us and hung out on the beach after breakfast. The freshly made juice is to die for.
Related post: Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe
Jaco Walk is a two-story modern open-air mall that’s been on the main drag in Jaco for about 5 years. It has all kinds of shops and restaurants including a Cafe Britt coffee shop, a Subway restaurant, and a sushi restaurant. There are 12 total restaurants in the complex, so it’s a good place to go if there are several people in your group with different tastes.
The prices at Jaco Walk are pretty high, and the dining experience is a bit more upscale. Think fine dining, some sushi, a wine bar, etc. Many people say Jaco Walk is home to the best restaurants in Jaco.
Related post: A Foodie’s Restaurant Guide To La Fortuna, Costa Rica
I’ve never been to Soda Rustica, (a soda is a typical low-priced Costa Rican restaurant) but it is the talk of literally everyone in town. It’s on my list for the next visit! No trip to Costa Rica is complete without eating a traditional casado lunch, so I’m excited to see how they deliver and I’ll update the post as needed.
Costa Rica Latin, Caribbean and International Foods
This hidden gem in Jaco just came across my desk from a reader and while I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. It comes highly, highly recommended by someone who lives in the country (thanks Elton!).
One of my overall favorites! With stunning décor, superb ambiance, and healthy, delicious food, Sepalo is the perfect spot to enjoy flavorful Costa Rican cuisine. From the moment you set your eyes on the menu, you’ll be drooling over the scrumptious poke bowls, stir fry, pizza, and smoothies that are all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Bring your family and friends – there’s plenty of variety to keep everyone’s taste buds entertained. Try the restaurant’s suggested meals or pick fresh ingredients from the menu and have your meal built from scratch the way you like it; whichever option you choose, Sepalo’s culinary experience will truly knock your socks off.
For yummy tacos and burritos, check out Taco Joint. (Don’t confuse Taco Joint with the Taco Bar restaurant!) They offer a vast selection of irresistible made-to-order Mexican tacos as well as various refreshing drinks in a calm, chill atmosphere to ensure a laid-back end to your adventurous day.
Even if you aren’t hungry and just want something to snack on, this place’s tacos will make you want to come back here daily. And thanks to their impressive ingredient selection, everyone can be able to customize their taco to their liking. This is important especially if you’re traveling with people who are picky eaters. Don’t forget to buy a couple of bottles of the restaurant’s delicious hot sauce to take back home.
Sabress Kosher Restaurant
If you are craving some kosher realness, Sabress Kosher Restaurant should be on top of your list. With a menu full of authentic and mouthwatering Mediterranean, Israeli, and Middle Eastern cuisines, this spot has one of everything! You will find creamy hummus, crispy falafels, shakshuka, chicken schnitzel, tenderloin strips, and so much more, all so fresh and toothsome.
And with delightful outdoor seating, you can enjoy your meal while soaking up the charming aura of Jaco. It’s a fantastic place for families, and the trampoline in the back will keep your little ones entertained.
Graffiti Restro Cafe and Wine Bar
Looking for a nice dinner out? Head over to Graffiti. Serving large, high-quality portions of steak and seafood, the chic, upscale restaurant is one of the most popular eateries in Jaco, welcoming fine diners from inside and outside of Costa Rica. They offer both indoor and outdoor eating, with an ambiance just as inviting as the cuisine.
While the menu has a wealth of delicacies, don’t forget to see what’s available on the blackboard. Each day, they have a “day’s special” that may just keep you coming back. And don’t leave without trying a cocktail – a glass of Otras Uvas, Spicy Cucumber Margarita, or Pinot Noir would be just perfect for a chill evening.
Zona K Bistro
Zona K serves up fancy dishes influenced by Latin, Asian, and Continental cuisines. In this small gourmet restaurant, you will find an appetizing blend of these cuisines that are meticulously prepared with fresh, local ingredients to create a unique taste you won’t find anywhere else.
Start your day with a thick omelet and come back later for steak or tacos at lunch or dinner time. All portions are sizeable, well-presented, aromatic, and heavenly sweet. If you are visiting with kids, they can make separate meals for them. Check out the wine list too. Well, it may not be as diverse as that of places like Graffiti but it’s totally adequate.
Puddle Fish Brewery
Located right next to Graffiti, Puddle Fish Brewery delivers a one-of-a-kind food and beer experience in a superb atmosphere. With gourmet pub fares like wraps, burgers, Costa Rican nachos, and fish sandwiches to go with creative craft beer and other yummy drinks, this is one of the perfect spots to unwind with loved ones after a busy beach day. It’s one of my favorite Costa Rican breweries!
Devour their gigantic burgers as the kids entice their little taste buds with chicken fingers or mac and cheese. Top it up with some of the best craft beer in town; they have a variety of these ranging from IPA to Mango Pale Ale, and the bartender will let you try each of them until you find one that you like.
Sunrise Breakfast Place
Rise and shine with a tasty breakfast at Sunrise Breakfast Place. The cozy and welcoming restaurant is an “egg-cellent” spot to fill yourself up at the start of your day so you can have all the energy you need to experience all that Jaco has to offer.
The mouth-watering menu featuring hefty servings of savory pancakes, omelets, French toasts, fruit plates, waffles, and surfer burritos is designed to satisfy your cravings and keep you full, longer. And as soon as the sun goes down, the restaurant turns up the heat with a mouth-watering dinner menu. It welcomes you with delectable pizzas, jumbo hot dogs, barbeque pork strips, hamburgers, and many other delicacies to leave you happy and satisfied.
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Jerah Thai Restaurant
Jerah Thai delivers the authentic tastes of Thailand to you so you can experience the true Thai culture without leaving Jaco. The delightful soups, salads, curries, and noodles are created using fresh ingredients and traditional techniques that transport you straight to Bangkok with every bite.
Featuring a unique treehouse design and an intimate atmosphere, this is the ideal spot for anyone looking for a calm and enjoyable culinary experience.
Note, however, that the restaurant only accepts cash payments at the moment, so make sure to bring some cash with you when you visit.
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This cute gem is a bit out of town but is certainly worth finding. The food is tasty, comes in large portions, and is reasonably priced, and the atmosphere is laid-back and pleasant for anyone seeking quieter and more relaxing dining.
The place is fantastic for the whole family, as there’s something on the menu for everyone. Listings include sea bass, patacones, and tacos among other delicacies.
Have the kids try the yummy fries and chicken fingers. You can eat inside or outside, and there’s an option to sit on the swings instead of the traditional chair and table setup; it’s a fun and playful twist for kids and adults alike.
Other Costa Rican food guides you’ll love:
- Best Restaurants in San Jose (for Families)
- A Foodie’s Restaurant Guide To La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- 30 Best San Ramon Restaurants
- 10 Delicious Vegan Options in Costa Rica
- Guide to Gluten Free Costa Rica- A Guide
If you would like to talk to me about a customized itinerary or specific Costa Rica travel advice for your family, (zero sales- just advice!) check out my “Ask Christa” page for more information on custom Costa Rica trip planning geared towards families.
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Welcome! I’m Christa, a former high school teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. I love all things Spanish and bi-cultural, (especially travel and food!) and you’ll find my observations on life here. Thanks for stopping by