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Want to find the best San Ramon restaurants in Costa Rica? This complete list from a local foodie won’t let you down!
San Ramon is a medium-sized Costa Rican city nestled in the Central Valley, about 45 minutes north of the Juan Santamaria Airport.
The real draw to San Ramon is that when driving from San Jose to La Fortuna you drive right through San Ramon, so I definitely recommend you stop for food.
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You also drive right past San Ramon on your way to Guanacaste, La Fortuna, or the Rio Celeste Area if you are leaving from San Jose.
Most all of the food in San Ramon is very typical, with typical Costa Rican prices and service. Because of the large American population in San Ramon, as well as the University of Costa Rica campus, many people speak English.
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Keep in mind that most restaurants in San Ramon are closed on Mondays, so if you are passing through on a Monday, some of these restaurants might not be open.
I highly recommend you use the Waze app to find these restaurants, as Google maps in San Ramon is not always updated. Many of the downtown restaurants will require you to park a few blocks away and walk.
30 Best San Ramon Restaurants
Breakfast in Costa Rica can be enjoyed as a longer sit-down meal, or as a quick stop for coffee and bread at a bread shop. Typical breakfasts in town generally cost between $5-7 USD.
Cafe Delicias is a breakfast spot that provides typical Costa Rican breakfast fare such as gallo pinto and homemade tortillas. It also is a bakery, so expect some amazing baked goods to go along with your meal. On Thursday mornings you’ll often find expats enjoying breakfast and swapping stories at a table in the corner.
Aromas Cafe boasts not only traditional breakfasts but also a full bakery with amazing desserts. Both their tres leches and torta chilena cakes are to die for. I always order the lasagna in white sauce- it comes with french fries and a gorgeous green salad. Don’t miss it.
The La Duquesa bread shop just off the main drag into town has every type of pastry you can imagine. Cupcakes, donuts, and both sweet and savory snacks. You can buy coffee and hot chocolate here but you’ll need to find somewhere else to sit.
Musmanni is the absolute most popular bakery chain in Costa Rica, you will find coffee, baked goods, and more. There is a small seating area, and it’s super cheap.
Santa Clara Bakery
The Santa Clara Bakery is located near the main bus stop in town. This is my favorite bakery because it has dulce de leche-filled donuts for less than $2. Worth a trip out of your way just for the donut. They also sell coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and savory baked goods.
Lunch and Dinner Spots
If you are looking for a main meal, you will generally spend about 45 minutes to an hour for the meal. Worth it though. Main dishes usually cost between $5-$12 USD.
Literally translated as the delicious from the sea, this is the best seafood restaurant in town. I highly recommend ordering the shrimp and rice, seafood soup, the casado with fish or any fish ceviche.
If you have some extra time, the Las Musas swimming complex has a great little soda (mini restaurant) at the top of the hill, and there is no charge to eat. About 15 minutes outside of town in the rainforest, you can eat for cheap here ($3-$7 a meal) while enjoying the view of the pool and the waterfall.
Cafeteria Flory is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Flory is the best cook in town. She offers traditional dishes (her carne en salsa is to die for) in a homey atmosphere in the district of La Paz. This restaurant is about 30 minutes outside of San Ramon, but the drive is beautiful and the food is more than worth it. Look forward to the arroz con leche at the end of the meal- on the house.
If you are just passing by San Ramon on the main highway, you will definitely want to visit Las Tinajitas. This traditional buffet-style restaurant has all of the staples of Costa Rican cuisine (the plantains are to die for) as well as coffee, homemade juices, and a little section of traditional homemade candies to take with you on the road. Order an empanada to go- you won’t regret it!
This restaurant is AFTER the ostentatious El Jardin, which is a great souvenir stop, but the food isn’t that good.
Soda El Chaparral
One of my top recommendations for typical food in San Ramon is El Chaparral. Everything is made the way it was “before”- there are no added ingredients, no shortcuts. You can’t even buy a Coke here!
They serve traditional cafe chorreado, homemade hot chocolate, and a huge sandwich filled with ham or carne in salsa. My girls love to eat the huge homemade tortillas covered in cheese, and I love the blackberry smoothie. You can’t miss this place.
If you want some quick food that won’t break the bank, there are many fast food options in San Ramon. Don’t be fooled though, the fast food in Costa Rica is way better than here. Hamburgers made with Salsa Lizano and fresh cheese from the farm, organic, farm-raised fried chickens, and hand-cut French fries are the name of the game here.
Markony is by far my favorite hamburger joint, it’s a little window right downtown with a few stools inside. Serving hamburgers with fries inside of them, it’s a fun and fast stop. Also- they put ham slices in the hamburger- get it?
Taqueria La Tica is literally a tiny window on a nondescript street with the absolute best Costa Rican tacos you will ever eat. They also boast great cheese empanadas, but really you have to try the tacos.
Flory (the home cook mentioned above) has a daughter-in-law who opened the most popular pizza restaurant in San Ramon- Pizza Loca. Boasting huge pizzas, nachos, hamburgers, and even fried chicken, this place is a phenomenon. If you plan to visit on a Sunday, expect to wait hours to get in.
Bugy’s is a family-friendly restaurant that has hamburgers, fried chicken fingers, and even some salads. There are booths to sit down in, and a kid’s play area. Definitely try the natural juices and smoothies here.
For the best-fried chicken in town, head to Twins. Then wash everything down with some ice cream, as this is both an ice cream shop and a fast food restaurant.
Pops is a Costa Rican ice cream chain that has arguably the best ice cream in town, serving milkshakes, ice cream cones, and even vegan smoothies made in the Vitamix.
Savory a la Thai
Savory a la Thai is a gorgeous Thai food restaurant on the outskirts of San Ramon that has a full bar, traditional Thai food, and a Pad Thai to die for. Nestled in the rainforest with outdoor deck seating options, this is the best Thai food I’ve had in my life. Cocktails and beer are available.
Vila Paraiso is an adults-only restaurant has a varied menu from Mexican tacos to traditional Asian orange chicken. A large restaurant with ample seating and lush forest, this is a fun stop if you don’t have kids. Reservations required.
La Moncheña is affectionately named after San Ramon’s nickname (Moncho) this place serves gigantic American-style hamburgers.
Musashi is the most popular sushi bar in town and has ample parking nearby.
Bars in Costa Rica close at 2 a.m., and people love to party in San Ramon so expect to see people around until that hour, especially on weekends.
Bars in Costa Rica generally serve appetizers, called bocas, which are small plates of traditional food.
With cocktail specials each day, great appetizers, and shareable plates in an open air bar, Santo Pecado is the place to be.
The House is a raucous bar that serves appetizers, but the real draw is the walls lined with gigantic TVs showing sports from around the world. Definitely, the place to be on the weekends.
Marisqueria Pilar is popular with families and fills up on the weekends. You can enjoy plates of traditional seafood dishes while sipping on cocktails. Kids are welcome, and this is not a riotous bar, just a nice place to hang out with friends. Open late.
Named after the national flower, La Guaria is tucked halfway between San Ramon and the neighboring town of Palmares. There are two sections, the bar, where locals come to drink and watch soccer, and the family section with tables and movies on the TVs. This bar has its own parking lot, and a menu with over 100 traditional Costa Rican bocas (appetizers).
You’ll like these other food guides from Pura vida Moms:
- Best Restaurants in San Jose (for Families)
- Where To Eat In Jaco Costa Rica
- A Foodie’s Restaurant Guide To La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- 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.
Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!