Top 20 Restaurants and Bars in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa attracts a younger crowd that loves surfing, partying, sleeping, and adventure. Because of this, several restaurants and bars in Santa Teresa offer great meals and a vibrant nightlife. 

I try to identify a few restaurants and bars in every town I visit for when I want a change in dining experience. Fortunately, Santa Teresa has several good restaurants. The town also has a vibrant nightlife and has some interesting bars hosting various nighttime activities.

What should you know about Santa Teresa’s restaurants?

I didn’t expect to find such diversified cuisines in Santa Teresa. The town has several restaurants serving Asian, Japanese, French, Peruvian, Argentinian, American, and Costa Rican cuisines. Santa Teresa is a beach town in Puntarenas with many tourist attractions.

Santa Teresa has only one road that runs along the beach. Most businesses, including restaurants, are along this road. I had difficulty choosing the best 10 restaurants in Santa Teresa, as the town has many good ones. 

The 10 Best Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

After a day at the beach surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and visiting waterfalls and wildlife, you want to renew your energy by having a delicious meal. You can choose from the various restaurants serving different international cuisines, vegan meals, or Costa Rican traditional dishes. 

The Bakery

Location: 30 meters north of Franks at Playa Carmen.

Opening hours: 7.30 AM. 

The bakery is Santa Teresa’s busiest restaurant. Locals flock because of its baked goodies, and the tourists can’t eat enough of the meals. A friend recommended that I try out their cheesecake, which I can confidently say was the best I have ever tasted.

Whether staying in Santa Teresa or just passing through, visit and taste the bakery’s delicious egg dishes, salads, pasta, shakshouka, paninis, and avocado toast. If you want some breakfast goodies, try out their various nutty croissants. 

Katana

Location: 600m north of the crossroads.

Opening hours: 6 PM to 10 PM.

Katana serves mainly Asian cuisine. Try their gyoza, butter chicken, sushi, and pad Thai. They also serve more affordable sushi in Santa Teresa. The restaurant also serves refreshing smoothies, fruit bowls, and salads. 

My favorite were the maki rolls with nigiri toppings. Katana offers vegan options and serves huge portions. I would recommend that you make reservations, as the restaurant is super busy. Unfortunately, Katana only serves dinner. 

Uma

Location: Playa Cielo Hotel, Santa Teresa. 

Opening hours: 12–10 PM daily.

Though a bit more expensive than most restaurants in Santa Teresa, you’ll find their food worth it. Uma offers delicious seafood, such as fish kebabs or whole fish. Order some spicy dishes, including spicy peppers with hot sauce. 

Looking for a place to visit for that Friday vibe? Uma has the best sunset drinks, as well as great meals. You can either sit in the restaurant or on their beachside terrace. Enjoy your cocktail as you admire the beautiful Costa Rican sunset.

Amici Ristorante & Pizzeria

Location: Carmen Beach. 

Opening hours: 5.30–10 PM daily. 

It’s been a been a long since I had Italian pizza made in a wood-burning oven. A staff member at the hotel where I was staying recommended it, and I just had to try it. The pizza was delicious and light, as the restaurant got its flour from Italy. 

I found their other Italian meal options quite delicious and I couldn’t resist trying their grilled lobster. Other top meals at the hotel include pasta, burrata, and arancini. Amici Restaurant offers a wide variety of wines and meat dishes. 

Koji’s Sushi Bar

Location: Bueno Aires Road, after Hotel Horizon. 

Opening hours: 6–11 PM daily, apart from Monday. 

I had the best sushi at this restaurant. It’s in the Hermosa area, a bit off the road, but it will be worth it when you taste their sushi rolls. Koji’s serves fresh seafood and fish, accompanied by rolls or sashimi. You’ll also love their appetizers, such as teriyaki or the other tempura dishes.

Go with your partner for a date night, as they will serve in a candlelight setting. My partner tried their red snapper carpaccio and loved it. Try their “pura vida roll” and taste fresh tuna and avocado. 

Somos Cafe

Location: Calle Cobano 60111, Santa Teresa 

Opening hours: 7.30 AM to 11.30 PM daily.

Most digital nomads in Santa Teresa flock to Somos cafe. It serves as a surf shop, a hotel, and a cafe. The plants in the cafe give the space a bohemian feel, and when ready, just order your meal. I used to frequent the cafe for breakfast to get their banana bread. 

Somos Cafe serves breakfast as late as 2 p.m. 

By late evening, the crowd at Somos is a bit bigger, attracted by the DJ’s music and some great cocktails. Dancing will be at their open-air courtyard. 

La Cevicheria

Location: 50m north of Rancho Itauna, Santa Teresa.

Opening hours: 12–10 PM daily, apart from Sundays. 

La Cevicherie serves Peruvian and ceviche cuisines. The restaurant mainly serves lunch and dinner but does not open on Sundays. La Cevicheria offers vegetarian options and traditional Costa Rican dishes. 

Be sure to try out their Mexican ceviche, a mixture of fried plantains, red snapper, and octopus. The chef at La Cevicheria is flexible and can make ceviche exactly how you like it. 

Ani’s Bowl and Salads

Location: Calle Cobano. 

Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily. 

I liked Ani’s bowls because of their healthier meal options. It has an outdoor patio with wooden, black metal tables and seats. You can choose from their all-fresh fruit smoothies, bowls, or frozen fruit options. 

Ani’s offers vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan meals. You can have a hearty breakfast before starting your day at the beach. Ani’s acai bowl is a must-try should you visit Santa Teresa. You might want to avoid the lunch hour crowd and go for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. 

Chicken Joe’s 

Location: Main Road, across from Soccer Field. 

Opening hours: 12–9 PM daily, apart from Tuesday. 

My kids loved Chicken Joe’s because of its delicious chicken rotisserie. My husband, however, preferred their fish tacos because he loves fish. The ceviche, which I requested the chef make in Peruvian style, was my favorite. 

Chicken Joe’s offers Peruvian, Latin, and Central American flavors. Their friendly staff is also one of their strong points. 

Zula

Location: Mal Pais Crossroads.

Opening hours: 12–9 PM, but closes on Saturday. 

Craving for some Israeli cuisine in Santa Teresa? Visit Zula and get to sample the best Middle Eastern dishes. We chose the mahi-mahi (dolphinfish) platter with generous fries, pita bread, and hummus. 

10 Best Bars in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa has a very vibrant nightlife. Most bars have happy hour offers, live music, DJs, and a food menu. That means you can have a proper meal before having a lovely night drinking your best beer, wine, or gin. 

I have created a list of ten bars in Santa Teresa that I loved, had a great time at, or were recommended by friends. It’s important to note a few things about drinking in Costa Rica

Banana Beach Bar

Location: North of the crossroads at the entrance to Santa Teresa.

Opening hours: 7.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

The Banana Beach bar is situated right on the beach. You can sip your cocktails as you watch the sunset. Alternatively, visit the bar on Mondays at 4 p.m. to watch the local surfing competition. Saturday nights are for dancing and getting to make new friends. 

Banana Beach Bar provides hammocks, swings, and lounge chairs to hang out and have food and drinks. The bar has a 2-for-1 offer for their favorite drinks. During the frequent bonfires, you can meet your fellow travelers and listen to lively music. 

Ranchos Ituana

Location: inside Ranchos Ituana restaurant. 

Opening hours: 11.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Only open from November to April. 

Ranchos sits between Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa. During the day, Ranchos Ituana serves as a beachside restaurant. However, the restaurant has become a party place on Tuesdays and Saturdays and serves the best cocktails. 

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, local and international DJs play music from all over the world. Try out Ranchos mojitos, cuba libre, or margaritas as you watch the sunset, bonfire, or local shows. 

Kook’s Smokehouse & Bar

Location: 200 meters south of Super Costa. 

Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Kooks draws huge crowds during the sports season because it’s Santa Teresa’s only sports bar. It also serves as an American BBQ restaurant where you can have your meals before settling in to watch sports while sipping your cocktail or beer. 

They have a great selection of vegan and vegetarian options, burgers, and smoked meats. I recommend you try out their version of local Costa Rican craft beers and cocktails. 

Manzú

Location: Nantipa Hotel. 

Opening hours: 7.00 AM to 9.00 PM daily. 

If you want a more elegant atmosphere, head to Manz restaurant with a beachside bar. Order some margaritas; their expert mixologists will serve you in no time. As you wait for your meal under palm-thatched huts, all of this happens.  

Whenever I wanted Costa Rican delights and an evening watching the beautiful sunset, I would head to Manzú. You can take some mixology lessons and learn how to make different cocktails. 

Drift Bar

Location: 50 meters south of Tropico Latino. 

Opening hours: 8.00 AM to 10.00 PM daily. 

You can eat at the Drift restaurant before heading to the bar. Drift Bar is open daily until 10 p.m. Get servings of happy hour specials (2 for 1), specialty cocktails, and local and imported beer. There is a fine selection of mezcals and premium tequila. 

The Drift bar occasionally hosts special events and live music. They also have a selection of cold-pressed juices, coffee, and smoothies. You can even buy their cocktails and cold-pressed juices in liter bottles to carry to your accommodation to drink from.  

Boule Bar

Location: Calle Cobano, 200 meters north of Super Ronny’s 2.  

Opening hours: 11.30 a.m. to 9. p.m. 

The bar is on Eat Street Santa Teresa, which offers an open-air experience. Boule Bar has expert mixologists who can make a cocktail to your specifications. I spent most of my evenings at this bar because it was close to my Airbnb. 

Some drinks at Boule Bar include mojitos, margaritas, craft beers, and signature cocktails. Some earlier guys working quietly in the restaurant came to the bar for a relaxing evening. 

Tipsy

The Santa Teresa football field is 400 meters away. 

Opening hours: 12–7 PM daily, apart from Sundays. 

It’s the best place to sample the various French wines that the bar imports. Tipsy is also popular for its wide selection of gins from the Mexican gin world. It’s just opposite the beach, and most people buy drinks from Tipsy and spend the afternoon partying there.

I decided to try out their gin made from Costa Rican cas fruit, also known as “cas de luz.”. It was not what I expected, but I liked it. Tipsy hosts live music on Thursday nights, and they recommended it as the ideal time to sample the various wines.

La Terraza Bar

Location: Next to Amici restaurant. 

Opening hours: Open 24 hours a day.

With a DJ playing lively music coming to La Terraza for several nights, it soon became my favorite place most evenings. The bar runs several promotions for drinks. 

You can taste local craft beers, as well as a wide selection of wines, cocktails, simple beers, and appetizers. 

El Facon Grill & Bar

Location: Cabinas Playa Hotel. 

Opening hours: 5–11 p.m. daily. 

El Falcon offers a wide selection of Argentinian wines, shrimp, and steaks. On some nights, the bar hosts DJs and live music. The bar had jazz music the last time we visited with my husband. 

Fortunately, you can have drinks and food while listening to live music. While my husband ordered their ceviche, I had milanesa (breaded beef cutlets) with a salad. Afterward, we chose a bottle of Argentinian wine and listened to live music for the rest of our evening. 

Mulberry Project Bar

Location: Hotel Tropico Latino

Opening hours: 5–11 p.m. daily. 

The Mulberry Project was started by a group of bartenders in 2010. They aim to provide a unique experience where guests create their drink from several fresh ingredients. 

The Mulberry project takes place at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa. The Mulberry project saw it as the best fit because the hotel also uses ingredients from their local farm. The project runs when the hotel hosts BBQs and seafood specials on Sundays. 

Mulberry Project added mezcal Monday, which means you make your drink according to the Mexican dishes you order.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, safe at night?

Santa Teresa is safe within an establishment such as a restaurant or a bar. However, I recommend you take a taxi when returning to your accommodation, unless it’s within. 

The town has only one street and might lack dark alleys, but avoid walking alone late at night, especially after 10 p.m. Avoid going to the beach at night, even in a group. 

What is there to do at night in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

You can dance in clubs and bonfires, watch sunsets, or have cocktails quietly in various bars. You might come across some bars having live music or local shows in the evening, proceeding to late at night. 

Conclusion

Santa Teresa is truly a wonderful place to be. Right from the accommodation, tourist attractions, restaurants, and bars. Don’t get bored after your day at the beach. Have a delicious meal in one of the restaurants and relax at the bar with one of your favorite drinks. 

Which restaurants and bars caught your eye the last time you were in Santa Teresa? Please share your experiences and recommend hotels or bars. I’ve made a list of beachfront hotels in Santa Teresa.  If you are looking for somewhere to stay, check out that page.

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About 

Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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