On the hunt for the best restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica? Here’s what you can expect from dining in one of Costa Rica’s most popular surf towns.
On a recent month-long trip to Costa Rica, one of the things that surprised me most was the the Santa Teresa food scene.
While I initially came to Santa Teresa for the beach vibes, the food ended up stealing the show. I even booked accommodations with a kitchen thinking I would cook at home, and rarely ended up using it!
This laidback surf town offers a variety of food options. From BBQ joints and vegan cafes, to cliff-side dining and casual beach bars, there’s something for everyone. This is the product of the growing international crowd that Santa Teresa attracts which has diversified the food scene over time.
Want to enjoy a margarita at sunset with your feet in the sand? Prefer a tarot card reading with your next meal? There are options for both and so much more!
There are even a few upscale eateries in Santa Teresa. However, in this chilled out beach town, “upscale” doesn’t translate to “fancy” by any means.
Luckily, I had plenty of time to try all the best spots in Santa Teresa. If you’ll only be in town for a short visit, you’ll have to pick and choose which spots you visit, so save this list of the best restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica so you don’t miss out!
Map of the Best Restaurants in Santa Teresa by Area
When searching for the best restaurants, take into consideration that Santa Teresa is spread out.
The town has one main road that runs alongside the beach. All the businesses are located along this road and driving from one end to the other can take around 30 minutes.
You can rent an ATV or car to access restaurants further from your hotel. Or you can stick to the restaurants located in the area closest to you.
This map should help you determine what is nearby when deciding where to eat in Santa Teresa.
Best Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
If I had to choose the #1 best restaurant in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, it would definitely be Katana. This dinner-only spot is Asian fusion, with incredible dishes like a unique pad thai, fresh sushi, butter chicken and gyoza.
If Asian food is your jam, then you’ll love everything this stunning restaurant serves.
It’s not just the food here that takes the cake. The picturesque outdoor patio adorned in lush greenery and string lights is everything you could want from a jungle dining experience. Plus, their cocktail menu is just as creative and thoughtful as the dishes.
Make sure to make a reservation here as bookings fill up nightly.
Address: 600 M North of the Main Crossroads, Santa Teresa 601111 Costa Rica
An all-in-one hotel, cafe and surf shop, Somos is great for both daytime and nighttime dining.
During the day, people gather with friends or with their laptops, and at night Somos fills up with the social crowd. If you’re looking for all-day good energy, you’ll find it at Somos.
The atmosphere here is a little funky and bohemian, with tons of plants and rattan lighting fixtures. The star of the show is a vintage airstream trailer that’s been converted into a bar and kitchen.
If you come for breakfast, definitely order the banana bread (it’s insanely good!), or the smoothie bowls. I also love the Breaky Tacos which come on the most delicious handmade tortillas.
If you’re looking for something super healthy and delicious, the Greens & Lentils are a winner. For cocktails, I love their take on a pisco sour with guava.
Address: Calle Cobano, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Ani’s Bowls quickly became my go-to coffee shop while I was staying across the street in Santa Teresa. I literally came here every morning!
Ani’s serves much more than coffee though. In fact, this is one of the best restaurants in Santa Teresa for a healthy breakfast or lunch. They offer vegetarian and vegan options as well as gluten-free dishes.
This spot is situated right on the beach path. It’s great for grabbing a bite before heading out for a surf or tanning session.
For breakfast, I recommend an acai bowl, avocado toast or breakfast burrito.
Ani’s is open for lunch too. However, the beach crowd mainly visits for breakfast, and the restaurant is much less busy as the day progresses.
Address: Calle Cobano Galeria Zeneidas seguido a la Lora Amarilla, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Specializing in Argentinian cuisine, El Falcon has a wood-fired kitchen and clay oven, making their dishes absolutely mouth-watering. This is regularly considered one of the best restaurants in Santa Teresa.
For meat lovers, this is a must, however there are vegetarian options here as well. It’s a great place to come to enjoy a more upscale meal and some live music. Prices here are a bit higher but the portions are huge, so keep that in mind.
The BBQ pork sandwich is cooked in a clay oven and is undeniably one of the best entrees on the menu.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try the grilled prawns with green curry or roasted bananas.
Address: Cabinas Playa Hostel, Infront of La Lora, Santa Teresa Costa Rica
When it comes to pizza, La Doña is the best in town. The pizzas are all cooked to perfection in a classic brick oven.
La Doña’s style of pizza is thin and delicate, so it’s easy to eat an entire pie yourself. I recommend the classic pepperoni along with an order of the seasonal ravioli!
Note that this spot is towards the south end of Santa Teresa. Depending on where you’re staying, it might be a bit of a trek. But when the craving for pizza calls, I say it’s definitely worth it!
Address: Contiguo Cruce, Mal Pais 60111 Costa Rica
Nula Plant Based Kitchen should be your first choice if you’re searching for plant-based restaurants in Santa Teresa. This bohemian-inspired eatery is located in Hotel Zūnya and features a menu that is entirely vegan.
Everything here is really yummy, but my favorite dishes are the vegan fettuccine carbonara and the breakfast banana pancakes.
Pro tip: Visiting Zunya is an experience unto itself, located on a private stretch of beach. I recommend grabbing a bite at Nula, and then taking some time to stroll around the unique property.
Address: Mal Pais, Mal Pais 60111 Costa Rica
Once you arrive in Santa Teresa, it won’t be long before you hear about The Bakery. This is a favorite spot among locals and visitors alike.
Casual but cute, The Bakery is great for breakfast or lunch with a wide array of options to choose from. Salads, paninis, eggs dishes, pasta—you name it, they’ve got it.
While everything is delicious, there’s one thing you can’t leave The Bakery without trying: the baked goods! The cheesecake is out of this world, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given their name.
This restaurant is one of the most popular in Santa Teresa. Expect it to be very busy every day, with a wait.
Address: 30 meters north of Franks at Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Uma is the ultimate Santa Teresa restaurant for beachside sunset drinks with a vibey DJ as your musical backdrop. Friday nights are the absolute best here.
The restaurant’s boho setting is pure IG-worthy vibes, and the Mediterranean cuisine is equally as tantalizing.
They have a large tapas and starters section, making it a great place to share plates with friends. Don’t miss the delicious fish kebabs or whole fish here. If you enjoy spicy dishes, you must order the sweet and spicy bell peppers with hot sauce.
Uma is more expensive than other restaurants in Santa Teresa. However, it is worth it for the delicious seafood they offer! The seafood is some of the freshest you can find on the beach.
Address: Playa Cielo hotel, Santa Teresa 61111 Costa Rica
As the name suggests, La Cevicheria specializes in all things ceviche and Peruvian cuisine. It’s open every day except Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. so you can come for lunch or dinner.
The outdoor dining area is covered, so you can enjoy ceviche no matter the weather. The overhead string lights give the area a cozy atmosphere as well.
Everything is made in-house daily and there are also plenty of cooked dishes to choose from as well.
Address: North Of Rancho Itauna 50m, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the name here. Chicken Joe’s is a fantastic restaurant in Santa Teresa with reasonable prices.
Their ceviche is made in traditional Peruvian style, with leche de tigre. I ordered it for my main meal and it was super fresh and light.
They also have an incredible rotisserie chicken here that will melt in your mouth.
Overall, the food is a mix of Peruvian, Central American and Latin flavors. The ultimate highlight here though is the service. The staff at Chicken Joes are incredibly friendly and kind. You will be well taken care of here during your visit to Santa Teresa.
Address: Main Road Accross from Soccer Field, Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Nami is in my opinion the best place for sushi in Santa Teresa. The special rolls are super creative and fresh, but you can’t go wrong with any of the classic rolls.
I suggest starting with some nigiri. Then, order a few of the special rolls, such as the Shizen roll or the festival roll. You can also build your own poke bowl!
My absolute favorite thing on the menu, though is the Passion Sake cocktail. It’s a unique concoction—and a must-order for anyone who loves passion fruit!
Address: Mts Norte Del Super Hacienda 200, Santa Teresa Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a low-key spot with ocean views at sunset, Rocamar is the place to be. The beach is tucked away on the north side of Santa Teresa. This means that it usually isn’t too crowded compared to other sunset spots in town.
The Roca buttermilk-fried chicken sandwich is a local favorite that is topped with a unique chili-peanut salsa.
Even if you’re not hungry though, it’s worth making a stop for a margarita or beer with sunset views. After that, you can head back into town for dinner.
Rocamar is really all about the atmosphere, so make sure to reserve a night during your trip for a sunset here!
Address: Blue Surf – Roca Mar Rd, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
I wouldn’t say Banana Beach is renowned for its cuisine. However, it is one of the best spots to experience the social scene in Santa Teresa and is 100% worth visiting!
Located at the Banana Beach Bungalows, this spacious outdoor restaurant serves a variety of globally-inspired bites and drinks. The best part is, every table here is just steps from the sand.
Expect live music or DJs to present most nights and even surf competitions during the day.
Banana Beach was definitely one of the most fun and lively places we went during our time in Santa Teresa. If you’re seeking a fun atmosphere to go out, this is it.
Address: Villa Bonita Drive, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Brukas is without a doubt home to the best restaurant views in all of Santa Teresa. It sits on a hill overlooking the ocean, so you’ll definitely want to snag some sunset photos during dinner.
That being said, it’s located on a high hill set away from the main road. To get here, you definitely need either an ATV or a car with four-wheel drive. Those willing to brave the adventure will be welcomed by one of Santa Teresa’s best hidden gems!
The menu focuses on grilled meats and fish and the ambiance truly is unmatched. Try the mushroom risotto, ravioli or flank steak—you won’t be disappointed!
Address: 200 mts noreste de amicci sobre calle Buenos Aires, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Dinner with a spiritual side? Yes, please.
I loved the vibes at The Third Eye, also called El Tercer Ojo. Here you’ll find everything from Caribbean cuisine and fresh seafood, to tarot card readings while eating at this free-spirited establishment.
Some of the standout menu items include the ceviche, Caribbean Bowl and the plantains. They also have a really tasty cocktail list. Overall, the Third Eye in Santa Teresa offers a unique dining experience you won’t want to miss.
Address: Calle las Piedras Next to Hotel Rustico, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Convivio is one of the newest restaurants in Santa Teresa, and it’s already made a name for itself in the community.
The atmosphere is modern and minimalistic with a bohemian twist that reminds you you’re in the heart of Costa Rica!
This is definitely one of the more upscale spots in town with gourmet dishes. If you’re looking for a special date night or celebratory dinner spot, this is a great option.
Address: North of Banco Nacional, 25 meters, Puntarenas Province, Santa Teresa 60111 Costa Rica
Headed to Playa Hermosa? This beach is considered to be the most beautiful in the area, but since it’s a bit far from central Santa Teresa, the food options are not plentiful.
However, Couleur Cafe is a great nearby option for a post-surf meal.
Couleur Cafe has a great selection for all kinds of food preferences. The menu includes a wide range of options from salads and wraps to fresh squeezed juices, sweet crepes and milkshakes. There’s a little bit of everything!
Address: Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa 2640 Costa Rica
Even though this one isn’t technically in downtown Santa Teresa, it’s worth a visit here as a day trip!
Located in Montezuma, Playa de Los Artistas is the perfect lunch spot to hit after a visit to the Montezuma waterfall. They have some of the freshest seafood in the area and offer a beautiful setting for open air dining.
It’s definitely recommended to make reservations, especially if you’re visiting with a group.
Address: Across the street from Los Mangos hote, Montezuma Costa Rica
Did this post inspire you to explore the food scene in Santa Teresa? Let me know in the comments below!
Explore More of Central America
Planning a trip right now? Don’t miss my go-to websites for booking everything from flights and tours, to accommodation and more:
- Booking.com for the best hotel deals
- World Nomads for flexible travel insurance
- VRBO for awesome home rentals
- Skyscanner for finding the best flight deals
- Hostelworld for budget accommodation
- Rentalcars.com for easy car rentals