Staying in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica? Check out this list of recommended restaurants in Manuel Antonio. I’ll share our tips on where to grab breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with tips on what to order. We found plenty of unique places to eat in Manuel Antonio and they were some of the best restaurants in Costa Rica during our 10-day trip. All of our Manuel Antonio restaurant recommendations are from personal experience. We only recommend the places that we’ve enjoyed ourselves.
Trying to decide where to eat breakfast during your visit to Manuel Antonio? We tried a few different places during our stay, so I’ll share those with you below.
This is one of the best breakfast places in town! From their delicious coffee to their mango crepes and huevos noches. The coffee is freshly ground and can be served in a variety of ways. We elected iced drinks on a warm morning and it hit the spot.
With a beautiful back patio that is more akin to sitting in your own tropical oasis, it’s a wonderful location to linger a bit of breakfast and savor its flavors. We ordered a full breakfast complete with scrambled eggs, hearty toast, banana pancakes, and crispy bacon. My husband had the traditional huevos rancheros with homemade spicy salsa. The portions were plenty large and enough to share if traveling with children.
The staff is friendly and welcoming while keeping your drinks full and your appetite satisfied.
Tule Cafe: Tulemar Resort
Located just off the main road running through Manuel Antonio is a resort called Tulemar. It features a wonderful restaurant and cafe that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With stunning views overlooking the resort, as well as the Pacific Ocean, it is a great option for visitors looking for a place to start their day.
If you’d like to visit Tule Cafe, just tell the gate attendant and they will help you. Tulemar is also a wonderful place to stay, check out my review about our stay in their casita panorama property if you haven’t already booked your accommodations.
Located right next to the family pool, Tule Cafe is an outdoor (covered) restaurant that offers affordable and delicious options for breakfast. Start off with one of the many fresh-squeezed juices before feasting on options like homemade fresh crepes stuffed with local Mango, Nutella fresh toast complete with strawberries or breakfast burrito stuffed with fresh eggs and topped with salsa and avocado.
There are plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters with friendly staff and again…those views!
Needing to grab a quick bite in between activities? Or perhaps you like to linger in the afternoon soaking up the warmth from the sun. There are plenty of great options to grab a bite at one of the local Manuel Antonio Restaurants.
If you are looking for a laid back, but delicious place to grab a meal, then Emilios Cafe is the spot. Reasonably priced dishes are on the menu from sandwiches, pitas, salads to heartier dishes after fun morning adventures. Enjoy the views from the top of the coastline all the way down to the Pacific Ocean.
I ordered the salmon pita, which was the perfect amount of food and tasted wonderful. My husband enjoyed his falafel pita and our son had an Italian sandwich, but the bread was ciabatta style and quite thick, so I wouldn’t recommend it for kids. I hear the coffee is amazing and so are the pastries!
Rainmaker Conservation Project Cafe
If you happen to be enjoyed Rainmaker Conservation Project, which lies about 30 minutes from Quepos and Manuel Antonio, they have two wonderful local ladies who will cook you up their traditional Casados dish for a modest price of $7 per person.
Just tell the gentleman at the counter when you purchase your tickets and you can either enjoy a meal before you enter the forest trails, or you can arrange to have a meal ready for you when you exit your hike. Your meal will consist of meat (typically chicken), rice, beans, salad, and a pico of sorts (ours featured squash). Fresh fruit juice and water are offered, but you can also purchase a soda. In addition, they have plenty of salsas and toppings to customize the meal to your liking.
Haven’t heard about Rainmaker? Check out this post detailing the experience where you have the chance to see poison dart frogs, morpho butterflies, and stunning hanging bridges.
Exhausted from a full day of sightseeing, dinner time beckons most travelers who want to fill their bellies after hikes through the forest viewing wildlife or adventures on the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The following options delight with local food options, delectable drinks and some with views that won’t disappoint.
A unique restaurant with an old 19th-century train as a part of its restaurant! They serve up wonderful homemade food with a nice large pizza oven for thin-crust pizzas with delicious toppings. Either sit outside with a view of the train or ask to sit inside the train and you’ll enjoy a nice AC to keep you cool. The train sways a bit each time the waiter or guests enter or exit the train. We tried a variety of dishes and each one was excellent.
- Four cheese pizza: a nice thin crispy crust with a blend of four cheese which made for a simple, but perfect pizza.
- Spaghetti carbonara: a nice creamy base with crispy bacon, sautéed onions and spaghetti noodles for a classic Italian dish. It is also served with four crispy and buttery toasts.
- Wagon Salad: crispy greens, perfectly ripened avocados and juicy tomatoes with a bit of oil and vinegar for a nice salad
We were also celebrating my son’s birthday and El Wagon treated him with a delicious cake complete with candle and the staff singing him happy birthday. His grin couldn’t have been any wider!
A fun and unique restaurant with an old Soviet airplane in which the restaurant is made and built around. Perfect for dinner with amazing sunset views! During holiday seasons, be sure to make reservations. Parking is right up front and it is walking distance from many of the resorts in the Manuel Antonio area. Since we had a rental car, we drove. We appreciated the help from the parking attendant both on arrival and departure.
The C-123 Fairchild cargo plane is parked right in the center and is open for exploring. Our son loved being able to climb right into the cockpit and it makes for a fun photo op. Also housed inside are a bar and a few tables for two. Honestly, though, the best seats are along the railing. Stunning views of the Pacific Ocean as well as sunset views in the evening. What’s not to love?
The food is plentiful and delicious. I ordered the seafood curry. It had a nice blend of sweet curry sauce with a side of white rice and fried plantains. My husband had the vegetarian nachos with homemade guacamole and salsa. Our son played it safe with chicken fingers and French fries. My sangria was a perfect blend of fruit juice and wine with fresh cut apples and pineapple. My husband enjoyed his Costa Rican beer.
For dessert, you can’t miss the tres leches cake. It melts in your mouth with a sweet and creamy cake with whipped cream and a cherry on top!
I hope you enjoy all the culinary delights during your visit to Manuel Antonio, there is certainly no shortage of fun restaurants with unique attributes that make dining in this area so much fun. Of course, you can’t go without saying that Costa Rica also has some wonderful food options with fresh fruits and locally sourced produce.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Manuel Anotnio? Feel free to leave a comment or find me on Facebook or Instagram. I created this travel blog to help other families to explore the world with their kids and I hope I’ve inspired you. Want to read more about Costa Rica? Check out my posts about our stay at nearby Tulemar, Parasailing and taking a Catamaran Cruise. Or head over to my destinations page and explore my interactive map, it’s pretty fun. Until next time!
Want to read more posts about Costa Rica? Check out all the posts we’ve written below.
Planning a trip to Costa Rica? This is our suggested Costa Rica itinerary: 10 days of beaches, waterfalls and rainforests. Covering the regions of Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose, you’ll get to see the wide variety of wildlife, regions and activities. Don’t miss the interactive map, accommodation recommendations and the best things to do in Costa Rica.
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