Monteverde, where after a hike, your appetite will be intense!
When you paint a picture of Monteverde, you immediately imagine lush, green rainforest painted with the misty clouds overlooking the Nicoya Gulf with its islands and blue sea. Then sketch in lots of birds, wildlife and tropical flowers in the canopy and on the forest floor and some adventure activities. Lastly, you will draw in the small, quaint town of Santa Elena with its restaurants and the cafes as after a hike or some adventure, your appetite will be intense!
This is an amazing little corner of the world nestled in the mountains of Costa Rica and while small in space, it is packed with fantastic things to do, cloud rainforests to explore, adrenaline rush activities to push your comfort zone boundaries, boutique eco-friendly hotels and lodges to stay and delicious food to embrace.
All that clean, fresh air works up an appetite and Monteverde has some fantastic restaurants to explore and enjoy too. Let’s have a look at some our favorites!
- Orchid Coffee Shop
Costa Rica is world famous for its really delicious coffee and Monteverde grows some of the best so where better than the Orchid Coffee Shop to enjoy some freshly brewed café in as quaint a place as Monteverde is.
With a great terrace, you can choose from a healthy menu that goes beyond a coffee shop and they have some amazing breakfast dishes while embracing the Monteverde/Santa Elena vibe.
This creative menu caters for all tastes with lots of fresh salads, soups, crepes and sandwiches to accompany your freshly made coffee or your green smoothie and relaxed atmosphere. For the veggies and gluten free friends, you also have lots of great food to choose from too!
A recommendation: The cheesecake is the best in town!
- Choco Café Don Juan
Don`t let this wonderful restaurant`s name confuse you. While they have amazing coffee and chocolate, Choc Café Don Juan has a creative menu of all types of dishes to have before, with or after your coffee.
In a casual wooden accented space and a terrace that invites you to sit outside and watch the bustle of Monteverde pass by, Don Juan not only owns the eatery, the family also grow the coffee that they serve. This is the epitome of farm to table coffee.
The possibilities are galore when it comes to deciding on what dish most takes your fancy but leave some room for the great variety of homemade desserts, pastries and chocolate that are also on the menu. It also veggie and gluten-free friendly!
Our recommendation: The coffee and the chocolates!
- Celajes Restaurant at Hotel Belmar
With amazing views over the rainforest and down onto the Pacific Ocean, Celajes Restaurant in Hotel Belmar is a perfect place for lunch or dinner. The ambiance is quiet with a touch of elegance and the menu is representative of the new wave of gastronomical creativity sweeping the country.
The restaurant is housed in a Swiss chalet style architecture with carved wood and wide open windows that make your dinner cozy yet relaxed. The wine list is really interesting too and what better than a nice red with a spectacular dinner.
The restaurant has a farm to table concept so your food will not only be delicious, it will be fresh from the hotels organic garden or the farm. The fusion of fresh ingredients and creative chefs means your lunch or dinner at Celajes will be a culinary experience.
A recommendation: The tomato and squash soup or the Roasted Vegetable Curry
- Sabor Tico
Its name gives its menu away as Sabor Tico translates to “Costa Rican Flavors” and they are true to their title. Lots of great local flavors made from fresh, local produce that are fantastic in a casual atmosphere.
All that fresh air, hiking and adventure activities are the perfect excuses for a hearty meal with accents on traditional Costa Rican ingredients like the fried plantains and the amazing fresh fruit juices.
With great flavor and a wide variety of options on the menu, add to the mix, the beautiful views and the friendly, Costa Rican service, this becomes a really good option for a great meal and a cultural experience.
Our recommendation: Patacones and ceviche
- Tree House Restaurant
When in Monteverde, it is only fitting that you not only can walk through the forest floor or maybe fly through the forest canopy zip lining, or even throw yourself into the forest doing bungee, you can also eat in a tree. This is a unique dining experience but a great one!
Embracing a strangler fig tree, the restaurant with beautiful hardwood floors and arched beam ceilings really makes you feel you are actually in a tree house. What makes it better is that it has a laid-back, relaxing ambiance, big dishes and live music!
The menu is a fusion of Latin-American dishes with an emphasis on the world-famous Peruvian specialties so be prepared for some amazing fresh seafood and fish dishes. For the meat eaters, the menu doesn`t disappoint at all with a variety of top-quality cuts and hamburgers too.
We do have to mention here that traditional Costa Rican cuisine is also available with our hearty “casado” which is rice, beans, a protein, salad and plaintains. After a day of adventure, this dish and a local artisan beer is beyond perfect!
Our recommendation: Chupe de Camaron and some Grilled Pork Ribs.
- Soda La Salvadita
They say when in Rome, do as the Romans and this is the perfect example of when in Monteverde, do as the Monteverdians do. This is THE place to delve into the typical Costa Rican authentic cooking and truly understand what the locals really eat.
This family run casual eatery that are called “Sodas” offers the full range of true-blue Costa Rican dishes with lots of rice and beans, soups, proteins, fresh fruit and vegetables. Dishes are generous so come prepared for some great home-made tasting delights!
This is no-frills dining but it’s as genuine as you get and you will love the plentiful flavors and the friendly atmosphere that welcomes you to enjoy your meal. This is the place to try all the combinations of flavors that Costa Ricans love and a great way to build up your energy to continue your adventures in Monteverde.
Our recommendation: Rice and chicken with avocado sauce
- Morpho’s Restaurant
Another family run restaurant is Morpho`s, which has a menu as nearly as colorful as its façade and interior that is inspired by the beautiful Morpho Butterfly and all its splendor.
The menu is varied enough to do lunch and dinner and is very popular with visitors and locals which is always a really good sign! Try from a great selection of Costa Rican dishes that caters for the veggies and the non-veggies alike. The smoothies are really refreshing and are made with fresh tropical and fruits that will give you an energy boost to continue exploring the cloud rainforest.
Morpho`s also has an exciting variety of home-made desserts that go perfectly with a freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee. All this tastes even more delicious as you sit out on the terrace with fantastic views of the mountains and the forest.
Our recommendation: Heart of Palm salad and rice with shrimp.