Gold Coast Visitor’s Food & Drink and Activity Guide

Food & Drinks in Flamingo, Costa Rica

We have many great restaurants and bars right here in Flamingo. Whether you’re looking for food or drinks, we have the perfect place for you.

Leave our villa, Casa Las Brisasgo down the hill and there is a vegetarian spot next to the Flamingo Super Massai. It has wonderful smoothies, falafel, quinoa bowls, mediterranean plates and nice breads.

Head right towards the beach to find La Plaza shopping area. Upstairs is a fine dining restaurant called Angelina’s (it is pricey) which has wonderful food and a sexy vibe. At street level, there is Marie’s which is a community staple and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just up the steps from Marie’s is a great Italian place called Camparino’s. Wonderful pasta and pizza which is also available for takeout. Margaritaville, previously known as the Flamingo Beach Resort has an upstairs bar with a great beach view. We suggest parking on the beach road and walking rather than using the main parking lot entrance. Just tell the guard you are going to the bar.

Note: If any guard anywhere ever questions you, just tell them that you are staying in a private home on the North Ridge in Flamingo and the owners recommended you come there.

One of our absolute favorite spots is just down the beach road called Coco Loco. Located right on the sand and owned by French chef Jean-Luc, Coco Loco has some of the best food and drinks around and is open for lunch and dinner.

Food, Drinks & Sailing near Potrero Bay

Heading out of Flamingo, you will drive by Potrero Bay where all the sailboats moor. Serendipity is a private sailboat that we have chartered several times and is a wonderful sailing experience. They have morning or sunset cruises and provide great chicken tacos, fruit, and fresh salsa as well as drinks. Take them up on the snorkeling off of beautiful remote beaches. You won’t regret it!

To book a boating adventure go to www.sailingcostarica.com.

Continue around the bend to Pleamar, which has a good selection of dishes. However, we suggest continuing down the dirt road behind Pleamar for about 100 meters to find a hidden gem. You will think you are lost, but trust me, it’s worth it! The restaurant is called Azul and it offers a great “rustico” lunch spot right on the water. Enjoy delicious ceviche, arroz con camarones and ice cold beer.

Interested in some great coffee and lattes? Right next to Banco Nationale is a little spot called Surf Box which will satisfy your caffeine needs in no time. It’s a great place for breakfast and lunch as well. Ready for lunch? Right next door is an Asian Fusion restaurant called Shogun that has Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food all of which are very good.

Sunset Views

Wanting the perfect spot to enjoy a Costa Rica sunset? Head north towards Surfside and Potrero to find The Beach House. Owned by Canadian friends of ours, The Beach House offers an unforgettable sunset view.

Continue north to find the Hotel Bahia del Sol which is also beautiful for sunset cocktails. And they have sushi! The Costa Rica Sailing Center is right across the street and you can rent small sailboats, kayaks, paddle boards here: www.costaricasailing.com They also have a wonderful chef and it’s a great spot for lunch or dinner on the water.

We also are fans of the food at El Castillo, The Shack (breakfast and lunch) and Perla’s all of which have good menus and drinks. Perla’s frequently has live music in the evenings. Next to The Shack there is a new craft brewery with an outdoor beer garden. Past Perla’s, take a sharp left and you will find another favorite, La Forketta. The chef and his wife are the owners, with a lovely staff that serves the best Italian in the area. Carpaccio, pastas, great custom pizzas, and homemade Lemoncello.

Food, Drinks & Zip Lining in Potrero

For a fun afternoon outing, I recommend the zip lines at The Congo Trail which is located on the Monkey Trail. They have great guides for the zip lines and you can also visit the monkey rescue center. Relax in Potrero’s town square at Las Brisas which has killer margaritas, great ceviche and the best fish tacos. They also have a great view right on the water.

If you want an upscale, gorgeous spot, there is Casa Chameleon, out past Hotel Sugar Beach, in Las Catalina’s development. This is an adults-only boutique hotel, with access to the public for drinks and dining. You must make reservations for sunset and/or dinner.

Food Near Brasilito

If you head south towards Brasilito there are several popular beach spots but we don’t recommend them. The Westin Hotel and the brand new W Hotel are located just past Brasilito inside the Reserva Conchal property.

Food in Tamarindo and Langosta

Tamarindo and Langosta are much more built up and Tam is very crowded and lots of shops and bars reminiscent of Cancun. Panga’s is near the AutoMercado and La Palapa is right on the main drag. In Langosta you’ll find the Capitan Suizo Hotel and the Langosta Beach Club. Both have restaurants that are open to the public and are beautiful. There are TONS of bars and restaurants and souvenir shops so you might really like the action.

Food, Drinks & Zip Lining in Pinilla

If you want to do a zip line that isn’t as challenging to get to, head south to Pinilla. Follow the signs for the JW Marriott Hotel. Continue south past the hotel entrance and you will see signs for Pinilla Canopy Tour. Then definitely have lunch at Lola’s which is in Playa Avellanas, south of the JW Marriott Hotel about 8 kilometers. Great lunch destination 11-3 pm (closed Mondays) under royal palms with great food and a beautiful surf beach and the best shell gathering. Go for hours and eat in swimsuits. The novelty of Lola’s is the giant pig, Lolita. She lives there and goes out in the ocean for a swim several times a day. Farther south in Playa Negra is Hotel Devina (very bumpy dirt road) with a fantastic restaurant in a nice setting.

Golfing Options

Golf options are Hacienda Pinilla which is public. We play there all the time and it’s 40 minutes door to door. You can buy coupons for 10 rounds @ $50 plus cart fee and can be shared with your group if you don’t want to play 10 times. Reserva Conchal and the Westin Hotel is only 10 minutes away but you have to know a member to get on there or be staying at the hotel. It’s a Robert Trent Jones course and very nice. You might want to consider driving up to Peninsula Papagayo for the day and play their Arnold Palmer course. It is spectacular and a pleasure to play but runs around $400.

River Boating in Palo Verde

I highly recommend the 1/2 day trip to Palo Verde for the river trip. There are the most amazing birds and monkeys that come onto the boat to eat bananas out of your hand, and huge crocs swim up next to the boat. Includes a wonderful lunch prepared by locals in Ortega. Can also go to Guiatil to where they make the local pottery.

Day or Overnight Trip to Volcan Rincon de la Vieja

If you want an ambitious adventure day trip I recommend Borinquen Resort and Spa up by Volcan Rincon de la Vieja. Volcanic saunas, mud baths, springs, horseback riding and stunning zip lines as well as tasty lunch. Volcan Arenal is spectacular but I recommend staying overnight as it is a 3.5 hour drive.

Grocery Stores

Super Massai is the best grocery store nearby, near the turnoff to Potrero. It has great produce, liquor, meats, and carries fresh baked goods from the German bakery. The Super Massai Flamingo is a smaller version with a limited selection, is the closest to the house, and is convenient for last minute items. The huge AutoMercado is on the road into Tamarindo and has the largest selection, but I find most everything I need at Super Massai and the fruit stand in Surfside.

Easy Hiking from Casa Las Brisas

Early morning hike: Walk down the hill and take a right to the Flamingo Beach Resort (Margaritaville), walk along the beach road, past Coco Loco and The Palms. The road splits and if you go right you will wind up the South Ridge to the high point at Flamingo Cove and Towers, then head down and keep left and you will end up back at the split. If you don’t go left but stay straight, you will end up on the paved road into town. Or right past the Palms is a narrow concrete path that leads out to the beach and walk back on the sand. The beach is 1-mile tip to tip.

Personal Chefs at Casa Las Brisas

The concierge at Special Places can give you a few chefs…I asked Phem who the best one was and she directed me to the guy from Let Me Cook For You. He does a great job and has staff who serve and clean up everything. Jean-Luc from Coco Loco is also available for private dinners at our house; it’s $125/per person. The experience is gourmet and fabulous. Contact him at www.cocolococostarica.com