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 the property, Casa Las Brisasgo down the hill and there is great taco spot called Amigos next to the Flamingo Super Massai. It has an outdoor patio and Mexican food, beer and margaritas. 

Recently opened, Marina Flamingo is a state-of-the-art Marina and Resort Village. Phase 1 has 92 slips with plans to expand to 184, accommodating vessels up to 125 feet. It has a high speed fuel dock, full immigration and customs services, as well as a helicopter-pad. The ideal spot for breakfast, smoothies, lattes as well as lunch and dinner is Surf Box. Gorgeous atrium seating with views of the marina or indoor with AC for more formal dining. There are a variety of boutiques and cafes including Cafe Britt, a Costa Rican coffee giant. They have an assortment of pastries, deli sandwiches and a store with wine, steaks and snacks geared towards the passengers arriving by water. It is also home to Hazel’s, a fine-dining steak & seafood restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, and Matia’s located on the marina promenade, open for lunch and dinner. 

Head right towards the beach to find La Plaza shopping area. Just up the steps from the street is NALU Bagel & Cafe; perfect little gem for breakfast or lunch, a great Italian place called Camparino’s featuring wonderful pasta and pizza which is also available for takeout. Upstairs is a fine dining restaurant called Angelina’s  which has high-end dishes, lovely bar and a sexy vibe. It’s also a great spot to stop in for a drink on your way back to the house.

 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.

Every Monday 6-9pm during High Season there is Moonlight Market at La Plaza; they transform the entire area into an artisan street fair featuring live music and vendors selling local art, jewelry, breads, coffee and gelato. Festive and fun; great for supporting local artisans and getting genuine souvenirs to take home.

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. It is THE spot to go for sunset cocktails (except our upper terrace!)

Right across the bridge is Terrazas,  a large outdoor venue for special events and weddings. This is also owned and operated by the same people that own Coco Loco so you know the food and cocktails will be fantastic.

If you are looking for something fun to do, the multi-tiered outdoor La Plaza in Playa Flamingo is the site for Monday Moonlight Market, a weekly festival featuring live music, food & drink. They showcase dozens of local and international vendors selling unique handmade jewelry, original artwork, crafts from native woods, coffee, artisan bread, cigars, etc.  Wander among the stalls, talk to the vendors, buy some authentic souvenirs and directly help support local artists in a festive location. There are numerous restaurants located in La Plaza so it’s easy to enjoy a cold beverage as you shop, and then get a bite to eat and listen to some great live music!

Food, Drinks & Sailing near Potrero Bay

Serendipity is a private sailboat that we have chartered numerous times and is a wonderful sailing experience. Located in Marina Flamingo, 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. All of our guests LOVE this. You won’t regret it! To book a boating adventure go to www.sailingcostarica.com.

AT the bend there is 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.

Ready for sushi? Right in that plaza across from the turnoff to Potrero is Doki Sushi! If you continue on the main road 100 meters you will find Super Massai on the left with a great selection of groceries, meats, veggies, wine and liquor. Next door is Top Spritz; authentic Italian with great fired pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and choice of indoor or outdoor garden seating.

If you head north on the turnoff road towards Surfside and Potrero you will find The Beach House. They serve Lunch & Dinner. The Beach House offers an unforgettable sunset view over the bay and new marina.

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.  The former owner of Angelina’s in Flamingo has recently opened Hemingway’s at the Sailing Center and it’s a great spot for lunch or dinner on the water.

We also are fans of the food at The Shack (great 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 craft brewery called Potrero Brewing Company with an outdoor beer garden and food court. Craft breweries like this are getting established all over the area and this is a fun, family friendly destination for some great local beers (see our Blog for more)  Past Perla’s, take a sharp left and you will find another favorite, La ForkettaThe chef and his wife are the owners, with a lovely staff that serves the best Italian in the area. Carpaccio, seafood, pastas, great custom pizzas, and homemade Limoncello. If you crave Mexican, turn left on Calle Naranja at La Forketta to find El Diablito. Great authentic Mexican for dinner.

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, mussels 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 in Las Catalinas development. This is an adults-only boutique hotel, with access to the public for drinks and dining. The restaurant is called Sentido Norte. You must call to make reservations.

Food Near Brasilito

If you head south towards Brasilito there are several popular beach spots mostly populated with locals. Located in the Mar Vista community is Gracia. The owners and chef are an American couple and there is a beautiful infinity pool and swim up bar at the restaurant, with nice panoramic views of the area. Nice lunch and dinner menu. They also have a wine bar and small restaurant further south towards Barsilito called La Vid. Beyond that there is an Asian Fusion restaurant called Shogun which features Vietnamese, Chinese & Sushi. Continuing south towards Brasilito, there is a great place right on the corner before you hit the beach called Patagonia Del Mar, which is well worth the short drive. Serving lunch and dinner, they have a grill and sushi, as well as a large wine cellar and a pool that is open to the public.  In the parking lot there is The Deli Cafe, a small bakery that has tasty wraps, coffee, smoothies and delicious baked goods. If you love authentic Indian food, and we do, you must go to Masala. Lovely setting tucked back off the main road through Brasilito.

The Westin Hotel and the new W Hotel are located just past Brasilito inside the Reserva Conchal property. Continuing south, there is a great craft brewery, BOA Brewing (Brothers of Ale, not the snake). Attractive outdoor patio serving their tasty microbeers, cocktails and a fantastic grill for lunch or dinner. Live music on occasion. See our Blog about craft breweries in the area.

Food in Tamarindo and Playa 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 sisters, Ava & Anas. They live there and go 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. The 15th hole has a serious water hazard!  Reserva Conchal and the Westin Hotel is only 10 minutes away. It’s a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course , managed by Troon and very nice. You can have the concierge at Special Places (our property manager) call and make a tee time for you and your group. 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 the concierge 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 https://www.cateringcosta.com

Golf Cart Rental

Although having a rental car during your stay is a great idea if you plan on exploring the coast and taking day trips, nothing beats the convenience of having a golf cart to tool around Playa Flamingo. You can use it to go to the beach, pick up some groceries or go to any of the restaurants and beach bars in town. We have a charging station at the house so you always are ready to go! They are road worthy and can be driven to neighboring areas within a 5 km radius. We recommend Flamingo Beach Golf Carts. Ask for Pablo!