Visiting Jaco or Los Sueños and wandering where and what to eat? Fear no more, the options are endless!

If you are looking for local flavor while keeping a modest budget, go for sodas. Sodas are basically little, locally owned restaurants that serve typical costarrican meals. Upsides? Besides the fact that you are supporting a small local business, they normally have good food, decent portions and reasonable prices. The places vary between buffet style and regular menu.

For breakfast, gallo pinto (a mix of rice and beans) is usually the most requested meal. You can choose from a wide variety of addings (eggs, jam, chicken, sausage, beef, cheese, plantains, avocado, etc). This dish can cost around $4-$10 per person, depending on how big your appetite is and the “soda” you choose to visit.

For lunch, “casados” are the quintessential costarrican meal. They go for around $6-$12 per person, again depending on the place you go and what you add. Rice, beans (see that? we really love our rice and beans here), salad, your choice of meat (or not if you don’t eat animals), vegetables, picadillo, etc.
The dish can vary a bit from one place to the other but you can always kindly ask the staff what will be included in your meal.
Our favorite sodas around? Jaco Rustico, in Jaco downtown. Soda La Casita del Sabor, on the road between Herradura and Jaco. Rancho Shaday in Bijagual, an absolute must if you are taking one of our ATV tours.

For sodas near Los Sueños, you can try Soda Kattia (walking distance) and Soda Yesvery (also walking distance but way further than Soda Kattia so most people take their rental, a taxi or a golf cart there from the resort).

And for dinner? You decide! Sushi, seafood, organic, pizza, tacos, pasta, burgers, falafel, sliders, vegan friendly… The variety is real!

In Jaco, our personal favorites include Graffiti, Tsunami Sushi, Taco Joint, Jaco Bar, The Green Room, Taco Bar, Los Mahi Tacos de Cholo and Balcon del Mar. Also places like Amancio’s, Lemon Zest , Amara ( mediterranean food) are very popular.

Local dining options near Los Sueños include Cardumen, The Pelican and Juanitas (the last two are located right in front of the beach in Herradura). Those are a little pricier than sodas but usually a lot less than the restaurants at Los Sueños.

The Los Sueños Marina Village features a sushi place (Bamboo), an italian place (Lanterna), a sports bar (The Hook Up) and a coffee shop (Dolce Vita). All of them fancier (and pricier) than the local alternatives but all very popular and convenient in location if you are staying in the same property.

If you are in Los Sueños and want to venture out to Jaco a taxi can charge around $25-$30 each way for up to 4 people.

If you don’t mind driving a lit bit further, places like Tiko Restaurant (road to Bijagual around 30 minutes north from Jaco, the view alone is worth the visit), Los Guarumos ( road to Punta Leona around 15 minutes north from Los Sueños, jungle/ocean view), The Backyard (Playa Hermosa, beachfront bar with surfing contests on the weekends), Cantina El Tajo (mountains of Jaco, 4×4 advised) and Falafel Hermosa (Playa Hermosa, middle eastern food) are also amazing options you can consider.

If you need a reliable ride to and from any of these restaurants, let us know and we will be happy to assist.

Now go and dream about all the food!

Lindsay Thomas.

Pura vida, always!