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Top Costa Rican Restaurants in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde Restaurantes

Best Costa Rican Restaurants in Monteverde

Over the last decade, hundreds of people have asked me for advice on where to eat in Monteverde, Costa Rica. There are more than 80 restaurants as of the time of writing this post in Monteverde, and trying to figure out which one is the best can be a daunting task, researching thousands of online reviews and filtering by the types of foods you like.

With so many options, it’s hard to tell which one is the best, especially when different travelers have different tastes. However, if you’re looking for local Costa Rican food, in this post, I will share with you the top 3 Costa Rican restaurants for lunch in the area.

There are more than 20 Costa Rican restaurants and Sodas where to eat in Monteverde, and the best of the best are the following 2: 

  1. La Cuchara de la Abuela
  2. Sabor Tico in Centro Comercial

A Casado lunch, Costa Rican meal that includes rice, beans, salad, and fried plantains will cost approximately $7 in La Cuchara de la Abuela and $9 at Sabor Tico.

Let’s review each place individually:

1. La Cuchara de la Abuela (a.k.a. CASEM)

Restaurantes en Monteverde - La Cuchara de la Abuela (CASEM)

The best place to eat Costa Rican food in Monteverde is La Cuchara de la Abuela, also known as CASEM or the Women’s Coop. I have eaten out in Monteverde more than 1,000 times over the last decade, and I can attest that this place is the absolute “best bang for your buck.”

CASEM stands for Cooperativa de Artesanas de Santa Elena y Monteverde, which translates to Artisan Women’s Cooperative of Santa Elena and Monteverde. This place is where the local artisan women bring their artwork to sell it to Monteverde’s visitors and tourists. It’s a two-floor local-made souvenir shop with a small, cozy place to eat called La Cuchara de La Abuela, or “Grandma’s Spoon.”

La Cuchara de la Abuela CASEM – 2022 Menu with Prices

Tortillas* with: Colones USD
1. Two Eggs 1,925 $3
2. Cheese or Sourcream 1,925 $3
3. Sausage 2,150 $4
4. Fried Cheese 2,150 $4
5. Meat 3,200 $5.5
6. Arracache** 3,200 $5.5

*Big corn tortilla, fresh and handmade. Delicious. 

**Arracache is a root vegetable that belongs to the same family as parsnips, carrots, and parsley. Generally served as picadillo, finely chopped, grated, or shredded, mixed with meat, sweet pepper, garlic, and onion. It can be a bit strong if you are not used to it. 

Empanadas* with: Colones USD
1. Meat 2,500 $4.5
2. Chicken 2,500 $4.5
3. Cheese 2,500 $4.5
4. Beans 2,500 $4.5

*An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb “empanar,” meaning wrap or coat in bread.

Casados Colones USD
1. Chicken in sauce 4,300 $7
2. Fish 4,300 $7
3. Meat in sauce 4,100 $6.5
4. Pork Chops 4,100 $6.5
5. Steak 4,100 $6.5
6. Vegetarian 3,750 $6

You can also have side orders from many of the above items for $1 to $5.

La Cuchara de la Abuela is about a 2-minute walk from my house, so I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve been there to eat, and I still find it just as tasty as the first time I went in more than ten years ago. This small restaurant is the best place to eat locally in all of Monteverde, but it’s only open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 4 pm.

La Cuchara de la Abuela – How to Get There

La Cuchara de la Abuela is at the heart of the “old town” Monteverde, next to the Monteverde Coffee Center.

Here is the Google Maps link to get there.

2. Restaurante Sabor Tico (at the Shopping Center)

a large building

The next best option for local food in Monteverde is Sabor Tico, which translates to “Tico Flavor.” Tico describes Costa Rican people, similar to how United States people are called “Americans.” Sabor Tico is more popular and commercial than La Cuchara de la Abuela. However, the food is tasty, and the value for money is excellent. Sabor Tico is also open for dinner, which is another advantage over La Cuchara de la Abuela.

Sabor Tico offers a wide variety of local Costa Rican food. The widest variety in Monteverde. Here you can find Casados, Empanadas, and even Rice N Beans, a Caribbean dish that you will not find anywhere else in Monteverde.

Restaurante Sabor Tico – 2022 Menu with Prices

The average price for lunch at Sabor Tico in Monteverde is around $9 per person, including the main dish, fruit juice, and taxes. You can also get a smaller meal such as an Empanada or a Tortilla for as little as $3.5.

Appetizers Colones USD
1. Guacamole 3,450 $5.5
2. Mashed Beans 2,500 $4

Both Guacamole and Mashed Beans come with fried plantains.

Casados Colones USD
1. Pork Chop 4,250 $7
2. Beef in tomato sauce 4,250 $7
3. Chicken in tomato sauce 4,250 $7
4. Grilled chicken breast 4,250 $7
5. Beefsteak 4,250 $7
6. Fish 4,250 $7
7. Rice N Beans 4,450 $7

7. Rice N Beans are similar to a Gallo Pinto, featuring a combination of fried white rice and black beans, except a delicious, Caribean coconut sauce. It comes with chicken, salad and fried plantains. Tasty.

Casados at Restaurante Sabor Tico includes rice, beans, fried plantains, a slice of fresh cheese, salad, and one of the above types of meat. They do not include drinks.

Drinks Colones USD
1. Soft Drinks 1,500 $2.5
2. Natural Drinks 1,550 $2.5

Restaurante Sabor Tico – How to Get There

Sabor Tico has two restaurants in Monteverde. One of them is at the Monteverde Shopping Center, second floor. The other one is in front of Santa Elena’s soccer field. The first one has a more extensive menu, more tables, more parking lots, and much better customer service than the latter.

I have been to the one in front of the soccer field three times. The first time was about seven years ago. The customer service was not good, and the food came cold. The second time, I had the same experience. I decided to go in for the third time, but I had the same experience, so that was the last time I went there.

And after reading the online reviews, I see that customers agree with me on this. So, avoid the location in front of the soccer field and visit the shopping center.

Here is the Google Maps link to get there.

Sabor Tico is the number 1 place I recommend for dinner if you look for local Costa Rican food in Monteverde. It’s open every day from 7 am to 10 pm, except on Saturdays when they are available at 11 am.

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About the Author

Daniel Lalinde holding a mountain bikeDaniel Lalinde

I am the founder of Monteverde Tours Online. I live in Monteverde, and I love nature, adventure, and Mountain Biking. My partner and I love spending time outdoors and dining out in Monteverde. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in the area, and there is no park, no coffee shop, and no restaurant we haven’t tried at least once!

We love helping visitors, and connecting them with the different tours and activities to have a memorable experience in Monteverde.

If you need help planning things to do in the area, send us a message, and we will happily assist you! 

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