Potrero Area Top 10 (Part II of III)

Written by Ilene Solomon

The saga continues of all things wonderful in Potrero! Today’s feature – FOOD! Read on for Ilene’s top picks of the tastiest restaurants in the greater Potrero area….yum!

Top 10 Places to Eat

In no particular order…

1. Lola’s at Playa Danta. I’m telling you, the nachos win hands down, and that means a lot from a Texan. If you’re not a nacho fan, you’re in luck because no matter what you order at Lola’s, your stomach will be happy and your taste buds will be longing for the next bite. As Lola’s is nestled right on the beach, it is the perfect spot to enjoy the food and the view. I also highly suggest a batido con mango (mango smoothie).

2. Sol y Mar in Potrero. Talk about patacones that will make your smile grow from ear to ear! Make sure you ask for a side of guacamole. Patacones are traditional Costa Rican salty, crunchy snacks made from plantains. First the chef slices the plantain in small, round disk shapes and fries them. If that’s not good enough, the fried goodness then gets smushed and fried again! Yum yum! An added bonus: it’s home to the first-ever Abriendo Mentes English class.

3. Las Brisas in Potrero. Not only famous for Wednesday night Ladies’ Night, but Las Brisas is also the only restaurant in Potrero with a view of the Pacific. They have a wide variety of food offerings, from traditional Costa Rican casados to your all-American hamburger and fries. It’s a great place to drink a beer and enjoy the gorgeous sunset.

4. Bar La Penca in Potrero. Here is a soda worth mentioning. Bar La Penca will hook you up with the most authentic gallo pinto in town. But breakfast isn’t the only thing they do right: stop by there any night of the week for a rocking bar scene, complete with a taste of Top 40 hits—Tico style. Since it’s on the way to Playa Penca, you can get a batido para llevar (a smoothie to go).

5. The Shack in Surfside. This is your place if you have a hankering for your favorite American-style brunch. They’ve got omelets with goat cheese! They also make a delicious gallo pinto (Costa Rica’s famous rice, beans, and eggs for breakfast). The best part? Free, endless coffee with purchase of a meal AND wi-fi. They are also open for lunch, dinner, and the occasional live music fest.

6. Maxwell’s in Surfside. Nothing beats happy hour and $1 taco specials. That’s why you should head to Maxwell’s on Friday nights. Although every expat in the area is in on the secret, it’s a great way to mix and mingle and meet some locals. Otherwise, the Californian couple offer a wide variety of American-style dishes, should you miss any familiar flavors. Be on the lookout for Tuesday night karaoke. It’s a great place to launch your singing career (…or not).

7. Tubla on the road to Flamingo. This is Italian done right. If you’ve had enough rice and beans to last you the next 6 months, stop over at Tubla for some brick-oven pizza. Pair it with a caprese salad and an espresso for dessert and you’ll be saying, “delizioso!” before you know it.

8. Sea Star in Brasilito. If you’re feeling like a special treat, splurge a little and head over to Sea Star. Fish is what you should get. It’s fresh, delicious, and different from other fish in the area thanks to the Asian-inspired spices and flavors. This place is one of a handful of restaurants near by where flip-flops wouldn’t be your choice of foot wear.

Abriendo Mentes’ volunteers dining at Sea Star

9. Don Brasilito in Brasilito. Beer specials. Big screen TV with sports playing. French fries and hamburgers. No, I’m not describing an American sports bar, I’m talking about Don Brasilito! Although it does have that same laidback feel as any other sports bar, it has a Tico twist. Order yourself an Imperial or Pilsen and a casado con pollo, and enjoy the latest Costa Rican futbol game. They also have a happenin’ karaoke night, so be sure to warm up those vocal chords!

10. Cameron Dorado in Brasilito. One of the most romantic restaurants in the area, Cameron Dorado is right on the beach. Literally. Go ahead and take off those shoes. Run your toes along the sand while you enjoy a glass of wine and a fresh fish dish. You’ll have the royal treatment here: wash your hands in a chilled bowl of water with tropical flower that your waiter brings, then relax to the sounds of the mariachi band as they serenade you with traditional Costa Rican tunes.

Don’t miss Part III of III, coming soon!

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