Best Places to Eat in Tamarindo – Surf Edition

Best Places to Eat in Tamarindo – Surf Edition

If there’s one thing all surfers love, aside from wicked waves, it’s got to be good, wholesome food. After all, excellent nutrition is part and parcel of an active surfer’s daily life, right? Luckily, those surfing in Tamarindo Costa Rica with us at Iguana Surf Camp will discover that their culinary experience will match their epic surfing one. 

Serving vibrant flavors and laid-back vibes, the best places to eat in Tamarindo will satisfy your every desire, be it pre- or post-surf or after the sun has well and truly set. And we should know—every single one of the best places to eat in Tamarindo featured here has been personally vetted by the Iguana Surf team—several times over, in fact—just so we really knew what we were talking about, of course!

Read on to discover the delectable side of surfing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Best places to eat in Tamarindo for legendary breakfasts

Before hitting the waves, it’s essential to fuel up with a hearty breakfast to energize your body. 

At Iguana Surf Camp, we love starting our day with a hearty and wholesome US-style breakfast at Breakfast Grinds. Sure, some might say we are a little biased—after all, Breakfast Grinds is part and parcel of our surf beach hotel. Yet that’s not why we are obsessed with the place. What really entices us to make this a daily habit—aside from the homemade pancakes—is the Nutella French toast. There, we said that!

Fancy a savory and very local start to your surfing day? Then you’ll find no better kickstart than a Tico-style breakfast – complete with crispy bacon and eggs cooked just as you like them – overlooking Tamarindo beach. Get there bright and early – you’ll find Breakfast Grinds on the terrace of the Iguana Beach Hotel – doors open at 6am every day, till 8.30pm.

best places to eat in tamarindo

One of our other go-to brekkie places is El Mercadito, a fantastic ‘food hall’ with about a dozen different gourmet eateries that serve up fabulous breakfasts and lunches, dinners, and even cocktails in the evening. The market is open every day from 7 am (to 11 pm), so it’s another safe bet if you love hitting the waves early. You’ll also often find us here after sunset – the super fresh tacos and beer on tap always hit the spot after a full day in the sun and surf.

Where to indulge in post-surf pleasures – Tamarindo’s best surf-friendly eats

After a thrilling morning surfing in Tamarindo Costa Rica, it’s time to (you guessed it) feast again. When it comes to finding eateries with a surf-friendly atmosphere, Tamarindo offers plenty of options to suit every taste and budget. We’re talking totally chill cafes and restaurants that make you feel right at home.

For a laid-back vibe and mouthwatering burgers, head to Green Papaya Taco Bar. This cozy spot is a favorite among surfers and locals, thanks to its relaxed ambiance and delicious comfort food. Their fish tacos are absolutely legendary!

surfing in tamarindo costa rica

For a more upscale dining experience, make a beeline for Pangas Beach Club. This gorgeous waterfront restaurant boasts panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and a menu filled with fresh seafood and innovative culinary creations. Treat yourself to their signature ceviche or indulge in a succulent grilled fish platter while soaking in the breathtaking views.

surfing in tamarindo costa rica

Looking for a filling meal that’ll make you swoon? Then indulge in high-quality Argentine cuisine at Patagonia Argentinian Grill & Restaurant in front of El Mercadito. Naturally, this is a carnivore’s dream eatery, but note that you have seafood and vegetarian options, too—great if you’re on a group surfing trip in Tamarindo and want to find that one place that has something for everyone. We’ll go on a limb here and say that Patagonia’s empanadas are the best you’ll savor in your entire trip!

surfing in tamarindo costa rica

When you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter but just as indulgent, swing by Bamboo Sushi Club for a fresh and flavorful epicurean treat. Their extensive sushi menu features an array of creative rolls made with the finest local ingredients, making it the perfect spot to refuel after a day of surfing. The décor and overall vibe of this place, coupled with excellent food and service, make Bamboo one of Tamarindo’s best eateries. Open for lunch and dinner only.

best places to eat in tamarindo

For those craving Mediterranean tastes, there’s Falafel Bar, one of Tamarindo’s best vegan choices. The home-roasted lamb, creamy hummus, and piping-hot pita breads really satisfy those Middle Eastern desires. Generous servings and warm service make Falafel a Tamarindo gem, bar none.

best places to eat in tamarindo

The best places to enjoy sundowners in Tamarindo

No surfing adventure in Tamarindo is complete without a visit to the town’s bustling bar scene, where you can unwind with a cold drink and soak in the vibrant nightlife. 

Wild Panda is another Tamarindo institution, beloved for its 2 x 1 cocktails, all day, every day. It offers awesome local food and always amazing cocktails and is a super popular hangout for surfers. Try their mojitos, and you’ll understand. The dinner menu is actually rather great, too, and features perfectly prepared traditional dishes like casado and ceviche—one of our favorite places to start the night when we’re in a party mood. It offers affordable food, friendly service, and an overall social vibe that just screams Pura Vida!

Stroll over to Pacifico Bar, a lively beachfront spot known for its signature cocktails and live music—and for being just 20 steps away from the best surf beach in the country. Sip on a refreshing mojito while watching the sunset over the ocean, or hit the dance floor and groove to the sounds of the local bands. This place rocks on Wednesday and Thursday nights in particular.

If you’ve ever wondered why surfing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is the #1 surf destination in the country, now you know! Aside from boasting the best surf beach, our sweet town also serves up a diverse array of restaurants, cafes, and bars to suit every taste.

Join us at Iguana Surf Camp when you’re next in Costa Rica, and you’ll have access to not only the best surf lessons and surf camp options in the country but also some of its best gastronomic delights!

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