What are your favorite Jaco restaurants? Or are you looking for recommendations? Jaco resident Justin DeBoom talks up some of his favorite places in this Costa Rican beach town.
I get this question all the time: why live in Jaco, Costa Rica? Isn’t it seedy and dangerous? Absolutely not!
Jaco, like any popular beach town in Costa Rica, might seem like more of a party town than the ideal place to live, but looks can be deceiving. I’ve been calling Jaco home for years, and I can’t imagine living in any other place in Costa Rica.
My wife and I live in a development about half a mile from the main strip of Jaco.
Here it feels separated from everything, but in the heart of it all. A strange way to explain it, but it’s the best of both worlds. The life here is pretty laid back and like any popular tourist beach town in the states. You get your locals and you get your tourists. During the week, things are slow and there are few cars or people on the main strip. But on the weekends, things get busy and the town comes alive with people everywhere.
Jaco is the closest beach town to San Jose and a hot spot for Costa Rican families to visit and enjoy the sun, surf, sea, and sand.
So what do we (the locals) do in Jaco?
I can’t speak for everyone, but this is pretty much how my wife and I spend our days and weeks. I work from home as a travel agent, so there’s not much difference between the actual days of the week and when I am not working.
During the week, I spend most of my time at home working or heading to the local marinas to meet clients and friends.
A short distance outside Jaco – in Playa Herradura – is the Los Sueños Resort and Marina. As the fishing specialist for Costa Rica Vacations, tons of my clients visit this property and since it is so close, it’s a perfect place for me to meet them. The marina is amazing, the food options are over the top, and the luxury vibe of everything reminds us how great it is to live around here.
In Los Sueños, our favorite place to hang out is the Hook-Up for lunch, great drinks, and incredible marina views. When entertaining or socializing at night, we also like to eat at Lanterna. The food is excellent and the service great.
Back in town, we also have some favorite Jaco restaurants to hang out in.
We love Jaco Walk on the south end of the strip. It’s home to some of our favorite Jaco restaurants.
Sunday Funday for us is all about the PuddleFish Brewery. This place combines great beers and drinks with great food. It’s a definite regular for us.
Their sister restaurant, Graffiti Restro, is also one of our go-to places for amazing food and mixed drinks. I’m a big red meat guy, which is often challenging in Costa Rica. The coffee-encrusted cacao tenderloin at Graffiti, however, is the best steak in town.
Wednesdays and Fridays are all about sushi for us, at Tsunami Sushi. These two days are half-price on rolls, and we go to town. If you go, try the spicy edamame and the crab cali roll.
Other regular Jaco restaurants we frequent on any given day of the week include:
Taco Bar. Also on Jaco Walk, Taco Bar is a great place for food with killer prices. You order the main entrée and they have a salad bar with all the sides and fixings to load your tacos up so you get more than you can eat.
Green Room Cafe. The Green Room Cafe is another top pick for dinner or lunch. They specialize in more organic and local foods with a killer craft beer selection. My favorite is the citrus creole prawns and my wife’s is the falafel salad.
Lemon Zest. Lemon Zest is of the best places in town, and I put it on the same level as Graffiti. They have one of the best lobster dishes around and it’s our favorite place to bring fresh fish to after spending a day on the water.
Claritas. A cool local spot, Claritas is your classic Costa Rican beachfront bar/restaurant. Cold beer, good eats, and as close to the ocean as you can get.
Moyo. Moyo is a Mexican yogurt chain with a franchise in Jaco, on the Walk. This place has become more of a routine for us than anything. Out of the blue, we’ll get the urge and load up on Moyo with toppings. We convince ourselves that this is healthy, since its yogurt, but then realize all the toppings we add kind of kill that healthy aspect. But who cares, we live in Costa Rica!
What are your favorite Jaco restaurants?
Whether you’re a family looking for lots of things to see, a hardcore fisherman or surfer, a party/nightlife goer or looking to escape, Jaco has something for everyone, food-wise.