When you vacation by the sea, you want to dine from the sea. And in Tamarindo, that’s easy. Too easy! Our small town offers dozens upon dozens of excellent restaurants, including many with menus that promise the Catch of the Day, shrimp everything, tropical lobster, and other delicious seafood dishes. Indeed, it’s hard to define the best seafood in Tamarindo.
So, what to choose? First things first: Try a little bit of everything. Try several of our local fishes, and add in some ceviche (Costa Rican-style, with plenty of lemon!), shrimp cocktail, and grilled lobster. At the very least. Because honestly, Tamarindo offers so many seafood options that you could breakfast, lunch, and dinner a different plate every day, and still go home having only tasted only a fraction of what the town has to offer.
With so many choices, you’re going to need a little bit of guidance. So, we’ve pulled together this list of our favorites: the best seafood in Tamarindo. Seven restaurants, dozens of dishes. So good, they’re un-rankable, so we’re going old school (as in, elementary school) and presenting our favorites in alphabetical order:
Phone: 2653-0086 | Website
Chic but not stuffy, El Coconut offers beautiful teak terracing, handmade wood furnishings, and shining copper – but that’s all eclipsed by the wonderful menu. Fresh fish, tropical lobster, perfect mussels and other delicacies are Tamarindo favorites, while the avocado and grilled shrimp salad is an absolute must! El Coconut also has an extensive (and much appreciated) wine and cocktails list.
While not technically in Tamarindo (Lola’s is located on Playa Avellanas), this area mainstay is a must on our list – and not only because of the restaurant’s friendly mascot, the 400-pound Lola (a pig)! Lola’s has great hammocks, great ceviche, and an even greater seafood menu, which includes fish & chips, fried calamari, local snapper, and cold, cold drinks (including some pretty incredible mojitos)!
Phone: 2653-0029 | Website
Sitting on primo beachfront real estate, Nogui’s could probably rest on its laurels. But it doesn’t. Instead, this is THE place to be for a sunset drink and tasty (yet un-fussy) seafood, including mouthwatering Costa Rican ceviche, shrimp & pineapple kebabs, garlic calamari, grilled lobster, and macadamia-encrusted tilapia, all fresh from the sea.
Phone: 2653-0024 | Website
It’s no secret that Pangas is one of our favorite go-to spots. Located at the northernmost end of Tamarindo Beach, on the border of the estuary that separates Tamarindo from Playa Grande (not to mention, the panga “ferry” boats that lend the restaurant its name), Pangas offers a beach-elegant vibe, candlelit evenings, and a superb seafood menu that offers everything from red snapper to meaty lobster.
Seasons by Shlomy
Phone: 8368-6983 | Website
What could be better than poolside dining and a Mediterranean menu? Poolside dining, a Mediterranean menu, and abundant seafood, that’s what! Here, Israeli chef Shlomy serves up several vegan and vegetarian options, and a full menu of succulent, flaky and perfectly cooked “fruits of the sea,” including delicacies like grilled octopus, tuna tartar, and shrimp scampi.
Phone: 8646-1215 | Website
If you’re after fresh, high-quality and inexpensive, it doesn’t get much better than the Shrimp Hole. This unassuming food stand serves up locally sourced, super-fresh seafood, always prepared fresh daily. The tuna poke starter is a definite favorite, but at a place called the “Shrimp Hole” you’re ultimately here for their signature plate: shrimp, your way – in creamy green curry, as a burger, in a spicy mango sauce, and other iterations guaranteed to have you licking your lips and contemplating whether your stomach has room for more.
Phone: 2653-2374 | Website
Straight-from-the-surf is the best kind of seafood – and Sprout knows it! This Tamarindo mainstay is big on healthy, but the delicious kind of healthy: sandwiches, wraps, and ah-maz-ing fish tacos, all sourced from organic and sustainable ingredients from local farmers and expert anglers. Be sure to order a glass of organic wine or artisan beer!
Let us know which ones you try (and love) – and what are your picks for the best seafood in Tamarindo!