Though chill by most international standards, Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s most bustling beach towns. And in Costa Rica, that equates to great entertainment! Specifically, great food, craft beers & cocktails, dancing, and other Tamarindo after-hours amusements. Including live music in Tamarindo, our focus for today.
Local and visiting musicians flock to Tamarindo, where local bars, restaurants, and clubs host live music events almost every night of the week. From reggae Thursdays to acoustic Sundays, there’s always something – and often, many more than one something – happening in Tamarindo. Here’s our guide to some of the best live music in Tamarindo. In no particular order:
Pangas Beach Club
Phone: 2653-0024 | Website
Located at the northernmost end of Tamarindo Beach, just before the estuary, Pangas is a local favorite for its live tunes and breezy atmosphere. From solo guitarists to full ensembles, Pangas puts on a show (most often, on weekends). Be aware that, while Pangas is casual by day, it dons its beach-fancy duds at night (and diners do the same).
Dragonfly Bar & Grill
Phone: 2653-1506 | Website
Dragonfly Bar & Grill is a friendly, open-air (albeit roofed, in case of rain!) eatery offering great cuisine and a full menu of cocktails, wines and craft beers. Also on the menu: live music every Saturday – experimental flamenco guitar, soloists, and other harmonious offerings – as well as a rotating list of special guest musicians. See their website for a list of current shows.
Phone: 2653-0086 | Website
Located just across the street from Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, this sleek restaurant is as notable for its décor as it is for its live music in Tamarindo: teak terracing, handmade wood furnishings, and shining copper frame the view of live performances (usually, Fridays, Saturday, and Sundays). On the menu: Latin lounge, sax, vocalists, acoustic roots soul, and other beats.
CRAZY Monkey BAR
Phone: 2653-0114 | Website
For the young and young-at-heart, there’s no better place to spend a Friday night than at Tamarindo’s Crazy Monkey Bar. In addition to red-hot fire dancers, great food and drink, and good company, this wild-and-crazy bar also offers live music – usually, a live salsa band or other iteration of live dance music.
The Monkey-LaLa (Hotel Pasatiempo)
Phone: 2653-4701 | Website
A local institution, The Monkey-LaLa is a favorite hangout not only for Tamarindo travelers, but also for local musical talent drawn to its open mic night. Though the restaurant doesn’t host live music every day, you can usually catch some tunes on Mondays and Saturdays, at the very least. Be sure to down a drink or two, because the entire audience is invited on stage to perform with the musicians!
El Vaquero Brewpub
Phone: 2653-1262 | Website
A definite favorite among Tamarindo music-lovers, beachfront (oh, the sunsets!) El Vaquero offers that oft-elusive blend of family-friendly restaurant, adult-pleasing brewpub, and after-hours entertainment locale. Open daily until 12 a.m., this is the place to grab dinner and cold beer, followed by live music every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Phone: 7240-6072 | Website
Doing its name proud, The ROOF is a sky-high (okay, fourth-floor) bar and lounge with exceptional ocean and sunset views. In addition to regular sports nights, DJs, and happy hours, this Tamarindo mainstay also hosts regular live music nights. Call ahead (or check their Facebook) to confirm current shows, as their offerings change often.
Phone: 8705-4762 | Website
For fans of Caribbean beats, there’s no better place to be than Pacifico Bar on a Thursday evening. Then, the island-themed dance club opens its doors to live reggae bands – Thursday is always reggae night – but this hotspot is also popular on other nights, when the drinks are cold and the music is often live.
Phone: 2653-0056 | Website
Once called Portofino, Vulcano promises craft beer, great eats, and exceptional live tunes. Local musicians love it here, giving guests a good taste of Tamarindo’s best, be it solo vocalists, acoustic guitar, or full ensembles. Be sure to order a craft beer, as Vulcano has some of the best in Costa Rica.
That’s our list. Did we miss any of your favorite spots for live music in Tamarindo? Let us know!