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Restaurants, Cafes & Nightlife- see Liberia City map for locations
Food in Costa Rica
The Costa Rican typical dish is called a 'casado' (literally marriage) and is usually either 'con pollo' (chicken), 'con carne' (beef) or 'con pescado' (fish). This will arrive with the Costa Rican staple of rice and beans, and more often than not, plantains and some kind of salad. This dish you will find in 'Sodas' which are the local eateries where you can get a hearty home-cooked style meal at good value. They usually offer a variety of fruit shakes as well. Sodas don't always have an alcohol licence.
Sodas and other small restuaurants often have 'comidas rapidas' (fast food), which usually includes burgers, fries, chicken sandwiches and such like. Not usually the best quality or very filling.
Pizza and pasta are usually pretty average unless the restaurant is owned by an expat.
Fish and seafood are usally pretty good but often overcooked by foreign standards. It's best to ask for 'medio crudo' and they will be happy to cook your fish a little less.
Costa Rican waiters do seem to have an overwhelming desire to keep their tables free of any extras, so have someone watch your plate if you go to the toilet as it may disappear while you are otherwise engaged!
3 blocks up and one block right from the Interamericana on the Avenida 25 de julio. Expressos, lates with coffee ground on site and home cooked pastries and savories. Also has the big bonus of air conditioning!
3 blocks north of the cathedral, from the Banco BCR. A good typical Costa Rican soda. Bebidas, casados and gallo pinto are the order of the day. Meat portions somewhat small but this is reflected in the cheap prices.
Soda Rancho Dulce
Another popular cheap soda with a wide range of bebidas close to the central plaza and along the street from Hotel Liberia. One block south of the church.
A popular tourist spot is the Paso Real, a second floor restaurant which looks out over the Parque Central and Church. Extensive menu, average food at above average prices.
Mexican restaurant on the road from Liberia to the beaches - a bit of a locals' secret. Delicious tacos served inside or al fresco. About a 5 minute drive from Liberia and set back 50 meters from the road on the right. At night look out for the fairy lights and you will be there. Great atmosphere and staff.
Good pizza from a wood-fired oven in pleasant surroundings. Rather expensive for backpackers (a small pizza is pretty small and costs the same as a large 'casado' elsewhere). Local beer is more expensive than other places around as well. For this reason it's predominantly frequented by tourists. However, for those of you staying at the Four Seasons it will seem cheap! One block up (east) from the church and then 2 blocks south.
Musmanni and Pan y Miel
Two bakeries right opposite each other and just round the corner from Pali supermarket. Musmanni opens at 5am so if you're heading anywhere early you can pick up a snack here.
Bar La Jarra
An excellent local bar and eatery, next door to Hotel del Aserradero. Has a pretty interior, friendly staff and an extensive menu. We recommend the ceviche. Little known by tourists thus far. Open until 12 pm, serves food until late.
Trendy bar in one of the historic buildings on Calle Real. Popular with local students and the hip crowd.
A place to go with friends as there is only a very small stand up bar area for solo drinkers.
Plays western Indy music mixed in with a bit of latin flavour every now and then, and has reggae nights on Sunday.
Best Western El Sitio Casino
Your basic Casino
Opposite the Best Western El Sitio is the famous and some may say notorious Kuru. The only nightclub for a fair way and therefore very popular with locals Thursday through Saturday. Open until they kick you out!.
In the new Santa Rosa Plaza next to the Best Western El Sitio. The latest addition to the Liberian scene, already proving to be very popular with locals. Modern decor spliced with sabanero motifs. Drinks more expensive than other places and a cover charge sometimes at weekends. Promises to be a local venue for bands also has large screen.
Stylish bar with 4 themed areas based on astrology. Pretty hip and trendy for Liberia, has lush couches and cushions as well as Edwardian style chairs. Music - usually current dance music, and occasionally some cheesy pop. Gay-friendly.
No explanation required! On Avenida Central
Opposite the Best Western El Sitio
Burger King , Papa John's & others - right on the highway intersection.
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