Best La Fortuna Restaurants In Costa Rica

Best La Fortuna Restaurants In Costa Rica

This post will show you in great detail, ratings, prices, and locations of the Best La Fortuna Restaurants in Costa Rica. You read so much online about how expensive Costa Rica is to visit.  While staying in the small town of La Fortuna in northern Costa Rica, we thought it would be an excellent idea to document all of the restaurants or food we ate and what it cost.

We looked for high quality, inexpensive restaurants in La Fortuna Costa Rica by asking locals and expats where they eat because we have found they tend to know about those hidden hole-in-the-wall places tourists don’t know about, along with the most popular restaurants with fantastic food and great best prices.

Firstly, if you want great inexpensive meals, visit the Sodas. A Soda is considered their “local” restaurant (where the locals eat), which serves traditional Costa Rican food and if you come to Costa Rica you must try a Soda. They are typically open-air restaurants, and they can be found everywhere throughout Costa Rica. They remind me of going to a local diner in a small town and eating a home-cooked meal.  The portions are usually on the large side and the food is filling.

If you make those your go-to restaurants, and then add a few nights out, maybe pizza, then seafood or meat one night, you will be surprised how little it will cost for dining out in La Fortuna. We found that it’s not as expensive as people make it out to be; it’s all about your choices and moderation. If you read this post and watch these videos, you will be able to eat very well during your stay in La Fortuna at a surprisingly reasonable cost.  Here you go with our best La Fortuna restaurants in La Fortuna.

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” —Alan D. Wolfelt

Hormiga Soda
Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Reason: Great prices, customer service, and overall quality

If you like inexpensive good food, this is the place you need to go. With over 700 reviews on Google and more than a 4.5-star rating, this place lives up to the hype. The first day we got to La Fortuna one of the locals told us about this soda, and we are glad he did!

I still can’t believe you can get steak, rice, beans, and a salad for under $4. Christie got the same thing but chicken, for the same price. I was amazed that we got out of a restaurant in Costa Rica for under $10 total. Christie didn’t even eat all of her’s so I had lunch the next day.

Hormiga Soda is located right next door to the bus station, so if you’re coming in by bus, it’s just a short walk for great food before you head to your hotel.

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A Tip, Smoothies & Pizza

**Off topic a bit 🙂
Money-saving bonus tip:
One of the best things about La Fortuna is you can drink the tap water. We have been doing it all week, with no problems. I honestly cannot remember the last time I drank tap water, even in the United States. You’re going to be amazed how nice it is to walk over to the sink, turn on the tap and fill up your ice cube tray or your glass. It almost feels weird and foreign the first couple of days you’re doing it.

We purchased a mini Sawyer water filter for those times when you can’t drink the water, or you’re nervous about drinking it, and it works great! It’s cheap and great for travel because it’s compact. The water flow is good, and you can attach it to almost any water bottle.  Bottled water is really expensive in Costa Rica so we found this water filter to be a great savings for us when in the areas of Costa Rica where you can’t drink the tap water.

Smoothie Batidos
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Reason: great authentic fresh smoothies

Smoothie Batidos is the fruit stand right around the corner from Soda Hormigas. In the United States, if you order a smoothie, you will pay $5 to $8 (in California anyway). In Costa Rica not only is the fruit delicious, but the smoothies are no more than $2. At Smoothie Batidos the price was $1.65 per smoothie. The video shows a snapshot of the menu and a short video of her making it if you’re interested in the different types of smoothies you can buy check it out towards the end of this post.

Pizza Ranch
Our Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Reason: Stuffed crust pizza with pepperoni was delicious

This pizza place has potential, but there were a few things that we want to warn people about. First off, I personally would ask them to cook it a little longer so the crust can crisp up, it was a bit doughy and most of the other pizzas we saw looked doughy so that may be typical of this restaurant.

The problem for us?? I don’t think anyone spoke English at this location, so they didn’t understand much of what we were asking. The pepperoni on the pizza was some of the best I’ve ever had. The pepperoni looked like they broiled it and it was very crispy. The price for the large pizza, a bottle of water and a coke was $23. We got a large pizza which we ate for three days. As you can see in the video, it’s pretty big. If you don’t want leftovers, a medium is probably plenty for two people.

 “Eat well, Travel often.”

Soda LA Caribena
Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Reason: Fried red snapper was amazing

The only reason this soda didn’t get five stars was because of the prices. It was a little expensive for a lunch deal. The cost was $18 for their lunch special of fried red snapper, mixed rice and beans, salad, and fried plantains. They had a fantastic looking lobster dish which cost just a little more than the snapper that Christie wanted to try. I guess we should have asked the price first. lol

That being said, this lightly fried red snapper was delicious. It was probably one of the best-tasting fish meals I’ve ever had. Don’t ask me how they did it but it was excellent. We shared the meal, and it was plenty of food for lunch.  He also gave us two shots of what tasted like a bloody mary, and the alcohol is made from sugarcane that’s made with Cacique Guaro. I’m guessing they give most of the customers that come in a shot to try.

La Caribena is on the way to most of the excursions you’re going to go to. It’s just outside of La Fortuna so it will be easy for you to stop, especially if you have a car.

Visquez Soda
Our Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Reason: Nothing stood out (except french fries)

Visquez Soda is another soda that was recommended to us which was good but being honest; we probably would not go back to this one. There was nothing terrible, but there was just nothing special except the french fries. The french fries were fantastic — some of the best french fries I’ve had in a long, long time.

I had the beef steak sandwich which you can see on the video and Christie had the garlic grilled fish. They were both okay but on the expensive side. I think our total bill was around $14 to $16. I also got the Smoothie made with milk, and it was one of the worst ones I’ve had in La Fortuna. It was watered down, and all I could taste was milk.

La Fonda 506
Our Rating: 4 out of 5
Reason: We are split on this one (me 3.5, Christie 4.5)

Christie and I have different reviews on this place. She enjoyed the atmosphere and all the bar stools that you could sit on while facing the street and people watch. It’s in the central area of La Fortuna where everything is going on. She had he Ceviche (with Tuna) which she thought was very good and the wine in her opinion was good. The price for a glass of wine was $6 which isn’t bad either.

I got a burger and fries, and it was nothing special. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 at the most. I don’t mind live music, but if I can’t even speak or hear myself think it starts to get annoying. That’s just my take if you like this type of music that’s on the video and loud you might love this place. I can tell you that we sat and ate dinner and didn’t have one word of conversation because we couldn’t hear each other. As I’m writing this Christie’s telling me it had nothing to do with the loud music and the reason we weren’t speaking was that I said something mean. Haha. She said I was acting like a jerk. I don’t remember that.

I would give this place another try. I did like the idea of sitting on the bar stools along the street. It was very busy, and I don’t know if that was because of the parade going on or if this place is genuinely one of the cool spots to go on a Saturday night in La Fortuna.

We thought it would be a great idea to help fellow travelers and do a video and blog post on Our Picks and Ratings for the best La Fortuna Restaurants in Costa Rica. If you are visiting La Fortuna, check a few of these places out.

Best La Fortuna Restaurants In Costa Rica

Soda Ara

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Reason: Amazing blackberry smoothie and good food overall

Soda Ara doesn’t seem to get a ton of credit on Google, but this was one of the first sodas we went to, and I loved it. The blackberry smoothie they make is unbelievable. I’ve gone back two or three times just for the smoothie. It tastes like a milkshake for $2. When we ate there, we split the fajitas, and it was more than enough food for both of us. I think with two smoothies, and the fajitas it was around $12 if nothing else try the blackberry smoothie at this place.

Musmanni Bakery
Our Rating: 4 out of 5
Reason: good cheese bread

Musmanni bakery is a chain throughout Costa Rica.  It’s not that this Bakery was anything special, but it was very convenient, and the prices are reasonable. Come to think of it; La Fortuna is one of the most convenient towns we’ve been to while traveling around the world. Everything seemed to be a 2 to 5-minute walk, it was safe and most of the amenities you may want are only a short distance away.

Whether you need a prescription, a haircut, food, a grocery store, bar, or even a pair of glasses, it all seemed to be right there in front of you. Okay, back to the bakery. Again it was nothing special, but all the bread and pastries are fresh baked daily so we found buying bread here was better than the grocery store. The cheese bread was our favorite, I tried a few pastries, and they were average. Again, it’s better bread than the grocery store but not one of those bakeries you’re going to remember.

Lava Lounge
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Reason: good nachos and fun atmosphere

To be honest, the only reason we came to this place was on our way back from an excursion on a Wednesday night, and it was really busy. We decided to give it a try, and we had a great time. We tried the nachos, and they were good, and the portion was large. One thing that stuck with us over every other restaurant we went to in La Fortuna was the service and how fast it was. Drinks came right away, and we had our meal 5 minutes after the drinks.

The other thing we liked was the live music. It wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t talk or think.  It was the perfect volume, and the musician playing was very good. If you’re looking to go out midweek or you’re looking for a fun atmosphere, I would definitely check this place out.

La Cava Pizza a La Lena
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Reason: Great pizza with lots of flavor

This Pizza joint is just outside of La Fortuna. If you have a car or a scooter, it’s easy to get to. Out of the two Pizza spots, we visited when we were in La Fortuna, both were referrals from locals, and this was the best spot. The pizza is a thin crust pizza with lots of flavor, and it’s cooked in a brick oven which we love.

The video attached gives you a good idea of the size of the pizzas. I also had a local La Fortuna craft beer which was a ginger beer. I’ve never had one of these before, and it was awesome. I suggest if you like craft beers to check this one out.

One of Christie’s favorite quotes:

“I’ll never be content to stay forever in one place. I’m too madly in love with all the places I haven’t been, the people I haven’t met, the food I haven’t tried, and the streets I haven’t danced on.”  – Brooke Hampton

More 2 Traveling Lovers Article & Video links from Costa Rica:

We spent a month traveling throughout Costa Rica.  If you’re interested in visiting the area, we hope you will find our articles and videos helpful.  All of our posts have a video included, and we have more videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too so you won’t miss a video. Subscribe here.  

Below are a few articles and videos from our stay in Costa Rica:

Top Costa Rica Budget Vacation Tips

Cost Of Living For A Couple In Costa Rica

10 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Montezuma Costa Rica 

Honeymoon/Couples Getaway Resort In Costa Rica   

Cost Of Living For a Couple Living in The Dominican Republic

8 Best Things To Do In La Fortuna Costa Rica

2 Traveling Lovers Videos ONLY on YouTube

Best FREE Excursions – La Fortuna

La Fortuna Waterfall

 Top Things To Do In La Fortuna

A Day In Montezuma

Costa Rica Transportation

Jaguar Rescue Center In Puerto Viejo


These are areas in Costa Rice we have traveled to and we recommend staying in these areas based upon our personal experience.  Click on the town to be referred to the link to each city.

La Fortuna   


Manuel Antonio

Quepos/Puerto Viejo


Closing Words

I hope you found our post on the Best La Fortuna Restaurants In Costa Rica to be useful and you are excited to visit Costa Rica, specifically the La Fortuna area.  We spent a month in Costa Rica and we have many blog posts with valuable information before your trip to Costa Rica.  Some of our recent blog posts in Costa Rica include:  (More will be added,  as we are still in Costa Rica, so be sure and check back).  Our first post from Costa Rica is part of the 2 Traveling Lovers Honeymoon Series.  We found a fabulous hotel for a honeymoon stay or for a couples retreat.

Best Resort In Montezuma

Travel Resources

If you are interested in checking hotel prices we have found to have the most competitive prices.  Click here to check out La Fortuna hotels.  

All of our video footage is taken with GoPro HERO7.  It’s a waterproof digital action camera for travel with a touchscreen.  We use this camera daily, and we love it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.

The drone we use is the DJ Spark with Remote Control Combo.  We like this drone because it’s compact, it’s effortless to take on trips, it’s easy to fly, and it shoots 1080p.  All of our drone footage on our blog posts and youtube videos are taken with this drone. We highly recommend it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.             

Another item we use daily is our Primocean Backpack with an insulated cooler bag.  We use this as Christie’s carryon bag on the plane and as our cooler at our final destination.  We used to use a different backpack and we switched to this one because it’s better made of durable material with quality zippers.  We love this backpack!! The cooler section is smaller; however, all the compartments and the quality of the backpack make it a much better choice for basically the same cost.  We wish we would have thought of this item a long time ago. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click Here.  

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Our goal while traveling the world is to help couples find the best cultural experiences in every country while keeping costs very reasonable. We have become experts in planning travel and not breaking the bank!!

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