Atenas, Costa Rica may be a small town, but it has a great number of restaurants to enjoy. Whether it is because there is a good size group of international residents – about 1,500 year-round and up to 3,000 in winter months – or whether the local population (approximately 27,000) likes to eat out, you can find several dozen eateries around town and in outlying neighborhoods.
Here is a sampling of some of the favorite restaurants in Atenas, Costa Rica. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, and there are many more restaurants, fast food places, little cafes, bars and ice cream shops around town to discover. Check out our Guide to Living in Atenas, Costa Rica for more information about our great little town, named a top place for international retirement by International Living, HelpAge International and AARP.
Restaurants in Atenas, Costa Rica
- Antanos Restaurant: Traditional Costa Rican cuisine served in a charming, yellow and white, restored antique house – one of the oldest houses in downtown Atenas. Located 50 meters northeast of the Central Park. Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner, 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. (506) 2446-7542.
- Balcon del Café: Freshly made German and international cuisine; daily lunch specials. Also have an on-site bakery with fresh breads, quiches, pastries & desserts, and a mini-delicatessen selling German sausages & other foods. Located on Hwy. 3, 100 meters west of the flashing yellow light. Open for breakfast and lunch, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday. (506) 2446-8592.
- BBQ Parrilla: BBQ take-out restaurant 125 meters east of the Catholic Church in downtown Atenas, on the road to Hwy. 27, across from El Chiringuito Italian Restaurant. Open 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (506) 2446-0110.
- Donde Bocha Café: Mexican-style cuisine & fast food. Located across from the ICE electric company office, next to Miranda hardware store in downtown Atenas. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday; 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday; closed Mondays. (506) 2446-2028.
- Don Yayo’s Chicharronera: Traditional Costa Rican cuisine; specializes in “chicharrones” – chunks of fried pork served with fried yucca, pickled bananas and jalapeno peppers. Located on Hwy. 3 by the Oxcart Monument. Open for
- lunch and dinner daily, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (506) 2446-5901.
- El Chiringuito Italian Restaurant (formerly Alida's): Italian cuisine and thin-crust pizza. Located on the corner 125 meters east of the Catholic Church in downtown Atenas, on the road to Hwy. 27. Open for lunch and dinner, 12:00 to 9:00 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. (506) 4702 9298.
- El Mejor Clima: Small “cantina” style restaurant with varied Costa Rican menu; known for its ceviche. Located on the corner of Hwy. 3 in Atenas by the flashing yellow light. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. (506) 2446-3212.
- Gelly’s Jardin: Gelato, ice cream, desserts, fast food & coffee in an open-air garden atmosphere. Located on the west side of the Central Park. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily except Mondays. (506) 2446-1229.
- Guanacaste: Traditional Costa Rican cuisine in an open-air restaurant; specialties are ribs, grilled fish, shrimp and ceviche. Located in Barrio Mercedes, 5 minutes from downtown Atenas. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily except Wednesdays. (506) 2446-4995.
- Hotel Colinas del Sol: International and Costa Rican cuisine. Located 100 meters east of the Roca Verde residential development in Atenas. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily except Mondays. (506) 2446-4244.
- Kay's Gringo Postres: Known as the “meeting place” for the international community in Atenas, this little café serves home-style American food; special Sunday brunch served weekly. Located next to the central Health Clinic and Red Cross in Atenas. Open for breakfast and lunch, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. brunch on Sunday. (506) 2446-0664.
- La Carreta: Traditional Costa Rican cuisine in a fun atmosphere; also houses the tremendous Atenas Friends Lending Library. Get a book and have a great meal! Located 50 meters east of the Catholic Church in downtown Atenas, by the tourism information office of CATUCA. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday; 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. (506) 2446-3156.
- La Fiesta de las Pupusas Restaurant: Serve traditional El Salvadoran pupusas. Located in Barrio Los Angeles, next to Don Yayo’s Chicharronera, by the Oxcart Monument on Hwy. 3. Open 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays. (506) 2446-6987.
- La Trilla: Traditional Costa Rican cuisine, served in an open-air garden atmosphere. Located 50 meters east of the Coopeatenas gas station on Hwy. 3. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. (506) 2446-8593.
- Pizzeria La Finca: Specialty thin-crust pizzas, pastas & salads. Located in front of the Civil Registry in downtown Atenas (125 meters west of the Central Park). Open for lunch and dinner, 11:45 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily except Mondays. (506) 2446-6666.
LIVE IN ATENAS, COSTA RICA Atenas is ideally located in Costa Rica, halfway between the San Jose metropolitan area and the Central Pacific Coast. If you are thinking aboutbuying a home, investment property, or other Atenas Costa Rica real estate, contact Atenas Costa Rica realtors Dennis Easters and Gerardo Porras Gonzalez at Pure Life Development of Atenas. They specialize in Atenas homes for sale, Costa Rica properties for sale and Costa Rica vacation homes.
Article by Shannon Farley
Costa Rica Realtors Chamber
Tours in Costa Rica
Pure Life Development of Atenas is a full service tour company. We feature full vacation packages and day trips for the family. Our tour director Nelson Conejo is very experienced and provides a personal service and attention to detail second to none in Costa Rica. Please write Nelson or give him a call to arrange your next Costa Rican vacation at (506)2446-0447 or
Retirement Living in Atenas
Interview with Pure Life Development co-founder and certified realtor Dennis Easters, about Costa Rica ranked by AARP as "one of the best places to retire abroad".