Alajuela Restaurants & Nightlife
Visitors will discover small eateries on almost every city block. Roasted chicken, fine steaks, Tex-Mex and traditional food are all available, as are American fast-food chains. Here is a sampling of Alajuela's many cafes and restaurants:
Cafe Tres Generaciones
Great place for cappuccinos, light snacks, pastries and cakes. Also sells Doka Estate’s Tres Generaciones coffee by the pound. Located on Calle Ancha (the wide street that runs the perimeter of Alajuela) opposite the Farmacia del Este.
Serves American-style breakfasts but specializes in traditional plates of rice, beans, salad, ripe plantain and a choice of grilled or fried chicken, fish or pork. Seating is in a quiet courtyard area with a fishpond. Delivery service is free. Located one block of the old San Rafael Hospital.
Authentic Tex-Mex cuisine and a great place to meet other travelers and swap stories. Features enchiladas, chalupas and burritos as well as BLT's and chilidogs. Complete lunches cost $4 and will leave you stuffed. Dessert specialties, all baked by La Casa de Chocolate, include New York cheesecake and chocolate-covered spice cake.
Restaurant Como En Casa
Features a fusion of Costa Rican and Argentinean cuisine. Steaks (T-bones and filets), grilled chicken and ribs, pastas and a selected fine wines. Dishes start at $7.50. Located a half block east of La Tropicana gas station.
La Princesa Marina
Fresh seafood is the name of the game at this popular eatery located at the intersection of the old road into La Garita. Sample various types of ceviche, shrimp, octopus, or chow down on traditional dishes made with pasta, rice, beans, beef or chicken. The restaurant features an open-air seating area and decent prices.
Mirador del Valle
Rustic, rancho-style restaurant and bar with fantastic views of the Central Valley. Inexpensive appetizers starting from $2.50. Features both Costa Rican and international cuisine. Located in Pilas, on the road to Poas, about four miles north of Alajuela.
Although a large city, Alajuela isn’t famed for its nightlife. Low-key neighborhood bars are relatively easy to seek out, but dance halls and discos are rare.
Live music, shows and plenty of slot machines and card games. Expensive by Costa Rican standards ($3 beers), the Fiesta Casino is next to the Garden Court hotel at the airport intersection.
El Spectro Disco
Good spot for dancing to contemporary and Latin music. Popular with locals and packed on weekends. Located on Calle 2, between Avenidas 10 and 12.