Heredia Restaurants & Nightlife
Heredia may not be as large as San Jose, but it offers an enviable variety of ethnic cuisine, intimate eateries, family-run cafes and everything in between. Here is a sampling of Heredia’s most beloved restaurants:
La Lluna de Valencia
In San Pedro de Barva’s cool mountains, La Lluna de Valencia offers a quiet ambiance and to-die-for Spanish tapas. The restaurant’s specialty is their paella, a Spanish rice dish, but make sure to order upon arrival – each dish is made fresh and can take up to an hour to prepare and cook.
Pan e Vino
A Costa Rican standby for Italian cuisine, this chain restaurant seems like anything but: homemade sauces, fresh pasta and incredible salads make it onto everyone’s list of favorites. A new, healthy menu offers whole wheat pasta, calorie counts and guilt-free indulgence.
El Banco de los Mariscos
Tucked away into rural Santa Barbara, just 15 minutes from downtown by car, this casual seafood restaurant offers one of the most complete seafood menus in the Central Valley. Dine on fried shrimp, steamed calamari, lobster bisque and almost any other seafood dish you can imagine, all offered for just a little more than your favorite value meal.
Sweet and savory crepes, succulent meats, perfectly cooked seafood and traditional Costa Rican comfort food are the name of the game at La Candelaria, one of downtown Heredia’s best-kept secrets. Make sure to save room for dessert!
Offering up a laid-back lounge and reasonable prices, the new kid on the block, Sushi Kabuto, has received rave reviews. Its billing as a Japanese fusion restaurant promises exotic sushi combinations in addition to miso soup and tempura.
The Gran Oporto is run by gracious owners and an attentive staff. Try their chicken cordon bleu or delicious steaks, and you’ll soon know why locals flock to this classy dining option.
Delicias Caribenas de Mami
Dig into Afro-Caribbean specialties at this family-run restaurant. For a twist on gallo pinto, the rice-and-beans breakfast so prevalent in Costa Rica, try the Caribbean rice and beans (yes, the name is in English) – coconut milk adds a sweet and tasty change to the old favorite.
Le Petit Paris
For a taste of France in Costa Rica, you can’t beat Cyril’s home cooking. A native of France, the accomplished chef offers decadent crepes, fondue and other Parisian favorites, served on the patio or inside the romantic restaurant. Call ahead to see if live music is on the evening’s schedule.
Paseo de las Flores Mall
Whether you’re craving fast food or just something familiar, Heredia’s largest mall offers all the standbys – McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King – in addition to healthier options such as Oliva Verde (Mediterranean; pita wraps), El Fogoncito (Mexican; fresh tacos) and Rustico (Costa Rica; traditional).
Heredia isn’t Costa Rica’s go-to spot for nightlife, so if you’re looking for huge parties, head a few miles south to San Jose. For a more relaxed atmosphere, check out the following:
Speed 7 Bar
Arguably the hottest disco in Heredia, this local favorite offers Ladies’ Night, Open Bar Night and other great deals. Best parties are found Thursdays through Sundays.
This two-level party place offers good food, ice-cold beer and loud music.
One of the more relaxed, casual clubs in Heredia, Coktails is popular among the city’s youth and university students.
Located in eastern downtown, this typical disco offers merengue, salsa and the omnipresent cumbia music. A good mix of Costa Ricans and tourists can be found here almost every night, but weekends are the best time to boogie.