Mal Pais Restaurants & Nightlife
An array of international cuisine lends Santa Teresa and Mal Pais its esteemed culinary reputation. It is possible to indulge in typical Costa Rican, Israeli, and Japanese food all in the same day. A myriad of dishes reflect how North American, European, Middle Eastern, and Central American cultures have converged to create a unique vibe. Most of the popular restaurants and bars are located in the Santa Teresa section of town.
Pizza Playa Carmen
Pizza Playa Carmen serves up perhaps the best pizza in Costa Rica. Cold beer, a spectacular ocean view, and friendly staff make the restaurant stand out among competitors. The pie baking is a science with a special formula – each half of the pizza must carry the same weight in order to correctly cook over the hot stones in their brick oven. The results are delicious.
Brisas del Mar
Lounge beneath Chinese lanterns hung under Brisas del Mar’s palm-thatched roof. The restaurant’s young and stylish owner serves up a rotating menu of steaks, seafood, chicken, and vegetarian dishes. Be sure to try a pitcher of their sweet specialty for dessert: Watermelon Coco Loco.
Artemis offers light American and Mediterranean finger food. They also indisputably serve up the best coffee and breakfast in town. For lunch, try the grilled vegetable Panini with side salad. On weekend nights, Artemis features live music, the perfect environment for sipping on cold imported beers.
Treat your taste buds to a change of pace at the Israeli-owned Zulu Restaurant. Feast on diverse specialties such as sabih (a dish made with hard-boiled eggs, eggplant, onions, and cilantro), schnitzel (fried breaded chicken), and typical Costa Rican casados (fish or meat, rice, fried plantains and a salad). Zulu features unlimited free wireless Internet with any purchase, and access to a desktop computer for those without laptops. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they close every day between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for “surf time.”
Soda Piedra Mar
This small cafe serves inexpensive typical food with a backdrop seemingly plucked from a postcard. Sunset is the best time to watch waves crash against the rock for which the restaurant is named. Locally owned and rarely crowded, the soda serves specialties that include whole red snapper and guacamole salad.
Extraordinary pizza and fish specials attract hungry customers to Mary’s Restaurant in Mal Pais. The legendary eatery uses only the freshest ingredients, and is known for serving large portions at fair prices.
D&N, short for “Day and Night” is strangely only open during the evening. Monday Night Reggae is the biggest event of the week, when the town gathers to enjoy live reggae or DJ music. Patrons enjoy their drinks on the beach and under the stars, watching the waves crash against the sand.
The Howling Monkey
Perfect for warming up before an evening of dancing, the Howling Monkey is an American-style sports bar just past the El Carmen Commercial Center. Throughout the day, television sets play American football, soccer, or basketball. Foosball is a popular pastime at this bustling hangout.