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coral caribe coconut broiled red snapper 
 - Costa Rica

Coral Caribeno

Coral Caribeno

Destination: Cahuita

Stop-in Coral Caribeno for Cahuita's local dish, fish Carpaccio prepared with delicately sliced sea bass seasoned with lime juice, a splash of olive oil, capers, and red onion rings served with slices of toasted white bread.

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Coral Caribeno's wood and stone faux-cabin exterior is a fixture in the center of Cahuita. Enjoy views of the park across the street from the restaurant's patio seating or step up the conch-shell-lined stairs for views from Cahuita downtown to the national park.

Most nights you'll find Head Chef and Owner Guillermo Cruz Ramirez in the open-air kitchen connected to the restaurant's dining room slicing, dicing and frying ingredients from his self-styled seafood and international cuisine. The menu reads like a book with pages dedicated to seafood dishes that include octopus, squid and shrimp; to pages on beef, burgers, pasta, fajitas and typical Costa Rican fried rice.

Don't be fooled by the menu's size, the best dishes reside under the seafood heading – this is a Caribbean beachside town after all.  Combining Caribbean flavors with the local catch, Ramirez artfully cooks the Caribbean red snapper, $15, broiled in a coconut sauce with fresh herbs and red bell peppers served with golden pancake-sized patacones (fried green plantains), coconut-infused rice and beans with a small side salad.

For dessert, settle down on the perfectly-portioned slice of coconut flan, $3, drizzled with a rum glaze; just small enough to fit in your stomach on top of all that other good food.

Ambiance

Stone monkeys doing that 'see no evil, hear no evil' trope guard the entrance to this cabin-like restaurant in the midst of central Cahuita. Coral Caribeno is a two-story restaurant with seating on the patio, in the dining room and upstairs.

Service

Head Chef and Owner Guillermo Cruz Ramirez prepares most of the meals himself.  Local staff is amicable and attentive.

Price

Appetizers $6-$9; Entrees  $7- $20

Hours

6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

Coral Caribeno in Pictures