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Gilded Iguana Restaurant

Gilded Iguana Restaurant

Destination: Nosara

Shake off the sand between your toes, sit down, order a snack and refuel before returning to the beach. A central hub for surfers to relax and replenish between surfing and outdoor playing at Playa Guiones, the Gilded Iguana Restaurant has big portions packed with flavor.

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Energize for the morning waves with a Tico Surfer's Special, $7, with two eggs made your way, gooey fried plantains, warm corn tortillas, gallo pinto (mixed rice and beans), sour cream and a skewer of fresh watermelon, mango and pineapple. Don't be afraid to spice it up with Jalapeno,  golden or green habanero sauce; they don't bite—too much.

Keep lunch light with a bowl of homemade creamy carrot and sweet potato soup, $3, pureed with curry, cilantro and coconut flavors, sprinkled with focaccia croutons for extra crunch; or a falafel wrap $8, rolled in a flour tortilla, chock-full of healthy chic pea and parsley croquettes, cucumber, carrot, hummus, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, and a yogurt-garlic dressing. While you're already on a health kick, order a fresh squeezed juice or strawberry banana smoothie, $3, to enjoy by the pool.

Kick off the evening with a classic Mojito, $5, sweet and delicious with rum, fresh mint, lime, and cane sugar. As you chat about the day at the beach, drink in hand, order some Thai lettuce wraps, $8, piled high with grilled chicken chunks, shredded carrot, peanuts and fresh mint on four leaves of Boston lettuce, presented like a flower with Thai peanut dipping sauce in the center.

Before riding massive waves the next day, make dinner a plate of Gilded Iguana's most popular dish, chicken parmesan, $11, layers of breaded chicken breast, homemade tomato-basil sauce and cheese, served with spiral garlic butter pasta and sautéed veggies.

And don't forget to end on a sweet note — there's plenty of dessert to go around. Dive in to a sweet whirlpool with a molten chocolate brownie,$4, or chocolate chip cookies, topped with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce.


Surfers coming and going in board shorts and sandals, relaxing after a few hours in the Playa Guiones waves. The covered restaurant patio opens on both sides to grassy lawns, where groups of friends and family can play around while enjoying a drink or a bite to eat. Live music on Tuesdays and Fridays attracts a big crowd from around Guiones.


Bubbly and friendly, the restaurant staff at Gilded Iguana is known around Playa Guiones as one of the best for chatting about surf, sports and just about anything else.


Breakfast $6-$8; Appetizers $4-$8; Entrees $9-$16


7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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Gilded Iguana Restaurant in Pictures