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Soda Maricela and Soda La Cueva del Marisco

Soda Maricela and Soda La Cueva del Marisco

Destination: Manuel Antonio

Shhhh, here's the secret to cheap good food in Manuel Antonio. Visit the bus station in Quepos and look for the small market next door. In back, by the gravel parking lot, you'll find a set of tables that belongs to two separate restaurants; though for all practical purposes the food is equally matched at both.

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You'll know you're in the right place if you're surrounded by locals stopping in for lunch. You could grab a menu off the table to look at the Costa Rican classics, but you'd probably be better off going with the daily special written on a piece paper taped to the restaurant's wall. If you're lucky enough to drop in on a Sunday, make sure you grab a bowl of Olla de Carne, $4, homemade beef stew with local root vegetables like yucca, potato, carrots, yam, corn and a side of rice with a squeeze of rangpur.

Otherwise, the slow-cooked beef in tomato sauce casado, $5, is fall-apart-tender and juicy. It's served with salad, rice, beans and a picadillo made with potatoes, squash and carrots. You can't go wrong with the arroz con pollo, $4, fried rice with chicken, particularly if it's the daily special when you can get it with a drink for the same price.

If you're looking for a quick bite before hopping on a bus, stop at the lunch counter of Soda Marisela for an empanada with bean and chicharones (pork rinds) for about a dollar, they're scrumptious.

Service

Friendly local service.

Price

$4-$6

Hours

7 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Soda Maricela and Soda La Cueva del Marisco in Pictures