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       treehouse dining room 
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Tree House

Tree House

Destination: Monteverde

A 60-year-old ficus tree shades the patio of the aptly named Tree House. The tree grows up through the center of the second-story restaurant, its branches twisting above the heads of restaurant patrons.

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Over the last 9 years the restaurant has become a landmark in Monteverde, attracting guests with the promise of its relaxed, earthy atmosphere. Few restaurants can match the patio's ambiance, perfect for enjoying a cocktail or a cup of coffee. The owners started the restaurant as a cafe and continue to hold high standards, using specialty coffee from renowned Costa Rican growers. The staff's takes extra care in making their coffee drinks, going so far as to craft dragons, monkeys and tulips designs in the lattes' foam.

The menu is a different story. Pricey and underwhelming the shrimp avocado relleno, $7, is half an avocado overstuffed with veggies, slathered in mayonnaise and crowned with a pair of peeled and boiled shrimp. The Tablita Tipica, $14, a home-style platter of beef and chicken fajitas, mashed fried cassava, refried beans, soft tortillas, crispy fried cheese sticks and tortilla chips.


The second-story patio's decorated with hand-painted wood furniture shaded underneath a giant, ficus tree in the center of downtown Santa Elena. A great spot to relax, have a drink and take in the essence of Monteverde.


Friendly, and despite what it looks like they're not actually texting on their phones. The owner, a software engineer, designed his own restaurant management system so that the servers use their cell phones to take down orders and instantly send them to the kitchen.


You're paying for the atmosphere (but it is really nice) with appetizers $6-$8 and entrees $10-$20.


11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

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Tree House in Pictures