Plantains, Coconuts, and Lots of Beans
If you’re anything like me your first three thoughts in the morning are: what day of the week is it, I can’t believe I’m in Puerto Viejo, and where is the food. Naturally, as a determined foodie, I have sought out some good eats in the area and I am here to share the good news with you.
When you think of the Caribbean in Latin America, you are most likely dreaming up a fresh plate of fried plantains, herby coconut rice, and beans. This is both true to the area and delicious. A 5-minute walk from the Lazy Loft, you will find Soda Riquisimo right off the main road. This restaurant is local approved. Try the grilled fish in Caribbean sauce with, you guessed it, fried plantains, rice, and beans.
Como en mi Casa is a quaint art cafe located in the center of Puerto Viejo. It is known for its mostly vegan spread of options, refreshing smoothies, and local ART. Be sure to also pick up a dessert and go prior to closing at 5 PM. Another breakfast/lunch cafe with delicious treats is Cafe Rico. The vibes of this hidden gem are surreal and worth a visit. It is a prime breakfast spot with multiple options that are bound to wake you up in the morning - don’t skip the coffee.
Speaking of coffee, do yourself a favor and visit Bread and Chocolate for, allegedly, the best coffee in Puerto Viejo. Their coffee is best paired with homemade chocolate truffles or their salted caramel mocha and chocolate waffles. A little way down the road from Lazy Loft towards Playa Cocles, you also have opportunity for an educational and appetizing chocolate experience at Caribbeans. Learn the complex journey from Cacao beans to chocolate bar while having a taste in all stages with their chocolate forest tour. You can’t leave the area without trying the pure cacao from local farmers!
If you are looking to err from the Caribbean taste and want to sample the mark of expats, I highly recommend Stashu’s con Fusion and La Pita Bonita. Although still served with a hint of Caribbean, Stashu’s con Fusion delivers Mediterranean and Asian flavors with live music to Puerto Viejo. Get adventurous with dishes like Caribbean style curry and tamarind chicken. La Pita Bonita is between Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva, in a beautiful wooden cabin, and serves delicious Israeli and Mediterranean style meals. My personal favorites on their menu are the chicken shawarma and hummus with falafel. And, of course, The Lazy Mon Bar and Restaurant is another Puerto Viejo favorite serving crowd-pleasing staples – the Lazy Mon’s twist on the classic burger, loaded nachos, and savory tacos – along with live music and tropical drinks that invite you to spend all your lazy days there.