I can’t remember who first turned me on to Lola’s, or when it was. But I do know it was long before the place had been “discovered,” and long before the restaurant’s (original) namesake pet pig had passed on. Simply put, Lola’s is my favorite beachfront restaurant in Costa Rica. It’s the whole package: heavy handcrafted wooden tables and chairs set under large canvas umbrellas and ample shade trees, with feet in the sand. Hammocks are strung between coconut palms and almendros closest to the waves.
Fresh seared tuna is served over an organic micro-green salad or as a sandwich on fresh ciabatta bread. The “Dutch” French fries are crisp and perfect, and come with a homemade garlic aioli. The fresh fruit smoothies are manna on a hot beach day.
Way back when, Playa Avellanas was virtually unknown. Sure, surfers had the steady beachbreak pegged. And beyond them, a handful or so of Tamarindo locals and tourism insiders would meet Sundays at Lola’s. But that’s about it. Now, if you want a table on Sunday (or most any other day of the week, it seems), you better get there early.
Today, Don and Christi have expanded and opened Lola’s Norte, at the Las Catalinas resort development at Playa Danta, just north of Sugar Beach. The vibe and menu are the same, and the crowds have yet to discover this outlet.
So what’s your favorite beach restaurant in Costa Rica? A few of my runner-ups included Sobre Las Olas in Cahuita, Gusto Beach in Samara, and Playa de Artistas in Montezuma.
***Note: The photo of Lola playing in the water is borrowed from Flickr’s Creative Common’s public use photo section.***