Dining Guide for Monteverde & Santa Elena
Enjoy local meals at the best restaurants
Santa Elena Area
The small and bustling town of Santa Elena offers visitors a fine variety of restaurants and bars to choose from.
Morphos is one of the best and most popular restaurants in town, and is a favorite of both visitors and locals alike. They offer an array of delectable menu choices for both lunch and dinner, including steaks, pasta, chicken, soups, sandwiches, and casados (consisting of beans and rice, meat or fish, fried plantains and a small salad). Freshly squeezed fruit juices, shakes and deserts are available throughout the entire day.
2. Tree House
This aptly named restaurant has a large and impressive fig tree growing right through its center. Indeed, it’s worth a visit not only to enjoy its wonderful food but also to see its one-of-a-kind environment. The restaurant is more expensive than other places, but has an extensive menu that includes pizza, pasta, sandwiches, fondue, Mexican food, typical food (rice, beans, meat and salad), and more. Beer, wine, cocktails and coffee are available.
Cerro Plano Area
Cerro Plano is the region between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. It presents some fabulous options, some of which are more upscale than the neighboring areas.
1. Flor de Vida
Flor de Vida has long been a favorite with the locals, and for good reason – it offers some of the healthiest and most reputable food in the Monteverde area. The fare is a mix of vegetarian, national and international cuisine, and includes such options as pumpkin-almond soup, veggie burgers, roasted potatoes, and Thai fish curry. Burgers, bagels, sandwiches, fruit plates, and an assortment of deserts are also on hand. Flor de Vida is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
2. De Lucia's
De Lucia’s offers one of the widest menus in the area, one that hinges on the South American stylings of its Chilean owner. An emphasis on meat results in perfectly-cooked steaks, nicely-sized sandwiches, and fresh seafood. There are, however, vegetarian options that include lasagna and roasted vegetables, as well as a wide selection of Chilean wines. De Lucia’s atmosphere is inviting and its prices are affordable.
Sophias is considered one of Monteverde’s premier fine dining locations, serving outstanding fusion cuisine, fine wines and specialty drinks. Main courses include tenderloin with a chipotle butter sauce, seafood chimichangas, chicken breasts, large salads and more. The beautiful setting – arched windows look out on a nearby forest – enhances the dining experience.
Near The Monteverde Reserve
Monteverde doesn’t have much of a central area. However, Stellas Bakery and the Tramonti Restaurant are located in what many consider to be downtown Monteverde.
1. Stellas Bakery
Stellas is one of Monteverde’s longest running establishments. They specialize in fresh baked goods, made-to-order sandwiches, soups, quiche, milkshakes and more. Open for both breakfast and lunch, Stellas is a good place to enjoy local, homemade food.
2. Tramonti Restaurant
Despite being in the remote cloud forest of Monteverde, Tramonti’s has managed to assemble an outstanding menu specializing in traditional Italian food. Its antipasti, pizzas, fresh seafood and outstanding wines help set Tramonti’s apart from other restaurants in Monteverde.