EXPERIENCE THE CULINARY EXCELLENCE THAT DEFINES CASTILLO’S KITCHEN
Your day begins with an incredible two-course breakfast. The first course is of the freshest fruit and yogurt. Each day we feature a special breakfast from around the world. Alternatively, we always have an Americana or Tico breakfast.
Our all-day menu features many tasty dishes, including calamari, hummus, and salads. You don’t want to miss our incredible hamburgers with your choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian, served with our homemade buns and hand cut fries.
As the sun sets, El Castillo is transformed. Our restaurant at El Castillo is named Castillo’s Kitchen steered by Chef Pablo. It is a Chef’s Table concept mastering the evolution of Costa Rican cuisine. As a young Costa Rican chef, Pablo exhibits the future of his country’s culinary experience. Balanced by his passion for surfing and his beautiful daughter, he works every day to reinvent what is considered typical, turning standard cuisine on its head. All Castillo’s Kitchen’s dishes contain elements of the Costa Rican culture. Your experience begins with an explanation of what we have procured and how we would like to prepare it. Most of our ingredients come from local farmers or fishermen hand-picked by Pablo. Given several choices, your dinner begins. Pura vida indeed.
Below you can take a peak at Castillo’s Kitchen before visiting with a virtual tour:
We invite you to see some of our culinary adventures on Facebook using the button below:
Exotica – International fusion
Lucy and Robert’s intimate Exotica sets the dining standard in Ojochal. With a robust wine selection, the menu offers Thai, Vietnamese, French, Italian, Polynesian, and more—with a Costa Rican influence.
Starters include a Tahitian fish carpaccio with bananas and shrimp in a banana-curry sauce. French favorites include cognac liver pâté and a duck breast with orange sauce.
All desserts are homemade and luscious. Chocoholics should not miss the chocolate chiffon cake with chocolate sauce and an accompanying shot of cocoa liqueur. Below you can take a peak at the restaurant with a virtual tour.
Citrus – New World cuisine
As you enter Citrus, you know you are someplace special. Diners arrive early to relax in the lounge for cocktails and tasty starters.
Chef Marciano’s talents lie in culinary creationism. Drawing from her worldly roots, she creates sophisticated world cuisine including a Moroccan-style hamburger served with spicy harissa mayonnaise; sea bass in a white-wine and saffron sauce; and grilled tuna with a sauce that combines tamarindo and peppery Thai sriracha.
There’s a soupçon of French flavor too, with garlicky escargots and steak frites. Desserts are among the best in Costa Rica. We recommend the divine Choco-Choco flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
Fabrizio’s – Italian
Fabrizio’s unassumingly sits in the heart of the Ojochal village. Once you eat, you understand the restaurant’s dedication to excellent Italian food. The pizzas are renowned and all the breads and pastas are made fresh.
With a little pre-planning and good timing you can score Fabrizio’s famous ravioli. Every Friday, Fabrizio himself rolls out the dough and fulfills orders of ravioli. Midday, cars line up to purchase their share.
Although Fabrizio’s doesn’t sell alcohol, you can bring your own—and there’s a market across the street.
Heliconia – Casual
This little gem is hidden off the Costanera, featuring a cool ambience and high caliber of food, tucked away in the jungle. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Because of its small size, reservations are advised and are essential during high season.
Below you can take a peak at the restaurant with a virtual tour.
Fusion Restaurante & Bar – Costa Rican
Chef Steven elevates typical Costa Rican cuisine—each dish is delivered with flavor and flair.
Boca Coronado is located along the bank of the Terraba River. An afternoon meal involves gazing at the Terraba River and Garza Island beyond. Once night falls, diners enjoy the moonlight reflecting off the Pacific.
Chef Steven has a delicious boca menu, which include sandwiches, nachos, and burgers. The regular menu includes fresh fish prepared as you like; traditional Costa Rican rice dishes; and delicious pastas including an amazing pesto dish. But the fare you should not miss is the ceviche—it is the best in the area.
Mamma e Papa – Mediterranean Italian and Pizzeria
Mamma e Papa is located off the main road through Ojochal and features a spectacular view of the rainforest-covered mountains. The alfresco terrace enhances the sights and sounds of nature. Countless species of wildlife, particularly toucans, can be spotted in the area.
The flavorful food is the result of an immense love for Mediterranean Italian cuisine—a love that was communicated to the owners by their “Mamma and Papà,” Anna Maria and Salvatore. The menu is the result of generations of experience making Southern Italian food.
Based on flavors from Puglia and Naples, Mamma e Papa offers house made Italian pastas—such as tagliatelle, gnocchi, cannelloni, and lasagna—that follow the family’s methods and work wonderfully with the fresh ingredients found in Costa Rica.
They also have a delicious selection of fresh appetizers and local meats, poultry, freshly caught local fish, and seafood. The pizzas are designed to reflect the flavors of the earth and sea. And desserts include tiramisù, lemon cake, and sponge cake with Italian custard cream.
Villas Gaia – Contemporary Latin fusion
The rancho-style Restaurante Gaia’s eclectic décor and high-vaulted roof create a private, tropical ambiance accented by colorful landscaping and tasteful music—just before the entrance to Ojochal.
The gastronomy of Restaurante Gaia results from years of feedback from frequently returning guests requesting the renowned dishes. The contemporary cuisine, fused with Latin flavors, include Sandwich Energia Verde, Ensalada Fiesta, Lomito ed Salsa de Hongos, Thai Curry, Pescado Macadamia, and Volcado de Mango y Banana.
Pancito Café – Delicious baked goods
The perfect place for a morning coffee, Pancito Café is nestled beside a lovely river just after the entrance to the Ojochal village.
This French-owned bakery serves hearty breakfast omelets, crusty baguettes, buttery croissants, and divine pastries. Lunch includes crepes, quiches, meal-size salads, soups, pizzas, and sandwiches—and everything is available to go.
Customers can relax in this casual, thatch-roofed café. Many have their laptops open, taking advantage of the free WiFi. Get here early on Tuesday for the popular weekly plat du jour.
The Bamboo Room – American with local influences
Ojochal’s favorite nightlife spot offers live music every night of the week. This is the place to come for a fun time out with friends enjoying great entertainment. The menu is simple and delicious, and the service is fast and friendly. Consider this your Costa Rica equivalent to your choice venue back home.
Here you can find craft bottled beers and drink specials every day, with a good selection of beverages. Below you can take a peak at the restaurant with a virtual tour.
La Mona Grita – Tacos and other specials
The newest hot spot at the entrance of Ojochal is poised for an easy stop off to have a drink and see friendly faces. La Mona Grita has fast internet and TVs all around, making it the local spot for sports fans. Friday nights are for fiestas, with DJ Fabian playing dance music nearly every weekend. They have the largest selection of tequilas in the Costa Ballena and a solid margarita menu. They also lay the bold claim that theirs is the coldest beer in Ojochal, so come out and test their theory – you might even be invited to play a game to win your first beer on the house!
Make sure to check out Taco Tuesday and their very own margarita menu.
Diquis del Sur – Italian and gastro-pub
Diquis has been popular with the local French-Canadian community and dancing enthusiasts for many years. This season, they reopen with an Italian chef who will be creating a mix of pasta dishes and some traditional pub-style quick meals. Come for their cocktail specials and a daytime snack menu in the day and enjoy a game of the traditional French ‘petanque’ on their green lawn. Kick back in the evening with gorgeous sunset views and happy hour specials.
They are open every day for dinner, with light snack menu in the day and happy hour from 4-6.
Terraba – Central American with international favorites
Thought by many to be one of the best restaurants for the price, Terraba presents local fare with an international twist. Steaks, Caesar salads, and fresh fish are the favorites here, although none of their extensive menu seems to disappoint because this place is almost always full in the high season. Right off the highway for easy access after a long day’s journey, stop in for some culinary comfort in a relaxing atmosphere.
The Lookout – Central American, Gastro-pub, Seafood
Aptly named for it’s high perch close to the entrance to Ventanas Beach, the views from this stunning restaurant/hotel are spectacular. The atmosphere is lovely, with attentive, friendly staff and mood music to entertain guests. Come for the sunset, stay for dinner, and come away with an unforgettable experience.
They have a nice wine menu with a mixed selection of both local and imported.
Sud Lounge – Mediterranean and gastro-pub
An incredibly sensual space with numerous different spots to tuck yourself away to have a private rendezvous. This is a special spot for big groups, with sexy lounge music and dreamy vibes. The service and the food are excellent, and the owners are great entertainers for their legion of fans and newcomers alike.
They feature fine wines, cocktails as well as local drink selections.
Fiesta del Mar – American with a Central American twist, and breakfast
Recently reopened with new owners, this restaurant has gone through various incarnations over the years. Most recently, they are featuring pizza and wings, as well as one of the few breakfast menus available in the region. Recent reviews have been good, and thanks to their prime location and large dining room, this is sure to be a popular destination during the high season.
Three Sixty Boutique Hotel – Mediterranean style
Positioned just right for the daily sunset thanks to their 360 views, the bar and Kua Kua restaurant have just opened but already have the local community abuzz. A wide ranging a la carte menu will feature traditional Central American classics with local flavors using local ingredients. Paired with immaculate design and detail, 360 is sure to be a next level eating experience atop one of the highest perches on the Calle Perezoso ridge.
The restaurant has partnered with McCormick Distilling for a specialty line of vodkas. Below you can take a peak at the restaurant with a virtual tour.