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El Lagarto

Barbecue, Costa Rican
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Playa Samara, Costa Rica
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Dining options: Dessert, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 395 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 225
    Excellent
  • 106
    Very good
  • 43
    Average
  • 13
    Poor
  • 7
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Unbelievable food!!

One of the best meals I've ever had... We had to go back for another feast the next night. It's hard to explain how they grill their foods, but once you see it you'll wonder why more restaurants haven't figured it out.

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 4, 2015
Bill L
,
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Good for:
  • Local cuisine
  • Large groups
  • Doing business
  • Special occasions
  • Romantic
  • Entertaining clients
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395 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015 NEW

One of the best meals I've ever had... We had to go back for another feast the next night. It's hard to explain how they grill their foods, but once you see it you'll wonder why more restaurants haven't figured it out.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Brussels
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015 NEW via mobile

First we asked if prices were including taxes (13%) and services (10%), answer was yes but at the moment to order service was no more included. Nevertheless we decided to stay and try the famous wood bbq. And no regrets food was excellent. But PAY ATTENTION TO THE BILL. They will from one way or another try to steal you.... More 

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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 via mobile

Expect to spend around $50/person if you want to have a drink or two. I'd say stay away from the Jumbo shrimp cocktail as the shrimp while huge were warm and the dipping sauce looks like thousand island and doesn't have much or a taste. The ribs were great but definitely not fall off the bone, the surf and turf... More 

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Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

Delicious to eat. True it's like an American Steak house and you are in Costa Rica but it's a super treat. A bit pricey but you get what you pay for here.

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Ocala, Florida, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2015

We were recommended this restaurant by our hotel. My tenderloin steak was fantastic. I also had grilled squid which was probably very good but not my thing. My wife's strip steak had a thick piece of grissle running through it so I had to donate half my steak to her. Never a good thing for a guy... The service was... More 

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Gatineau
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2015

We went to El Lagarto with great expectations and the four of us were extremely disappointed. To start we had a glass of wine and there was barely 3oz in the glass and to my surprise when it was time to pay it was $8.00US per glass. My top sirloin was terrible, I had to chew which seemed hours because... More 

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015

The location has since changed since I was last in Samara. You won't find that restaurant on the beach but off of a road. There are signs around you can't miss it. The food is amazing as usual. The atmosphere is great. I love the BBQ set up, the wood tables, the whole place is amazing. I would say ask... More 

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Fredericton, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 via mobile

We've eaten there three times so far in our five weeks in Sámara and enjoyed every meal. Food is a bit more expensive than many other places, and it's on the edge of town, but it's worth it. Watching their unique BBQ system is itself worth a trip.

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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

We went here for dinner one evening and even though this is not on the beach, it is a nice, open location. The fact that you get to watch the grill in action is pretty cool. My steak and potato was really good, a little overcooked but still flavorful, and they had a VERY good dessert special (grilled pineapple with... More 

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2015

Stopped at this place on a Monday night and I it filled my expectations,many dishes are cooked in the wood oven which make them delicious.Servers are mostly young foreign ladies,they were great but the place was near empty so can't tell if they are as good as they were on a busy day

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: Playa Samara, Costa Rica
  • Location: Central America  >  Costa Rica  >  Province of Guanacaste  >  Playa Samara

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Barbecue, Costa Rican

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups, Doing business, Special occasions, Romantic, Entertaining clients

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of El Lagarto and other visitors
1 question
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Rainbow City, Alabama United States

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Questions? Get answers from El Lagarto staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?