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El Ancla

South American, Costa Rican
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175 meters east of the main beach entrance, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
(506) - 2656 0716
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Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 125 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 41
    Excellent
  • 48
    Very good
  • 21
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 6
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Good Food & Drinks on the Beach

For our last night on Playa Samara, we chose to dine near the beach at El Ancla. We entered from the road -- there are many signs to lead you there. Don't be daunted by the hand-painted cement wall. Come in and settle into the indoor bar or tables in the sand to take in the beach scene. Spouse... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
novacamp
,
Houston, Texas
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125 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Ottawa, ont
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Always prepared fresh. Excellent and worth the wait if they are busy. Many different choices. I personally always like the pork casado for lunch and the Lomito in wine sause for dinner.

Helpful?
Thank Hania G
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
142 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

For our last night on Playa Samara, we chose to dine near the beach at El Ancla. We entered from the road -- there are many signs to lead you there. Don't be daunted by the hand-painted cement wall. Come in and settle into the indoor bar or tables in the sand to take in the beach scene. Spouse enjoyed... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank novacamp
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
415 reviews
280 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 369 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2015

El Ancla is one of those local haunts everybody goes to. An American friend of ours who lives in Necoya, about 20 minutes inland, has been coming here for years. With tables right on the sand, the cooling breeze coming in off the water makes it the perfect dining 'room' for warm Costa Rican nights. The food is reasonably priced... More 

Helpful?
Thank UnrepentantFoodie
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2015

We were on our 4th trip to Samara (as part of our annual trip to Alajuela for the Holidays). We have come to really love Samara, but also to keep expectations in perspective that when it comes to cuisine and service, it's Costa Rica. Having said that, El Ancla was a great ending dinner for us this year. We had... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brad O
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2015

We were 8. This place was recommended to us by ALL the cab drivers. It's right on the beach, so it sounded very promising. The waitress (who I believe is one of the owners) was BEYOND rude. Never smiled. Never came to check on us. Never brought refills. Never checked if our orders were right (they were not). NOTHING. We... More 

Helpful?
Thank dawn d
Carrollton, Georgia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2015

After almost a year of living here, I decided to treat myself to a steak. I got more than I wanted from El Ancla. I ordered the filet mignon with a red sauce and sauteed mushrooms and onions.... WOW. And the fried plantains? Everything is amazing!

Helpful?
Thank Leigh F
Morro Bay, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2015

I had been to El Ancla (The Anchor) several times over several years. Originally just for a burger and french fries on the beach. Place has expanded menu and decor but still serves great fries. Always nice when you have a craving for something like home. My son enjoyed the cerviche and daughter her chicken salad.

Helpful?
Thank Terry R
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015

I ordered the shrimp and rice and it came with french fries. The rice/shrimp was too salty and the french fries were cold. Service sucked and prices were too much for the quality. I would not recommend this place

Helpful?
Thank Stacy B
Level Contributor
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015

food served hot. Good prices. Good location. Good spot to watch the night life on the boardwalk. Rustic decor with wooden chairs that could be a little more comfortable, but were ok.

Helpful?
Thank IntheShade57
Gatineau
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015

My wife and I decided to have our last dinner at El Ancla before our departure. When we arrived there were only 4 or 5 tables that were occupied. We ordered fried whole fish and fried calamares. The fish was excellent but the calamares were so rubber and cold, the worst we ever had. The waitress never smiled at us,... More 

Helpful?
Thank RogerGatineau

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 175 meters east of the main beach entrance, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
  • Location: Central America  >  Costa Rica  >  Province of Guanacaste  >  Playa Samara
  • Phone Number: (506) - 2656 0716

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: South American, Costa Rican

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Ancla 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?