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“Best meal we had in Costa Rica” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Lagarto

El Lagarto
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
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Ranked #8 of 47 Restaurants in Playa Samara
Cuisines: Barbecue, Costa Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Tollhouse CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best meal we had in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

We enjoyed everything about this restaurant! The food was fantastic! Very fresh and grilled right on the beach! The service was wonderful! Our server was from London, she was so cute and had such a great accent! The setting is beautiful, just be sure to take some bug spray!

Visited August 2013
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350 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    208
    88
    38
    9
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Great atmosphere and very good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

The steaks here are very good and , when in season, the shrimp is fantastic. You can't beat the atmosphere as a beach, sand in your toes restaurant.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silicon Valley
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Steak? Yes. Other? No.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

This restaurant came very highly recommended and failed to meet those expectations. It's a beachside place with huge heavy wood furniture (very cool) wrapped around a big ancient tree. The kitchen is an outdoor wood-fed grill that cooks nearly everything. It also has a large tiki-style bar. The food is all BBQ and comes on these cool thick wood plates that look like ring samples sliced right out of a local tree.
Each plate, though, is pretty sparse. You get a meat and two measly sides (usually a baked potato and small slice of red bell pepper). The meat is the reason to go. Thick steaks and ribs are the highlight. The calamari we ordered was overcooked and tough and the mushroom plate was similar. My wife had a fish fillet that was cooked perfect (from another kitchen).
Overall, I'd go for the scenery more than the food. The drinks were pricey and a bit watered down.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Don't pass this one by because you've been told it's expensive...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

El Lagarto was on the best meals we had while in Samara. We waited till our last night to eat here because so many people had told us it was the most expensive restaurant in the region. It's true that you CAN spend a lot -- if you order lobster and steak. But El Lagarto also has fresh-caught fish grilled to perfection for just $11. The menu is inventive, and the entrees are all grilled at the restaurant's signature, centerpiece grill. The ambiance is lovely. If you are celebrating something special, this is the idea choice in restaurants. But if you are looking for the best grilled fish in Samara -- and at a reasonable price -- don't miss El Lagarto. The food is delicious here.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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St. Louis, MO
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Outstanding!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

We sampled a mix of beef, fish filet and shrimp. All were spectacular! Strongly recommended to parties if adults only or with kids in tow!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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