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“Great Local Fare” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Arado

El Arado
Old road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
+506 2777 0928
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $7 - $20
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: If you are looking for an Authentic Costa Rican meal El Arado is your place! We have no hamburgers or pizza on the menu. Only traditional home cooked meals. Tell your taxi driver we are located on the old road to Manuel Antonio 100 meters south of the hotel Villa Teca.
Wilmette, IL
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Great Local Fare”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

Totally off the beaten path, this small local place was great. Relaxed, home-style food with capable service. The owner is also the waiter and busboy and come ready to relax and have fun. Totally casual. The food was OUTSTANDING. I cannot scream that loud enough. We had the special Christmas pork,smoked ribs and the seafood stew (not sure what it was called) and all three were drop dead delicious. I would repeat this place if we had enough time.

Visited December 2013
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147 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    109
    27
    9
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Indianapolis, Indiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“what a wonderful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

We just finished a wonderful evening at El Arado. When we first drove up to the restaurant which was off the beaten path on a dirt road and saw the picnic style tables we were very skeptical. We decided to still give it a try because of a recommendation from other guests at our hotel and because of reviews we read on Trip Advisor. What a great decision. Michael was our waiter and was a perfect accompaniment to the meal. He was so very friendly and gave us a lot of insight into Costa Rica. I ordered the grilled red snapper which he informed us was caught yesterday by the owner. My wife had the jumbo shrimp. I will have to say it was the best meal we had in our whole stay in Costa Rica. We ate at Kopi Kopi the night before and we both agreed that El Arado is far and away a much better restaurant. Dont pass up this restaurant on your visit to Manuel Antonio!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Worthy of 10 stars”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013 via mobile

If you are looking for real home cooking to experience the Tico way, this should be your choice. It is located off the main strip on a dirt road, half way between Quepos and Manuel Antonino, but don't be intimidated as the experience is worthy of your trip.

We had dinner here on our first night in the area and the waiter, a local who worked in LA so his English is Americanized, was a wealth of information about Manuel Antonio National park along with the surrounding area.

I ordered the shrimp meal and they were huge and delicious. The owner cook, also prepared a vegetarian Casado (local dish) for my partner and he is still raving about it. When we were leaving they were nice enough to sell us some beer and wine which we carried back up the street to our B&B.

Leaving this place was like leaving a families house at the end of a visit - they all thanked us for coming and invited us back in the future. After 6 trips to this country, I have to say this was the best restaurant we have experienced.

Visited November 2013
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Orlando, Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of our Manuel Antonio visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

We may have never would have found this on our own as it's a bit off the beaten path, the proprietors of our B&B recommended it because it was in easy walking distance from where we were staying. We're glad we made the trek! I had the BBQ whole fish, and as mentioned other reviews, it was fantastic. My wife was also thrilled with her Mahi.

  • Visited September 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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San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“BBQ Whole Fish!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We heard about a restaurant a couple owned...the husband would go out fishing in the ocean and bring back fresh fish in which he and his wife would prepare delicious dishes out of. We thought that might be too good to be true but we took our car and took to the road to find this place. I'm so happy that we did. We really wanted a fresh local homecooked meal when we were in Manuel Antonio -- and that's what we got here. The Mahi Mahi ceviche was on point and we ended up spending our whole evening, eating drinking and enjoying our vacation. It was also a wonderful experience sitting in the open restaurant with a thunderstorm pouring down the roof.

  • 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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