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You may also be interested in these hotels within five miles of Santa Teresa:
One favorite Mal Pais restaurant, for fresh and varied cuisine, large portions, and moderate prices is Mary's Restaurant located at the north-east corner of the junction where the road turns inland toward Star Mountain Resort and the back road to Cabuya and Cabo Blanco, just before the fishing village (which probably explains the amazingly fresh fish specials).
A favorite, owned for many years by the same Costa Rican family, is Soda Piedra Mar. Which was located right on a rock point where you could enjoy watching the waves crash over the rock formations while you wait for your meal to arrive, has now had to relocate due to Maritime Zone law. It is now located near the bottom of the hill which takes you to Hotel Buenos Aires, in Playa Carmen. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is not the same, but, the meals are still affordable!
A great place to grab pizza and a beer, and take in the beach scene is Pizza Playa Carmen at the crossroads of Mal Pais/Santa Teresa.
Just south of the Santa Teresa/Mal Pais cross-road, off the dusty road and nestled among tropical gardens is the restaurant at Ritmo Tropical which also serves up a great pizza and has a good menu selection.
Located in the Playa Carmen Commercial Center (it is the first commercial center you see when you arrive) is Artemis Cafe. A real, honest-to-goodness internet, gourmet coffee shop! It is air-conditioned and has free wireless internet. They have great selection of coffees, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, desserts and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You could hang out there all day (but don’t! Please allow someone else a table and a meal!). The staff is friendly and the environment is relaxing. Right next door, and equally inviting is Umi Sushi, which offers a full selection of Japanese cuisine. Leave room for dessert because as you step out of one of these two eateries, turn left and sample the delicious homemade Italian ice-cream at the Italian Gelati stand! Every flavor under the sun and a choice of three sizes of dishes or a cone.
A new bakery, called The Bakery almost across the street from the Playa Carmen Commercial Center is giving Artemis Cafe
a run for it's clients with wifi, A/C and delicious baked goods from coffee
cake to croissants. Lunches and dinners are also served with choices off a
small menu or the 'chalk board' daily specials.
A terrific Argentinean barbecue, known for it’s grilled chicken and steak is Las Piedras, located in Playa Carmen, just north of the cross-roads, before the first bridge (watch for their oddly unique sign to entice you to try their food). Further north into Santa Teresa, is Al Chile Viola, for authentic Florentine (new location: 100 meters north and on the same side of the street as the grocery store Super Hacienda in Santa Teresa north); Casa Zen for some spicy Thai; Rancho Itauna for Brazilian; Pizza Tomate, has some of the best calzones you'll find anywhere; Brisas del Mar has excellent food and is located at Hotel Buenos Aires which has one of the best views of the area from it's lofty perch above Playa Carmen; near the north end of Santa Teresa is Milarepa’s Restaurant and almost right next door is Nectar at Florblanca Resort for North American cuisine at North American high-end prices. Ambrosia, just north of Florblanca Resort has a great menu that includes a variety of burgers, the best onion rings and the only place you will find honest to goodness poutine!!!
There are a smattering of local "sodas" throughout Mal Pais and Santa Teresa which open and close randomly but there are enough of them that one is sure to be open when hunger strikes.
Keep in mind that most services here do not operate quickly, so relax and go with the slow flow! Almost everything is made by hand, so cooking isn't a matter of just heating something in a microwave. And, most of the time, don't expect to get your bill until you ask for it.
Prices generally are comparable with what you'd expect to pay in the U.S. Lunches and dinners (except at the few high-end places) can generally be had for 2,500 to 6,000 colones ($5 to $12). If you're pinching pennies, the best deal is often the Costa Rican casado, a full meal that typically consists of rice, beans, potatoes, plantains and a meat of some sort.