We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

El Ancla

$$ - $$$
Seafood, South American, Costa Rican
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Meters East Of the Main Beach Entrance 175, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
+506 2656 0716
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

155 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 115: English reviews
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This little beach restaurant is wonderful! I had their specialty, for 5000 colones, which was "sopa de mariscos", seafood chowder. It was THE best bowl of chowder I have ever had, bar none. Ask for the cream based one. It was huge, and chock full of seafood, fish, and even a full crab, albeit tiny!

Thank Joanne D
New Brunswick
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Had a very good lunch. The portion was huge. I had the fish and chips. My sister had the seafood chowder. She says it was one of her best meals during our 15 day Costa Rica trip.

Thank Louise D
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A fabulous Tico owned restaurant with delicious steaks and a friendly cat. You can see the hermit crabs walking toward the sea when you dine at night.

Thank Lauren R
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Right on the beach. Great staff. Takes credit cards. The meals are all made fresh and delicious. Always love the fish fingers!

Thank Jesus S
Irvington, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I love the food here. The only draw back is the sound system. There is sometimes really loud music. I prefer the quieter dining night.

Thank ahop13
Lexington KY
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2017

Ate ther twice, and I had pretty good food and my wife's was not. I had grilled whole red snapper that was great, and the fish "burger" which was a fried fish sandwich, also great. My wife had pesto pasta, not so good, and a hamburger, which came with a slice of ham on it, pretty strange. Great place for... More 

Thank Sweeniesdad
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2017

Wonderful location!! Right on the beach with great views and outdoor seating. Good drink prices and appetizers. Great place to hang out and relax.

Thank Elizabeth P
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
177 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2017 via mobile

We had a great supper. A nice table on the beach, good music but you didn't have to shout to be heard. The beer was cold and food was wonderful. The house sauce on my fish fillet was a tantalizing curry sauce with chunks of pineapple papaya and banana. Sounds a little bit over the top but it was amazing.

Thank dan3048
San Leandro, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2017

Though not as nicely decorated as it's neighbor, this restaurant served us decent seafood at moderate prices right on the beach.

Thank danian2
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2016 via mobile

Cheapest Imperial beers we've found in Samara so far, and the super nachos are really good. The atmosphere is laid back beachfront , if you're expecting something fancy go somewhere else. If you want something a bit divey with good food and cheap beers this is your place.

Thank Tracey L

Travelers who viewed El Ancla also viewed

Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste

Been to El Ancla? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Seafood, South American, Costa Rican
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations
Good for
Scenic view, Families with children
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Meters East Of the Main Beach Entrance 175, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
  • Location: Central America  >  Costa Rica  >  Province of Guanacaste  >  Playa Samara
  • Phone Number: +506 2656 0716

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of El Ancla and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
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?