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“A Must Treat for Yourself and Your Guests!”

Gingerbread Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 22 Restaurants in Nuevo Arenal
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $50
Cuisines: Central American, Costa Rican, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Kids, Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Cash Only, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Hamptons, New York
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Must Treat for Yourself and Your Guests!”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

I have been going to this restaurant since it opened. I have been on all 7 Continents and dinned at some of the world's best. But it took an adventure to The Rain Forest to discover My Favorite Restaurant in The World! Enjoy the Food, Drinks and Staff at this Landmark! You too can travel the world looking for what others call "Their Favorite"! I believe you would agree with me on this one! The mushroom dish is to Die For:-)

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FredL881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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370 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    325
    25
    5
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Marengo, Ohio
Level Contributor
67 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Don't leave Costa Rica without eating at the Gingerbread!”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

I feel blessed to have experienced a meal at Gingerbread! Experience is exactly what it is; the atmosphere, the view, the aromas, the hospitality, the food, the friends, the wine and even the cat! All of it together was amazing!
We went after a long day at the volcano area and arrived around 6pm. We were lucky because of a friend to have Eyal open the restaurant especially for our group of 18. He greeted us at the door with a warm welcome. He served us wine from a large assortment from around the world. He let us try before until we found one to suit our individual pallet. After a time of getting to socialize he asked us to sit down so he could serve us the appitizers.
WOW! He started with 3 different appetizers, (I am not a foodie so may not have these titled exactly right) mussels, a tuna & steak salad and a mushroom dish. All were wonderful, but I would have licked the plate of the mushrooms, it was my favorite! I have never had anything like it, but would love to have every day!
Eyal came out with each presentation to explain what he had made. You could tell how much he enjoyed cooking for us. It was a love of food!
After some time to relax, enjoy some more wine and enjoy the company the main course was served.
Another WOW! We were served (again I can't explain with perfection) a mongolian steak salad dish, a pasta dish and shnitzel. All were so delicious. The steak dish was a little spicy for me, but I had a second helping anyway!
We all finished the main dishes saying we were full and would never eat again, yet when dessert arrived we acted as if we had not eaten that night! We were served bananas foster, banana bread and a chocolate/macadamian nut dish. All were amazing! I have made bananas foster myself, but it tasted nothing like this dish.
This restaurant is a must if you are in Costa Rica! You should go out of your way to eat here!
I am so glad I have had this experience!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank threeredheads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Just incredible ...”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Some say it's the best place to eat while in Arenal, I'd say it's almost worth going to Arenal just to eat there. We stayed at nearby Villa Decary for 4 nights and ate at Gingerbread for 3. Las Delicias in town makes really good cansados, but hey, one can only eat so much cansado on one given trip. Now granted, Gingerbread is quite a bit more expensive than any soda you'll stop by, but it's still pretty cheap per north american standards. Besides the food, Eyal is a pretty colorful host. If you go, I suggest you sit at the bar. Thanks Eyal for your hospitality. And you were right, I'd rather stay near Arenal than at the beach!
PS: make sure you reserve or you just won' eat there.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jsneveu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Finest Food anywhere in this Hemisphere”
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

In the middle of Costa Rica overlooking lake Arenal is a restaurant and hotel that few will find. But once you do, Gingerbread will become a dinning experience that will make you appreciate your life. My idea of a last meal would be what is served. As a consultant, I have traveled to some of the world's finest restaurants and hands down this little restaurant puts them all to shame. Its a dining experience and not just a meal. Its location is just this side of heaven and I say that because it is surrounded by tropical plants, exotic birds, and the majestic power of one of the world's most active volcanos.

When the first course arrived, the staff placed the food before us and it was presented as artwork. Our host and chef explained each piece with such detail my eyes and mouth watered with anticipation. The aroma's caught a ride in the clean mountain air and completed the presentation. There was so much food, I thought there would be little room for our main course. Our party of ten cleaned each dish leaving little evidence there had been a first course. I soaked up the mushroom sauce with my bread and had a second slice to do the same with my salad dressing. The flavors exploded in your mouth and complimented all your senses. My tastebuds screamed with delight as thoughts of what might be coming next.

When the main course arrived, our party was shocked and maybe a little scared by the amount of what was placed before us. My 19 year son and eating machine was finally challenged with a meal fit for a King. Our party sampled each tasty piece as each one delighted your senses to nourishment fit only for GODS. Each mouthful melted joyfully as you moved the food around your mouth like you were sampling fine wine. And yes, we did have wine another component that danced flavors around like a beautiful love song. As I enjoyed each moment of this meal, I began planning my next trip to Costa Rica and Gingerbread. After finishing off dessert which destroyed my idea of what dessert should be, our chef demonstrated his international talents with the finest meal I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I would say the finest meal I have ever eaten ANYWHERE. This is a must on your things to do. And one piece of advise - stay in the garden of eden room and have the breakfast, you may never want to leave this tropical Heaven. I left feeling sad that it has taken me 46 years to find such a treasure and that I had missed this place twice on my two previous trips to Arenal. Now, I will be spending more time in Costa Rica and making Gingerbread a crown jewel of each trip. The piece that made this experience even more enjoyable was the character who prepared the meal. Please take time to listen and talk with this great human being. I felt honored to have met him and I truly was humbled by this dining experience. A world class experience beyond my words and I hope you will find Gingerbread to be just this side of Heaven too. It was beyond my expectations, for price, taste, quantity, quality, cleanliness, service, and was left with a belly filled with food prepared in a manner I won't ever forget. A world class restaurant!

Helpful?
2 Thank Jim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is the place to eat and stay when visiting Arenal. Eyal, the owner/ chef is worth the visit. The food is one of the best in Costa Rica if not the best. Eyal is trained at the CIA in Chicago and is fabulous. Great place to drink wine, meet the locals and have a great evening of fun. The Inn is very nice and each room is unique. Kitchen is closed Monday. No credit cards accepted.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jlajus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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