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“Best restaurant near Punta Uva”
Review of El Refugio Grill

El Refugio Grill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $25
Cuisines: Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks, Cash Only, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: International Cusine Restaurant. Jungle outside private tables for dinner or chill out. Romantic atmosphere, good music. Focus on the good quolity of the products and the service.
Madison, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best restaurant near Punta Uva”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

The food was delicious and the portions were generous. The ambiance was incredible. A reservation is required, however.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ashley L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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404 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    339
    47
    12
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Delicious steaks and pleasant atmosphere”
Reviewed November 24, 2013

My boyfriend and I ate here on our last night in Costa Rica. We didn't make a reservation and the restaurant only has 6 tables so we had to wait. However, the hosts made us aware of the expected wait and offered us drinks and appetizers while we waited for a table. We both got the steak which was very delicious. Very nice family-run restaurant!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Olga V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fabulous intimate dinner...”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

A perfect meal in a very intimate setting, only five tables, and with excellent, personable service by the chef and staff. All the food items were wonderful, particularly the steak, but also the side vegetables, and the dessert, with good presentation. Would happily return whenever possible...

I would recommend checking it with the chef beforehand if planning to bring younger children for a meal there.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Kirkg1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castle Rock, Colorado
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“way above the rest in Caribbean Costa Rica”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We very much enjoyed El Refugio Grill for many reasons. The food was not mass produced but each meal cooked as ordered. The quality and presentation of the food was as I might expect in a five star establishment. Having the owner/chef come to speak with us made us feel special and at home. We found this jewel our last week there and returned twice.
In response to some of the other reviews I read, I would agree it is not designed for small children.
As to the water (tap vs bottled), while tap water is safe in the area, the owner provides bottled water at no charge. How can this be a negative?
El Refugio was refreshing after the other places we had visited. It was charming, elegant, friendly and clean.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Brenda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel Antonio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great Steak! But otherwise a little disappointing.”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

We decided to try El Refugio our last night in Puerto Viejo mainly based on reviews here on Trip Advisor. The owner and his wife (I think she was his wife), were incredibly friendly and pretty accommodating. The steak was one of the best steaks we've tried in CR for sure and possibly elsewhere. It was so tender and flavorful and perfectly cooked. Unfortunately, the rest of the food was really average at best. The spinach crepes were just fine and the brownie with ice cream about the same. They do not have any real options for children, but the owner was nice enough to make my daughter some gnocchi which wasn't on the menu. The flavor was great, but the gnocchi were way overcooked and pretty much just mush. I appreciate the effort, but still not really a children's option at over $15 for the dish. I definitely do not recommend this restaurant for families with young children unless you don't mind spending $15-20 per child (for just an entrée) in rural Costa Rica. Still, we thought the restaurant was ok, but unfortunately left with a very bad taste in our mouth when the bill came and we were charged for bottled water that we never ordered. We live in Costa Rica and always very clearly order "agua del tubo" . . . water from the tap. I didn't think twice about it when they filled our glasses with water from a bottle that looked kind of recycled. It's common for restaurants here to refill bottles and serve it that way to chill the water and was surprised to see that we were charged for this. The bottle was never offered nor given to us. It may sound petty, but this is a huge pet peeve of mine and unfortunately a really common way to take advantage of tourists. I told the waitress we didn't order bottled water (in Spanish) and she just looked at me and didn't try to correct it in anyway. It's a shame b/c I wouldn't recommend the restaurant after feeling like we were taken advantage of.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MALocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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