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“Skeptical at first, now completely won over!”

KOKi Beach Restaurant & Bar
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Caribbean, Latin, Bar, Seafood, Central American, Costa Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children, Scenic view, Kids
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
177 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Skeptical at first, now completely won over!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

When Koki Beach first appeared, it seemed just a little to "Miami" for me. I visited Puerto Viejo 21 times before my eventual move, and I always wanted it to stay local, funky, and a little bit raw. Every experience I've had with Koki Beach and it's fabulous owners, management, and staff (from guard to executive chef) have made me a fan. Bear with this lengthy review and I'll give you details.

The building of the restaurant and bar was with exhaustive thought and consideration to the environment and the neighborhood. Locals who had lived here for generation were assured that the building would impact or disrupt them as little as possible. The building itself is all, or nearly all recycled materials or environmentally friendly. For instance, instead of poured concrete foundations, rock cages (or gabions) are used. If ever--sadly-- the restaurant goes away there will be no large debris pile. The clever upcycling includes old doors (hinges included) as table tops, floorboards are now artsy chairs, wine bottles and coconuts are light shades that brighten and lighten the environment. Mature trees were left in place, so diners are on elevated decks in spaces made intimate with natural elements dividing spaces and creating visual interest. A keen eye can pick out hundreds of little details, from plantings to furnishings to decoration, there is nothing in the place that did not receive attention and deliberate thought.

About the food... and I LOVE food. Some of my favorites are the appetizers... yucca chips (sliced thin and served crispy with a delicious tangy dip), guac and chips (each perfectly prepared and presented beautifully) and lastly, the ONLY restaurant calamari I will order. As a fisherman/diver, this calamari is unbelievable! If you are at a table of four and plan to share, 2 of your tablemates will resent you later. Though an ample serving, you just can't stop eating it! On my recent visit I ordered a burger (ok, if you live here, you will understand how important a good burger becomes) It was stinkin' delicious. The beef was lean and well seasoned without trying to cover up natural flavor. Full contingent of garnish (including pickles!!!) and assorted condiments--even dijon! My friends ordered the beef (mouthwatering and perfectly prepared), tuna (ordered rare and seared expertly to seal in flavor and maintain the delicate flavor of fresh caught yellow tail), and shrimp--yum. We all shared bites as each had a hard time choosing and wanted to know what the other had. Everything was incredible.
We arrived in time for the 2X1 drinks, which were well prepared and promptly served. My only complaint... why aren't those delicious mojitos in the line-up? Maybe that's a good thing! One thing I noticed about Koki, is that the server and management is very attentive. I'm not complaining about the local custom, just providing observation, but in many restaurants you could sit for a loooooong time wanting another drink, or another order of chips, or a condiment. These folks are top of things without being intrusive. Efficient and professional, while keeping the tranquilo vibe.
Prices are comparable, even good, really. There are cheaper places to eat, to be true, but these folks are a class act. They pay their help well, they pay their taxes and provide all the required employee benefits. So, the cost of fresh food, plus the additional 23% in taxes and tips, add up to a burden for businesses that play by the rules. But... it's worth it and for the amount, quality, and experience, a bargain.
Lastly, I send my charter fishing guests there with their catch, and know that it is a place where my guests will be treated consistently well. The charge will be in line with the cost of expertly preparing a fresh catch, providing an appropriate selection of side dishes and options for seasonings or sauces. The guests can gaze upon the boat that took them out on the sea that enchants them. It's a perfect end for our guests to relish their day in the magical Caribe Sur.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank Janick2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,256 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
176 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Great outdoor sitting area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2012

We only had drinks here because the food looked a little more expensive than we wanted to spend (it was packed so the food must have been good), but it was nice to just sit and have drinks in a beautiful place and sit under the stars. They only have seating for about 20-25 people outside so get there early if you want to be sure to sit outside on the porch. The whole place is open air so there really isn't a bad seat in the place. It is one of the nicest places to sit and wine or dine in Puerto Viejo-you could go dressed up here (beach style) and fit right in.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank kpcharlier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moelln, Germany
Level Contributor
135 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Good food, friendly staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

In PV one of the best places. We were never disappointed. Try the yucca chips!

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Hans K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MSP
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent service, food and view of the beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

We went to KOKi Beach Restaurant to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. The staff there really made the dinner very personal and special- went way above and beyond to make it a memorable evening for us.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank JenniferTMsp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longmont, Colorado
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“fair food, cool atmosphere”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2012

very long wait for food, poor service, food was fair at best- the atomosphere was cool though.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank kerri h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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