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“Best restaurant in Tortuguero” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger
Ranked #1 of 17 Restaurants in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $30
Cuisines: Central American, Costa Rican, Caribbean, Contemporary, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Kids, Local cuisine
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Inventive fusion cuisine made with fresh ingredients. Not one single canned good goes on to our plates! All our breads and sauces are homemade, and all of our recipes are original to Wild Ginger.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Tortuguero”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

My wife and I had three hours to kill while waiting for our 9:30 turtle watching tour to begin. We stumbled on this restaurant by chance earlier in the day. Let me say that my wife and I are big foodies. Not only is this by far the best restaurant in town it was probably the best food we had in two weeks in Costa Rica. Jorge was experimenting with the margaritas and I had fun sampling and making suggestions. Jennifer's cooking was exceptional. We were in no hurry and so we took our time sampling the drinks and the wonderful food. Since there was no one else in the place we sat around talking for a couple of hours and they were very interesting to talk with and they really made our night.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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407 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    321
    57
    22
    6
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Brest, France
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Just what we needed !!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

This place has been recommend to us by our turtle tour guide. After the tour we just had a drink : wonderful "pina en agua" (fresh homemade pineapple juice) and a daiquiri. We had a look on the menu, and decided to comeback the day after.
After 10 days of rice, beans, fried chicken and banana, the food served here was like a fresh oasis in the desert...
I strongly recommend the beef stew !!
The food is a great mix of Costa Rica Carabean style and traditional American food. All the products seem to be fresh.
If there is fish take it without hesitate. It's fished the same day you eat it, in front of where you eat it.
Jorge at the service gives many advice about possible trip to do and different place to go.
A really nice place where you must go at least once if you are in Tortuguero !!!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Juan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildGingerCR, Owner at Wild Ginger, responded to this review, September 15, 2012
We are pleased to have so many satisfied customers like Juan Noël and Sandra. They were in Tortuguero longer than the typical 3 days/2 nights, and had the opportunity to dine with us several times. As a chef, there is no greater satisfaction than the look on Juan Noël's face when he told me how much he was enjoying the Caribbean Beef Stew. That dish is one of my favorites, as it's a perfect fusion between traditional Costa Rican Rondon and Texas Chili, full of vibrant flavors. As for his comments about the fish, they are completely true. We don't offer fish on our regular menu, because we only buy fish that is local and line-caught. If we have it as a special, you can be certain that it is the freshest in town!

Merci beaucoup, Juan Noël et Sandra!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington state
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Terrific view, terrific food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2012

Wonderful young couple running the place. Just a little on the pricey side, but this is Tortuguero (tough to bring in supplies). If you're looking for a meal that goes well beyond typical Tico fare, this is the place.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank karoak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildGingerCR, Owner at Wild Ginger, responded to this review, September 15, 2012
I'll agree that our prices are higher than some tourists would expect, but when you compare the quality of our ingredients and preparation of the dishes, I feel that the relation between price point and food quality is more than fair.

Costa Rica in general has very high food costs, and in Tortuguero we end up paying up to 50% more for our ingredients, yet our prices are similar to comparable restaurants in the city centers. When comparing our prices to others in town, one need only consider that we offer neither rice nor beans -- two of the cheapest ingredients available -- and that our portions focus on the protein rather than the fillers.

We are always striving to improve our business. We make a concerted effort to provide excellent service, delicious meals, and reasonable prices. If we could charge less for the same quality of food, I assure you that we would!

For those travelers who are on a tighter budget, I would like to note that we offer some excellent discounts. Many beverages are deeply discounted during Happy Hour, we often hand out coupons to encourage repeat business, and we offer 10% off for those who have purchased a sticker for their turtle tour. The sticker is a voluntary donation to the turtle spotter program, which has been a huge step in responsible tourism management.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“LOVE THIS PLACE!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2012

Food was amazing! I keep thinking about those crispy plantain baskets and the guacamole was some of the best I have ever had! Great little place with excellent service! Thanks Jorge and Jennifer, you are doing a great job! The decor was nice and the bathrooms lovely! Especially when most bathrooms in restaurants in this area are usually less then basic. I really enjoyed the food and we even went back a second time just for the guacamole! I didnt mind that there were not a lot of people, it is the low season, so that is not unusual. The village is so small, how can anyone say anything in Tortuguero is hard to find! I LOVED IT!!!! We even took some time and relaxed in their hammocks before leaving. I thought everything was just lovely! Will definately go back the next time I visit Tortuguero!!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Gillools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alajuela, Costa Rica
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nice ambience, not so good food!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012

I had the opportunity to visit Tortuguero, I'm a food lover so read about Wild Ginger being #1 in Trip Advisor. The location is not good, had a hard time finding the restaurant. I though it was lonely and too dark the area where it is. The restaurant is beautiful, the food I felt it was over priced compare to the quality.
It call my attention, nobody was there beside me, next day I went to the turtle tour and our group walked in front of Wild Ginger and nobody was there again. So it's funny its consider to be #1 restaurant in the area when there's not much people eating there....

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Natura_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildGingerCR, Owner at Wild Ginger, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Firstly, we appreciate all constructive criticism but this review frankly confuses us. The title mentions the nice ambiance and poor food, yet the review focuses on the drawbacks of our location and never mentions that the food is bad.

The fact that we sometimes lack customers reflects the season and our novelty more than anything, as well as the fact that we don't actively work with the village guides. Most of the restaurants in town pay commissions to the tourist guides, passing the added cost along to their customers. We prefer to rely on our quality of food and service to bring in guests, which is why TripAdvisor is our favorite marketing tool.

We, personally, like the fact that we are not on the main street. Our location is roughly 50 meters from the ocean, which provides us with a cooling ocean breeze. The neighborhood is quiet and almost always devoid of the loud, bass-heavy music that can often be heard in the center of the village. The path can be a bit dark in between street lights, but Tortuguero is a very safe place. If you are worried about creepy crawlies, simply bring a flashlight (or cellphone) to help illuminate the 5-meter gaps.

To our future guests, I would like to give detailed directions, which are incredibly simple. We are about 10 minutes from the center of town, on the North end, beachfront path. To get here you simply take the main road until you arrive at the riverfront park with the large bird statues, where there is also a large souvenir shop painted bright pink. We also have a large sign here. Simply take a right turn towards the beach, through the schoolyard, past the last building. We have a hand-painted sign with a large arrow hanging from a tree there, where you turn left and follow the beachfront path (also the way to get to the turtle museum).
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