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“Great for lunch on the beach”
Review of Balu's Beach Bar

Balu's Beach Bar
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Bar, Costa Rican, Seafood, South American, Central American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
58 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great for lunch on the beach”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

Fresh mahi sandwich, ice cold beers, and my toes in the sand. This place is ON THE BEACH and has good cheap food. We were happy to have some food without having to actually leave the beach. Extra bonus: there's a parking lot next to it (small fee - 4000colones for the day), so you can have food, beer, beach, and car all in one place.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Katie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
    40
    11
    8
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
56 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“The only one that is directly on the beach”
Reviewed March 3, 2014

It's literally in the sand. High tide comes right up to it. It's an outdoor seating beach shack, been there for 40 years, before M.A. became a park and before it was a tourist attraction.

Then it was the neighborhood "pulperia" which is Costa Rican for corner store. 2nd gneration now. Memo, eldest son, now runs it, very good food, more than a tad high on the price, but good, cold beer, good mixed drinks--its location is the deal.

Opens around 8-8:30 for Bk, closes around 9pm. I have spent lots of days just sitting there. No bathroom to speak of, #1 only, no #2 and for men only. Girls are out of luck--need to double back to your hotel, or pay a buck at the semi-closed Mar Y Sambra 50 yards to the south for use of their bathroom.

Also, chairs and tables are made out of cement so not comfortable though he does have a few wood table and chairs under the canopy. Outstanding beach place, all in all.

I've been going there for 15 years. It's addictive.

Has chair, umbrella and locker rentals.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tomas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
57 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Great location, pathetic food and service”
Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

Go here for the amazing location. Try to order minimum food and drinks as all you would be served is mediocrity!

The service here was bad.. Annoying to some extent. We had to call the waiter 5 times to get his attention. Quesadilla was actually bad and its chicken smelt weird. My burger was pretty average. Hard to screw up a burger but they almost did. We ordered the 2 for 1 cocktail special and realized that it was a trap. They actually served us the cocktail in small glasses because it was 2 for 1 special. It was obvious from the glasses on other tables. I would say don't advertise drink specials if you don't intend to honor them. If you want good food then stay away from the beachside restaurants especially Balu.

Helpful?
2 Thank viks0004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Perfect Beach Bar”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We ate here several times on our trip. It's the perfect spot to sit with your feet in the sand and a drink or two at happy hour and watch the sunset. Great ceviche. Would definitely go back if I return to Manuel Antonio

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The perfect beach bar: good food and a happy hour”
Reviewed September 11, 2013

We really enjoyed the meal we had at Balu's. We had the seafood pasta and it was yummy. Then we stayed for happy hour to watch the sun go down with a piña colada in one hand. :) The couple who run it are very pleasant too. Prices are reasonable. I think between 6 and 10 dollars for a main dish, which is great when you consider the location. The only thing that bothered me was that they used disposable styrofoam cups for the drinks (I can't remember if the plates were disposable too). I hope that this changes. Protect the environment, please! With reusable silverware, I would give them 5 stars.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank gibber16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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