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“Nice atmosphere and quick food”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Costa Vida

Costa Vida
Ranked #90 of 242 Restaurants in St. George
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern, Fast Food
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Ogden, Utah
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere and quick food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

We have a Costa Vida in our home town of Ogden, UT so this was an easy choice. Good food and they are quick.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Todd S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    9
    4
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Castle Pines, Colorado
Level Contributor
148 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“This is not the Costa Vida we know and love”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2012

We were driving through St. George and needed a quick meal. We spotted Costa Vida and it was an easy decision. Back in CO, we go to Costa Vida every Saturday for lunch. This is how much we love this restaurant! We were shocked at the terrible service and subpar food in St. George. Isn't a chain supposed to provide similar food quality and service? Apparently not in this case. The staff was working so slowly; the line took forever and the servers were rude. But what was most shocking was the food. The chicken was dry, the lettuce was wilted, and the sauces were bland. We drive through St. George twice every summer and we will never stop here again.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Anchored
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint George, UT
Level Contributor
72 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Quick and good!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I got back from vacation and she didn't want to cook, so we grabbed the coupon for Costa Vida and off we went. I had the smothered pork burrito and she had the raspberrry chipotle chicken quesadilla. Both items were prepared quickly and tasted great. It was almost closing time but the staff was friendly and made our food to our specifications. I like this better than Cafe Rio.

Helpful?
Thank Energywise1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. George, Utah
Level Contributor
54 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Nice Alternative”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2012

Have to begin this review with a disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Cafe Rio, HUGE. When I lived in Las Vegas a few years back I scoured the city for any fresh mex restaurant that could hold a candle to them. Man, I wish Costa Vida had been there. Baja Fresh was the closest I could get and they were not even in the same league.
So I had first heard for CV from a roommate who attended SUU in Cedar City and this kid would not shut the hell up about this place. "Costa Vida is soo much better than Cafe Rio, blah blah blah" Finally I have the opportunity to test out his theory.
Well, he's not entirely wrong, but he's also not right.
There are some things that are better and they probably won't sound very nice. But 1. the biggest complaint I and some of my friends have had is that there is a communication hindrance most of the time. Let's put paid to it, most of the people on the line do not consider English as their first language. Nothing wrong with that, unless of course you are trying to make requests about preferences in how your meal is prepared. This can be an issue and has been more than once. For the most part I don't have a huge problem with it, I don't usually require too many wacko things for my burrito, salad or soup. And if they do give me too much lettuce for my tastes it's easy enough for me to chuck some of it out.
Now Costa Vida on the other hand, thus far I would guess from the kids I saw behind the counter during my visit, will not run into that problem. One thing for sure, a member of the KKK would feel comfortable ordering here. This is not intended to be a slight, but Southern Utah and Utah in general does have a reputation for having a clean cut, blond, blue-eyed population. CV will support this expectation for sure. One nice thing about this I suppose, all the people behind the counter were very nice and easy to communicate with. Take away for this... if communication is key, and English is your first language, you can't complain.
One thing going against Cafe Rio as well is that their customer service has not go the best reputation. I have personally had some problems in the past but they seem to be working on that.
So let's get to the food, yes?
So far, all I've had is the Grilled Chicken Burrito with black beans, mild sauce, enchilada style. I would definitely say it was comparable to Cafe Rio. Was it better? No. I would give a slight edge to CR but that may be because I ate there first. Kind of like preferring the original version of a song versus a cover. But personally I didn't really like their mild sauce as much. There was a tang to it that I didn't quite like as much. The tortilla was easily as good though and the chicken was very flavorful. Price-wise they were really close and instead of offering shredded chicken (which I always get at CR) they have grilled instead.
It turns out that the old roommie was specifically referring to the pork and not the chicken, well I don't like the pork so I'll not be able to really test that.
I will be returning to CV in the future, it is closer to me than CR and it is close enough that I don't think I'll miss it too much. I still have to try the soup and a salad since I often get those as well. Then I'll have a better idea as to which I may or may not prefer.
I would advise anyone who is a fan of CR to give Costa Vida a shot, there are more of them in town so you'll likely not have to wait nearly as long to get your food. But let's face it, there is a reason there is a wait at Cafe Rio, they are really, really good and I just don't know if Costa Vida will give them any more competition than Bajio (the restaurants they replaced) or Durangos, but they are definitely the most comparable.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MikeH001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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