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The place for breakfast in Jacó is the Sunrise Breakfast Place (tel. 506/2643-3361, 6 A.M.–12:30 P.M. daily), serving waffles, eggs Benedict ($5), omelettes, and more. A worthy alternative, The Coffee Shop (tel. 506/2643-3240, 7:30 A.M.–2 P.M. Mon.–Fri.) also has omelettes and pancakes.
You can’t go wrong at Clarita’s Sports Bar & Grill (tel. 506/2643-2615, 7 A.M.–10 P.M. daily) for its omelettes, burgers, burritos, and entrées ranging from teriyaki mahimahi ($8) to filet mignon ($12). Go for calypso on Saturday afternoon.
My favorite lunch spot is the Taco Bar (tel. 506/2643-0222, www.tacobar.info, noon–10 P.M. Mon., 7 A.M.–10 P.M. Tues.–Sun.), a delightful open-air Japanese-style restaurant with a great buffet, gourmet fish tacos, sashimi ($7), and a citrus-teriyaki chicken ($8) on the menu. Wash it down with a mega-batido (shake) or natural lemonade, followed by a gourmet coffee. It also has granola and yogurt breakfasts ($5) and pancakes and fruit ($5.50 or $3 Tues.–Wed.), as well as daily specials. The tree-trunk stools and swing seats are pretty cool.
Another good choice is the elegant open-air La Esperanza (tel. 506/2643-3326, 10 A.M.–midnight daily, $4.50–12), centered on an octagonal bar under a skylight. Its wide-ranging menu includes burgers, onion rings, chowders, ceviche, chicken in honey, and mussels in garlic and olive oil.
For sushi, head to the small, clean, air-conditioned Tsunami (tel. 506/2643-3678, 5–11 P.M. daily), in Plaza Il Galeone; or to ILoveSushi (tel. 506/2643-3083, noon–10 P.M. daily), beside Highway 34 and offering two-for-one sushi during happy hour (5–6 P.M.).
For delicious seafood, head to the elegant beachfront Restaurant Hicacos (tel. 506/2643-3226, www.elhicaco.net, 11 A.M.–10 P.M. daily), which has an all-you-can-eat lobster feast (6–10 P.M. every Wed.) with live calypso. It also hosts a live reggae band on Monday. Nearby, Bubba’s Bohío Beach Bar (tel. 506/2643-3112) also has a beachfront setting for enjoying its famous fish tacos. It has pool tables.
Another favorite is the elegant Hotel Poseidon Restaurant (tel. 506/2643-1642, 7 A.M.–2 P.M. and 6–10 P.M. daily), with consistently good dishes such as marlin ceviche, a fabulous seared ahi tuna with mashed potatoes and crisp veggies, or filet mignon with béarnaise-jalapeño sauce ($15). Breakfasts include biscuits with gravy ($5) and bagel and eggs ($5).
Nearby Pancho Villa (tel. 506/2643-3571, 24 hours, $5–15) serves surf and turf on an open-air terrace, but also has Mexican fare, sushi, seafood fettuccine, and such specialties as vinaigrette chicken with honey.
Gilbert Brown’s Juice Bar, at the north end of town, serves fresh batidos (smoothies), as does Jamba Juice, in Pacific Plaza.
For baked goods, try Panadería Tosso, 100 meters east of Avenida Pastor Díaz; Musmanni, on the main drag; or the clean and modern Pachi’s Pan (tel. 506/2643-1153) across the street.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition