Authentic local spot for traditional Costa Rican fare
When you are an American, slightly cynical of friendly strangers, it can do you good to trust a local smile and let them lead you to their favorite place to lunch. This is what we learned!
Downtown La Fortuna in Costa Rica (the small town that sits just a few miles below Arenal Volcano National Park) has many restaurants, but due to tourism being the main business here, it is hard to find a restaurant that services the locals and dishes out classic Costa Rican food. But, we found it - thanks to a local man who found us wandering the streets then offered us a taxi, a tour and then a place to eat...and who then was our waiter!? This is as local as it gets.
Soda Sabor TICO restaurant, just across the street from La Fortuna's "Central Park" serves up cheap, yet surprisingly good Talapia with beans and rice, beef and chicken dishes and other traditional Costa Rican options. This is a no frills spot to grab a cold beer or lunch and revel at the diversity of patrons who have sought this place out - everyone from backpackers to local teenagers to the grandmother who seems to run the place.