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We have curated a list of restaurants in our area that we personally tried and/or have communicated with about their understanding of GF dining, and feel comfortable recommending to our guests.  These restaurants/eateries have indicated that they are aware of the ingredients that they use that contain gluten, and are award of the protocols needed to reduce the risk of cross contamination in their kitchen.


That being said, there is always a risk dining out. Each time you eat out, share your need for GF food with your server.  Once you book with us, we will provide you with a Spanish GF Dining Translation Card.  You should take this card with you every time you leave Casa Serena and show it to anyone who prepares your food. 

Click the restaurant name below to learn more about these local restaurants that offer GF food:

  • Gracia, at Mar Vista - Best to call ahead and let them know what you need. Chef Frankie is an amazingly capable chef, and also the owner. He cares deeply about providing safe yet delicious food for all his guests. Located right on site at Mar Vista.

  • Deli Cafe - We grabbed our morning specialty coffee from this cute spot. Located in Brasilito, only 5 mins from Casa Serena. The owners got to know us quickly and started our orders as soon as they saw us walk in!

  • Surfbox - Many GF items on the menu, including delicious tacos (huge servings!), but when I wanted a sandwich, I brought my own GF baguette and they made me a delicious sandwich from their menu, a Medianoche. I highly recommend! Located in Playa Flamingo, 7 mins from Casa Serena. Owners are originally from Montreal.

  • Costa Rica Sailing Center - To be transparent, although we love the location of the Sailing Center, especially for sunsets, the food is not an option here. Unless you want a boring salad, they don't offer up much to Celiacs.  But they have awesome drinks and views at sunset and put on fun bonfires. Its a great vibe, just too bad they've chosen not to be more flexible with their menu. At Playa Potrero, 5 min drive from Casa Serena.

  • Carpe Diem ... more than coffee - Another fun coffee spot that has some GF snacks, bowls and smoothies to choose from. Located in Portrero, on the way to Playa Penca (another gorgeous beach to visit!) 

  • Pots and Bowls - so many bowls, smoothies and other GF items to choose from. A cute shop with crafts from local artisans is also part of this store. Located in Playa Grande.

  • Vida Bowls (Food Truck) - all vegan and delicious. Again so many bowls and smoothies to choose from. Often located in Huacas, a 10 min drive from Casa Serena. Great to grab a bowl on your way to Tamarindo or Playa Avellanas. And if they are not in Huacas one day, you might find them at the Tamarindo food truck park. Another great place to explore.

  • Lola's at Playa Avellanas - This place is amazing and worth the bumpy drive! The food and drinks at Lola's are amazing and the setting... you'll think you've found heaven! Many GF options to choose from - we chose the chicken tacos and many delicious drinks. Playa Avellanas is also the best place for surf lessons... a triple threat... sand, surf and GF safe food!

  • The Waffle Monkey - Serving waffles and coffee, we ordered three different GF waffles and they were all large and delicious.  Once we explained what we needed, the staff was careful to wipe down the irons and prepared the gf waffles before preparing others.  I'm embarrassed to say we visited three times in our last visit. Ricardo is so helpful and friendly and the waffles are just that good. Located in Tamarindo, just off the main street (park on the main street), down a shopping path leading to the beach. Oh, and you eat your waffles at tables on the beach!

  • Patagonia del Mar - This was a new find for us, and our favourite dinner location. Everyone could find something that they really wanted, vs. having to settle for what was available GF. I can vouch for the Tuna Poke - they leave off the soy sauce and bring a bottle GF soy to the table! It was delicious. We also tried the strip steak with grilled veggies and rice (comes with fries but no dedicated fryer). They very willingly made us fresh white rice to replace the fries.  Every staff we came into contact were so helpful, friendly and personable. We loved this place. The kids swam in the pool while we enjoyed our cocktail and watched the sunset over Playa Brasilito.  Located right next door to Deli Cafe and 5 mins from Casa Serena.

  • Nita Coffee - Brand new, just opened Dec 2020. Is a gorgeous coffee place that opens an hour earlier than Deli Cafe. So if you need your specialty coffee on your way out to an early eco-excursion, this is your spot. Located in Surfside in Potrero.

  • The Cafeteria - Also brand new, opened Dec 2020. It is located just passed the entrance to the Westin/W Hotels on your way to Huacas. Its opening coincides with the opening of Oasis Gym, also in the same location. Healthy eating is the focus of Cafeteria, so GF options area available. Owner by the same owner as Surfbox.

  • El Sapo, RistoPizza - We were disappointed we weren't able to visit El Sapo while we were last in Tamarindo/Playa Langosta. Ricardo from Waffle Monkey recommended this gem to us. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find the best GF spots, so we take his recommendation gladly! Head to Playa Langosta for sunset and walk over to El Sapo for some delicious GF pizza. Please always call in advance.

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