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El Rancho Restaurant

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Costa Rican, South American, Central American
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Manuel Antonio Road, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
+506 2777 0481
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90 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 80: English reviews
High Wycombe, England
Level Contributor
136 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2015

We were staying at the Parador down the road but had got tired by the sense that we were in California rather than Costa Rica, when we stumbled across this place. It's not obvious and, as it's name would suggest, is a restaurant attached to some villas, but it is separate from them and well worth the stop. The food... More 

Helpful?
Thank Bignickandlittleted
Littleton, Colorado
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2015

First of all the atmosphere and staff here are wonderful! The Fresh Fish (Sea Bass & Yellow Fin Tuna) were excellent! Kenneth is a great chef! We loved the mojitos and specialty drinks too! I highly recommend the restaurant at Villas Nicolas!

Helpful?
Thank deezigner
Gold Canyon, Arizona
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2015

Dont be fooled by the peaceful outdoor patio. At first glance, the restaurant seems like a casual relaxed hotel restaurant but the food was the best we had in Costa Rica. I recommend the tuna and steak equally! To die for! The intimacy of the space makes for a wonderful date or girls night out like we had. A perfect... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Katy H
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
68 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2014 via mobile

I highly recommend this restaurant. The setting is beautiful and quaint. The staff was incredibly nice and accommodating, particularly considering the dietary restrictions of some in my group. My father wanted a plain, unseasoned piece of tuna on the grill, and the chef even came out to show him the piece of fish that he had selected for him! The... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brian K
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2014 via mobile

We were staying at Villas Nicolas and it was so nice to have this small, cozy restaurant right downstairs. Fresh ingredients, careful preparation and a quiet spot away from the bustle of Manuel Antonio. Excellent fish dishes.

Helpful?
Thank Kristina T
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2014 via mobile

I come back to the Manuel Antonio almost every year and this restaurant is the one spot I look forward to eating at. Chef Pato's skill in the kitchen is undeniable and it is so pleasant to dine in such a beautiful setting. The staff are warm and yet professional. Pato's fresh salsas for the fish dishes are to die... More 

Helpful?
Thank LovetoTravel107
Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2014

Read rave reviews about Villas Nicholas here on TA and was glad that this was an option within walking distance of our hotel (La Mariposa). We weren't disappointed! The setting was quaint and quiet and romantic (we visited during the green season, we practically had the place to ourselves). The food was well priced, freshly prepared, pleasing to eye -... More 

Helpful?
Thank TOWNSY
Georgia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

My husband and I love food. Villas Nicholas has the BEST dinner you will ever have in the Manuel Antonio area. This place is so secluded, that you wouldn't know it was even there. But it is surely worth the stop! The service is amazing and the food is even better. Very nice for a date night or the entire... More 

Helpful?
Thank EbonieandRyan
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2014

We stayed in Manuel Antonio for a week and this was one of only two restaurants where we ate more than once. I am not sure why it doesn't seem to be as well known as many of the other area restaurants, because we liked it better than anywhere else we ate. We had the same waitress both times and... More 

Helpful?
Thank miri8187
san francisco, ca
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

This is a small place, rather obscure, but the food is SPOT ON DEEEEELICIOUS!!! This place was recommended to us by a local. I had the Surf & Surf......YUMMMMMO!!!!!!!! The fresh seafood was so flavorful. I could easily eat here for every dinner! Oh and the drinks are excellent as well (one of the best caipirinhas I've ever had). DO... More 

Helpful?
Thank moevso

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Cuisine
Costa Rican, South American, Central American
Meals
Dinner
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Reservations
Good for
Child-friendly
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Manuel Antonio Road, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
  • Location: Central America  >  Costa Rica  >  Province of Puntarenas  >  Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Phone Number: +506 2777 0481

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Rancho Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?