If you’re looking to catch a bite to each with your loved ones, the casual Olas Restaurant offers a Costa Rican take on Baja California cuisine. The head chef there believes that unique culinary experiences begin with the finest ingredients. That’s why whatever time of year you’re in Guanacaste, the menu is always based on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients served with a homemade touch. Visitors can either opt for familiar favorites, or sample rich new flavors that take you on a journey through Costa Rica.
Located just a few minutes’ drive away from our vacation villas, Olas is one of the restaurants hosted at the Prieta Beach Club. This restaurant is a firm favorite for Papagayo Luxury founder, Jane, and her family. We spoke to her to see why she loves visiting so much, the best dishes to try and some top tips for making the most of the experience.
What do you love so much about Olas?
The food is delicious and the views are spectacular. I particularly love sitting on the terrace in the evenings as it’s so calming looking out over the pool and out to the ocean. During the day, I’ll try to secure a table outside under one of the umbrellas, but if it gets too hot there is always air conditioning indoors. You get the best of both worlds.
When is the best time to visit?
It depends on what you’re looking for, really. Lunch is very casual: you can choose to eat indoors, at the tables outside or even on your lounge chair by the sand or poolside. Dinner is a little more sophisticated – best to avoid wearing swimsuits or cover ups – but it’s still quite casual. There’s no need to get too dressed up. Families are always welcome, no matter the time of day. Or if you’re visiting with your partner, the team will happily find you a smaller table in an area that’s a little more intimate.
For sports lovers, the restaurant also has a number of televisions showing various sports stations. If there’s a particular game that you’d like to watch, you can even request it inside and the staff will do their best to accommodate it.
What’s your favorite dish?
Whenever I visit Olas, I always go for the Grilled Octopus. It’s to die for! Marinated in the chef’s homemade chimichurri, it’s served on a base of cambray potatoes and carrot puree. Be sure to check out the specials of the day too as there’s usually something worth trying there as well.
Is there a special drink you’d recommend?
I personally really like the Dark and Stormy. All of the bartenders are incredible too: you can always give them an idea of the things you like and they’ll mix something unique up just for you.
What are the prices like?
The prices vary depending on whether you’re going for lunch or dinner. Lunches start from around $14 dollars each, with options such as pizza, poke, wraps and burgers. Evening meals are a little more sophisticated, so you’re looking at $24-$40 dollars for a main meal. There’s an amazing selection of fresh seafood that’s caught just off the coast, so you can try the likes of Mahi Mahi, Snapper, Shrimp, Sea Bass and Calamari.
Do you need to make a reservation?
I’d recommend it to make sure you definitely get a table. It’s worth noting that restaurants may close a little earlier than you expect throughout the resort. Usually the restaurants are closing for the day by 10pm at the latest.
Is tipping part of the culture in Costa Rica?
The Costa Rican government mandates a 10% tip to restaurant bills and private chef experiences, so that will automatically be included when you visit Olas. But as with anywhere you visit, additional tips for excellent service are always welcome!
Looking for the best restaurants in Papagayo, Costa Rica? Explore our top recommendations here.