Surfing for Food in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica – Part 2

Fruit stand on the road to Jaco Beach

All this adrenaline made me hungry. Fortunately, the food in Jaco was consistently fresh and delicious, premium grade fuel for body and soul.

Every morning around seven, I would leave my room to be greeted by majestic waves rumbling beneath our balcony. I would cut up some fruit – whether papaya, watermelon, mangoes, plums, or a native fruit called guaba – to find they were always ripe with sweetness and juice. We had purchased the brightest ones at a dusty fruit stand by the side of the road on our way to Jaco, where we picked up pipa fria, cold young coconut, to sip on our way to the beach. For breakfast, I would crack some eggs, mesmerized by their plump orange yolks, and fry them into omelettes to create a hearty egg sandwich or serve them with mashed plantain, fresh local cheese, and avocados. A rich cup of Costa Rican coffee with its smooth notes of nuts and fruit would end our feast.

At noon we would seek refuge from the sun in rustic beach side restaurants. Being by the ocean has its perks when you love seafood, so I indulged in fresh catches as often as I could. We had one of the most unforgettable dishes at the Vista Hermosa Restaurant in nearby Hermosa Beach, about a 10-minute drive from Jaco. This breezy spot was decorated with carved Polynesian masks and vibrant murals on the walls. We settled into one of their wooded tables, watching perfect waves cresting in the metallic Pacific, while we cooled off with papaya and pineapple batidos. Here, we ordered a tuna sashimi that was a far departure from the sterile (read: sad) slivers of cold tuna we’re used to getting from our neighborhood sushi joint. This tuna was glossy, bright, and almost warm, arranged to look like an abstract composition. Its delicate slivers were assembled on the plate with tiny cubes of luscious avocado, crispy green onion, toasted sesame seeds – all ingredients joined by a light drizzle of soy.

Tuna Sashimi at Vista Hermosa Restaurant

When evening rolled around, we would grab a light meal back in Jaco. One of our favorite spots was Bohio Bar, located in the middle of Jaco’s stretch of beach. After spending the afternoon playing in the waves, we would grab a couple of stools facing the ocean and watch the wisps of sunset pink grace across the open sky. Over cold Pilsen beers and the freshest fish tacos ever, we would see the last remaining surfers exit the water, jump on their bikes, and pedal home, with salt in their hair and their board tucked under their arms.

Sunset in Jaco Beach

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