Are you thinking of buying a property in Nicaragua and relocating to San Juan Del Sur and its beautiful beaches? Or maybe you’re traveling around and wondering where you can find unique and tasty restaurants around San Juan del Sur? Like all little towns, San Juan del Sur has a lot to offer culinary if you know where to go!
We have curated a list of some of our favorite restaurants in San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, not just based on our own opinion but also on the opinions of many locals and expats.
Local and Typical Food in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
On the hunt for fresh seafood? La Lancha is the perfect place. La Lancha is owned by a family of local fishermen that serve only freshly caught seafood.
They are also located right on the beach featuring a beautiful beach front view of the bay of San Juan Del Sur. Get to la Lancha now!
You can dine on a full plate that contains lobster, red snapper, or shrimp with salad, rice, and plantain chips for about $5-8 per meal!
Must-try: Enjoy a fresh ceviche as an appetizer, and then try out their lobster plate, or seafood soup!
Fritanga de Doña Juanitas
As you’re in Nicaragua, you really should get acquainted with the local cuisine and Fritango de Doña Juanitas is one of the most delicious places to do so around San Juan del Sur!
This little locally owned restaurant is located straight across from the infamous “Cerveceria”. You will easily spot it due to the clouds of aromatic smoke coming from their outside barbeque. They serve a very satisfying plate for only $4-6; you won’t regret it!
Must-try: Your choice of street-styled BBQ chicken, beef, or pork served with gallo pinto, tajadas, and salad. For our vegetarians, you can simply opt out of the meat and pay even less!
Sabores de mi patio
Carolina and Dariel welcome you every Sunday at their patio called “Sabores de mi patio” for some tasty Nicaraguan cuisine. The back patio is full of life on Sundays and we recommend this experience while you’re around San Juan del Sur. Make sure to go early as they run out of Beef Rib soup pretty fast! They also offer various roast options – including their famous charcoal grilled special cuts of beef or pork – and serve generous portions for $6-9 a meal.
Must-try: The soup of the day and the charcoal grilled pork.
El Timón y El Vivian
El Timón and el Vivian are the two beachfront restaurants when you drive from the entrance of San Juan del Sur to the beach, and two of the oldest ones in town. Both are fully owned and operated by locals whose mission is to serve you authentic Nicaraguan dishes. You’ll love the view on the bay overviewed by the Christ statue.
Main courses are priced around $8-15. El Timon and el Vivian often organize live music and different events such as salsa dancing gatherings.
Must-try: The $1-3 happy hour drinks and bites from 4-6 pm.
Healthy Food and Quick Bites around San Juan del Sur
This indoor/outdoor restaurant truly has it all. From mouthwatering burgers to satisfying salads while sipping on a tasty coffee or refreshing cocktail, Dale Pues got you!
This local gem holds a special place in the hearts of many locals that live in San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. Come see what the rave is all about and start your meal with their ‘tostones con queso’ and a fresh smoothie or espresso martini.For vegetarians, we suggest trying their mouth-watering falafel plate that features homemade falafel, salad, hummus, tahini, and pita bread.
Pricing may vary between $5-9 per meal.
Must-try: The chicken chipotle! We also recommend trying any of their burgers. They truly are in the top 3 best burgers in town!
The Lost TreeMan
The Lost Treeman French-inspired food served in a great artsy space. Check out their rooftop and special ele
Pricing may vary between $6-10 per meal.
Must-try: The quiche with homemade crust, and the chocolate crepes!
La Tostaderia in San Juan del Sur and Managua
La Tostaderia is one of our favorite coffee shops in San Juan del Sur and Managua, opening as early as 7 am.
They serve delicious breakfast including their traditional Nicaraguan breakfast, avocado toasts, and egg benedicts. On top of exceptional breakfasts, they serve tasty lunches and early dinners. Coffee and drinks are around $2-5 and meals $5-10.
La Tostderia is also a great spot to enjoy a coffee or smoothie while taking your computer out for some remote work, or bringing your chess board to play with some friends.
Did I mention that Tostaderia bakes its own bread every morning? You can bring some home too as they have a little bakery/boulangerie next to their restaurant.
Must-try: The iced cappuccino with avocado toast.
This breakfast and lunch café is nestled in a splendid garden of plants and funky pieces of art that are scattered all throughout the place. You definitely want to check this Simon Says out!
Here you can enjoy reasonably priced smoothies, a great yet cheap ‘make your own’ breakfast platter, as well as many fresh tasty sandwiches and salads.
If you’re lucky, you might even be able to join one of their known full moon parties! What a better way to celebrate the moon than in a garden full of mystery!
Meals are around $5-8 each.
Must-try: a sandwich that stands out from the rest is the vegan burrito that contains a tofu scramble, beans, avocado, and veggies with a side of hummus, Pico de Gallo, and fresh fruit. Yum!
Ding Repair Café
Ding Repair is a mostly vegetarian café where anything can be made vegan! This lovely café serves a variety of dishes with only the best ingredients. As well as fresh pressed juices and exotic smoothie bowls. Their coffee is also great, and will boost your day for sure! You can enjoy a healthy meal locally sourced for about $5-10.
You simply can’t go wrong at this place, every item on the menu offers its own unique burst of flavors!
Must-try: A favorite dish that is bursting with flavor is the ‘Single Fin’ bowl which is a specifically chosen mix of vegetables on a bed of brown rice and kale topped with mango kimchi, pickled purple cabbage, almonds, and a to-die-for spicy peanut dressing.
“Irie” means to be at total peace with your current state of being. The way you feel when you have no worries. Consider this little restaurant in the main street (also called gringo street) the perfect place to go if you want to feel whole after eating food that not only tastes good, but also nourishes your body!
Owned and operated by a friendly and fun Jamaican Canadian lady, Irie café specializes in food that is not only fresh and fast served, but also healthy and locally sourced. They serve some vegan and vegetarian pastries as well as a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes that are exploding with flavor for less than $6.
Must-try: The powerhouse salad. This salad is packed with quinoa, spiced chickpeas, fresh vegetables, and roasted butternut squash that sits on a bed of lettuce topped with their own homemade red-wine Dijon vinaigrette dressing and toasted almonds. Feel free to add two pieces of falafel for an additional cost of less than $2!
Pizza and Tacos in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Pizzeria la Vecchia Signora
If you are a fan of Italian-style pasta and pizza, this is the spot for you!
La Vecchia Signora is unique due to its Napolitano style of making pizza in a wood-burning oven in a bar decorated with favorite football player shirts. Pizzas aree sold for $9-12.
You can order the classics like ham and cheese or a vegetarian pizza. But we suggest trying something different such as one of the vegetarian specials called the ‘Don Roberto’ pizza that contains veggies like grilled eggplant, mozzarella, and parmesan along with a hint of basil. If you are a meat lover, we suggest trying the ‘Salchicha y Gorgonzola’ to enjoy this savory combo of meat and exotic cheese.
Must-try: Our true favorite is the “de la Nonna” with fresh basil and tomatoes.
Pizzeria la Terraza
This is another amazing wood-burning oven pizza restaurant in San Juan del Sur. La Terraza is located on the beach, in between El Timon and Beach House, and features an amazing view on the boats and the bay of San Juan del Sur.
La Terraza also offers different italian-style appetizers and homemade pastas. Prices are around $8-15 per pizza or plate of pasta.
Must-try: The seafood pizza, it’s surprisingly delicious!
Sauced pizza is part of a food court called Gastro Garden which features different booths of food including sushi, fried chicken, and of course, pizzas! They serve New York-style pizza for $8-13.
Must-try: The antipasto pizza with caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olive and fresh mozzarella.
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Check out this new little hotspot in town! Disco Taco is also located in Gastro Garden, which has many comfortable outdoor sittings. We highly recommend going and trying their unique tacos.
Disco Taco is selling tacos that are internationally inspired. There’s always something for everyone – including vegans and vegetarian options. And these guys keep surprising you with new tasty recipes as they often change their menu.
Must-try: “Big Mac” which is their taco that contains seasoned ground beef, pickles, lettuce, and cheese with their own homemade ‘Big Mac’ sauce drizzled on top. Feel free to add bacon, avocado, or sauteed mushrooms for just an additional $1 per extra topping!
Gourmet Food around San Juan del Sur
This is probably one of the only restaurants in town that has an air conditioned space! Tuanis is a new trendy restaurant decorated with many funky LED lights. Tuanis is located at the port, overlooking the ocean. They have fast internet, and many comfortable sitting spots. At night, Tuanis turns into a live music bar and nightclub on weekends – come enjoy the vibe!
They recently started serving tasty breakfast, but also offer a large selection of lunches and dinners. So far we have been positively surprised by all the items we tried on the menu! Prices vary mostly between $8-16 a meal.
Tuanis also have the most impressive selection of cocktails in town, one of my favorite being the “Little Yoda” which contains Cristalino rum, fresh kiwi, freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh orange juice, and basil-infused syrup. You won’t find anything else like it in town, and will put mixologists papilles to heaven.
Must-try: Try their Tuna Poke Bowl, their Japanese-inspired “Chicken Katsu Curry and Rice”, or their “Hawaiian Style Loco Moco.”
TreeCasa Hotel & Resort
TreeCasa is a resort located 5-10 minutes drive from San Juan del Sur, surrounded by tropical forest and nature. While spending the day or staying at TreeCasa, you can enjoy swimming in the principal 2-level pools with toboggan and waterfall, hiking different trails around the trees, learning more about TreeCasa’s organic gardens, and more.
The restaurants offer fabulous dishes, among which many tasty vegan-friendly options. TreeCasa gardens provide more than 70% of the restaurant’s food, making it a full garden-to-table experience.
Maggy’s: El Pollo Pescador
El Pollito Pescador is owned by a Belgium lady, Maggy, who has been living in the town of San Juan del Sur for a few decades. Her menu offers a wide variety of tasty food that is mainly french-inspired and locally sourced. All meals are generously served, and fairly priced ($7-14).
Enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner at Maggy’s backyard, while trying some new dishes. You might want to make a reservation during the high season!
Must-try: Try Maggy’s filet mignon or cordon bleu! Maggy’s chef also makes amazing mousse of chocolate for dessert!
Asian Food in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
If you’re looking for the best sushi in town, this is the spot. Sushi Sakura is in Gastro Garden which is a beautiful food court filled with tropical plants and dreamy lighting, creating a soft tranquil atmosphere.
We know that you can’t just order one roll of sushi, so we have a few different rolls to recommend for you.
Vegetarians also have lots of options! We recommend trying their Vegetarian Mexican roll, Sunshine roll, or Sabi Roll.
Must-try: The rolls that you simply must try are the Milan Roll, Sakura Roll, and the Hollywood Roll.
Sun King Bistro at the Port of San Juan del Sur
Sun King Bistro is a new asian restaurant at the port of San Juan del Sur, right next to Tuanis. The incredible chef created a menu Cajun and Vietnamese inspired, with a perfect New Orléans touch.
They also offer quality wine, and cocktails. You can also organize a private dinner at Sun King Bistro to celebrate with your friends and loved ones!
Must-try: Try the vietnamese spring rolls for appetizer and pho as a main course, you won’t regret it!
The Beach House
This beautiful restaurant features indoor and outdoor sittings right on the beachfront of San Juan del Sur, next to pizzeria la Terraza. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset while enjoying one of their cocktails in a home like atmosphere. The Beach House serves great sushi for $6-9 a roll with fresh fish, but also features a full menu for lunch and dinners.
You can also rent their beachfront Airbnb room while you’re visiting San Juan del Sur!
Must-try: The “langosta picante volcano” sushi roll, and the “el Cabron” cocktail with jamaica juice.
Wrap n’ Roll
Wrap n’ Roll is a great spot for a fast, flavored, and cheap hawaiian-inspired lunch. The owner, Kenny, is an amazing chef and very friendly. The menu offers different dishes for $3-7, but make sure to also ask for their daily specials!
You can also stop by and grab a wrap to go before going to the beach or surfing! Try their peanut butter sauce!
Must-try: The Katsu chicken bowl and poke bowl are amazing!
Conclusion: Where to Eat in San Juan del Sur?
San Juan Del Sur is truly an unknown paradise when it comes to fresh and locally sourced food, for a fair price. You can experiment with different culinary experiences and atmospheres in San Juan del Sur and around the town.
Feel free to contact us and let us know what is YOUR favorite restaurants and dishes in San Juan del Sur; we’d love to try them out!
– written by Brook JAMES and Juliette DECLERCQ.
Please give me a pass for any grammatical errors, my native language isn’t English. Je suis française!