Chile Rojo

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Calle Principal, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica - (506) 2750-0025

Chile Rojo Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Reviews

rsummo rsummo
35 reviews
Luxury Dining at Mid-Range Prices! And the Mojitos! May 28, 2012
Before I arrived in Puerto Viejo, the plan was to travel and eat on the cheap. When I got to Chile Rojo that plan went right out the window. Not because I couldn’t eat affordably here, but because the menu had so many appealing items and the mojitos were so good that after drinking a few I didn’t give a shit about my budget. I spent five nights in Puerto Viejo, and ate at Chile Rojo three of those five. At each meal I ended up spending more than I had planned, but at no point did I consider that a problem. Here why I liked Chile Rojo so much:

Drinks - I love me the mojitos! And with their 2 for 1 specials they are only $3 each. No syrup here - they use fresh mint, real sugar, and they are damn good. I don’t know if the 2 for 1 specials are specific to low season or not, but they make or break my excitement level. (a $6 mojito is not interesting to me.) 2 for 1’s were available on other drinks as well, but I can get the other drinks at home any time I want, so I stuck to mojitos.

Food Specials - The street-level sandwich board announcing the nightly specials is what initially drew me in. Every night the board featured new specials, and the prices were usually decent. To be clear, the food was certainly not as cheap as a standard casado, but for the quality is was a great value. After a month of standard rice and bean dishes, I planned to splurge on some Thai food in Puerto Viejo, and sure enough on the night I arrived their special was a 5$ Thai curry. The curry tasted great and was fairly authentic. My friend had a generously-sized $3 chicken curry burrito which she loved. On our second visit we both went for the Monday night all-you-can-eat Asian buffet. It was $12 and well worth it. The buffet was not just a bunch of average Chinese food, but rather a selection of dishes from Japan, China, Thailand and India - things like Thai curry, chicken biryani, salads, samosas and sushi - and all of it was good! The buffet was by far my most expensive meal in costa Rica, especially when adding the cost of the mojitos, but for all we ate and drank, we got what felt like a $100 meal for about $20 each. Not bad for over-indulging ourselves.

Ambiance – Chile Rojo is located on the second floor of a two story shopping area and features a nice balcony overlooking the street below. The decor, furniture, soft lighting and candles at each tables gives the place the swanky kind of look I like when I’m spending more money than I know I should. It’s a great place to people watch and there is usually a lot of action on the street below. On Fridays and Saturdays they have live music in the restaurant.

The staff – Friendly, attentive, social and helpful. Neither too aggressive nor too reluctant to inquire about that second or third drink I certainly wanted. The owner was checked in with us personally every night and was always gracious. He also had a very interesting life story, but I’ll leave that story for you to find on your own.

My 5 days in Puerto Viejo were the only part of my two and a half month trip where I got to be a true tourist, and I enjoyed every second of it. If you are the kind of traveler who is focuses on the experience more than on the budget, then I highly suggest planning at least one night at Chile Rojo. It may cost more than the rice and bean dishes you are used to, but it is totally worth it. If you are the budget conscious type, then at least stop in for a few cheap mojitos; but don’t be surprised if you get sucked in for more!
Bridget enjoying the Sushi at the …
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