Eating vegan in Costa Rica is about as easy as it gets! This is a fruit lover’s paradise and it is hard to walk 50 meters in most towns and cities and not run into abundant options for fruit! I was just recently in Playa Jacó and of course I visited all my favorite spots I used to haunt when I lived there.
Playa Jacó is a small beach town on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I lived here for 15 of the 17+ years I’ve been in Costa Rica. Many of those years I lived a much different lifestyle than I do today but that’s a tale for another time! I can pretty much find the fresh ripe fruit of my choosing at any number of places there. If I can’t find ripe bananas or something else at one place, I simply move on to another.
Now my favorite place of all in Playa Jacó is Frutas Y Tablas (Fruit and Surfboards in Spanish)! It is located on Calle Bohio, which is the main street heading to the beach in the middle of downtown. This is where I used to go for smoothies and acai bowls when I was living there and is now where I eat almost every meal when I visit!
The restaurant/ market is owned by Sally Vindas, who is from one of the founding families of Playa Jacó. Right behind the building is quite possibly the most outstanding mango tree in all of Playa Jacó! Family coming in and out, eating and hanging out in the place, really gives it a home like intimate feel.
Now I can’t give you a personal review of many items on the menu as I tend to stick to the same couple of things. But I can assure you that Sally puts lots of love into picking her fruit and ingredients, which adds up to the best smoothies in town in my opinion!
So, what are my two choices when visiting Frutas y Tablas you might ask? My favorite smoothie is fresh orange juice and frozen mango! I can’t even begin to describe the consistency! Think of the best slushy drink you had as a kid. This is 10 times better, sweeter and more satisfying!
My next choice is an acai bowl! Sally takes the acai bowls to a whole nother level! I practically lived on these on my recent 5 night stay at the beach! She uses the best organic acai on the market, Nativo! Always look for Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu, 12 time Brazilian ju-jitsu World Champion, on the cover for the real deal! You have a choice of 3 fruits with your bowl, which always turn out to be mango, pineapple and banana. And then she tops with shredded coconut. She also offers granola as a topping if you are so inclined.
As I sit writing this, I’m really missing the acai! You definitely cannot complain about the prices at Frutas y Tablas! You see the size of the bowl. The cost is $6! The 22 oz smoothies are $3 and are always made with fresh fruit! Or with fruit that she has frozen and stashed in the freezer.
If you’re traveling through Playa Jacó as a vegan, you owe it to yourself to check this place out! Even if you’re not a vegan, and just enjoy eating great fruit, you should drop on in for breakfast or a smoothie!
I would like to continue with this theme, ‘Eating Vegan in Costa Rica’, as a series and highlight more businesses and attractions that would interest vegans traveling to Costa Rica. Here are links to a couple of older posts. One is Farmer’s Market in Costa Rica: Playa Jacó and the other is Costa Rica is a Fruit Lover’s Paradise. I will be doing a post on the farmer’s market in Alajuela soon so I hope you’ll subscribe and come back and check out more