Top things to do

Top Choice Mexican in Playa Sámara

Lo Que Hay

This rocking beachside taquería and pub offers six delectable taco fillings: fish, chorizo, chicken, beef, pork, veggie. The grilled avocados stuffed with pico de gallo are choice. Even sin tacos, a good time will b…
Soda in Playa Sámara

Casa Esmeralda

A favorite with locals, this is a dressed-up soda with tablecloths, faux-dobe walls and excellent food. The menu ranges from the expected (arroz con pollo) to the exotic (Italian octopus appetizer), all of which is …
Barbecue in Playa Sámara

El Lagarto

Grilled meats are the big draw at this beachfront alfresco restaurant, studded with old trees. Watching the chefs work their magic on the giant wood-fired oven is part of the fun. The Surf & Turf is highly recom…
Bar in Playa Sámara

Bar Olas

If you'd like to settle in for an evening of beers with the locals, check out Bar Olas on the north end of the beach. This archetypal seafront dive makes almost no effort, even the beer should be colder, but they'r…
Bar in Playa Sámara

La Vela Latina

Here's your sunset happy hour spot. Settle into a comfy chair on the sand and order a bucket of icy beers or a perfectly blended cocktail at this beach bar. There's also a menu of sophisticated bocas (appetizers) an…
International in Playa Sámara


Good food, great location. Service is lacking, but you're not in any hurry, right? Enjoy pastas, salads and seafood, as well as phenomenal smoothies and creative cocktails, all while watching the action on the beach…
Sports & Outdoors in Playa Sámara

Marea Surf Shop Cafe'

Part cafe, part downtown surf shop, it don't rent gear but it does have top-quality rash guards, board shorts and boards for the buying. Bonus: the shopkeeper steams a fine espresso.
Vegetarian in Playa Sámara

Ahora Sí

A Venetian-owned vegetarian restaurant and all-natural cocktail bar. They do smoothies with coconut milk; gnocchi with nutmeg, sage and smoked cheese; soy burgers and yucca fries; wok stir-fries; and thin-crust pizz…
Sports Bar in Playa Sámara

Bar Arriba

The requisite sports bar in this surf town is Bar Arriba, located upstairs on the main drag. The place shows international sporting matches on its flat screens, so they're bound to be showing your game. The food is …
Cocktail Bar in Playa Sámara

Zen Den

Sámara's most grown-up nightspot is this romantic cocktail lounge, where you can hunker down on comfy couches or sit outside and watch the street action. The atmosphere is casual yet sophisticated, with occasional l…