Steakhouse La Yunta
In a 1928 wooden building painted peach, originally a vacation home for San José's upper class, this old-fashioned steak house is presided over by mounted ox heads (yunta means "a yoked pair of oxen"). Seating is on a large veranda with views of the ocean and passersby strolling down the Paseo de los Turistas. The specialty is churrasco (tenderloin), but the diverse menu includes seafood dishes such as lobster and sea bass cooked 10 different ways. The liquor list is impressively long. If you order lobster, ask for it to be cooked lightly; the kitchen has a tendency to overcook crustaceans.
In a quiet rancho, surrounded by huge tabacón plants and cooled by ceiling fans, Gugas receives high praise from locals for its alfresco fine dining. "Chicken of the Sea" (fish stuffed with shrimp and spices), pasta dishes, vegetarian options, seafood, and meat plates are all on the menu of this German-owned restaurant. There’s a long bar to perch at and tables sport red and white napery. It’s just one block north of the bustle of the Paseo de los Turistas.
If you take the ferry from Puntarenas to the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, you'll arrive at a ferry dock 5 km (3 mi) north of the small community of Paquera. You can pick up supplies at the supermarkets, fill up your tank on the way to the beach, and grab a quick bite to eat at a pizza joint en route.