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Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Hidden Gem in Puntarenas: El Bulevar Gastronómico

There is a little secret in Puntarenas that needs to be shared because those that haven’t heard are missing out on a culinary treat. Most known for its street food delights of banana leaf-wrapped vigorones and the sweet tastes of Churchills, if you venture a little further you will be in for a real treat.

Puntarenas has created a whimsical alley that has you questioning whether you have found yourself in the streets of Spain or right here in Costa Rica. The street is adorned with the soft glow of twinkle lights above as the colorful little houses serve up a true variety of cuisine. Outdoor patio seating sprawls out for plenty of space giving you just the right amount of privacy to dine in the tranquility of the surroundings.

Located in the heart of Puntarenas you will find El Bulevar Gastronómicobeside Casa De La Cultura, Elsie Canessa de Odio on Avenida Centenario, Calle Francisco de Paula Amador. With the historic Catedral de Puntarenas built in 1902 on one end, its open plaza and park of benches and towering trees lead you into El Bulevar Gastronómico.  It is a truly beautiful escape into the center of the city during the day and the evenings (except for Sundays for a day of rest).

Although a small street, the several restaurants and shop that fill the street leaves a huge impression and will have you seeing Puntarenas in a whole new light. With the sounds of music floating through the gentle breeze that helps make Puntarenas’s heat bearable, there is a vibrant spirit that just makes you feel good here.

From vegan options, deserts, grilled meats and burgers, pizza, patacones, and seafood, everyone can find a bit of happiness here at El Bulevar Gastronómico.

Rock’n Roll Burgers is the place to go if you are craving a good juicy and enormous burger with some pretty creative names for music fans. 

The age-old debate of whether pineapple goes on pizza can now be taken up for discussion on burgers as well. How about a Led Zepplin burger with pineapple and red onion as the star or a Metallica burger with pineapple topped with bacon and jalapenos? From a vegetarian burger or Linkin Park chicken burger to Gallo de Lengua in Mick Jagger Sauce on tortillas, there is a little rock’n roll flavor for everyone.

Burgers served on artisanal bread brings you something a little different than the typical comida rapido burgers from the local sodas. Topped with their Argentinian chimichurri and in-house sauces, the burgers are bursting with flavor.

Casa Menta has become a true favorite with their lighter meals but bold and sensational combinations. Skip the diet, just eat healthy is the motto of this little green house. You can’t miss it with the big cactus adorning the arched beautiful window.

Mahi Mahi, shrimp, chorizo and falafel tacos with vegan tzatziki deliver a refreshing change to the usual. Hummus & pitas, fresh salads, smoothie bowls, and quesadillas are on the menu but it is the bowls that have people coming back from me.

The tropical salmon bowl with mango, quinoa, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and avocado along with their Mediterranean Falafel bowl of rice with lentils, avocado, hummus, cucumber, and falafel are some of the best bowls you will find for miles. With a refreshing glass of sangria, it can make for a beautiful night out in the tropical night air of Puntarenas.

Punto 48 is all about seafood, which only makes sense in the port town. Fish ceviche, seafood mixes, and of course the richest of all, Seafood Soup, a sopita de mariscos made with either water or milk to your liking. Arroz de calamar has become another one of the favorites of this seafood specialty restaurant.

Pizza Mariposa may be a pizzeria but it brings Italian flavors to Costa Rica from its Italian roots.  Margarita, vegetarian to shrimp and rustica can be found on the menu along with the pizzeria’s hit of the mariposa topped with 3 types of meat of ground meat, ham, and pepperoni. And for those that still want a bit of Italian taste but are not in the mood for pizza then there is also lasagna, pastas, and pan mariposa for alternative options.

Seiba is all about their house’s specialty of patacones, and some with a little twist. Almost shaped like little cups and baskets to hold all the different types of meats. Patacone tacos, wings, melt-in-your-mouth guacamole, it is simply the best.

Sushi Minato prepares sushi to go or to dine out on the patio. Shrimp tempura has become the number one order by its fans. Or perhaps it is an after-meal dessert you are after then Deli-Corn is where you want to delight in. But have plenty of room because it’s not just their desert portions that are big, but their deli-boxes and all things corn that will fill you up too.

It may be known as El Bulevar Gastronómico but between all these gastronomical treats is Sysi, a handmade shop selling 100 % Costa Rican skin care. What could be more Costa Rican than Gallo pinto con café body cream and Coco San Lucas hydrating cream?

From spa items, rosa mosqueta creams, and natural deodorants to beard and skin care products for men it aims to bring the well-being of your skin in harmony with mother nature. Even if you just want to walk off your full belly it is worth stopping in to peruse the beauty and personal care-friendly shop. 

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