Café Rojo is cute. The red sign hanging from the iron gate is cute. The one-room dining room is cute. Slatted wood tables out front are cute. The waitstaff and cooks are cute. Even the place settings, with their simple-elegant plates and carafes of water stuffed with mint, gush with cuteness. But it’s not the kind of cute that makes you gag. It is not saccharine or twee. Café Rojo occupies an old building in Barrio Amón, and the vintage windows and trim give the place a distinguished atmosphere. Rather, Café Rojo is fun – like a shy girl from Tacoma who plays vinyl records and rides a 1970s Schwinn.
Describing itself as a “cafetería,” Café Rojo has a rotating menu printed on a single piece of xerox paper, and for such a classy bistro, the daily lunch deal is actually a deal: You can order one entrée, plus a soup or salad, plus a hot or fruit drink, for under ₡5,000 ($10). Unlike your corner soda, the menu is wide-ranging and gourmet. You would be hard-pressed to find a better platter of Pad Thai or Vietnamese bowl for the price. You complement these scrumptious meals with a variety of coffees and even hibiscus tea.
To read the full review of Café Rojo (and its twin, Libros Duluoz), head on over to The Tico Times’ main site.