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I feel like eating out is part of learning the culture wherever you travel. We love to go out to eat but it really helps to have kid friendly places to go! Some of the things I look for in a good restaurant are a kids menu( something I know the kids will eat and hopefully with a healthy side) and kids play area that is age appropriate(not too dangerous for the little ones and enough to keep the older kids entertained).

There is nothing worse than showing up to a restaurant with kids in tow and everyone looks at you like you don’t belong!  Then you feel like you can’t let the kids talk as they are being to disruptive to others dining. So you just want to eat and quick as possible and get out of there! NOT FUN!!!

Now sometimes places won’t have a kids menu or play area but the staff will go out of their way to help. So don’t always turn away if it’s not totally kid friendly!

My favorite kid friendly restaurant in Tamarindo…

Drum roll please…

The Surf Shack!

  • Best Play Area

  • Best Kids Menu – includes Hot Dogs and Sliders

Grilled Cheeseburger

It’s a little bit hard to see from the loop as its tucked in the back a bit. But they have kids eat free mondays – I am pretty sure its the only restaurant in Tamarindo that does that- Even if its not Monday the kids menu is very reasonably priced! They also have an amazing kids corner, it is loaded with playdough(which is always soft), games, puzzles and toys!

The owners are really sweet, they have 2 kids so they know what families need! Everything we have had there is has been delicious – Hot wings, tacos and burgers! Ron had the grilled cheese burger and craved it for months!  Yes, it’s just what it sounds like 2 grilled cheese sandwiches with a cheesy hamburger patty in the middle!  Not great for a diet but a great once in awhile treat!

My daughter the animal lover was in love with the friendly store cat. Overall, it is a great place because the kids can play and the adults can enjoy a nice dinner!!

Runners up

La Baula

  • Great slide in the play area for kids about 3 and older

  • no kids menu but its PIZZA!

Hammock Swings and slide

Amazing pizza, its the kind with a super thin cracker like crust! They have a great play area with a slide and some cool hammock swings. This is a great play area for stable kids – 3 years and above probably. The slide was very nerve wracking when Conner was 2 but by the time we came back and he was 3 and a half he was a loving it and I was much more at ease watching him have fun.

The slide has low railing and the fencing walking up to the slide was rope so kids could fit through it and potentially fall.  The play land is great for the older kids!

La Esquina

  • Great little play area

  • Delicious Pizza

Good pizza but great area for the younger ones! They have a little play kitchen and a little tikes play structure.

Santa Rita Cafe

  • A few books for the kids

  • Baked good and delicious light food for a quick lunch or breakfast!

Quiche and Side Salad

A little bakery cafe with great french toast, quiche and omelettes! I had the homemade cookies and brownies too, they were so yummy!! They have a few books and puzzles for kids to keep them entertained.  They are actually expanding to the upstairs location pretty soon so there will be more indoor seating!


El Vaquero

  • No play area – but plenty of room for dancing when the live band is playing

  • Good kids menu has pasta with butter on it

Best live band for kids! On Friday nights a local band(typically glasseye) plays from 6-8 during sunset.  Its a great view of the beach from your table! It’s open air so it’s not a bar feel and lots of people come with their kiddos and dogs!




There weren’t really any restaurants that we avoided with the kids in Tamarindo as everyone is so friendly and accommodating!

What do you look for in a kid friendly restaurant? What about the best place to eat with kids in Tamarindo?

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