We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

El Lagarto

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Seafood, Barbecue, Central American, Costa Rican
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

591 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 462: English reviews
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
139 reviews
107 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Had dinner here as I decided to treat myself. Had the lobster, potato, zucchini and tomato. Cactus was my beverage of choice. The food was excellent, ambience incredible, and service superb. I would highly recommend this restaurant. You may have to deal with a few ashes but it's well worth it!

Thank Babete
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We like high quality food prepared simply but well. El Lagarto nails it. The menu describes the local sourcing of the food. The grill adds a flavor that makes everything delicious. We had steak, fish and vegetables and the transformation of say, a tomato, was just remarkable. I may be on a bit of a pura vida high, but I'd... More 

Thank xntj
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Absolutely delicious! Best drink so far in Samara- El Lagarto Especial - rum, oj, grenadine and cahuita (coconut liqueur).

Thank cactuswendy
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If you love garlic, butter and steak you can't go wrong here! Our food was all cooked on one of the two massive BBQs at the restaurant. The rib-eye was cooked perfectly, whilst the stuffed squid was also very good. It's a little pricey for Costa Rica ($18 for the Ribeye) but it was definitely one of the best steaks... More 

Thank Clive C
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
92 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I was browsing on Tripadvisor and other website to find out a nice place to have a nice meal and found El Lagarto. The restaurant is a bit outside the main street but let me tell you, its worth the walk or the short drive. I have been there twice in the same week as i could not resist this... More 

Thank Daniel_Savard
Long Valley, New Jersey
Level Contributor
37 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Went back again this year. Solid job on everything grilled. Steak and chicken were especially good. Avoid the oysters. The place has shrunk. There used to be outside seating on the beach. That's gone ( too bad).

Thank GreenBean12
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Our best dinner so far in Samara. We have been here since Dec 31 and tried a different restaurant each day for lunch and dinner. I had a fabulous steak and my teenage daughter the chicken breast and she loved it. Great spot for adults and kids for dinner. A little difficult to find but if you take the last... More 

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Friend’s who visit Samara regularly took us for dinner here midweek between Xmas and New Years. Reso made but place had lots of room for 7 pm. filled up more a bit later. Did table move to outer edge of restaurant as bar music a snitch loud. Accommodates food allergies well. Amazing app of mussels in white wine. Three levels... More 

Thank MELtheCanuck
Encinitas, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Will be going back soon. Gotta try the chicken and whole fish now that I've had the beef. Best steak ive had in CR. Nice atmosphere, good food and a very cool BBQ pit.

Thank JHG760
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The food is good but something is amiss at this place. We enjoyed the Argentinian BBQ but the help was off. Our waitress was very friendly and new. I think she got in trouble for making time to converse. She was pulled from our table before we finished and I had to chase her down to tip her. Poor management.

Thank DAN S

Travellers who viewed El Lagarto also viewed

Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste

Been to El Lagarto? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Seafood, Barbecue, Central American, Costa Rican
Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Reservations, Full Bar, Free Wifi
Good for
Romantic, Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Kids, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Child-friendly
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Playa Samara, Costa Rica
  • Location: Central America  >  Costa Rica  >  Province of Guanacaste  >  Playa Samara

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of El Lagarto and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Rainbow City, Alabama United States

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from El Lagarto staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?