San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Café Arco Iris: Vegetarian Rhapsody in Tamarindo

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the delectably healthful creations at Café Arco Iris, at Cabinas Arco Iris in the northern Pacific beach town of Tamarindo.

Opened in November, the café is the communal creation of Tamarindo residents Bathsheba Goveas, sisters Simona and Laura Fillippini and Stefano Capelli.

The menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh, and is deceptively simple – deceptive because you’d never believe it could be so difficult to choose from just a handful of dishes!

Highlights include an assortment of fresh salads; a Middle Eastern Mezze made up of hummus, marinated feta cheese, homecured black olives and fresh-baked pita bread; Hungarian-style vegetarian goulash served with homemade potato gnocchi; and stuffed vegetarian potato chops accompanied by pineapple chutney, rice and steamed veggies. Desserts include a simple crepe with chocolate and an exotic grilled tropical fruit brochette served with Greek-style homemade yogurt and toasted nuts.

The assorted daily pastas are handmade by the Italian Fillippini sisters, and Goveas’ Indian heritage is evident in treats such as the homemade Indian flatbread and paneer cooked in a creamy sauce of yogurt and ground spices.

Prices are very reasonable, ranging from ¢2,000-5,000 ($4-10), and the ambience is warm and friendly. A painted arched window between the kitchen and dining area lends an artsy vibe, as do the paintings by local artists on the walls.

For more information, call 653-0330.


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