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Arenal National Park, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park 065-1230, Costa Rica
+506 2479 1131
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21 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 14: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2015

The cuisine is awful no kindness the two other cook look always grumpie the cook look not happy and the food is not good for the price what are they waiting to fire the chef I ll be embarrassed to call that a chef The owner is nice and deliver a good service but not in the kitchen The volunteers... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Gigififi8
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

This is a great option for vegetarians and non ! It is somewhat far and off the unpaved, potholed roads of El Castio but still a great experience. We got to learn to make sushi and eat it too ! Their appetizer course of spring rolls with the special sauce was quite good too. Great effort on the dessert but... More 

Helpful?
Thank vechog
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
123 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

The food was good, but expensive. The lunch for us was the best meal, the dinner was two expensive for a family. The pancake breakfast was very good. :)

Helpful?
Thank 731jw
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2014

Serving a breakfast that will make your day starting from 7am-9am with delicious coffee or and fresh milk ...and contining throughout the day as chef Marvin creates lunches and dinners. Each night the demo cuisine is created and cooked with love. The flavors, the presentation, the dining experience, the freshness of food and the cost of each place is unbeatable.... More 

Helpful?
Thank 987mel
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2013

We traveled in a group of 6 and rented a home in El Castillo for 3 days. Essence was a 10 minute walk away. This is a vegetarian restaurant with the dinner menu different every night. They use vegetables from their own farm. We came for lunch and had delicious pasta, sandwiches, salads and crepes. The food was so good,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Diane D
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

This restaurant was recommended to us by our B&B host and we're glad she did. The chef regularly cooks for only about 20 people per night in this very small restaurant and there were only about a dozen the night we went. There was a Japanese theme that night and we learned how to make vegetarian sushi, with all ingredients... More 

Helpful?
Thank KathyandMarty
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2012

So much fun helping prepare and cook your vegetarian delight and then enjoying the scrumptious results with a glass of wine .Awesome!

Helpful?
Thank Robin J
vietnam
Level Contributor
67 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2012

Had a great time participating, in a small way preparing great vegetarian meals. Highly recommend it.

Helpful?
Thank marivietnam
Gunnison, Colorado
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2012

We tried to stay at the Essence in late March, 2012 but they were booked for the night. Partly because they were thoughtful enough to call down the hill to Casitas Los Tucanes (see my review--that was a great place to stay) we made reservations for dinner at the Essence and walked back up the hill that evening. We're glad... More 

Helpful?
Thank Richard W
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2011

When we booked our stay at Essence Arenal, I was really excited to read about the attached veg restaurant. We stayed at the hostel here for two nights and both evenings participated in the group dinner option. They try to feature a different cuisine each night so first night was lentil soup and falafel and second night was tomato soup... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jen K

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$8
Cuisine
International, Vegetarian Friendly
Meals
Dinner
Restaurant features
Reservations
Good for
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Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Arenal National Park, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park 065-1230, Costa Rica
  • Location: Central America  >  Costa Rica  >  Province of Alajuela  >  Arenal Volcano National Park  >  El Castillo
  • Phone Number: +506 2479 1131
Description
Essence Demo Cuisine is a meat free restaurant that gets everyone involved with the food. We show our international guest about local products and present them in a non-traditional way. Our chef Isaac Welivér ("Le Cordon Bleu" of Chicago) prepares 3 gourmet vegetarian dishes not only in your presence but with your participation. Unique location overlooking the Arenal volcano on its lava flowing side.

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Essence Demo Cuisine 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?