Background: While shuttling back and forth to the canopy tours, our tour group often passed by this small soda (eatery) that was always frequented by ticos (locals) and so, for lunch, we decided to give it a try.
PROS: Location... location... location is one of its best assets. Although it is on the outskirts north of Santa Elena, it is a close walking distance from the tourist square to be accessible. Don't be fooled by the façade; it is bright and colourful in the inside. (At least, it is more cheery than say Soda La Amistad.) A casual sit-down meal is a big plus and the place can accommodate a fair-sized group. Their menu is varied and selection is uncomplicated. No haute cuisine here, but the food quality is its best asset and major selling point. Yup, it is that good. Their casados are a safe and tasty bet. Their fruit drinks are to die for. Service is both friendly and accommodating. They even made vegan versions of typical meat dishes for our vegan tour mates. Ranging between £2 - £5 per dish, it is of excellent value compared to its peers.
CONS: I am hard pressed to find a negative here. I guess Soda La Salvadita is a victim of its own popularity because the place is often crowded, especially during lunch time. So come early.
Verdict: By and large, an all-around excellent soda in Santa Elena, that serves homey food that speaks of Costa Rica. Straightforward home-style food that is as old-school, hearty and delicious as what a typical Tica grandma makes. We visited twice. Recommended. Grade A-minus.
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