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

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Showing 16: English reviews
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 December 2016 via mobile

We stopped by here for Christmas dinner. I loved the food and that the chef was a few steps away and interacted with the customers. I believe it is all vegetarian or at least or dinner was. We had a four course meal for a great price of $18 per person. All the food is overheard was grown on the... More 

Thank Kaili A
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 21 December 2016 via mobile

This place has everything! They are cooking typical Costa Rican food in front of you. For dinner they have special food nights, we tried the Mexican one which was wonderful. The morning yoga is fantastic! Outside under a roof but in the rain forest. We practised while it was raining which was a cool experience.

Thank Sofia O
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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 

1 Thank Gigififi8
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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 

Thank vechog
Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
140 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 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. :)

Thank 255j
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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 

Thank 987mel
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 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 

Thank Diane D
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 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 

Thank KathyandMarty
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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!

Thank Robin J
Level Contributor
68 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2012

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

Thank marivietnam

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    5 of 5 bubbles
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
International, Vegetarian Friendly
Restaurant features
Seating, Reservations, Waitstaff
Good for
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
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?