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“Excellent food and service”
Review of El Balcon de Europa - CLOSED

El Balcon de Europa
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 12 December 2014

They claim to be the oldest Restaurant in San Jose established 1909 their businesscard tells me.
My waiter and the only one was Mr Bennet and he speak very good English which was good for me who dont speak spanish. He was very attentive and took good care of me. He told me that he is the third generation of his family working here. He also told me that the restaurant was bought by a Spanish Lady about 6-7 years ago. She and her daughter was present both evenings and I suppose thats why we can see Serrano ham in the menu.
I was there both nights when I stayed in the city and both evenings I had Fettucini with Seafood in a marvelous sauce, all fresh and just perfect. A glass of complimentery Limoncello was served to me both evenings. The decoration of the restaurant are very interesting lots of old Pictures and wisedom Words many of the real funny to read. I will sure recommend El Balcon de Europa for everyone wanting a taste of Europé during their visit to Costa Rica. Bravo!

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Thank JankanHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (54)
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9 - 13 of 54 reviews

Reviewed 27 November 2014 via mobile

Great little restaurant in the heart of San José. Nice atmosphere, good service and very tasty food. Staff very friendly and speak multiple languages. Excellent place to dine.

Thank George S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Situated 50 meters south of the famous Del Rey Hotel Casino on Calle 9, El Balcon De Europa is strongly reminiscent of an Italian tratoria with a healthy dose of French cuisine. Reservations are usually not necessary although there are only twenty or so tables. There are no outdoor tables, which is just as well. The bus stop just across the street has an endless flow of smelly, multi-wheeled, noisy monsters lined up end to end all the way down the block.
The continental influence is immediately evident in the appetizers. Not only is there prosciutto, you will also find ceviche, carpaccio of salmon, home-made pate, and my favorite, escargot. Escargot is not as common on menus as it used to be, so I make it a habit to order it whenever I am at El Balcon.
And speaking of habit...All the pastas, risottos, and main dishes are pricey, but delicious and generous. None have ever failed to please myself or my dinner companions. But I am totally enamored of the chicken parmesan. The balance between the cheese and the tomato sauce is excellent. I order this dish so consistently that the owner frequently asks if he should bother giving me the menu. I laugh, tell him yes, give me the menu, then end up ordering the chicken parmesan anyway. The stomach, like the heart, knows what it wants.
Surprisingly, the wine list is not notable. My preference is always for red unless I’m having seafood. In spite of CR’s proximity to Argentina only one Argentine red is offered, a Malbec from Atlas Cumbres. Several Chileans are available, but the mark up is fairly steep and the quality unknown. You’ll fair no better with the selection of whites. You might want to bring your own bottle and pay the corkage fee.
El Balcon claims to be the oldest operating restaurant in all of Costa Rica. Whether this is true or not is beside the point. It is certainly among the most charming. While waiting for your order, be sure to peruse the walls of the restaurant decorated with very old photos and some very witty sayings. The decor, like the food, will bring a smile to your face.

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Thank JoeRaymond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

I've eaten at many if the great restaurants on San Jose but this is my absolute favorite! Every meal has been such a treat. The food is consistent, consistently excellent! The service as well is very attentive but you are also free to dine at your own pace which I really liked. Sometime I just wanted to dine and dash and other times I wanted to spend time savoring the food and wine. My favorite dish is the lasagne which is the best that I've ever eaten, and I've had some delicious lasagna in my time. I also love the Picatini al Limon which is a very savory dish. Without fail, when I order this dish I see them walk the a cabinet where the fresh fruits and vegetables are kept for lemons. Without fail, and always within a few minutes, I can hear them pounding the meat in the kitchen. So fresh, so delicious. They also have some great house wines and terrific deserts as well. I've dined with many Ticos at this restaurant as well and they all agree, El Balcon is a wonderful restaurant. Don't take my word for it, try it!

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Thank Jamesy1438
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2014

This restaurant was a stone's throw away from our hotel (Presidente) and made for a lovely Valentine's night dinner. I recommend it for those staying in San Jose.

Thank Maria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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