The Ahumados Bernina brand is not new in Nicoya, since Nicola Denoth has been delivering her products around the canton and to many parts of the province for about five years. The difference is that now all of her products are grouped together, displayed and sold in one small venue.
Ahumados Bernina is a restaurant but it feels like a market, because customers can also enjoy buying prepared foods there like salts, cheeses and homemade fish. The site is located from the Municipality of Nicoya 100 mts south, 25 west, curiously, in the former office of the Voice of Guanacaste.
Although the site is very small, it doesn’t seem urban; it gives the feeling of being in a coastal location. The restaurant is decorated all in white and has a small deck made from pallets, just like the furniture there.
The variety of salts is one of the great attractions. There, you can find more than 15 types of sea salts produced by Denoth. For example, there is the chile salt with garlic, sweet pepper and hot pepper, as well as salt with papaya seeds, orange and garlic or smoked salt with 10 herbs. All of the bags are priced at ¢1,800 ($3.40).
Every day, there is fresh bread for ¢800 ($1.50) that might be made with potato, coconut or any other flavor dreamed up by Denoth, who is from Switzerland and is a professional chef.
If you prefer something sweeter, you can also buy dried bananas that are like dehydrated bananas (¢700 or $1.30) or handmade chocolates made in Villarreal of Santa Cruz.
The place offers a lunch menu and daily specials, for example smoked tuna, smoked trout, ravioli or noodles, that are in the price range of ¢2,500 to ¢4,000 ($4.70 to $7.55).
Hours: Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Good: The food is high quality and the prices are very cheap.
The Bad: They are not open on weekends and don’t have dinner hours.