For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is sometimes difficult to find a good restaurant that fits their lifestyle with a menu that accommodates their needs.
In the Playa Flamingo area, La Cuchara Verde meets all these expectations.
Spaniard Mercedes Alvarez and her Italian husband, Andrea Frigerio, opened the restaurant during the latter part of 2015. Both have experience in holistic and vegetarian nutrition. At the restaurant, food is prepared in an eco-friendly way and they promote developing a positive mental attitude.
It all starts with the quality of the products they use, which come from local producers and are 80% organic. They make everything from scratch, including their own dough for pasta, sauces and homemade breads that are prepared with 100% natural coloring.
They also have vegan and gluten-free options, as well as food without trans fat oils, food coloring and preservatives.
People with a sweet tooth can choose between choco-banana cake, chocolate brownie or whole-grain carrot cake for ₡1,000 (about $1.85) each. Another option is the Acai Bowl, which contains guarana and acai (fruits originating in the Amazon), kiwi, strawberry, banana, amaranth, quinoa, organic oats, Goyi berries, chia seeds and cocoa pips for ₡4,000 (about $7.40).
For lunch, one of the house recommendations is the three-layer lasagna, which has layers of mushrooms with pesto, ricotta cheese with spinach and tomato sauce with zucchini, and is covered in bechamel sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella.
Crunchy on top and soft inside, this lasagna is definitely a juicy combination of cheeses that combine and melt in your mouth. They also have a vegan version with vegan cheese and bechamel sauce made with soy milk (₡4,500, about $8.50).
In addition, the restaurant offers three types of burgers: the K burger made with chia seeds, carrots, chickpeas and tzalsiki; the Uma burger with roasted eggplant, oats, tomatoes, spinach and wasabi mayonnaise; or the traditional burger with a bean patty, mushrooms with pesto sauce, zucchini, oats and pimentón de la vera (smoked paprika, a Spanish spice used to marinate) for ₡4,500 (about $8.50) each.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
The Good: They have Apame brand vegan cheeses and cold cuts produced in Mansion of Nicoya.
The Bad: They close very early and do not have dinner hours.