From bars to family-run diners, I’ve tried all of the tacos in Nicoya. Each has its own style, but for me, none match Lipa’s quality.
I have arguments to defend that statement: These tacos use homemade corn tortillas that as they cool have both a toasted and smooth texture. They don’t end up butter-soaked, but rather crispy.
The portion of shredded meat is enough to leave you satisfied with just one taco. It’s topped with plenty of cabbage, but the taco’s biggest awe-factor is the generous amount of tomato and mayonnaise sauces. If you’re on a diet, this definitely is not for you.
The climax is the homemade mayonnaise, which has a bit of sweet-and-sour flavor. The mayonnaise is so good that many customers buy their own jars to take home, as the recipe is secret and known only to Lipa.
Lipa, or rather Felipa Molina, is the mastermind behind this taco.
Molina, a 73-year-old Nicoyan, has been making tacos for a quarter of a century, although she can’t say exactly when she started. But people began enjoying her food 45 years ago in the now defunct bars Luque and Malinche, where today Nicoya’s Banco Popular and Banco Nacional are located.
“Tired of seeing people drunk,” she says now, Molina decided to leave the bar business and opened Soda El Atardecer more than 20 years ago. There, in addition to tacos, she sells hamburgers (¢1,500), ravioli (¢1,500) and chalupas (a messy, fried corn tortilla item, ¢2,000), among other foods.
Although you can find cheaper tacos than Lipa’s (which cost ¢2,000) in the Nicoyan market, you’ll find it’s a small price to pay because they’re so delicious. Lipa won’t tell you this, but “people always say it’s the best.”
The Good: The tacos are huge.
The Bad: The establishment is small and fills up quickly. Credit and debit cards are not accepted.
Location: 100 meters south of the OIJ in Nicoya, next to Radio La Pampa.