My favorite restaurant in Costa Rica – Puerto Pirata in Puerto Viejo
When we were staying at Cariblue Hotel for a few days with my friend Pablo, we walked around Puerto Viejo a few times looking for the best restaurants. I was trying to be vegan as much as I could, but finding a place with a big portion of a great salad, and for a good price, is not always easy.
One afternoon, I was craving for something sweet (oh Gosh, again?!) and we were just strolling along the coastline when next to a scuba diving place I spotted a little corner deli – Puerto Pirata Deli. I read the welcome board. Vegetarian, vegan. Wow, let’s go in.
I bought vegan ice cream and a vegan chocolate oatmeal ball. When walking out of the deli, I started taking photos of the ball and the ice cream in front of the deli to use them on my Fit when Traveling blog.
A sweet girl came out asking if I was going to use the photos and if yes, where. So we started chatting and it turned out it was the owner of the Puerto Pirata Deli herself – Flora.
”I am half-Italian and half-Nigerian, and I moved in here from the Netherlands. I speak or understand most of the languages that are on the welcome board” Flora pointed out (there’s a few!) She is very intelligent, I have to agree.
Flora opened Puerto Pirata in Puerto Viejo in the end of June 2012 (just after my first visit to the Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica) after she bought it from a Spanish guy who did mostly sub sandwiches and had a little coca-cola fridge and that was it so she changed a lot of things. The name of the cafe was here already and it was very catchy, Puerto Pirata is like Puerto Viejo, right?
”The logo was very simple for all the ideas I had, so I made a complicated logo … pirate means not only party and Caribbean, but everything I do is so unconventional. Pirate means being free and having the right to live life according to your rules. Being a pirate and going organic, and finding a different kind of lifestyle.” Flora smiled at me as she knew I knew very well what she was talking about.
”The idea of what I try to do is to follow the ayurvedic medicine to get all the nutritional value in each sandwich, so even if it is small, the ingredients are easy to digest.”
”Food is the best way to get to people and present them different options to change their life.”
”Costa Rica is such a biodiverse country so in this area only the Bribri know more about it. The doctor I am working with comes from a very interesting background; they have a tradition, too … Ayurveda and his tradition have much in common so it’s great to work together and bring different things together to people.”
”The teas are more accessible to people when we offer them here in our Deli than if people with problems had to visit the Bribris in the jungle. Tourists in here have a lot of parasite problem, digestive issues, hangovers, they need cleansing, to boost energy, help with blood as it’s very humid etc. We can help them with all of that.”