Cheap Food Jacó – Bubbas Fish Tacos


There are several places in Jaco, Costa Rica to find fish tacos, or any tacos for that matter, like the Taco Bar and Jaco Taco, but we have certainly found our winner for best flavor, freshness and price. Bubbas was a little hole-in-the-wall place for several years and was recommended to us by our friends in Playa Matapalo. We went for the first time about 6 months ago, but each time I went, I was too excited about actually eating that I forgot to take pictures of the food and the place. Lame excuse I know, but I finally got a few pictures, but still forgot the actual tacos.



The place is pretty non-descript, but has a blue sign saying BUBBA’S with a marlin on it. There are about four aluminum 4-top tables with a basket of various hot sauces in the middle. No matter what you see on that menu, get the fish taco, all the way. That includes fresh grilled Mahi, cabbage, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, lime and a large dose of delicious! They come with a buttered ‘elote’ or corn-on-the-cob and don’t forget to order the fresh cut french fries and a lemonade. I’m telling you, you’ll never think twice about the other taco places in Jacó after you’ve left Bubba’s. Now, no matter if we are just driving past Jacó coming from Dominical or spent the day in Esterillos, we make it a point to grab a fish taco before heading home. The best part is, you can get the taco, fries and a drink for about $6, which is more than I can say for the other places.




As it turns out, according to the Guinness Book of World Records and the Junk Food News, back in August of 2008, Bubba’s took the world record for biggest fish taco. 100% of the proceeds went to establish a reef conservation project at a local highschool in Jacó. “The mission of is to rehabilitate the world’s ocean-reef ecosystems and to protect the natural reef systems using artificial reef technologies. Reef Balls are artificial reef modules placed in the ocean to form reef habitat.”

Now the little taco stand has moved two streets north and onto the beach. I don’t recall what is next to it, but everyone in town knows where it is. Bubba also runs a very successful deep sea fishing charter company, so make sure you check that out.

Taco Bar – Playa Jaco

Rustic wood, swings, a full fixins bar, it was a sweet place!

The last place we ate this weekend in Jaco was a sweet little taco bar (conveniently named Taco Bar) that we heard had great fish tacos. We walked up and found a rustic little place with a U-shaped seating area with swings on one side and solid wood stumps on the other. This place was complete with a salad bar to dress your taco to meet your style.

We started of with ceviche, which is a true test of how good the food will be, and we knew we were onto somthing with this place. Ceviche is one type of food in Costa Rica that I can’t get enough of. I ordered the fried mahi taco and the mahi a la plancha (grilled) for my husband. We loaded up the tacos with some lettuce, rice, and spicy pico de gallo. All-in-all we spent about $20 for lunch, which is more than we would have liked to spend but we loved the open and shaded atmosphere and wrought iron decor. It was modern, yet fit the style of the Ticos, especially for a place at the beach. We’ll be back there for sure.

Cheap Tico Food – Jaco Beach

Where to find cheap food here in Jaco

Where to find cheap food here in Jaco

So, we finally made it to the beach this weekend and chose the tourist hotspot, Jaco Beach or Playa Jaco. We would have preferred something less busy, but it’s the closest to San José and without a car, we are trying to limit our time on the bus. It takes about 3 hours by bus to get to Jaco from the center of San José at the Coca-Cola Bus Terminal. Sidenote- you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the Coca-Cola district.

The first place we went to eat in Jaco was by our hotel, just on the edge of the main Jaco shopping strip. It is called Los Sabores Ticos (The Tico Flavors) and I am going to rave about their food. Typically sodas are sodas (traditional tico restaurants) in Costa Rica, until you find the hidden gems. And we hit the jackpot on Sunday morning when we stumbled on the first eating establishment we came across. Los Sabores had large delicious papusas with meat, black beans and cheese for 500 colones, which is a little less than $1. The beef inside was slow cooked and perfect. I also had a fruit plate with granola (about a $1.50), and you can’t really beat the fresh fruit of Costa Rica.

There are a lot of expensive places to eat in Jaco, so make sure you are looking for the most non-descript place with dishes for 1,500 colones, plus or minus. And remember them always.