El Avion – Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Calle Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park
El Avion restaurant/bar is a great place to stop for lunch and drinks on a sunny afternoon after a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park. The open-air space is built around a Fairchild C-123 airplane, one of the planes purchased with Iran/Contra money in the 1980s. Its sister plane was the one downed by the Sandinistas that set off the whole Iran/Contra Affair scandal. The historical account is on the back of their cocktail menu, and is quite interesting.
A bar with tables is set up inside the fuselage of the plane, which looked like it would be fun for drinks in the evening, but we were there for lunch.
We sat in the restaurant at one of the tables overlooking the Pacific, and enjoyed both the fantastic view and the nice breeze cooling us down after a hike.
Service was spot-on for us – attentive and personable. The burger was delicious and so large that I had to give half to my boyfriend, who was also enjoying his blackened chicken sandwich. Really, you can share a meal here unless you have a huge appetite, because the portions are outsized. We were impressed with the quality and value, and we thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back feel of the place. Is it a little gimmicky/theme-ish? I guess so. Did we love it anyway? Absolutely.