Love Airplanes? Check Out El Avion Restaurant in Costa Rica

el avionOver the winter break, Kim, Lucas, Theo and I headed to Costa Rica. This would be Theo’s first international trip at just under four months old (and third time flying).

Kim and I expected to do some outdoorsy activities like hiking, spotting wildlife, spending a little time on the beach and other things along those lines. However, we never expected to come across such an interesting place as El Avion.

While doing research about Manuel Antonio, the area we’d primarily be spending our time in, I came across this unique restaurant and bar.

The restaurant is built around a C-123 Fairchild cargo plane which has a checkered past. (Find out more about it here.)

el avion

While Kim went to check on a table, Lucas and I took a walk through the fuselage, which is now converted into a bar! Lucas really wanted to check out the cockpit but it was busy with some other visitors so I figured we could come back a bit later.

a group of people sitting at a table

While waiting for a table (El Avion was quite busy), we checked out the restaurant which has tables to dine at literally under the wings of the plane! The restaurant also offers amazing views, although I unfortunately didn’t take any photos.

el avion

While we waited for our food (and Kim nursed baby Theo), Lucas and I spent time checking out the restaurant. This was also the first of a few visits up the ladder, into the cockpit. Lucas was in his glory and loved sitting in the pilot seats, playing with what’s left of the controls.

el avion

The Food:

Kim had chicken nachos which were decent at best. Lucas and I ordered cheeseburgers which looked promising. We noticed many people ordered them while we waited for our table and wandered the restaurant.

However, as someone who loves burgers and eats lots of them, this was not good. The beef burger had a really strange taste which I can not describe. The homemade bun was decent but nothing special either. The best part of the burger was probably the crispy bacon. And those fries- if they were crispy and not mushy they had potential to be good.

I’m someone that typically doesn’t leave the last bites of a burger behind, I was really hungry from a busy day and I probably ate at most 2/3 of the burger. (I probably should’ve stopped before that!)

Bottom line- do not order the burger if you visit El Avion!

While I really disliked the burger, Lucas really liked it. IMO this was due to loving the restaurant for having an airplane! (Yes, he wanted to go back the following day!)

el avion

Once we were done with our meal, Lucas and I headed back to the plane for another cockpit visit. Outside the plane was a great place for a jump!

a man and boy jumping in front of an airplane

Then we got a family photo before heading off!

el avion
Instagram @MichaelWTravels

Overall, I’m really glad that we visited El Avion and it might just be one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever check out. It’s just too bad that the food we ordered wasn’t very good. Maybe we ordered poorly, I just don’t know.

If we ever return to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica I’d still visit the restaurant again. I just won’t forget to not order the burger.

Have you ever dined inside a retired airplane? I know of a couple of others around the world although I haven’t visited them.

Find out more about El Avion here.

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