Zula Inn is a family run restaurant about a 15 minute walk from the main crossroads of Santa Teresa, where you can find the banks, doctors, dentists, etc. If you’re on the beach near the Banana Beach Club (where some of the best surfing in the area is to be found) then walk up the access dirt track next to it, Zula Inn is very near there. The beach thereabouts looks like this.

And if you’re into walking or running, a few hours of hiking the beach north will get you here (what I’m saying is, the beaches here are amazing!)…

When the beaches are this good it’s hard to leave them, even for food, but you’ve got to power all that hiking and surfing somehow, so it’s got to be done. Luckily, Zula Inn isn’t far from the beach, and it makes for a nice spot to hang out if you’re looking to escape the sun between midday and 4pm, or indeed, if you need a break between catching waves!

The restaurant has been open since 2004 – Roger the owner came for the world famous surfing in 2000 and decided to stay on – and serves traditional Israeli and Costa Rican food including gallo pinto, casados, shakshuka, falafel, and much more.

All these can be combined with their hummus plates, pita sandwiches or Israeli plates. I went for the falafel plate as it was 3pm and since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast I had quite the appetite. Here’s a few shots of the menu to give you an idea of what else is on offer.

I started with the ‘Healthy Green’ Smoothie, asking them to hold the honey. It was like a slushie, perfect in the 30C, humid weather. I loved the pineapple, lemon and cilantro combo, I slurped it down so greedily that it bought on a bit of brain freeze for a few minutes.

Zula Inn claims on it’s website to have the best smoothies in town. It’s hard to disagree with them on the evidence on this ‘Healthy Green’. It was incredibly refreshing. OK, now onto my falafel plate.

As you can see, there’s plenty of food there, and it’s well presented. Roger said the coleslaw had mayo in it so since I’m vegan, he offered to replace that with a carrot and cabbage salad. The sauces at the top left were a fragrant, green salsa and a spicy, hot chili.

The falafel was most certainly hearty, home-style, with the chickpea base having plenty of texture and being well fried. I’ve had falafel before in Italy that is so delicate you could pair it well with a Chianti (and I did!) and I think that has it’s place but to go in a sandwich I prefer the style served at Zula Inn. It’s the sort of thing your Mum might serve up if they cooked falafel, very comforting and satisfying.

The salad was simple yet fresh and tasty, Mediterranean style.

Another notable point was the humus; with the layering of herb, cayenne and olive oil there’s no mistaking the Middle Eastern style of presentation and rich taste. It made for an excellent compliment to the varied textures and tastes of the other elements of the plate.

I found the Zula Inn Restaurant a welcoming place to while away a couple of hours, you can escape the sun in the shady garden, the people are friendly, you’re not rushed, the music is chill and relaxing. Great food, too. It was actually as hard to tear myself away from the place as it had been to leave the beach a few hours earlier, but I knew how good the sunset always was off of Santa Teresa so I made sure I was down there for that.

I very much enjoyed my meal at the Zula Inn Restaurant. You can check them out (they also rent rooms nearby) here – http://www.zulainn.com/

or on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/zulainnsantateresa/