Espaguetti Mariscada - La Dolce Vita

Our favorite restaurants in La Libertad, Surf City, El Salvador: Reviews

Here at the HomeFinder team we’ve been going to the beaches of La Libertad for many years now, both for work, and for fun! We wanted to recommend some of our favorite restaurants and bars in the Surf City area of La Libertad. Everything from Salvadoran classic restaurants that have been there forever, to some of the best new restaurants in Surf City. Just to clarify we have zero affiliation with any of these places, just recommending them for you to try out when you are visiting the lovely beaches of El Salvador. Check out flights, usually you can find them starting from around $200 from Miami. The El Salvador International airport is also a hub for the Colombian-Salvadoran airline Avianca, which resulted after the merger of Avianca with TACA, the salvadoran flag carrier so you have plenty of options. Iberia offers direct flights to Madrid connecting both continents.  

You can Google all of these places for directions and online reviews. These are just a few of the places we like to visit.

A true classic:

La Dolce Vita is one of the oldest restaurants in La Libertad. Named after the 1960 film by Federico Fellini, it is surely a La Libertad classic. I have fond memories of going with my grandmother and family in the mid 1990s. Chef Carmine Cedrola, born in Italy, started it in the early 1990s and runs it to this day. As a kid, I wasn’t huge into seafood so my favorite there was their Spaghetti Alfredo. Oddly enough, I also hated avocado with a passion. Two foods that have become staples in my life. Now, I like their shrimp cocktail. Its the traditional salvadoran shrimp cocktail with fresh shrimp and “salsa rosada” or pink sauce- The place was owned by an Italian family joining Italian food with traditional salvadoran seafood dishes. It may not be the fanciest restaurant in town, but it’s a solid choice for traditional salvadoran seafood with an Italian touch. Some of the best pastas and pizzas in town, made fresh daily with local ingredients. 

La Dolce Vita is located in San Blas beach, at the heart of Surf City, less than half a mile from the exit of the Surf City Bypass highway. Make sure to visit our main website and look at prime real estate in all these locations!

Our top recommendation here? Spaghetti Mariscada. Think “Mariscada”, the traditional salvadoran seafood soup, in pasta form. A true La Libertad classic. It's the dish pictured above. Chef Cedrola has long been a well known TV Chef, and you can see and learn a lot of their recipes on his YouTube Channel.

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Our Go-To Place:

Betos, in La Libertad, is another true Salvadoran classic. They have a huge menu full of everything from shrimp cocktails, to rocky mountain oysters, giving their own flair and taste to salvadoran food. Tumbo negro cocktail is amazing, personal favorite, and the views from Beto’s in La Libertad are amazing (the restaurant is located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean). The pizzas at Betos are not necessarily what you’d expect, but they’re definitely worth trying. Their pizza style is a very Salvadoran pizza which they have perfected, crunchy medium thickness crust, lots of Quesillo, a salvadoran cheese, and plenty of seafood. Their shrimp pizza is a classic, the lobster pizza is worth the splurge, but our recommendation for Beto´s is the pizza Camaron con Loroco. Shrimp and loroco, a local flower, is a salvadoran invention. Our very own “Hawaiian” pizza. Also, make sure to order the volcan de mariscos, shrimp volcano, at least once. Deep fried ocean goodness.

A modern twist:

Covana Kitchen, in El Zonte, offers a modern fusion version of salvadoran seafood dishes. Definitely worth trying. Located in the heart of Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador, Covana is a great choice. They have amazing local coffee, and a great bar with plenty of original cocktails. Also, since we’re talking about salvadoran seafood and the word cocktails comes up. A “Coctel” here generally does not refer to a drink, but to a seafood cold dish. Cocteles are generally cooked, and not in lime juice, but in a tomato sauce, pink sauce which is mayo based, or a black conch (a local mollusk) sauce. All are great in our opinion. But Covana does also serve cocktail drinks, both classics and their own house drinks. Make sure to try some Cihuatán, a local premium rum, when you visit in a cocktail or on the rocks.

It offers great ocean views, and is part of a hotel with a surf academy if you want to stay there too. El Zonte offers a lot of great options for visitors, make sure to check out property in El Zonte on our main website. 

A true local’s place:

You’ve heard about “dining by the river”, have you heard about “dining IN the river”? Ostrero Chepe Aleta is a name that’s become amazingly well known and popular. You want great, totally traditional seafood plates at a very reasonable price check them out. If you’re looking for luxury dining, this isn’t the place for you, but if you want cheap oysters, some beers, great traditional food and a fun time make sure to visit. 

Honestly, the best oysters in El Salvador, period. Ostrero Chepe Aleta is owned and operated by, Chepe Aleta, an ostrero (or oysterman). He’s been working with oysters his entire life and this place is an experience you can’t miss. here’s a ton of places, a lot of great bars and restaurants to visit and each has their very own take on seafood you’ll be sure to enjoy. These are just a couple of places we wanted to tell you about but explore. We have amazing gastronomy on our coasts. Check our all of our beach property like land, beach homes, condos and investment opportunities in El Salvador by visiting our HomeFinder Beach section.

Chepe Aleta El Ostrero