For the past two decades, the cheapest way to experience Costa Rica has been to dine at Sunburst Café. Sitting under the huge mural of jungle life, you can almost hear the wild birds and touch the tropical palm fronds—and the coffee is just as special and authentic.
“We’re great fans of the café culture and always seek them out when we travel,” says Graham Caven, who purchased the café from Jerome Tocio about a year ago. He and his wife, Rita, have made a few changes, but one thing they haven’t altered are the famous muffins, which are still baked according to Tocio’s recipe.
As of October, the café is a Blue Zones Project–recognized restaurant, meaning the breakfast and lunch menus now boast numerous healthy options such as omelets, scrambles, wraps, salads, and power bowls. Black Tulip Coffee roasts the beans in small batches, and Sunburst is one of few places in town serving it.
But beyond the café’s offerings, Caven views his new business as more of a community than merely a place to eat. “We wanted to carry on Jerome’s legacy,” he says. “We feel that we’re responsible for this chapter in Sunburst’s history.”