Written by Louise De Luna (@louisedeluna)
Photos by Rhobynne Villaluna (@rhobynnevillaluna)
Video by Hannah Encisa (@hannahencisa)
Pura Vida translatess to “pure life”, but in Costa Rica, this phrase is used as a greeting, a positive adjective and, in general, a lifestyle of the Costa Rican people. Kind of like hakuna matata!
In the Manila food scene, Pura Vida pertains to the Costa Rican reggae lounge owned by Mr. Renato Robles, located at Don Pedro, Makati (right next to the Z-Hostel) filled with authentic Costa Rican food, drinks, and reggae music.
When you enter Pura Vida, you’ll immediately forget that you’re in Makati! Warm red and yellow light fill the room as you’re serenaded with deep voices singing reggae filtering through the speakers. All the stress from your work day will surely melt away a few steps in to the lounge.
Colorful pillows, tables and walls – it’s always summer here.
If you prefer the outdoors, they got you, fam.
Once you get hooked with their funky, laid-back interior, get a load of their authentic Costa Rican cuisine. All of these dishes are family recipes, according to Mr. Renato. They boast of fresh ingredients and the fact that everything is lovingly prepared in their kitchen. They even import bottles of Salsa Lizano, a special staple sauce from Costa Rica, to use in their dishes and drinks! (Yes, drinks!)
Patacones (230) twice-fried plantains with 3 kinds of dips; refried beans, guacamole and pico de gallo
Chifrijo (250); a combination of chicharones & frijoles – and rice!
Believe it or not, Patacones and Chifrijo are traditionally eaten during drinking—something like a pulutan but with rice and plantain! Dishes after my own heart, I tell you. But if you’re up for some hearty meals, they also got you covered!
Casado (350). Juicy meat and crispy, fresh vegetables, and beans!
Rice n Beans Con Pollo Caribeño (350). Spiced chicken with rice and red beans. Yum!
Pura Vida also serves authentic Costa Rican drinks, but what you want to try are the creations of Lucas Floyd. Inspired by the beaches, tropical fruits and herbs from Costa Rica, these drinks will definitely loosen you up and enjoy the vibe further.
Start with shots of Chili Guaro (150) and Black Cocaine (150)
And fire up with Rasta Fyah (150)!
And once you’ve warmed up, try their cocktails to make conversations lighter! Fun fact: Costa Rica hasn’t had an army since 1948. Pura Vida made a tribute to said fact with their cocktail, No Army. It was originally created specifically for Valentines Day but the people loved it, and so it stayed! (If only all whom we love stay, too…)
Smokey and earthy, No Army receives all the love!
Healthy Rasta (270), the basil flavor will have you hooked.
The bar-lounge will be having their grand opening around April. Even with the fact that they’ve only had a soft opening, Pura Vida already has a huge following! Not surprising, since aside from their great food and drinks, they also have different events each day.
- Mondays are for Latin Reggae, DJ’s come and play music all night long.
- Tuesdays are Passa-Passa nights – dancing to the music is a must!
- Wednesdays are a favorite of mine – Ladies’ Night! Free sangria for the ladies!
- Thursdays and Fridays are for acoustic reggae music. Perfect for the end of the week, right?
- Saturdays, instead of DJ’s, they have a live band!
There’s something for everyone here; food, drinks and music! What more could you possibly ask? At the end of the night, the owner asked us about our experience, and what else could I say but: “Pura vida!”
Still not convinced? Check out this video below!
Address: Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Operating Hours: 6 pm to 2 am, Mondays to Saturdays
Contact Number: 2469069