A little history behind the goat;

El Chivo means simply "the goat".  We love goats! The spirit of El Chivo starts with a goat and adds the silliness of the chupacabra legend,  a stroke of Frida Kahlo, a little Lucha Libre and a bit of Mexican Street grit to round it out. 

The latest Mexican restaurant to arrive in Nosara is our first "from scratch" restaurant here. We've had a stab at a few other restaurants and hotels you might have heard of if you've been here long enough, but El Chivo is the first one we've created from conception to completion. Our focus is definitely on the vibe, we wanted to create a great ambiance for the people of Nosara, and her visitors, to hang out and enjoy good music, funky art, delicious tequilas and casual Mexican inspired fare. 

Our perspective on Mexico comes from our travels throughout the country. Before we came to Nosara in 2000, we left our bar jobs in Canada, to hop in a camper van and head south. We spent a good deal of time in Mexico, partly because we loved it, partly because we needed a new transmission in Barra de Navidad. Eventually we made it to Nosara, but we left again soon afterwards due to some customs squabbles with our vehicle. We headed back north, through Mexico again. We kept going back, sometimes by air, once again by car, it became evident that our love for Mexico was not a one night taco stand.

Somehow, despite our love affair with Mexico, we ended up back in the restaurant industry in Nosara, where we find ourselves still, all these years later.  Nosara has certainly grown on us, and we too have grown here in Nosara. With Mexico still very much in our hearts and minds, we are very excited to finally open our new restaurant El Chivo, a collaboration of our tequila induced dreams and mescal blurred memories. 

Matt and Joellen


The Legend of El Chivo

 To everyone in the village, he was simply known as “The Kid”. There were loads of other kids skittering about, but he was “The” Kid. One time, as the older villagers tell it, a little gaffer was stuck way up a tree. (Stupid little guy but, what are you gonna’ do?) Being possessed of a benevolent and caring temperament, as well as otherworldly leaping skills, The Kid jumped up to help. One bound, and the tyke was down. Life was like that. Simpler times. And so it carried on. Quiet. Dusty. Lotta’ the same. But things were getting more complicated. The Kid was growing.

He discovered Santo and the luchadora, and became enamoured of his battles with the Blue Demon. Seemed a good pattern for a life, so The Kid became a ‘good guy’. Even got a silver mask and some prized argent underwear. And as it also will, the world was changing too. There were rumours about.


One hot night, rumours were made manifest. Out pops this chupacabra! Menacing. Malevolent. Bent on conquest. The villagers feared, but The Kid was up to it. Inspired, he pulled on his mask, horns bursting through the top, and became ‘El Chivo’, The Glorious Goat! El Chivo knew chupacabras preferred goats but this was one goat that was not about to be “preferred” by any monster.

The Chupacabra

The Chupacabra

So he up and whupped him. (It was sorta’ messy so I won’t go into details but it involved a lot of jumping.) Carried that chupie’s tail with him for about a month until it began to attract too many flies. (Ditched it somewheres, I dunno’ where.) And the name ‘El Chivo’ became known and respected as far away as Copenhagen – and most points in between. Rumour has it, Frida Kahlo nearly convinced Diego Rivera to paint a mural depicting the legend.

Life settled back and over time, he learned a lot from the many visitors to the village. About tequila, yoga, surfing, how to make the best burritos, and an interesting little game called crokinole. Useful stuff ‘n such. Now as for El Chivo himself? He ain’t here presently, but you can ask after him. While you’re at it, have a cold one and a bite over a game. Never know, he might show. For now, this particular El Chivo will be right here.         


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Conde Nast Traveler lists El Chivo as one of their favourite places to eat in Nosara.

From the Voice of Guanacaste, a local Costa Rican publication.

Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.


Thursday AND Friday nights during high season at El Chivo are the nights we support our local music scene and invite musicians and bands to come play throughout dinner from 7pm until 10 pm (sometimes a little later if the crowd is into it) with no cover charge. We recommend making reservations as the dinner rush can be busy and tables are not always available without a reservation.