When you find yourself in Livingston (literally it’s a place to find yourself) an essential part of the experience is the gastronomy. It is a contrast of luxury of flavors with staple ingredients, a hot soup in an even hotter climate.
The tapado is a coconut base soup with plantains and a feast of seafood: fish, shrimp, crab and snail plus the secret spice.
Every restaurant offers it. I have not try them all but enough to tell you of the three best places to have Tapado in Livingston (not in a particular order)
At someone’s home:
If you are lucky to have someone treat you to a Tapado say yes. Of course each family might have their own twist. As complicated as it seems it is something done very frequently so it can be done with whatever ingredients are accessible that day, versus a commercial/restaurant one that will meet all the checklist.
On the beachfront:
Laru Bella in Barrio Pueblo Nuevo would be the place I would recommend. To me you need to eat it on the sea side not on the riverside. Hotels catering foreigners are on the riverside. Yes they do have tapado and most probably cooks are local yet it’s lacking the local ambiance.
If you want authentic, delicious, comfortable and pay with a credit card then Margoth is the place. Sit in a nice open restaurant and see everyone pass by. The owners are usually there and are super friendly. There is a full bar and a wonderful menu of traditional food. Here are pics of my last visit to Margoth