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Cheap Eats: Pura Vida

Enjoy delicious South American cuisine in this hot spot!


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Why go? Vibrant South American cuisine in a distinctive space makes for an affordable, fun, and memorable sit-down celebration, especially when you go for the house-made sangrias.

What’s the vibe? Partylike. White-washed brick walls, black tablecloths, and fiery Latin art combine with an energetic staff and tiny exhibition kitchen to create an atmosphere that’s as much about interacting as it is about wining and dining.

What to order? The ultratender banana leaf–wrapped chicken tamales in red pepper masa; the house-made, puffy pork pupusas; and the classic Peruvian dish ají de gallina—chicken in a vibrant creamy yellow pepper sauce. Finish with the suspiro limeño, a cinnamon-flecked custard.

Added bonus: The town’s coziest back patio with fire pits and a variety of Livermore wines by the glass.

How much? Dishes are $8–$15; sangria and cocktails cost $8–$12.

Where is it? 2241 First St., Livermore, (925) 215-2656, puravidalivermore.com. Lunch Thurs.–Sun., dinner Wed.–Sun.

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