Ceviche and patacones (fried plantains) are two of our favorite Costa Rican foods! | By Soytavin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re anything like us, food is a big part of your travels. You love to taste new things. You look forward to trying new dishes. You view your destination through the lens – or, at least a lens – of food. And so, you’re looking forward to trying traditional Costa Rican foods: rice and beans, exotic fruit, and all the tropical drinks you can stomach.

Yep. We feel the same! That’s why we’ve tasted, sampled, sipped and enjoyed hundreds of Costa Rican foods, fruits, and traditional dishes – every day, every meal since we first arrived. Now it’s your turn. Here’s where we suggest you start:

 

agua de pipa Costa Rica

Agua de pipa, or coconut water, is delicious, cheap, and available everywhere

Agua de Pipa

You know you’ve been looking forward to this: fresh, ice-cold coconut water, straight from the coconut. On any beach, in any farmer’s market, and in almost any park, you’ll find someone selling iced coconuts. Claim your very own, and the vendor will lob off the top with a machete, insert a straw, and off you’ll go. Fair warning: This marks the beginning of your coconut water addiction.

gallo pinto Costa Rica

Gallo pinto is a staple breakfast food in Costa Rica | By Legendre17 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Gallo Pinto

We challenge you to find a Costa Rican breakfast joint that doesn’t offer its own take on gallo pinto, a black beans-and-rice dish rich with sautéed onions and peppers, a splash of salsa Lizano, and a sprinkling of cilantro. Do yourself a favor and order your pinto with a side of natilla, Costa Rica’s sweeter version of sour cream.

Ceviche

Peru may be the ceviche king in the eyes of the world, but Costa Rica holds its own with a light, tangy version that features fresh white fish, diced sweet peppers & onions, fresh cilantro, and a dousing of tart citrus.

Olla de Carne

This slow-stewed beef-and-veggie soup is becoming harder to find, but luckily, you can still order up a big bowl at local mom-and-pops, known as sodas. Don’t be surprised to find unknown vegetables in your bowl: traditional olla de carne often includes tacacos, a green fruit endemic to Costa Rica; purple sweet potatoes; and all manner of tubers, including yucca, yams (not sweet potatoes, but yams), tiquisque, ñampí, and others that have no English translation.

casado Costa Rica

For $5-$7, you can get a casado anywhere in the country

Casado

Lunch’s answer to gallo pinto, a casado “marries” the staples of Costa Rican cuisine into one delicious and economical dish: white rice, stewed beans, picadillo (chopped, cooked veggies of some sort), salad, and sweet plantains, plus your choice of beef, chicken, fish, or pork. Vegetarians may request eggs or fresh cheese for their protein.

Chifrijo

Say hello to bar food at its absolute best (and borderline healthiest): chifrijo, a hearty dish that layers white rice, stewed beans, chicharrones, and pico de gallo (tomato-cilantro salsa), usually served with a side of chips or patacones.

Patacones

Crispy, deep-fried, salty, and smashed green plantains? Yes, please! This traditional alternative to French fries – preferably served with refried beans or topped with shredded beef – may be Costa Rica’s greatest addition to the junk food genre.

dragonfruit Costa Rica

There are two types of dragonfruit available: this kind, with white fruit, and one with neon pink fruit

Fruit. ALL The Fruit

It should come as no surprise that the tropics produce some amazing fruit. From all your current favorites – juicy mango, musky papaya, soft avocado, flavorful strawberries, ultra-sweet bananas, and the juiciest pineapple EVER – to fruits you’ve never tasted, like soursop, rambutan, star apple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, sapote, water apple, and jocote, we encourage you to eat your fill of Costa Rica’s amazing fruits.

Bonus: Mint Lemonade

Sound weird? Maybe so, but mint lemonade is also delicious and, possibly, the most refreshing beverage to exist. Ever. In the history of all fruity drinks. It’s so popular in Costa Rica, you can even buy it bottled but trust us, you want the freshly muddled, ice-crushed version. It’ll change your life – or, at least, your tropical refreshment game.

Now you tell us – what are your favorite Costa Rican foods?

The post 9 Costa Rican Foods You Simply Must Try appeared first on Stay in Tamarindo.

Back to Stay in Tamarindo Blog Page.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

We use cookies on our website to give you an amazing experience. Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close