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Costa Rica Traditional Food

Most traditional dishes in Costa Rica consist of rice and beans with other ingredients like chicken or fish and different sorts of vegetables, which is why they are really cheap.

Gallo PintoThe most common dish for breakfast is Gallo Pinto which consists of rice mixed with black beans, served with natilla (sour cream), eggs (scrambled) and fried plantain. Costa Ricans usually drink a cup of coffee or fresh fruit juice with it.

For lunch, Casados (beans, rice) are served with some sort of meat or fish and a salad, fried plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla. The difference between Gallo Pinto and Casado is that in Casados, rice and the bean are served side by side and not mixed.

There is no typical meal for dinner, but another typical main dish in Costa Rica is arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) which can be served with different vegetables from the area like camote, chayote and yuca. Seafood is also common thanks to the country’s proximity to both the Pacific and Caribbean.

Small dishes before or in between meals are called Bocas, like black bean dip, chimichurri (tomatoes and onions in lime juice) served with tortilla chips or ceviche (fish/ shrimp with onion in lime juice).

Tamale is a seasoned corn meal which is covered in plantains leaves. In the inside it has rice, beans, vegetables and meat.

There are also other traditional sweet corn dishes like pozol (corn soup) or chorreadas (corn pancakes).

Typical soups in Costa Rica are also very popular, such as olla de carne which is a soup with beef, potatoes, carrots, chayote, plantains and yucca, and the sopa negra, black bean soup.

There are a lot of traditional Costa Rican desserts like arroz con leche (rice with milk). The rice is cooked in milk with sugar, cinnamon and other ingredients.

Ensalada de frutas (fruit salad) consists of different pieces of tropical fruits, like papaya, banana, maracuya and many more.
One of the most common desserts is called Tres Leches, a cake bathed in evaporated, condensed and regular milk with a whipped cream top.


Thinking on visit Costa Rica? We specialize in custom made vacation packages, simply call us toll free 1-877-281-8515. looking for a culinary tour.

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*Rates are subject to change without previous notice, according to any tax changes or any government regulations.

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