Eating in Costa Rica Print e-mail this info

The typical cuisine (tipico) of Costa Rica is strongly influenced by the agricultural tradition and hearty meals like olla de carne (a sort of vegetable beef soup), verduras (vegetable soup with plantains and yucca), tamales (pork, black bean or potato stuffing in corn meal, then steamed in a banana leaf wrapper) sopa negro (black bean soup with a chicken broth base and hard boiled eggs), gallo pinto (beans and rice), arroz con pollo (rice and chicken), chicken baked with ginger, and ensalada palmito (hearts of palm with tomato or cucumber) are just a few of our favorites.

At home the meals are accompanied by fresh corn tortillas, black beans, refrescos (fresh fruit juice), rice, homemade bread, cabbage and carrot salad, tropical fruit, pejibajes (steamed palm fruits with mayonnaise) and of course the best coffee in the world.

While many of these dishes can be found in sodas or restaurants that cater to tourists, they often disappoint when compared to the homemade versions. A couple of notable exceptions are gallo pinto, sopa negro, and palmito salad which are often quite good in the small sodas. If you are ever invited into someone's home for a meal, graciously accept. Otherwise check out the options below.

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Eating in Costa Rica
Authentic Options-Sodas and Tipico Restaurants
Unique Experiences-Bars, Bocas and Mercados
Ethnic, Resorts and Hotels, Fast food

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