When you're hungry after a long day trekking through the rainforest, sometimes it's best to stick to what you know by visiting American chain restaurants. Tourists visiting Costa Rica from the U.S. may be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of their favorite eateries from back home are taking off here in a major way. Let's find out more about these outlets and the delicious food they serve!

Applebee's Lindora
Applebee's Lindora

Ticos hungry for American flavors

Although the barbecue ribs and huge cheeseburgers on offer at restaurants such as T.G.I. Fridays, the Outback Steakhouse and Applebees will be nothing new to American tourists, the kind of people they can expect to meet in these chain restaurants may be.

Ticos are going wild for these tasty dishes, and American chain restaurants in Costa Rica are becoming big business because of it. If you're planning to check out one of these establishments, expect to pay more than you would back home. Prices tend to be a little higher than local eateries, and they attract a younger, more affluent clientele.

However, it's not just Ticos that frequent these restaurants. Thanks to reasonable taxation laws and affordable property, Costa Rica has a large American ex-pat community, and chain restaurants are proving to be quite the hit with Americans living here. Demand for chain franchises is on the rise, and officials expect international investment in American dining to increase in the coming years.

A wide variety

In addition to favorites like Friday's and Applebees, several lesser-known chains are grabbing a piece of the action in Costa Rica. Franchises like Popeye's Chicken, Pollo Tropical and Carl Jr.'s have all opened outlets in the capital of San Jose and around the country.

This isn't just great news for American tourists who want a taste of home during their vacation, it's also good news for the Costa Rican economy. The government has made foreign investment a top priority in recent years, and franchised chain restaurants are a great way to encourage American businesses to invest in Costa Rica.

According to the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce, 171 franchises operate businesses here, with more than 900 stores across the country. As well as creating investment opportunities for locals and American business owners, this diversity offers tourists a world of flavors that will seem right at home during their vacation.