Guide to Typical Costa Rican Food

Chicken Casado with Limon Mandarina
Chicken Casado with Limon Mandarina

Visitors taking a vacation to Costa Rica can enjoy more than just incredible sights, as the country boasts unique culinary delights and authentic Central American cuisine, too.

Our guide to typical Costa Rican food will show you the most important typical food in Costa Rica, enjoy!

Distinctive Cuisine

Costa Rican cuisine is distinctive, healthy and as diverse as the country's exotic wildlife. From traditional gallo pinto for breakfast to arroz con pollo for lunch and the most typical casados for dinner, visitors spending time in Costa Rica's restaurants can enjoy a feast for their taste buds as well as their eyes.

In addition to authentic Central American dishes, tourists visiting Costa Rica can enjoy all their favorite meals from home.

Larger urban areas, such as the capital of San Jose, boast an impressive variety of eateries, featuring a range of international cuisines from Italian to Indian, Asian to Mediterranean.

Fresh Ingredients

Many of the meals prepared in Costa Rican restaurants use fresh, locally sourced ingredients, meaning that tourists sampling the delicacies on offer can do so in the knowledge that they are supporting local farmers and enjoying regional produce.

Most restaurants in Costa Rica offer vegetarians a wide range of meals, as many dishes include local staples such as beans, rice and fresh vegetables.

For carnivores, the choice is just as diverse, with fresh chicken, pork, beef and fish featuring prominently in local favorites such as casado and olla de carne.

Depending on your budget, Costa Rica has a wealth of eateries to choose from.

Visitors taking vacations on a budget will find numerous small bistros and cafes where they can grab a bite affordably, while tourists who want to sample the very best can enjoy several world-class restaurants in the heart of San Jose. With something for every budget, dining in Costa Rica is a diverse experience.

One common misconception about Central American cuisine is that it is particularly hot and spicy - this is not the case. Despite Costa Rica's relative proximity to Mexico, where the food is renowned for its kick, many traditional Costa Rican dishes will appeal to a wide variety of palates.

Whether visitors are looking for a quick snack or a three-course meal, typical Costa Rican food offers a world of flavors at a reasonable price.

With something for all tastes and dietary habits, choosing a place to eat can be as exciting as deciding what to see in this remarkable country.

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Here is just some of our favorite foods in Costa Rica.