Traditional Costa Rican Food To Savour During Your Vacation

Xceltrip|4 min read|Mar 17, 2020

There are so many delicious dishes that are a must-try when visiting Costa Rica. Traditional Costa Rican food is definitely a blend of comfort food and grandma’s home cooking with a flavor-bursting Latin flare. In Costa Rica, family-owned and operated small restaurants are called sodas. Sodas, which there are a countless number of throughout the country, is where you are likely to find some of the best varieties of traditional Costa Rican cuisine.

Gallo pinto

You cannot come to Costa Rica without having gallo pinto at least once; though it is highly unlikely that you will be able to resist eating it more. Gallo pinto is traditionally served with breakfast, but can also be served later in the day. Gallo pinto is a slowly blended and married together dish of rice, beans, onions, red peppers, and cilantro. Gallo pinto served with eggs, fried cheese, sweet plantains, and homemade corn tortillas is a breakfast plate you must indulge in.


Chifrijo is a compact dish that is usually served in bars. It is a bowl of rice and beans topped with fried pork meat or fried pork skins and topped with avocado, pico de gallo, chimichurri, and lime. There are few things that go better with an ice cold Pilsen than a cup of chifrijo. Often this dish is accompanied by homemade tortilla chips or plantain chips. Every bit will make you smile.


Chicharrones are something you should absolutely try, but maybe only once during your visit. Chicharrones are a very popular snack that are usually served at fiestas, family gatherings, bars, and any other type of celebration in Costa Rica. They are nothing short of scrumptious, but tip the fat and cholesterol scale. Chicharrones are fried pork rinds. It is so well-loved in Costa Rica that there is even an annual Chicharrones Fair in Puriscal to celebrate and serve up mass quantities of the delectable dish.


Patacones are made from green plantains. The green plantain is peeled and sliced into quarter- to half-inch thick pieces and quickly boiled on each side. Then, each piece is flattened and fried on both sides until crisp. They are then topped with lime and salt. Sometimes they are served with refried beans on top and avocado, pica de gallo, or shredded cabbage salad. It’s impossible to eat just one.

Sopa negra

Not all places in Costa Rica are hot. In elevated zones or in the Central Valley temperatures can be quite moderate and sometimes even chilly. It is in these places that a bowl of sopa negra will taste its best. Sopa negra is traditional black bean soup. This is also Costa Rica’s answer chicken noodle soup and served when people are sick. Sopa negra is typically served with two hard boiled eggs, a cup of rice, and a side of corn tortillas. A warming dish that is good for the soul.


A casado — strangely translating as “married man” — is a typical plate of Costa Rican food. While there are all sorts of varieties of this plate, traditionally it includes rice and beans, a salad, fried sweet plantains, and a protein — either fish, chicken, pork, or beef. Some casados will come with a slice of fresh cheese, French fries or grilled vegetables. A casado basically has all the staples of a perfectly balanced meal and is the comida typica (typical food) of Costa Rica. This plate is served for lunch or dinner.

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