Casado, is the most common dish in Costa Rica. It consists of beans, rice with finely diced red bell peppers and onions, fried plantains, a cabbage salad with tomato and carrot, and a choice of meat between chicken, fish, pork, or steak with grilled onions. The meat that comes with a casado is grilled or sautéed, but never fried. Sometimes the casado includes french fries or extra vegetables such as avocados.
Where to eat it: Everywhere! Casado can be found at any time of day or night in every restaurant and soda(Costa Rican diner)
Gallo Pinto is the typical breakfast in Costa Rica. It consists of rice and beans mixed together (not separate like the casado), fried or scrambled eggs, chopped beef, fried plantains, and tortillas. A popular custom in Costa Rica is to pour Salsa Lizano over the gallo pinto. Salsa Lizano is a sweet greenish brown salsa with the faintest hint of spice.
Tamales are mouthwatering deliciousness! Costa Rican Tamales are boiled plantain leaves stuffed with corn meal mix, saffron rice, pork, and a variety of beans and vegetables.
Where to eat it: Tamales can be found in the local farmer’s markets and sometimes in the grocery stores, but they taste best freshly homemade because they are customarily only made for special occasions such as Christmas.
Ceviche is a popular boca (tapas or appetizer) consisting of fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lime with finely diced herbs and veggies. In Costa Rica, the best ceviche is made with local tilapia or corvina(white sea bass) and cilantro, garlic, hot pepper, onion, and celery.
Where to eat it: Ceviche can be found in most restaurants and some sodas. If you are passing through Orotina on the way to the Pacific Coast, stop by the fresh fruit stands and try some green mango ceviche.
Empanadas are fried or baked dough filled with cheese, beans, potatoes, or chicken. They are popular as a snack between classes or meals and are best eaten with a dollop of hot sauce.
Where to eat it: Empanadas can be found everywhere: restaurants, sodas, and even random street vendors dedicated solely to selling empanadas.
Chicharones are delicious chunks of juicy fried pork.
Where to eat it: Chicharones are available at festivals. On a non-festival day, look for the Chicharones sign (usually with a crude drawing of a pig) outside of the local sodas because you can’t get these everywhere.
Published: Nov 20, 2016
Latest Revision: Nov 20, 2016
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