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9 Foods To Try in Costa Rica

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Embark on a tantalizing journey through the heart of Costa Rica, where the national and iconic dishes await to tell the rich story of its culture, traditions, and bountiful nature. Known for its lush landscapes and commitment to conservation, this Central American paradise also boasts a culinary heritage that’s as vibrant and diverse as its ecosystems.

Costa Rican cuisine, or “comida típica,” offers a palette of flavors that reflect the country’s agricultural wealth, coastal bounty, and the warmth of its people. From hearty breakfasts that prepare you for a day of adventure to sumptuous dinners that round out the evening with a touch of local spice, these dishes are more than just meals; they’re a celebration of the Costa Rican spirit and joie de vivre. Whether you’re a culinary connoisseur or a traveler eager to explore through taste, Costa Rica’s national and iconic dishes promise an unforgettable gastronomic journey.

Gallo Pinto

Wakey, wakey, eggs and… Gallo Pinto? Absolutely! This rice-and-bean masterpiece is breakfast royalty here. Nicaragua may wave its flag and claim it too, but Costa Rica adds a twist with onions, red peppers, cilantro, and a sprinkling of magic spices that make every bite a flavorful fiesta.


For those who like to walk on the wild side of the culinary world, Mondongo is a Sunday or special occasion soup that’s bold and beautiful. Made with tripe and bursting with flavor, it’s a dish that dares you to dive deep into local cuisine.


Imagine the love child of a potato and a banana – meet patacones. Green plantains, smashed and fried to crispy perfection, they’re the ultimate accompaniment to any meal or just by themselves, because why not?

Tres Leches

Three milks, one cake, endless happiness. Tres Leches is a dessert that’s like a hug in a cake. Soaked in cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk, then topped with whipped cream or meringue, it’s a sweet symphony in every spoonful.


Dive into the heart of the Caribbean with rondon, a spicy coconut soup that’s a merry ensemble of what the sea and land have to offer. Often starring fish, yucca, and sweet potatoes, it’s a dish that tells a different story with each bowl.


The ultimate companion to a cold cerveza, chifrijo is a layered party of black beans, crispy pork, fresh salsa, all served over rice with a side of tortilla or plantain chips. It’s a flavor fiesta waiting to happen.


A dish that’s literally a marriage of flavors – casado. This plate of rice, beans, vegetables and meat, sometimes accompanied by fresh cheese or sweet plantains, is what local love tastes like. Stop by for a soda and let the day’s seasonal union surprise you.


A party in your mouth and everyone’s invited – chicharron is the life of the culinary party. Fried pork skin that’s as addictive as the sound of the ocean. Not for the faint-hearted or those counting calories, but oh, so worth it.

Olla de carne

Comfort food, Costa Rican style. Olla de Carne is a slow-cooked beef stew that’s a hearty embrace of local ingredients like plantains, yuca, chayote, carrots, and sweet potatoes. It’s the stew of dreams, a must-have on your flavor journey.

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