Costa Rica is known for many things, from its beautiful coastlines to its lush rainforests. The country’s love of its biodiversity is reflected in its cuisine, which incorporates local ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables and also fun street food items. In Costa Rica, life is dictated by the motto Pura Vida, which means pure life, and nothing says pure more than local, fresh food. The country is also known for its rich coffee culture, with local beans being grown here and shippe dall around the world. Here are the foods you must try while you’re here.
Rice and Beans
One of the most classic Costa Rican dishes is Gallo Pinto, which means spotted rooster but is made of rice and black beans that have been cooked with red bell peppers, onions, and Lizano sauce. Something that might be surprising to some visitors is the fact that it is often enjoyed for breakfast, but once you try it, you’ll understand!
Costa Rica is located on two coastlines, which means it’s very easy to find fresh and affordable seafood here. You’ll find fish, shrimp, lobster, mussels, and more, cooked in various dishes. Some dishes include rice with shrimp and chicken and ceviche tico, the Costa Rican variant of the classic dish made with lime juice, chilis, coriander, garlic, and onions and then chilled for at least three hours before being served.
One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Costa Rica is being able to enjoy fresh tropical fruits. You can enjoy sweet mangoes, rich avocados, fresh pineapples, and juicy papayas, amongst others. You can enjoy agua de sapo, a local drink that’s made of lime, ginger, and sugar cane juice.
Tamales are enjoyed here as well, and particularly during Christmas. Tamales are made of corn masa dough that’s stuffed with vegetables, meat, and flavorful spices, all of which is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
Plantains are commonly found throughout central and south America, and Costa Rica is no exception. You can enjoy patacones, which are fried thick green plantain chips, or maduros, sweet ripe plantains, amongst many other variations of preparations.
Street Food Delights
When it comes to Costa Rican street food, you will not be disappointed. Casados includes a plate of rice, beans, meat, salad, and fried plantains. Empanadas, filled with cheese, beans, or meat, are a popular snack as well.