You don’t have to drop a bunch of dough at a 5-star restaurant to have an unforgettable meal in Costa Rica. From beachfront barbecues to late-night snacks, Costa Rica’s mouthwatering array of traditional foods will leave you smiling and begging for more. Are you ready to eat your way across the country? Grab your appetite and your sense of adventure and get ready to dive into the best dining in Costa Rica.
Seafood is a big part of Costa Rican cuisine – especially in oceanside communities. With fresh fish caught daily and easy access to organic vegetables, chefs take pride in crafting meals that are both delicious and nutritious. Rondon (aka run down soup), a crowd favorite, is arguably one of the most time-consuming traditional dishes to prepare. This slow-cooked, spicy coconut soup is loaded with fish of the day and assorted veggies. Yucca and sweet potatoes are a staple in most variations of rondon, while the level of spice can range from light to fiery.
Oh – and don’t be surprised if you see a fish head or two simmering in the pot. You’re about to be treated to some fantastic flavors.
Don’t worry about finding casado on the menu in Costa Rica – it’s everywhere! Almost every restauranthas their own version of casado, and there are a few standard elements that you’ll notice in every dish. First, choose your meat: beef, pork, chicken or fish are all up for grabs. Then you’ll likely be given beans, a small salad, tortillas and patacones (or fried plantains) as an accompaniment. Some restaurants toss you a little fresh fruit, some don’t. You also might find a homemade “hot sauce” on your table. If you like spice, GO FOR IT! Many people claim that hot sauce is an essential addition to the dish.
Speaking of Patacones…
Patacones don’t need a ton of explanation. They’re plantains that are fried, smashed, and then fried again until crispy. Toss them in salt and pepper and you’ll find yourself telling French fries to take a hike. Patacones are great for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Remember all that fresh caught fish we were talking about? It’s time to get up-close and personal with the catch of the day! Pescado entero is typically a whole fish, scored and then fried. You’ll commonly find snapper or dorado on the plate, but other fish have been known to make an appearance as well. Again, you’re also likely to see yuca (in one form or another), a small salad, drawn butter and lemon or lime. If you’re lucky, you might even have room for a little dessert.
Is your stomach growling yet? Ours is too. Whether you’re searching for the best dining in Costa Rica or you simply want to get a taste of traditional cuisine, you can’t miss out on these delicious dishes. When you’re finally full, make sure to track down some local chocolate. There’s no better way to end a meal.
Are you ready to eat your way across Costa Rica? Speak with one of our team members today!