When you think of Costa Rica, food might not be one of the first things that come to mind. Despite this, it is one of the great culinary options in Latin America. In this article, we go over 10 of the best Costa Rica food options.
10 Best Costa Rican Food Treats
1 – Tamales
You’ve probably had tamales before. Well, the Costa Rican version of them has its own twist. They are much more popular during the Christmas holiday season.
This video gives some background information on the delicious Costa Rican tamales:
2 – Plantains
Plantains are very much like large bananas. I actually thought they were fried bananas until recently. Plantains differ from bananas in that they cannot be eaten raw.
Of course, Costa Ricans have their own twist on plantains. They are delicious as either a dessert or a side dish with a meal.
Here is a recipe for patacones (plantains):
3 – Rice and Beans
If you know anything about Latin American food, you know that rice and beans are a big-time option. The Costa Rican version of this has Jamaican and Spanish influence.
The dish is made with white rice and red beans cooked in coconut milk and Panamanian pepper. It may seem very simple, but do not underestimate it. Is is a very flavorful dish.
4 – Ceviche
Ceviche is a raw fish dish. The Costa Rican version of ceviche adds in peppers and is often served with soda crackers and lettuce. This is different from many other version of ceviche as it is very common for lemon or lime juice to be used.
5 – Tres Leches Cake
It’s time for another dessert! As you can tell, Costa Rican food contains a lot of sweet treats.
Tres leches cake is a great way to finish any Costa Rican meal. It’s unclear where this dish originated, but it is sold all over Central America as well as all over the world.
To learn more about the ingredients in it and how it is prepared, check out this video:
6 – Casado
When you translate Casado it means “married man.” It is perhaps the most popular Costa Rican food dish there is and can be found in just about any restaurant.
So what’s in Casado? The ingredients commonly used are tortillas, black beans, plantains, rice, and salad. You can often find different meats such as beef, fish, chicken, and pork on the plate. Also, some people opt for adding a dash of avocado to the dish.
7 – Batido or Refresco or Natural
No matter which of these names you go with, this is a Costa Rican fruit shake. As you may expect, these are made with fruit and either ice or milk. Commonly either mango or maracuya (passion fruit) are used to make a delicious Batido.
Although this video is not in English, it gives you a great feel for the creation of a mango Batido.
8 – Gallo Pinto
Gallo Pinto is Costa Rica’s national dish. Anywhere you go in the country, you will see it. It is similar to rice and beans as it also contains rice and beans. So what’s the difference? Gallo Pinto does not contain any milk.
Check out this video for a great Gallo Pinto recripe:
9 – Pejibayes
Pejibayes are a Costa Rican fruit. They are a peach palm variety, to be specific. They are very commonly boiled and served with mayonnaise. It’s very common to spot locals as you can find them snacking on pejibayes and drinking coffee.
Here is a video on harvesting, cleaning and cooking pejibayes.
10 – Arreglados
Arreglados could be described as the Costa Rican version of a sandwich. Translated, the word means arranged. Just as you would imagine, it is a stack of meat, cheese and vegetables. Finally, it is topped with a puff pastry made from corn flour.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best Costa Rican food options, which one do you think you would like to give a try? You can’t go wrong with any choice on this list.