Costa Rica, located in Central America, boasts a rich and diverse culinary landscape that is a treat for both tourists and locals alike. The country’s food is known for its fresh ingredients, a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences, and the use of aromatic spices. With a heavy emphasis on rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables, Costa Rican cuisine is both wholesome and delicious. In this guide, we will explore some of the must-try dishes, food, and drinks in Costa Rica.
Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica and a breakfast staple for locals. This hearty and flavorful dish consists of rice and beans, typically cooked with onions, sweet peppers, garlic, and seasoned with a blend of spices like cilantro and cumin. The dish is usually served with fried eggs, sour cream, and corn tortillas. Variations of Gallo Pinto may include the addition of sausage or bacon for an extra boost of flavor.
Casado, which translates to “married” in English, is a popular lunchtime meal in Costa Rica. It consists of a generous serving of rice, beans, salad, and a choice of protein such as beef, chicken, fish, or pork. The dish is named after the idea that a married man would come home to a meal with a variety of components, providing a balanced and satisfying meal. Casado is often accompanied by fried plantains, a side of vegetables, and a corn tortilla.
Sopa Negra, or black bean soup, is a traditional Costa Rican dish that is both comforting and nutritious. The soup is made from black beans, onions, garlic, sweet peppers, cilantro, and a variety of spices. It is typically garnished with hard-boiled eggs and served with a side of rice or crusty bread. Sopa Negra is perfect for warming up on a cool day and is a popular dish among vegetarians and vegans.
Olla de Carne
Olla de Carne is a traditional Costa Rican beef stew made with a variety of vegetables and tubers. The dish features beef, yucca, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, plantains, and chayote, all slow-cooked in a rich and flavorful broth. Olla de Carne is a hearty and comforting meal that showcases the bounty of Costa Rica’s agricultural landscape.