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Costa Rica Culture | 5 Best Dishes in Costa Rica

A collage of the must-try Costa Rica food.
Experience a mouth-watering Costa Rica vacation when you taste the country’s famous and scrumptious dishes.

It is not a secret that the Costa Rica culture is colorful as it is. We are not only talking about their fiestas and other grand celebrations but also their daily routines --- even to their pots and pans. The vibrancy of this culture is observed in every corner of the country and can be tasted with the burst of flavors in their dishes.

The unique culture of Costa Rica is a vibrant blend of its indigenous heritage and of the Spanish colonial influence mixed with a tinge of Chinese, Jamaican, and other foreign cultures. The country’s culture is present in the burst of flavors poured out on their dishes. You will be surprised by how you get to taste a little bit of everything in one plate. Buckle up and prepare your stomachs because we are taking you into a mouth-watering ride through five Costa Rica food that you should try while on your vacation in the rich coast.

  • Gallo Pinto
    No visit to Costa Rica is ever complete without tasting their Gallo Pinto. This is a traditional Costa Rica breakfast dish which is a well and slowly-blended plate of rice, onions, red peppers, beans, and cilantro. Although it is traditionally in the breakfast menu, Gallo Pinto can also be served later in the day. However, we highly recommend you to try the Gallo Pinto served with fried cheese eggs, homemade corn tortillas, and sweet plantains at least once during your Costa Rica vacation, though we cannot guarantee your resistance on eating more.
  • Chifrijo
    If ever you decide to go to a bar to experience the nightlife of Costa Rica, you should not miss the chance of tasting chifrijo. This compact dish is a bowl of rice and beans with fried pork meat or fried pork skins for toppings, along with pico de gallo, lime, avocado, and chimichurri. This dish is often accompanied by homemade tortilla and plantain chips and is a great pair for a cold Pilsen as well. Fondo hasta?
  • Casado
    If you are trying to get married, taking a vacation to Costa Rica could really help you on that search for true love. As you do so, trying out their casado (which interestingly translates to “married man”) is a MUST! This is a comoda typica (typical food) in the country. Although this dish may have a lot of varieties in the country, the traditional casado includes rice and beans, fried sweet plantains, a salad, and meat containing protein --- either chicken, pork, beef, or fish. This delicious Casado could just be your ticket to being a casado (married).
  • Arroz con…
    If you have not noticed it yet, Costa Rica is fond of utilizing rice in their foodies. It is served with almost every meal and dishes they prepare. Another mouth-watering dish that involves rice is arroz con pollo/vegetales/mariscos/camerones (chicken/vegetables/seafood/shrimp). This simple yet incredibly flavorful dish is composed of cooked rice mixed with annatto (similar to saffron) to give the rice its yellow color, and diced vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, peas, and celery. The final mix is whatever “con” you decide to throw in, whether it would be a variety of meat or vegetables.
  • Olla de Carne
    If you are a fan of pot roast, then you definitely will love olla de carne. It is a slow-cooked stew that includes beef chunks, sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, green plantains, sweet plantains, chayote, and yuca. This dish will not just warm your tummy but your heart as well.

Costa Rica has many dishes to boast about and you will be surprised at how delicious they are. With their cuisine, you will definitely get to experience their culture at a whole different level --- a gastronomic level. Now, doesn’t that make you want to dive into a gastronomic experience in Costa Rica?

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