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The republic of Costa Rica is a country found in Central America. It has an extensive beach since it borders the Pacific Ocean to the southwest and the Caribbean Sea to the northwest.

It has developed a good reputation because of its democratic stability. Since it is in Central America, it also enjoys good climate throughout the year. All these factors make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to take a vacation.

Once you are there you also get to enjoy the wonderful native meals that the Costa Ricans have to offer. Below are five must have dishes served in Costa Rica.

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto is a common breakfast meal in Costa Rica. It has many variations that rotate around the basic rice and beans combination. The combination of white rice and black beans results in a spotted appearance which lead to its name; Gallo Pinto which means ‘spotted rooster’ in Spanish. It can be served together with scrambled eggs, sliced avocado and many other foods. Since it is a breakfast meal, it is also served with coffee. Coffee in Costa Rica is unlike any other. As most of us may know, Costa Rica produces the best coffee in the world year after year.

You cannot leave Costa Rica without having some of their coffee. You can access the Costa rican coffee guide to see just how incredible Costa Rican coffee is. The export of coffee is the main income source. They have even implemented a policy that makes it illegal to grow low quality coffee. There is no better way to start a day than waking up to this native cuisine accompanied by a cup of the best coffee in the world.

Casado Casado means marriage in Spanish

You can therefore tell that this meal consists of a couple of different foods combined to make one tasty dish. It is usually consisting of fried platano Maduro, rice, beans, tortillas, salad, meat and occasionally some fruit or a fruit juice. The meat can be beef, chicken, pork or fish depending on the location of the restaurant. The sight of this meal is enough to make you salivate. It is a combination of small simple meals that together produce exemplary flavor.

Different restaurants offer different variations of this dish. For the best experience visit smaller eateries that offer menu service since they have a more personal feel and you get the chance to interact with the locals. Casado is usually a heavy meal which is suitable for lunch when you can appreciate the entire entrée.

Sopa Negra

This is Spanish for black bean soup. It is a light and very easy to prepare. As always, there are plenty of variations but they all revolve around the two basic ingredients.

These are black beans and boiled eggs. The eggs are boiled within the soup and after they are ready, they are peeled and served with the soup. This meal is famous throughout the world for its health properties. Black beans, which are a big part of the meal are renowned for their low cholesterol, high fiber and potassium which are all beneficial to the human body.

It can be served in the morning coupled with some bread or fried tortillas. Some variations also consolidate fruit into the dish adding a whole new flavor.


This is a light dish that is usually regarded as a snack between meals. Its name is derived from combining the names of the two main ingredients. These are chicharrones and frijoles.

Chicharrones are a Costa Rican dish that consists of fried meat. The meat can be pork, chicken, beef or mutton. Frijoles are just beans. These two dishes are combined to produce one mouth-watering meal. As with the previous cuisines, Costa Ricans always find a way to spice it up a bit. It can be served with fried tortillas, slices of avocado, tomatoes or even rice. At this point it’s safe to say that rice and beans are the staple food of Costa Rica.Therefore it’s not a surprise to see that Ticos find a way of in cooperating it into most of their meals.

At the end of it all we have one hell of a snack. It is served in most restaurants throughout Costa Rica each with their own variants. It can be eaten at any time of day as a light snack. But if you are looking to enjoy Costa Rican culinary cuisines to the fullest, you cannot leave it out.


Lastly, we have flan. It is a simple and extremely beautiful meal that is served as desert. Of all the meals mentioned in this list, this is the best one yet. It is light and is served on a small saucer after the main meal. The ingredients include milk, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Just by looking at the ingredients you can tell that this is a meal you have to taste for yourself. On top of all these delightful ingredients, we still add caramel when frying the mixture. This results in a thick beautiful spongy meal with a savory taste. This is the first meal we have encountered that does not include rice, beans or both. It ends up looking like a small cake with a smooth feel to it. The meal itself is indeed beautiful with a golden-brown top and a cream white interior.

There are many more native dishes that are a must have for anyone visiting Costa Rica. These are just the best we could find. There are other dishes such as tamales, olla de carne, patacones and the list goes on and on. To get the best of the native Costa Rican cuisines, you should visit the small family-owned restaurants. They are called sodas and are available all around the country. Ticos are proud of their culinary skills are famous for it. Since they grow their own crops they are also loved for their health benefits.

Costa Rica being a country that derives most of its income from exporting agriculture based products, has a lot of raw materials that inspire the locals to keep coming up with more and more exquisite meals. A visit to Costa Rica is not complete until you have tried out all these meals.


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2 thoughts on “5 Culinary Experiences You Must Try In Costa Rica

  1. Hi Johnny, thanks for such a nice informative article. yah! I also agree with you about Costa Rican coffee. When I was there my morning also started with the Gallo Pinto and mind-blowing boldly flavored espresso. Your article gives me that smells again.

    1. Hi Johnny, thanks for such a nice informative article. yah! I also agree with you about Costa Rican coffee. When I was there my morning also started with the Gallo Pinto and mind-blowing boldly flavored espresso. Your article gives me that smell again

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