Costa Rica food

Are you planning a trip to Costa Rica? In addition to touring its beautiful tropical beaches and jungle landscapes, do not forget to try its delicious traditional cuisine!

Due to the geographical position of Costa Rica, there is a unique meeting of flora and fauna, which generates an exuberant range of food products; also enriched with all the abundance of seafood because its coasts are bathed by two oceans: the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Throughout its history, Costa Rica has been a biological and cultural bridge between the north and south of the American continent. Therefore the gastronomy influence comes from many different cultures, for example: Spanish, Italian, indigenous, Sephardic, African, Chinese, Jamaican, French and German.

In Costa Rica food, both rice and beans are basic ingredients that we will find in almost the majority of the country’s typical dishes. Gallo Pinto and Casado are the most iconic dishes and are based on these 2 grains (rice and beans). In general, Costa Rican food has mild flavors and little seasoning.

Costa Rica food uses different spices and aromatic herbs such as coriander, cumin and achiote. As for desserts, these are made with ingredients such as milk, sugar cane, eggs and some fruits and vegetables such as yucca, chiverre and squash.

Top 5 Costa Rica food dishes:
Gallo Pinto

It is the typical Costa Rican breakfast and all social classes consume it equally. It is basically a mixture of beans with rice, which is accompanied with tortillas, eggs, fried plantains or meat. It is the perfect meal to start the day with energy.

Casado (Married)

Casado is the typical dish par excellence in Costa Rica, it is abundant, rich and simple at the same time and it is served at lunchtime. It is practically the mixture in a single dish of the main foods that are consumed in the country. They say that this dish owes her name, because in ancient times when a couple got married, the first dish that the wife served her husband was the mixture of everything she knew how to cook. This way, the husband knew what she liked and what he didn’t.

Olla de Carne

It is a hearty, tasty and very nutritious soup. Its base is huge pieces of meat and basically all the vegetables in the area. A few years ago this food was only served at dinner. Nowadays it is consumed at any time.


The Tamal is the traditional Christmas dish in Costa Rica. It is prepared with corn dough and stuffed with meat, pork, vegetables and wrapped in a banana leaf. It is homemade and the whole family gets together to make them. More than 50 tamales are always cooked for December.


Ceviche is a typical dish as an appetizer, but it is often served as dinner as a light meal for the night. It is a fresh fish, which is usually sea bass and is cooked with lemon juice and finely chopped herbs.

Mangrove Birding Journeys offers private wildlife tours to Carara National Park and Tarcoles River, every tour includes Costa Rica food. The tours begin with a private transportation from your hotel or condo in the Jaco area of Costa Rica. After a short drive, the adventure begins.

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