Eating Out In Costa Rica: Recommendations For Every Meal - Answers & Video

Eating Out In Costa Rica: Recommendations For Every Meal

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Costa Rica is a beautiful country located in Central America, known for its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and vibrant culture. One of the best ways to experience the local culture and cuisine is by eating out at the various restaurants and eateries scattered across the country. Whether you’re looking for traditional Costa Rican dishes or international flavors, Costa Rica has something to satisfy every palate. In this article, we will provide recommendations for every meal, from breakfast to dinner, to help you make the most of your culinary journey in Costa Rica.


Start your day off right with a delicious Costa Rican breakfast. Here are some popular options to consider:

  • Gallo Pinto: A traditional Costa Rican dish made with rice, beans, and a medley of spices. Served with eggs, plantains, and corn tortillas, Gallo Pinto is a hearty and flavorful breakfast choice.
  • Tropical Fruit Plate: Costa Rica is known for its abundance of fresh tropical fruits. Enjoy a plate filled with juicy pineapple, papaya, mango, and other seasonal fruits.
  • Casado: A typical Costa Rican breakfast consisting of rice, beans, plantains, eggs, and your choice of protein, such as meat or fish. Casado is a complete and filling breakfast option.


For lunch, you’ll find a wide range of options in Costa Rica, including traditional sodas (small local restaurants) and international cuisine. Here are some recommendations:

  • Soda La Parada: Located in San Jose, this popular soda offers authentic Costa Rican dishes at affordable prices. Try their casados or arroz con pollo for a taste of local cuisine.
  • El Avion: Situated in Manuel Antonio, this unique restaurant is built around a real airplane. Enjoy delicious seafood dishes while taking in stunning ocean views.
  • Mercado Central: Located in the heart of San Jose, this bustling market is a food lover’s paradise. Sample local specialties like ceviche, empanadas, and tropical fruit smoothies.


When you need a quick bite to eat between meals, Costa Rica offers plenty of tasty snacks to satisfy your cravings. Here are a few popular options:

  • Tamales: These traditional Costa Rican snacks are made from masa (corn dough) filled with seasoned meat, vegetables, and wrapped in banana leaves. They are steamed to perfection and make for a flavorful on-the-go snack.
  • Patacones: These crispy plantain fritters are a popular snack in Costa Rica. They are often served with a side of tangy salsa or guacamole.
  • Chifrijo: A delicious combination of crispy pork, beans, rice, and pico de gallo. Chifrijo is a flavorful snack that pairs well with a cold beer.


When it comes to dinner, Costa Rica offers a diverse culinary scene with options for every taste. Here are some recommended restaurants:

  • Soda Viquez: Located in San Jose, this family-run restaurant is known for its traditional Costa Rican dishes. Try their arroz con camarones (rice with shrimp) or arroz con pollo (rice with chicken).
  • El Lagarto: Situated in the Arenal Volcano area, this restaurant offers stunning views of the volcano while serving up delicious grilled meats and fresh seafood.
  • Al Mercat: Located in Santa Ana, this trendy restaurant focuses on farm-to-table cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients to create innovative and flavorful dishes.


No meal is complete without a sweet treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. Costa Rica has a variety of delectable desserts to indulge in. Here are some favorites:

  • Tres Leches Cake: A moist and creamy sponge cake soaked in three types of milk and topped with whipped cream. Tres Leches Cake is a popular dessert in Costa Rica.
  • Helados de Sorbetera: These traditional Costa Rican ice creams are made using a hand-cranked ice cream machine. Enjoy flavors like blackberry, coconut, or mango.
  • Arroz con Leche: A comforting rice pudding made with rice, milk, cinnamon, and raisins. It’s the perfect way to end a delicious meal.

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