Costa Rica is a beautiful country with plenty of amazing things to see and do. But, one of the best parts of Costa Rica is the food! There are so many delicious dishes to try, it’s hard to know where to start. In this blog post, we will explore 9 foods that you need to try when visiting Costa Rica. From traditional dishes like gallo pinto to sweet treats like tres leches cake, you’re sure to find something new and delicious! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today and make sure to include these foods on your list!

1. Tres Leches

Tres Leches is a classic dish in Costa Rica. It’s made with three types of milk: cow, goat, and sheep. The mixture is combined with sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, then baked until golden brown. Tres Leches is often served as a dessert or snack, but it can also be eaten for breakfast or lunch. If you’re visiting Costa Rica, be sure to try Tres Leches – you won’t regret it!

2. Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto is a traditional Costa Rican dish made with rice and black beans. The name of the dish translates to “red chicken” in English, and is so named because of the red pepper used to season it. Gallo Pinto is a popular breakfast dish in Costa Rica, and can also be enjoyed as a lunch or dinner meal.

The ingredients for Gallo Pinto are simple: rice, black beans, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and red pepper. However, the dish can be customized to include different vegetables or meats. For example, some people add bell peppers or cabbage to their Gallo Pinto. And while chicken is the traditional meat used in this dish, beef or pork can also be substituted.

Gallo Pinto is a hearty and filling dish, and it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular breakfast option in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for a tasty and authentic Costa Rican meal, be sure to give Gallo Pinto a try!

3. Casado

Casado is a dish that can be found throughout Costa Rica. It is made of white rice, black beans, and either beef, pork, chicken, or fish. Casado can also include plantains, salad, and cheese. The dish is usually served with a side of salsa. Costa Rica is known for its amazing food, and casado is no exception. This dish can be found in restaurants and homes throughout the country.

4. Arroz Con Something

Arroz Con Something is a popular Costa Rican dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients. Some of the most common variations include arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), arroz con cerdo (rice with pork), and arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood). However, there are endless possibilities for creating this dish, so feel free to get creative! Arroz Con Something is usually served with sides such as gallo pinto (a mixture of rice and beans), plantains, salad, and sour cream. It’s a hearty and filling meal that will leave you satisfied and happy.

5. Tamales

Red Chili Pork Tamales

Tamales are a traditional Costa Rican food that can be found all over the country. They are made of corn dough that is filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese, and then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. Tamales vary in flavor and ingredients depending on the region they are from, so it is definitely worth trying them all! Here are 10 different tamales you should try during your visit to Costa Rica:

1. Tamale de chiverre: This tamale is filled with pork and potato and is popular in the Central Valley region.

2. Tamale de platano verde: This green-banana-leaf-wrapped tamale is filled with chicken and rice. It is a popular dish in the province of Guanacaste.

3. Tamale de queso: This cheese-filled tamale is a favorite in the Cartago region.

4. Tamale de chicharron con frijoles: This pork-and-bean-filled tamale is a popular dish in the Limón province.

5. Tamale de gallina: This chicken-filled tamale is a traditional dish from the Turrialba region.

6. Tamale de picadillo: This beef-and-potato-filled tamale is popular in the North and Central regions of Costa Rica.

7. Tamale de iguana: Yes, you read that correctly – iguana! This unusual tamale is popular in the South Caribbean region of Costa Rica.

8. Tamale de jalapeño: This spicy tamale is filled with cheese and peppers and is a favorite in the San José province.

9. Tamale de surimi: This seafood-filled tamale is a popular dish on the Pacific Coast.

10. Tamale de chocolate: This sweet and savory tamale is made with masa dough, chocolate, and spices. It is a popular dessert in the Central Valley region.

No matter which type of tamale you try, you are sure to enjoy this delicious Costa Rican specialty! Be sure to ask your local hosts or guides where to find the best ones in your area. Enjoy!

6. Ceviche

Ceviche is a popular seafood dish that is especially enjoyed in Costa Rica. It is a type of marinade that consists of fresh raw fish or seafood, mixed with lime or lemon juice, and various seasonings. The acid in the citrus fruit “cooks” the seafood, so ceviche is considered to be a cooked dish.

Ceviche is often served as an appetizer or main course, and there are many variations of the dish. Some people add onion, tomato, or avocado to their ceviche, while others prefer it plain. No matter how you like your ceviche, it is sure to be a delicious and refreshing experience!

7. Sopa Negra

Sopa Negra is a black bean soup that is popular in Costa Rica. It is made with black beans, onion, garlic, and tomatoes. The soup can be served with rice on the side, or it can be poured over the rice. Sopa Negra is a hearty and filling soup that will keep you warm on a cool night. If you are looking for something different to try while you are in Costa Rica, be sure to give Sopa Negra a try!

8. Patacones

Patacones are a delicious traditional dish from Costa Rica. They are made by frying green plantains, then smashing them into thick disks. The disks are then fried again, making them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are often served with refried black beans and sour cream.

9. Olla de Carne

Olla de Carne is a traditional Costa Rican dish made with beef, potatoes, corn, carrots, and plantains. The beef is cooked in a large pot with water, garlic, and salt until it is very tender. Then, the potatoes, carrots, and plantains are added to the pot and cooked until tender. Olla de Carne is a hearty and filling dish that is sure to satisfy your hunger! If you are visiting Costa Rica, be sure to try this delicious dish! You won’t regret it!


So there you have it – 9 delicious foods to try on your next trip to Costa Rica. With such a wide variety of flavors and dishes on offer, you’re sure to have an amazing culinary adventure! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!


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