Thursday, September 5, 2013

My favorite Costa Rican food!

When I go to Costa Rica, I try to eat as many of my favorite dishes as I can. Sometimes, it doesn't happen like on this trip but I was able to eat quite a few! Costa Rican food is not as interesting as other Latin American cuisines. I mean, it does not compare to Mexican food or Cuban food. But in its own subtle way, you can find some deliciousness in many of the typical dishes. 

Who doesn't live Rice and Chicken? I love it. This is the traditional arroz con pollo. It has veggies and the rice is really loose. The type I make at home has NO veggies and it is soupy. 
It is more like Nicaraguan arroz con pollo.

There is NOTHING like a cold, fresh and tasty coconut.
The coconut water is the best thing ever on a hot day.

My mom made me empanadas. I love empanadas.
These were made with apricot. But you can make them with anything sweet or savory.

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Costa Rica. It is close to my dad's house in Barva de Heredia. It has this delicious fire roasted chicken. They also offer pizza, fries, beans and other stuff. The chicken is served with a delicious carrot slaw and tortillas. I can literally eat this every day. I know when I go to Costa Rica, I will visit this restaurant at least twice!

Oh there is nothing more Tico than gallo pinto. Gallo Pinto is translated to Painted Rooster. It is really rice and beans mixed together. It is delicious. You can use old rice and beans and just add some red pepper and, of course, Salsa Lizano. It is typically eaten for breakfast. I make this very rarely at home. But when I do, it is always a delicious treat. 

I love chicharrones. Basically, it's pork. Now you have the meaty chicharrones (pictured) or the fatty kind made from pig skin. Those are my favorite. A gallo is snack. In Costa Rica, you can make anything a gallo or gallito! Just grab a tortilla and put something in and you have a gallo

Fresh fruit. Yes, I do eat fruit every so often and, in Costa Rica, you will find so many delicious fruits to eat. 

Coffee. Okay so you really don't eat coffee but I just have to give props to Costa Rican coffee when I can. 

Casado. A casado is a very traditional dish. Basically is it a plate of food that is served with a meat, rice, beans, platanos maduros, a salad or veggie, a picadillo of some type and tortillas. You will find this in almost any soda (mini restaurant) or restaurant. It is one of the cheapest meals you can fin in Costa Rica and one of the most delicious. It is filling and hearty. Oh and many are served with a fried egg as well. 
I opted out of the egg this trip!

Need I say more? Now stayed tuned because I am posting on how to make Costa Rican tamales soon. 

Olla de carne translates into pot of meat. Basically you cook meat (beef) and make a broth. You add a lot of veggies like onions, carrots, yuca, chayote, potatoes, corn and whatever else is handy. It is served with rice and tortillas. I love this stuff. Usually it is made with short ribs but I love mine with oxtail. When I make it at home, I skip the veggies except for the potatoes. But in Costa Rica, you get it served with everything. I remember when we were little and visited my grandparents (my dad's parents) my grandmother always made a Olla de Carne. It was a big deal. 

Mondongo. Mondongo is tripe soup. Yes, cow intestines. I love it though. Like Olla de Carne, you cook the tripe and make a broth and add veggies and spices. It is also served with rice and tortillas. It is a lot like Mexican menudo but not as spicy. Plus, if you ever have a massive hangover, have some of this soup and you will be right as rain in no time. It really works! 

Tortillas con queso.  We lucked out that we went to eat at a restaurant and someone was making tortillas con queso. Basically it is a tortilla with cheese but all mixed in. They are delicious!! 
I love mine with a little natilla (sour cream). 


  1. yumeeeee! this all looks amazing! What is the last dish? it looks like cornbread only way better!!! it all looks healthy too, not what i would expect when I envision the food in costa rica!

    1. It is like a big giant tortilla with cheese in the dough. It is the BEST thing ever!

  2. everything looks delish! but arroz con pollo is my favorite!

  3. Costa Rica's cuisine is a delight for soul. It's pure life in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

  4. That all looked delicious! Not being at all familiar with the food there, this was really interesting...

  5. I love empanadas and tamales.That fire roasted chicken looks delish!!!

  6. Have you found a place in North Carolina that makes authentic dishes de Costa Rica?

    1. My kitchen! But seriously, no Costa Rican places here in NC. :(

  7. I've not eaten any of those. Need to get out more.

    slehan at juno dot com