Costa Rica is a Central American country full of natural beauty and Wildlife know for jungle and beach adventures. Truly a perfect destination to spend your vacation holiday. However, for me what stood out was the great experience of meeting the Costa Rican People and eating the incredible food. Visiting this amazing place was so fascinating. I found the people in Costa Rica to be very friendly and so cool. You will love the Food which is so fresh and healthy. I can’t stop thinking about those delicious Chorreada and Granizados, which we really enjoyed. It is a paradise for all travel foodies!
I miss saying “Pura Vida” a local expression that translates in English as Pure life. When in Costa you will use this phrase as a common greeting (If your first language is Spanish it won’t be hard for you, rest of people just memorize it as I did.)
Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos and are very friendly and welcoming. The Costa Rican Cuisine is a blend of Spanish, American, African, and a few more flavors. To be honest, I’m not much of a sophisticated Travel Foodie, however I thought I would share a few must-try street foods available in the cities of Costa Rica.
Casasdo which means “married” in Spanish is a reflection of how Rice and Beans are usually a part of every meal in Costa Rica and are served side by side instead of mixed. Along with Rice and Beans, Casado is also served with a helping of meat which could be beef, fish, pork or chicken, some salad and a slice of white cheese or corn tortillas. What a meal! Desert may be included such as fried plantains.
When in Costa Rica you must have a breakfast of these delicious Corn pancakes. The best part of Costa Rican food is that it is always freshly made with fresh ingredients. Chorreada is usually served with Natilla which is a Spanish Custard Cream. The combination of warm Chorreada and Natilla is simply outstanding.
Pupusas are one of the most popular street foods in Costa Rica. Some say they originated in El Salvador but Costa Ricans Ticos loved them so much that they incorporated Pupusas into their culinary culture. I loved Pupusas and insist you must try it when in Costa Rico especially with the tiny spicy Cabbage bags served with them.
Elote Con Mantequilla
Don’t be fooled by the ultra Spanish name. It’s just Corn baked with Garlic, Green Onions and Cheese. This may sound ordinary to you but the taste is extraordinary. Simple, Healthy and Tasty Street food. It is available in almost every food market or Food Fiesta. Cheese and corn together is my all time favorite snack.
This is a common delicacy which can be found at every dinner restaurant in every city in Costa Rica. To be honest, I’m not much of a pork fan but I couldn’t resist myself from trying one and it was really good! Pinchos are juicy and slightly spicy, but easy to eat and comes in Pork or Beef options. I highly recommend you give Pinchos a try.
Algodon de Azucar
This is a fancier version of our very own cotton Candy. Who would not like to try an international version of cotton candy? I have to admit I think the best Cotton Candy I’ve had was when we were visiting the main Church in San José and it was pretty good.
You will be visiting the beach for sure. When we headed to the beach area of Tamarindo, we encountered these small vendors selling Snowcones. A soft crushed Ice ball dipped in the flavored Sugary Syrup and then dropped in the cup filled with powered and condensed milk. Those were pretty awesome and felt so chilling as it was so hot at the beach. You are definitely going to love it.
Cantonese Fried Rice
There is a fairly sizable community of Chinese in Costa Rica who have combined traditional Asian tastes with Rice and Beans which are a very commonly used in most Costa Rican dishes. Cantonese Rice has almost everything in it – Ham, Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Beans, Vegetables and everything you will ask for. A plate is enough for two people and I’ll bet you will need anything else for the whole day. It is a perfect balance of Sweet and Spice. You must taste this once. You can try this recipe back at home as well as it is easy to make.
Churros for Desert
Again a sweet tooth dish. Churros are common throughout Latin America and it also true in the Costa Rico as well. You will love these sweet fried dough pastries rolled in a Cinnamon Sugar blend. You can have these at Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and even at snack time. You will instantly become a fan of Churros and I would say do not miss these sweet treats.
This is about all I had to share. If I missed any good street food in Costa Rico, please leave a comment below and so we can try it too. Hope you will love my suggestions!
Street Scene Image by Tillor87 via Wikimedia Commons
Casado Image by By Richie Diesterheft from Chicago via Wikimedia Commons