World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Costa Rica

Costa Rica Food and Drink

With vegetables, beans, rice and fresh fruits making up a high proportion of meals, Costa Rican cuisine is relatively healthy. Fish, beef, pork and chicken are the usual proteins that you may add to a meal. The food is also on the mild side, but hot sauce is available if you like yours spicy.

Costa Ricans place a big emphasis on breakfast and lunch. Join the locals and head to a soda (a small café) or a local market for an authentic dining experience.


Gallo pinto: The national dish of Costa Rica; it consists of rice, black beans, onions and cilantro. When it is served as breakfast, fried eggs, tortillas and sour cream are added.
Casado: A bowl of rice, red or black beans, fried plantain, salad, plus a choice of meat.
Olla de carne: Beef and root vegetable soup. Usually have chayotes, cassavas and taros.
Sopa negra: Black bean soup served with a poached or hard-boiled egg.
Bocas: Savoury snacks served at bars.
Coffee: Can be served black, with sugar or hot milk.
Horchata: Sweetened rice milk, often flavoured with cinnamon and cloves. If it is made with barley, then it is known as Resbaladera.
Fresco: Fruit juice, often blended with ice and syrup.
Pipas fria: Fresh coconut juice.


Tipping is not necessary as most restaurants add a 10% service charge, plus a 13% sales tax.

Drinking age


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