A Few Costa Rican Foods You Absolutely Must Try

In the village of Playa Potrero, there are lots of wonderful options for food. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our own Whiskey Howler Bar & Grill menu of tantalizing American and Tico pub favorites, as well as our popular sushi corner options. We highly recommend trying Tico favorites such as Arroz con camarones, a local favorite dish of rice, vegetables and shrimp. Or if your thing is more “turf” than “surf,” perhaps you would prefer Arroz con carne, which is rice, vegetables, and premium Nicaraguan tenderloin. If you are craving something more familiar, the usual American fare of burgers, tacos, chicken, and the like is on the menu as well.

Playa Potrero has a great selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Options range from traditional Costa Rican Tico food, to Central American cuisine, Italian cuisine, American fare, and of course an abundance of wonderful seafood choices. There is something for everyone, and plenty of wonderful local establishments that are worthy of recommendation. We’d like to specifically focus on a few Costa Rican dishes you absolutely should know and try while in Costa Rica.

Gallo Pinto is the Costa Rican version of rice and beans. This traditional dish is most often seasoned with bell pepper, cilantro, and onion. For breakfast, it is often served with a fried egg. For other meals, it is often accompanied by meat or fish. All over Costa Rica, this is traditionally made with black beans, but here in Potrero and Guanacaste Province, you will more commonly see this made with red beans. This is a dish with lots of subtle regional variations, and the local version is absolutely delicious.

Chifrijo is a common cantina item served in nearly every bar in Costa Rica. This is a wonderful combination of fried pork and beans. More upscale establishments will serve this on a bed of rice and offer toppings such as avocados or tomatoes, but we also love this dish in it’s original incarnation with it’s two basic ingredients. This is traditionally eaten with tortilla chips and spicy pickled vegetables known as chilera.

Rondon is a dish of whatever fish and vegetables a cook has “run down” to by the week’s end thrown into a pot with coconut milk, herbs, and spices. This wonderfully sumptious thick stew was brought to Costa Rica by Jamaican laborers, and while it has it’s origins on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, it has become a favorite in other parts of the country as well. If you are fortunate enough to find this dish in your travels, we highly recommend it.

Casado, or “combo plate” is a common Costa Rican lunch food. There is no set recipe, only a general blueprint of simply prepared vegetables paired with a protein. This could be any number of things including stewed beef, grilled fish, fried chicken, or a pork chop served with white rice, beans, and coleslaw, or a simple salad of Iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Everyone puts their own spin on this dish, making it a diverse and wonderful experience everywhere you go. You could see this served with fried plantains, or tortillas, sliced avocado, or even a fried egg.

We hope that you try some of our local cuisine while visiting Costa Rica. Our beautiful country has much to offer in the way of wonderful local food and hospitality.