Costa Rica: Food Guide - Dining Out
Where the sun always shines
Costa Rican cuisine is simple and chefs shun spices. It's almost easier to find an American fast food outlet than a restaurant serving good, native cuisine. Comida tipica, or native dishes, rely heavily on rice and beans, the basis of many Costa Rican meals. "Home-style" cooking predominates. But meals are generally wholesome and reasonably priced. Gallo pinto is the national dish of fried rice and black beans. Many meals are derivatives, including arroz con pollo (rice and chicken) or arroz con tuna. At lunch, gallo pinto becomes rice and beans supplemented with cabbage-and-tomato salad, fried plantains and meat. Vegetables do not form a large part of the diet. Other popular main dishes are Arroz Guacho (sticky rice), higado en salsa (beef liver salsa), chicken escaveche; Papas con Chorizo (Chorizo sausage with potatoes), Frito (Pork Stew), Olla de Carne, Barbudos (String bean omelette) and Mondongo (Beef Stomach Soup).