Favorite Costa Rican Food

Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Favorite Costa Rican Food

What are some not to be missed items? I love spicy food so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Tico food tends to be rather bland, not so spicy, BUT do try the casados (your choice of meat, rice and beans, salad, plantains) and the ceviche (raw fish cooked in lime with cilantro, tomato, other seasonings). These are our favorites!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 03:32 PM
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My husband really liked batidos - kind of like a fruit milkshake made with fresh fruit and milk. We didn't have any spicy food while we were there, but we really liked the casados, plantains, fried yucca, and we had some great steaks in Arenal at El Novillo. You will probably see rice and beans at every meal - very popular combo. Also lots of nice tropical fruits like mango and papaya and really good pineapple. For beer, the drink of choice is Imperial. If you go somewhere coastal like Manuel Antonio, you'll find wonderful fresh seafood.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 03:55 PM
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As Shillmac has already told you, In general Costa Rica food is not spicy like Mexican. You can however find TexMex food and things like nachos in some restaurants.

The Costa Rica national dish is gallo Pinto - rice and beans. They usually eat it for breakfast.

The Costa Rican national condiment is Salsa Lizano, a brownish sauce sort of but not exactly like Worcestershire sauce. They put it on many things - including the gallo pinto, meats etc.


In small local places called sodas you will often find "casado" on the menu. A casado is like a combination plate usually with rice, some kind of vegetables and some meat fish or chicken.
There is a lot of great fruit - pineapple, mangos, papayas, melons, bananas etc. Lots of restaurants and hotel breakfasts have wonderful fruit plates. Also lots of vegetable. I really love the avocados.

Also, I find the dairy products very good.

raquel

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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:00 PM
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I love the carnitas, spicy pork bits, though perhaps part of my love is that I used to be a vegetarian and this was some of the first meat I've eaten in a decade.

The gallo pinto is great, and I love the fried platanos maduros, big sweet plantains.

Enjoy!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Oh how I miss the Lizano sauce...
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:25 PM
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Not spicy but, I love the Bananas!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Will be there for the 4th time in a few weeks and i can't wait to have "arroz con mariscos" or arroz con pollo" Rice dishes are flavorful and a little different than here in the states. Guaro is not a food but a cane liquor that mixes well with Coke and a lime. Ditto on the Salsa Lizano! Try to buy it at a local store or supermarket as it will be half the price of the airport. same is true with coffee.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:40 PM
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It all sounds wonderful! I love fresh fruit and it always tastes even better when eaten locally. Thanks for all of the suggestions!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
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Gallo pinto & eggs, some lizano sauce and warm fresh tortillas - yum!

Also love plantains, heart of palm and all the fresh fruit.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:42 PM
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I especially enjoyed the fresh fruit. The pineapples and mangos were in season when we were there and they were out of this world. (Nothing like a pina colada made with fresh ripe pineapple!) My son thought the bananas and melons were especially good -- when we got home, he noticed that the cantelopes at the grocery store (in Michigan...) came from Costa Rica and insisted on getting one. He was so disappointed!
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Old Mar 26th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Although not spicy, I had garlic shrimp at several restaurants and it was delicious! Coconut shrimp at Outback Jack's in Brasilito was the best I've ever had.

Don't miss coconut flan if you like dessert or tres leches cake.
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Old Mar 26th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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On my last trip to Costa Rica I enjoyed two new treats. Of course I don't know the name for either. We stopped at a little store for a phone card and they had homemade icepops. I had a coconut one and it was just delicious.
When we were at Manuel Antonio we hired a quide to take us to some of his favorite spots. While out he bought some warm breadlike cheese filled sweet treats. He bought them from a boy selling them along the road. The boys Mother made them. They are one of the best things I have ever had. They do sell them at some of the local fruit stands but they are prepackaged and although good they couldn't compare to the treats that Henry bought for us.
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Old Mar 26th, 2008, 06:18 PM
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Gallo Pinto!

Pura Vida!
Mike
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