What to eat in Costa Rica
Gone are the days when you could only eat rice and beans. Now there is more variety, although it is true that rice and beans are still very present and are part of the gallo pinto, breakfast for excellence in Costa Rica.
Lunch can consist of casado (rice, beans, pasta, cabbage and minced meat combined with fish, chicken or meat), arroz con pollo or olla de carne, a kind of soup.
The amounts are usually huge, sometimes even excessive, and although traditional Tica food may not be very sophisticated, it is usually very tasty and pleasant. For not much money you will be able to enjoy it in the sodas or dining rooms that you will find throughout the country.
On many occasions it has happened to us that when you order a grilled fish, it comes fried and always with some sauce, whether be Caribbean, garlic, cheese, etc. So if you want a ¨pescado a la plancha¨ (grilled fish) without sauces or that is not very fried, you will have to explain it well and make it clear to the waiter who attends you.
The custom includes a good coffee at four o'clock in the afternoon, but there doesn't exist a real dinner culture. People here generally prefer to have a light drink at home, so if you go to one of San Jose's excellent restaurants at that time, you'll probably find other tourists.
Alcohol is not usually sold in sodas (which in our opinion are only small restaurants) only in restaurants with this denomination you will find alcoholic beverages, the most typical is the guaro, a sugar cane aguardiente made in the country since the 19th century. The national beer (Imperial, Pilsen or Silver) is also very good, but if there's something you shouldn't miss in Costa Rica are natural fruit juices or smothies.