Exploring the Costa Rican Delicacies: These Meals Are a Must-Try for Every Visitor

Costa Rica is surrounded by lush forests, two oceans, mountains, and volcanoes- of course, that implies fresh veggies, exotic fruits, and seafood. These fresh ingredients make up Costa Rican delicacies, giving food enthusiasts many options to try out. From the stews to pancakes, these Costa Rican dishes are sure to win you over. We’ve gathered five top dishes to try if you find yourself in Costa Rica.

Gallo Pinto

Gallo pinto is a classic Costa Rican dish that is essentially rice and beans. If you’re staying in places like Puerto Viejo, where their meals have a strong Caribbean influence, this exotic dish is one you shouldn’t miss.

Courtesy: 196 Flavors

This meal consists of red beans, coconut milk-infused rice, and fried green plantains with chicken or fish. You can get the best gallo pinto at Lidia’s Place or, if you’re not in town, at Hotel Aguas Claras

Tres Leches

Although the dessert originated in Mexico, it remains one of the most famous national desserts of Costa Rica. If you have a sweet tooth, this cake will surely satisfy your cravings.

Courtesy: Lemon Blossoms

This spongy cake is made with flour, vanilla, eggs, sugar, and three milk types- heavy cream, sweetened condensed, and evaporated. Then it’s topped with whipped cream- could anything be sweeter than that?


Chorreadas are sweet or savory pancakes made from ground, fresh corn. The typical versions date back to pre-Columbian times when the corn was ground by hand. However, the corn is processed using a food processor today.

Courtesy: Kroger

The savory variation is topped with a scoop of sour cream-like natilla, while the sweet variation is drizzled with syrup or honey. These corn pancakes are a staple in Costa Rica kitchens for breakfast.

Olla de Carne

Olla de carne is a weekend delicacy in most Costa Rican homes, and it’s basically beef and vegetable stew. This dish is rarely made in small portions because of the long cooking time required to make it.

Courtesy: Travel Food Atlas

Various vegetables like chayote, plantains, yuca, carrots, potatoes, and others are added to beef and simmered for 6 to 8 hours to make this delicacy. Served with a side of rice and beans, this meal is offered in some local kitchens.


Ceviche is one of the most popular dishes in Costa Rica; although it originated in Peru, the Costa Rican version has unique features that you can’t get anywhere else. The main feature of this dish is marinated fish kept in the fridge for an hour.

Courtesy: Pura Vida Moms

A serving of ceviche often contains tomatoes, sea bass or peeled shrimp, cilantro, minced onions, and garlic. Some of the best dishes in Costa Rica are found along the Pacific Coast, such as at Leda in Puntarenas.

Sign up for Airport Jams Newsletter

Related Posts