These food notes from Costa Rica were made during a week-long trip to the country in March 2005. These are just our food experiences and you may have a totally different experience depending on your budget, where you travel and where you eat.

Some Costa Rican food (called ‘Comidas’) and drinks

Casado – the word means ‘marriage’, but luckily if you order this dish off the menu you will usually be served a mix of beans, rice, meat, cabbage salad and pasta, not the hand of the waitress in marriage.

Beans and rice
Casado (beans and rice and more)

Gallo Pinto – the word translates as painted roster, but as food it is a mix of leftover rice and beans, and it is served with almost every meal. Does that mean there is lots of beans and rice leftover from other meals, and what do they do with the leftover gallo pinto?

Frutus Bebidas – mixed fruit drinks served with agua (water) or leche (milk) and comes in a variety of tropical fruit flavours or mixto (meaning just a mix of fruits).

A bus converted into a fruit stand in Costa Rica
A bus converted to a fruit stand on the road to the coast

mango salad – green mango slices served in a bag with a dash of salt, lime juice and sweet vinegar, this salad gives a real tang to the taste buds.

Vishnu – a chain vegetarian restaurant in Costa Rica, we have never seen it elsewhere.

Soda – this refers to a small locally-run restaurant or cafe, always the place to eat if you are looking for an authentic Costa Rican meal.

costa rican store

guaro – a local alcoholic drink, apparently potent (although we only tried one I still felt the effects), it is light rum made from sugar cane, served as ´guaro sour´ with lime juice and sugar syrup, or as ´guaro gin´.

Noni fruit – the magical cure-all fruit juice in Australia, is just a normal fruit here in Central America, and found in most local market places.

Pineapple at the beach
fresh pineapple on the beach

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