Costa Rican cuisine may not be well-known outside its borders. But those who visit or live there soon develop a craving for certain dishes. With a reliance on fresh ingredients and savory seasonings, it’s no wonder. There are nearly 1,000 miles of Pacific and Caribbean coastline, so seafood is a favorite. And the rich volcanic soil means that fruits and vegetables thrive, including tropical varieties like guanabana or chayote not found much outside the region.
The typical Costa Rican restaurant—inexpensive and frequented by locals and in-the-know expats—is called a soda. You’ll find expensive dishes for $5 a plate. And it’s ironic they’re called sodas, because most people prefer fresh tropical fruit smoothies. Yes, you can find steakhouses, sushi restaurants, and more in Costa Rica, especially in tourist areas. But when you want home cooking…you go to your local soda.
Check out the photos below to see some typical dishes you might encounter there.
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