Costa Rican food is a blend of wholesome country cooking and tasty homemade dishes. Stews and large pot based dishes are the main staple. While spices and peppers are widely used, the food is not overly spicy. Gallo Pinto and Casado are popular options and these are a blend of rice and some meat or fish. Galla Pinto is the most popular breakfast dish in the country but it is also served for lunch and dinner. It consists of rice, beans, and cilantro. Chicken and beef are the main meat options while places along the coast offer a variety of sea food. Fresh, home grown fruits are available everywhere and these are a perfect snack.
The country offers a large selection of fruits and some of them are quite exotic. You will come across some incredible options which you have never heard before. The mangoes in the country are very sweet and they are ideal for making juices and shakes. You are encouraged to experiment with the various options while you are traveling. Bananas are also a staple here and they are available in several shapes and sizes. The general rule is; the smaller they are, the better they taste.
If you like meat or sea food then you must try the Casado. It is typically served with rice; beans and either fish or chicken. This is a delicious and wholesome meal which will keep you going for the rest of the day.
You can simply sit down at one of the various open restaurants and have a bite or two. If you come to Costa Rica, expecting spicy food similar to that of Mexico then you will be greatly disappointed. While the food is very dissimilar to other parts of the region, it is not the worst in the world. Some of the dishes are actually quite nice and you will find several good restaurants in the coastal regions.
Some of the restaurants cater to the requirements of the foreigners by offering something known as the plate of the day. This usually includes a large selection of any particular meat. This may be either fish or meat depending on the location and availability. Costa Rica beaches are usually filled with shacks during the peak season. These are ideal for sipping a drink or two and they even offer light snacks. Ham sandwiches are a good option for breakfast if you like pork. They are cheap and available in most grocery stores. However, if you are averse to eating pork then you can opt for something else.
Guaro is a drink made from sugarcane and it is widely drunk by the locals. It is quite potent and you might want to be careful. Eight different types of beers are available throughout the country. Heineken is available in the country and it is made locally by some distillery under license. But this is relatively more expensive than a local beer. Bottled water is available in most restaurants and shacks. You do not have to worry about drinking tap water in Costa Rica. Most of the cocktails and mock tails in the region are made with fresh fruit. These are a healthy and tasty option. Costa Rica is known for is coffee and these are widely available. Even the ready to drink varieties are quite tasty in Costa Rica. Costa Rican coffee is widely recognized as being one of the best. Soda cans from America and other places are also available. Some of the common ones include Pepsi, Canada Dry and Fresca.
Costa Rica is one of the most tolerant and culturally adaptable cities in the region. The country has a large Christian population and people stick to their beliefs. However, they are peaceful and open minded and welcome all types of visitors. Costa Rican culture is a mix of old school and new influences. The older generation is mode laid back while the younger ones are outgoing and energetic.
Facts and Figures
Area: 51100 square kilometers
Nearest Airport/Railway Station/Bus Stop: San Jose, Alajuela
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