Specials Trip Finder Brochures Menu

Costa Rica Food and Drink

  • Tamales wrapped in corn husk
  • Papayas at a market in San Jose
  • Fruit and vegatable stand
  • Fish and shrimp for sale
  • Potato dumplings stuffed with minced meat
  • costa rica travel packages


Costa Rica is not particularly known for its food, however, in some of the larger cities, chefs are reinventing the country’s cuisine by using fresh ingredients including exotic fruits and vegetables. Rice and beans are a staple in most Costa Rican dishes whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Parts of the rainforest have been converted to pastures to raise beef cattle and as a result, beef is also a feature of many meals. Hosting two coasts, one on the Pacific and another on the Caribbean, fresh seafood is plentiful and corvina (sea bass) is the most commonly served fish. 

Popular dishes include:

Olla de carne: This is a traditional and hearty Costa Rican beef stew that is flavoured with plantains, corn, yucca and chayote.

Sopa negra: This is a Costa Rican black bean soup that is a staple in the country’s diet. Made with black beans and rice, the soup is flavoured with coriander and sweet peppers.

Casado: This dish is a common lunch found on many Costa Rican restaurant menus. It comprises rice, black beans, plantains, salad, tortillas and may include chicken, beef or pork.

Picadillo: This is a traditional meal found in many Latin American countries that is made with ground beef and tomatoes. In Costa Rica, it is flavoured with bell peppers, onions, stock, herbs and spices. Rice and tortillas are often served as an accompaniment.

Ceviche: A common appetizer, ceviche is raw fish that has been marinated in lemon juice and flavoured with cilantro and onions.

Tamales: This dish consists of cornmeal that has been stuffed with pork or chicken that is wrapped in banana leaves and then boiled.



Due to the wealth of tropical fruit in Costa Rica, refrescos, a blended drink made with fruit and ice are an incredibly popular way to beat the heat. They are found at most corner stores and in restaurants. Pipas beverages are made from coconut water that is then served in the husk.  Beer is another popular drink and most Costa Rican beers are light lagers while favourite brands include Bavaria, Imperial and Pilsner. Cebada is an indigenous beverage that is made from fermented barley.


Things to know:

Restaurants tend to add a 10% service charge onto bills and anything over that is at the patron’s discretion based on the quality of service.


Drinking age:




Costa Rica Information

At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Costa Rica.

Learn about the history and culture of Costa Rica, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Costa Rica's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Costa Rica for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Costa Rica vacations today!


Extend Your Trip

After your Costa Rica tours, why not consider another of Goway's Latin America tours. These include a large selection of other exciting countries in Central and South America. We offer Chile vacation packages and Easter Island toursEcuador vacation packages which include Galapagos cruises, Peru vacation packages which include Machu Picchu tours and Brazil tours including Iguassu Falls tours among many others.



Book your Costa Rica tour with Goway! 

LATIN AMERICA by Goway is an exclusive division that specializes in planning and organizing Costa Rica vacations and experiences. Choose from a locally escorted tour, an independent travel module, a self-drive holiday and much more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to Costa Rica.

Get a Trip Quote Order a Brochure
Trip Finder

What our travelers say

Goway Toolkit

Need help planning your holiday? Our toolkit is a great place to get started.