Veggie Wrap for Lunch at Ylang Ylang restaurant

While on your Costa Rica vacation, you’ll experience the culture and food of this Central American country. At the hotels and in the villages, you’ll find many different types of local food. For picky guests, there are some American, Italian and Mediterranean options. However, your vacation isn’t complete without trying some of the country’s delicious traditional meals.

The food is flavorful and mild, with fresh ingredients. Some common staples are:

  • Fresh local fruit
  • Fresh local vegetables
  • Rice
  • Black beans

The Costa Rican national dish is the gallo pinto, a breakfast meal. It consists of rice and black beans, mixed with onions and bell peppers. The traditional lunch meal is called casado. It’s a plate of rice, beans, meat and salad. The meat options are usually fish, pork, chicken or carne asada (beef). It’s common to have tortillas, fried plantains and cheese on the side. Expect to be offered some salsa lizano, a popular condiment that is sweet and spicy.

For dinner, expect to have some Arroz con pollo, or rice with chicken, which is commonly served with a large Russian salad. Tavern food is popular, especially small dishes served with dip. Most options contain meat, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Vegetables from the squash family are most abundant within meals as well as potatoes, onions and peppers.

Beverages found in Costa Rica are similar to other areas of North and South America. Coffee is a national drink, with fresh coffee beans available. Another popular local drink is agua dulce, or sweet water. It’s water or milk with boiled down sugar cane added.

For more information about Costa Rica, including lodging, contact us at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort.