What vegan food is available in Costa Rica? It’s not always easy being a vegan, although in America, things are getting easier.

But when traveling when vegan isn’t always easy, as we discussed in a recent blog entry for our vegan friendly resort.

When you’re here, our delicious and robust vegan menu at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort will have you covered! But what about when you’re out traveling the country? Here’s a guide to some of the things you’ll be able to eat if you’re traveling while vegan in Costa Rica.

Know the language

It’s always a good idea to learn the local language when you visit a new country, especially when you have a few dietary restrictions.

Plant-based travel blogger Lola Mendez–or Miss Filatelista, recommends these phrases when ordering:

  • “I’m a vegetarian” — Soy vegetariano or vegetariano (male or female)
  • “No meat” — Sin carne
  • “No cheese” — Sin queso
  • “No milk” — Sin leche
  • “No butter” — Sin mantequilla
  • “No mayonnaise” — Sin mayonesa
  • “I don’t eat meat” — Yo no como carne
  • “I don’t eat fish” — Yo no como pescado

The Most Versatile Vegan Food In Costa Rica

A staple in many Latin countries, rice and beans are a perfect “when in doubt, order this” dish for vegans. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to resign yourself to eating plain beans and rice at every meal.

For example, there’s gallo pinto, what Mendez calls a beloved dish typically had at breakfast. It’s white rice and black beans seasoned with salsa lizano. It’s usually served with eggs, plantains, corn tortillas, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo.

But Mendez suggests asking the animal products be replaced with sliced tomato or avocado and the plantains cooked in oil.

Her other tips include:

  • While coffee is consumed with most meals, people who want to avoid caffeine can order a naturale, which are water-based smoothies.
  • There’s also the refreshing-beverage — but non-vegan-sounding– agua de sopa. It means “toad water” but it’s just a ginger lemonade.
  • For lunch, try a vegan version of casado, which is white rice, black beans, salads — be sure to ask for no mayo — corn tortillas, plantains and animal protein. Ask for sauteed veggies instead of meat.
  • At dinner, try arroz con palmito (rice and heart of palm). If you see black bean soup on the menu, ask whether it’s cooked with butter or lard.
  • If you’d like a vegan snack while exploring Costa Rica, try the patacones, which are smashed and fried plantains with black bean dip, guacamole and pico de gallo. But keep in mind Costa Rica is also home to numerous fresh fruits.

Vegan Friendly Resort in Costa Rica

Are you headed to Costa Rica and looking for a vegan food friendly destination? Ylang Ylang is here to help.

We’re happy to offer travelers who are looking for a vegan friendly resort a place where they can enjoy their trip and not have to worry about whether they’ll be able to stick to their chosen diet.

Our restaurant features a delicious, extensive vegan menu, which replaces fish and meat with tofu, coconut milk instead of cream and a variety of fresh fruits and veggies.

We’re proud of the menu we’ve developed for our vegan guests and of our PETA-friendly designation. Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to serving you unforgettable meals as part of your unforgettable stay.

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