Costa Rican Cuisine Print e-mail this info

Visitors to Costa Rica sometimes comment that the food isn’t very exciting. On the tourist trail, it is easy to get the impression that Tico cuisine is rather unimaginative and nondescript, in part due to the ubiquity of gallo pinto. Rice and black beans cooked together with barely a hint of onion, red pepper, cilantro and broth create the de facto national dish.

Any vegetarian will tell you that combining rice and beans yields a complete protein, but most will also admit that it’s a little bland. Even so, it’s possible to become quite attached to the combination (especially pepped up by adding Salsa Lizano) and our kitchen has seen the recipe executed more than once.


However, there is much more to Tico cuisine than trying to find ways to disguise yet another plate of beans and rice. It’s almost impossible to avoid discovering a new favorite tropical fruit, excellent seafood corroborates the name "rich coast" and there are a number of Tico specialties and regional cuisines that are worth seeking out.

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Introduction: Costa Rican Cuisine
Bocas or Boquitas
Regional Foods

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