A Typical Costa Rican Dish

As you travel throughout Costa Rica, you'll no doubt come across a selection of small roadside restaurants known as 'sodas'.  Popular with ticos and visitors alike, these family run ventures offer delicious food at very reasonable prices along with genuine Costa Rican hospitality.

At many of these sodas, you may notice signs offering a 'typical Costa Rican dish', but just what does this mean?  Think of it this way - the equivalent would be like eating our North American version of comfort food, something your Grandma would make - yummy and made with love.

In Costa Rica, a 'typical dish' is like ordering a combination platter of deliciousness.  Expect to get your choice of meat (chicken, fish, pork or beef) served alongside beans & rice, plantains and a side dish such as salad or vegetables.  Sometimes a 'typical dish' will also include your choice of fresh fruit drinks like pineapple or blackberry.

It's common for sodas to offer 'specials' that will differ from one geographic location to the next; you might also find a buffet of Costa Rican dishes to choose from or a selection of sandwiches including pulled pork.

If you're in San Jose, don't miss what many consider to be the best and first soda in the city, El Chelles.  Just over from Teatro Nacional, El Chelles has been welcoming guests for more than 90 years, so you know their food has to be great!  It's also a perfect location to do some fun people watching.

Quick Spanish to English Translation:
  • casado - combination plate of food
  • pollo - chicken
  • carne - beef
  • pescado - fish
  • chuleta - pork chop
  • camarones - shrimp
  • cangrejo - crab
  • langostas - lobster
  • gallo pinto - beans & rice
  • arroz - rice
  • bocadillo - sandwich
  • frutas - fruit 
  • pina - pineapple
  • mora - blackberry
  • fresa - strawberry
  • limon - lemon
  • platano - banana
  • naranja - orange
  • pomelo - grapefruit
  • leche - milk
  • agua - water
  • sal - salt
  • pimlenta - pepper
  • serviletta - napkin
  • desayuno - breakfast
  • alumerzo - lunch
  • cena - dinner
  • ensalada - salad
  • postre - dessert 
  • la cuenta - the bill

Pura Vida!
Ed & Connie
Flickr.com Photo Credits:
Soda by walking with a Ghost
Chicken with Rice & Beans by Joi

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