Santa Teresa offers a HUGE variety of dining choices and budgets, anything from the simple “Tico Casado” $4-8 to raw food, gluten free, organic, vegan dishes $4-20 and even gourmet cuisines offering fresh fish, meat, chicken, home made pastas, salads and more, $8-22.
Costa Rican food is characterized for its use of basic grains like rice, beans and corn which are included in almost every meal. In fact rice and beans are the bases of almost all Costa Rican meals — breakfast, they’re called gallo pinto, lunch and dinner.
At lunch or dinner, rice and beans are an integral part of a casado (which translates as “married”). A casado usually consists of cabbage-and-tomato salad, fried plantains (a starchy, banana-like fruit), and a chicken, fish, or meat dish of some sort. On the Caribbean coast, rice and beans are called “rice ‘n’ beans,” and are cooked in coconut milk.
In Costa Rica appetizers are known as bocas , appetizers are served with drinks in most bars. Often the bocas are free, but even if they aren’t, they’re very inexpensive. Popular bocas include gallos (tortillas piled with meat, chicken, cheese, or beans), ceviche (a marinated seafood salad), tamales (stuffed cornmeal patties wrapped and steamed inside banana leaves), patacones (fried green plantain chips), and fried yuca.
Sandwiches & Snacks — Ticos love to snack, and a large variety of tasty little sandwiches and snacks are available at snack bars and in sodas. “Arreglados” are little meat-filled sandwiches, as are tortas, which are served on little rolls with a bit of salad tucked into them. Tacos, tamales, gallos, and empanadas (turnovers) also are quite common.
Another tico´s favorite is Olla de carne, a bowl of beef broth with large chunks of meat, local tubers, and corn. Spit-roasted chicken is also very popular here and is surprisingly tender.
Having two coasts Costa Rica has plenty of seafood available everywhere in the country. Corvina (sea bass) is the most commonly served fish and is prepared innumerable ways, including as ceviche. You should also come across pargo (red snapper), dorado (mahimahi), and tuna on some menus, especially along the coasts.
Vegetables and fruit in Costa Rica is one of foreign´s favorite, being a tropical country you can find many delicious products that you probably won’t see back home. Don’t miss any of these while visiting Costa Rica:
- Palmito (hearts of palm salad). The heart (actually the stalk or trunk of these small palms) is first boiled and then chopped into circular pieces and served with other fresh vegetables, with salad dressing on top.
- Plátanos (Green plantains) have a very starchy flavor and consistency, but they become as sweet as candy as they ripen. Fried plátanos are one of many tourist´s favorite dishes
- Pejibaye, a form of palm fruit that looks like a miniature orange coconut. Boiled pejibayes are frequently sold from carts on the streets of San José. When cut in half, a pejibaye reveals a large seed surrounded by soft, fibrous flesh. You can eat it plain, but it’s usually topped with a dollop of mayonnaise.
- And talking about fruits mangoes, papayas, pineapples, melons, and bananas. Other fruits include marañón, which is the fruit of the cashew tree and has orange or yellow glossy skin; granadilla or maracuyá (passion fruit); guanabana (soursop); mamón chino, which Asian travelers will immediately recognize as rambutan; and carambola (star fruit).
But Costa Rica is not just about gallo pinto when staying in Santa Teresa as we have so many different restaurants, ranging from traditional local cuisine to the most sophisticated dinning. You will be able to enjoy a different culinary experiences each night of your stay in Santa Teresa.
Whether you are a seafood lover, an Italian cuisine expert, a master of meat, or you are into organic and healthy food, Santa Teresa has an option for you.