Casado, or Comida Tipica, is the most common dish in Costa Rica. It consists of beans, rice with finely diced red bell peppers and onions, fried plantains, a cabbage salad with tomato and carrot, and a choice of meat between chicken, fish, pork, or steak with grilled onions. The meat that comes with a casado is grilled or sautéed, but never fried. Sometimes the casado includes french fries or extra vegetables such as avocados.
Where to eat it: Everywhere! Casado can be found at any time of day or night in every restaurant and soda (Costa Rican diner) in any part of the country. If you are invited over to a Tico’s house for lunch or dinner, you can expect casado to be served. Yum!
Olla de Carne (Meat pot)
Ceviche is a popular boca (tapas or appetizer) consisting of fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lime with finely diced herbs and veggies. In Costa Rica, the best ceviche is made with local tilapia orcorvina (white sea bass) and cilantro, garlic, hot pepper, onion, and celery.
Where to eat it: Ceviche can be found in most restaurants and some sodas. If you are passing through Orotina on the way to the Pacific Coast, stop by the fresh fruit stands and try some green mango ceviche (the mango replaces the fish in this dish) – it’s scrumptious!