Awesome Costa Rica Food
The Costa Rica food we enjoyed on our trip was waaay better than the guidebooks led us to believe. Before we arrived, our impression was that we would certainly eat, but not be blown away by the quality or taste.
Um, no. We were blown away.
So much so that Foxy is now learning to make Costa Rican pico de gallo (a rice and beans dish) so we can have a taste of vacation at home.
"Tico" food--that is, Costa Rica food--often includes pico de gallo, cabbage salad, and meat. Maybe chicken, fish, or shellfish. They have a cream cheese that is out of this world, like a combination of brie and butter, yummy local sour cream, avocados, and lush fresh fruits. Wash it down with some mango juice or an Imperial beer, and you're in heaven.
Favorite eats in Atenas Costa Rica
Our eating adventures began at this unpretentious little soda, where we had our first taste of "tico." (Costa Ricans call themselves ticos, it's not an insult at all.) The ceviche was so good we had to return the very next day. It was full of perfect little shrimp and cost about $4.
At Paraiso Verde, Fredi served us an amazing breakfast each morning. We had a beautiful spread of unusual fruits, some of them from his garden, handmade cured ham, cheese, fresh breads, and Costa Rican coffee. Oh yes, Costa Rica food is awesome.
Food in Puerto Viejo and environs
The Caribbean version of Costa Rica food is all its own, with flavors of Jamaica predominating.
Our favorite restaurant in PV, De Paso, is just a little south of town, an easy stroll or bike ride from the center of PV. (Remember, this is a small town -- you can walk anywhere.) We loved it so much that we went almost every night during our visit. It's a magical place, situated on the beach. The dining room floor is sand, and it's candle-lit. Great food, reasonable prices, sweet waitstaff, and a grill going on weekends. We love De Paso! We miss it. (This photo doesn't do it justice, but I'm not a great photographer. Argh.)
Where else, you ask?
Other favorites in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica include:
Elena Brown's Restaurant. Great, GREAT Caribbean food with a kick. We met Elena and her daughter and loved them. But we loved Elena's coconut rice and beans like nobody's business. Just stay on your bike a little past De Paso, slightly south of PV, and you'll see it on the right.
Jammin'. (Downtown Puerto Viejo Costa Rica) You can get all sorts of traditional local food as well as international stuff like falafels at Jammin'. It is a very cool place, decorated in Caribbean style, with two levels, Marley playing in the background. The agua sapo rocked my world. But: with one very notable exception, the waitstaff's attitude toward us ranged from indifferent to almost hostile. Why? We behaved ourselves. It was worth it, though, for the great food and cool atmo. They even have dominoes and other games you can play and are, in theory, open evenings.
Puerto Viejo Bakery. Near Elena Brown's just south of town, they've got a toast trio that gave new meaning to breakfast. Try the chocolate rolls, too.
Organica Botanica. An easy bike ride down the main road takes you from one scene of incredible charm and beauty to the next. On our ride south to Punta Uva, we stopped for an amazingly delicious veggie lunch at Organica Botanica. We also met a shaman! So fun.
Now that you know all about Costa Rica food, find out more about this gorgeous country here.