Perfect Palate: The Sophisticated Foodie’s Guide to Santa Teresa Cuisine

Long urbane dinner table

There’s nothing like staying happy and well fed during your holiday, but learning where—and what—to eat is half the battle when it comes to planning the perfect vacation. You don’t want your sojourn to tropical paradise spoiled by subpar meals; a pinch of adventure and a little bit of research can go a long way towards making sure you get the most out of Costa Rican cuisine.

Luckily, Casa Teresa can definitely help you out with the latter! Here are a few examples of some unique and exquisite Costa Rican meals that you simply must try during your stay on this special little island.


Casado is a lunchtime favorite among Costa Ricans that literally translates to “married man” in Spanish! It consists of rice and beans served separately and among a protein such as chicken or beef, and many people like to add a salad or plantains for extra flavor. This simple blast of Costa Rican cuisine is a staple among the blue-collar workers of the country.


A boquita is a light snack that you’ll be able to find at bars and social gatherings all over the island. These are popular foods in Costa Rica to use as appetizers as well since they tend to be composed of the side-foods of main meals. Fried green plantains and small tacos of all kinds make for some of the most common types of boquitas.


Chifrijo is a portmanteau of chicharron and frijoles. A relative newcomer to the world of Costa Rican cuisine, this hybrid snack is frequently served with rice, pico de gallo and tortilla chips to round out the meal.


The empanada is a popular Latin American treat that’s far from exclusive to Costa Rica, but the island nation has a special fondness for them, and they’re a ubiquitous presence in snack shops across the country. Many stands and shops also sell an empanada variant that contains fruit filling, in case you’ve been longing for a Hostess fruit pie but aren’t a fan of the calories those snacks contain.


Okay, we’ll admit that this is another one that isn’t exactly specific to Costa Rican cuisine. That said, Costa Rica is renowned the world over for its exquisitely flavorful and incredibly potent coffee, and not even the morning tea drinkers of the world should pass up an opportunity to try a cup for themselves when they first wake up.


While this drink has recently benefited from an international surge in popularity, no one makes these tasty beverages quite like the natives of their home country. These refreshing milk-based drinks make a great pairing with all the most popular foods in Costa Rica, and whether your tastes trend towards mango or carrots there’s a flavor of this Costa Rican cuisine for everyone.

Bouquet and candles at night

Agua de Pipa

If you’ve ever daydreamed about relaxing on the beach slurping coconut water right out of the fruit itself, you’ve been imagining yourself enjoying an Agua de Pipa without even realizing it. Most vendors will simply hack off the top with a machete and stick a straw in it, making it one of the most straightforward examples of Costa Rican cuisine that exists.

Gallo Pinto

Our list obviously wouldn’t be complete without mention of the “spotted rooster,” the national dish of Costa Rica. Starting from a simple base of stir-fried rice and beans, gallo pinto can be modified with sour cream, fried eggs, celery and any number of additional goodies. Word to the wise: don’t ask a local about the difference between gallo pinto in their home country versus the type served in Nicaragua if you don’t want an impassioned earful about Costa Rican cuisine.


Ceviche is a trendy dish right now in both international and Costa Rican waters. The meal consists of raw seafood soaked in lemon juice and doused in spices like cilantro and garlic, and can be made with anything from seabass to octopus as its base. If you’re fond of sushi, indulge your adventurous side and give this striking meal a try.This is only a tasty morsel of the many different varieties of wonderful Costa Rican cuisine for you to discover. Our concierges would be more than happy to give you the full rundown of the most popular foods in Costa Rica if you decide to take your vacation with us. Get in touch with us right now and get ready to have the adventure of a lifetime when you book your next trip to Casa Teresa.