Without a doubt, in a Costa Rican kitchen, rice and beans can never be lacking since they are the basis of any meal. For example, for lunch it is customary to eat a traditional casado, which consists of rice and beans, accompanied by some meat and some type of picadillo, which is a concoction of chopped vegetables. The name casado (which literally means married) has many possible origins. Some historians say the reason is because the items on the plate are married to each other, or in other words, they combine well. However, other versions explain that it is the first dish that married women cooked for their husbands when they went out to work.
The mixture of rice and beans is also essential for breakfast, as they are the basis for the traditional dish called gallo pinto, which consists of a mixture of these two ingredients flavored with cilantro, bell pepper, onion and Salsa Inglesa. Gallo pinto is usually eaten accompanied by eggs, tortillas, sour cream and ripe plantains.
For chilly days, sopa negra (black soup) is the perfect dish. This is a soup made from black beans seasoned with bell pepper, onion and cilantro. It is usually eaten with hard-boiled eggs, ripe plantains or unripe bananas.
La Fonda de Doña Chica
Location: South side of the courthouse in Nicoya. (view on map)
Dish: Casado. Rice, beans, beef, chicken or fish, accompanied with handmade tortillas and a green salad.
Price: ¢3,000 (about $5.50)
Phone: 8374-8533 or 8322-2619
Soda El Parque
Location: East side of the park in Nicoya. (view on map)
Dish: Traditional breakfast. Gallo pinto, accompanied by eggs, ripe plantains, tortillas, cheese and sour cream.
Prices: Between ¢2500 and ¢3500 (about $4.70 to $6.60).
For more restaurants check out our “Food Guide”