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Costa Rican Breakfast: Must Try Food in Costa Rica

by Jane Sophia
Costa Rican Breakfast

Black beans are one of the predominant ingredients in Costa Rican cuisine. In this blog post, I will write about several Costa Rican Breakfast that you should eat when you are touring the length, and the breadth of Costa Rica.

I still could not release myself from the clutches of Costa Rica’s stunning natural beauty.

When I finally, decided to move away from Costa Rica, I remembered reading about some delicious Costa Rican breakfast.

After you have finished reading this post, you will find yourself searching for recipes for Costa Rican breakfast.

Let us begin our culinary excursion in Costa Rica, the most exotic Central American country on the American continent.

Before that, here is the list of staples in the country:

  • Rice
  • Beans (beans of all color)
  • Beef
  • Potatoes
  • Pork
  • Plantain

Costa Rican Breakfast: Must Try Food in Costa Rica

  1. Chorreadas


This is a pancake in Costa Rica. I am hearing for the first time that pancakes are eaten for breakfast.

Chorreadas’s main ingredient apart from flour is plantain.

That makes the dish, slightly sweet-right? It is weirdly eaten with sour cream!

Eggs are added while preparing the dough with flour and corn kernels. I think adding the corn kernels, is a good idea in a pancake.

Generally, they are not added. But if you find yourself biting into a few soft corn kernels, you can conclude the chorreadas is made in Guanacaste province.

Only in that province of Costa Rica, corn is one of the ingredients in chorreadas.

  1. Gallo Pinto

Costa Rican Breakfast

The plate looks loaded. I think it is too heavy a meal for breakfast.

I can see rice and the ubiquitous black beans on the plate. It is served with a banana, and a glass of orange juice.

Ah, if a meal is served orange juice, then, it must be breakfast.

The accompanying orange juice in the breakfast must be a later innovation. I could detect English influence in it.


Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Nicaragua, Central America.

  1. Lizano Sauce

It is more of a dip like the American tomato ketchup. However, on every dining table, you can find this sauce bottle.

You can safely conclude it is part of Costa Rican breakfast.

The dark color of the sauce is due to the addition of black pepper as one of the ingredients.

Then, the sauce must be spicy, and is sprinkled on cooked meat or rice.

Nonetheless, Lizano sauce is unique and very different from the chilly or tomato sauce because, several vegetables go into the preparation of this sauce.

Cauliflower, onion, and even cucumber are used in its preparation.

It is not only an accompaniment but a major ingredient in the recipes of numerous dishes.

  1. Guacamole

One more dip but it is a paste in consistency. The Mexican must have introduced Guacamole in the United States.

Slowly, it must have traveled to the Central, and South America.

From the look of this Costa Rican breakfast side dish, it is used as a spread also.

Guacamole’s basic ingredient is avocado. I read people use it in salad dressing.

Another bemusing practice is in Costa Rica, tapioca chips are dipped in Guacamole chutney before putting into the mouth.

Tapioca, and avocado? What a strange combination!

  1. Tamale


As a Costa Rican breakfast, this maize bread dish is finally wrapped in banana leaves, and cooked.

When serving also, the wrap is intact. However, you have to remove the leafy wrap before eating.

In between the two slices of the bread, you can either opt for cheese, boiled egg, or some veggies.


Tamale has a rich history backing, buddy. It was eaten in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 BC!

Surely, you must try such a dish for breakfast when you are traveling in Costa Rica.

  1. Desayuno Tipico

I think this is a native Costa Rican name. The meal is quite healthy and filling too.

At the restaurant dining table, the waiter will place a big plate of Gallo Pinto, first.

On a smaller plate, you will find slices of onions. On top of it, you can see finely chopped coriander leaves.

While you are savoring Gallo Pinto, the waiter will bring a plate containing, two slices of untoasted bread with a couple of scrambled eggs.

You can put a spoonful of scrambled eggs in between the bread and eat.

Or, spread the jam, and butter on the bread and eat it, followed by the scrambled eggs.

  1. Licuados (Batidos)

This is a drink served with breakfast. You can call it a smoothie or a milkshake.

Seasonal fruits are used to prepare the thick milkshake.

In Costa Rica, you will find the locals drinking this in front of street food kiosks.

  1. Salcicha

Understand it as a sausage that the Americans eat widely. However, I find it odd among the breakfast dishes in Costa Rica.

You know sausages are made with pork but do you know even the meat of wild boar is used in Costa Rica?

  1. Horchata

Horchata is a creamy drink made of rice and milk that is usually seasoned with cinnamon.

I guess it is an African dish, now eaten as a breakfast in Costa Rica too, Cinnamon must have been a later addition.

Costa Rica can be hot at times. This rice-based milky porridge can be a coolant for the body.

  1. Pipa Fria

The name might be exotic! It is our universal favourite, tender coconut water.

In tropical climates, tender coconut water is an anytime drink, Costa Ricans consume it along with their breakfast.

It is a healthy practice but only in the villages.

  1. Pon Bon

It is a kind of starchy bread. The recipe must have been brought from Columbia.

The dough is made of cassava. Other ingredients that go into making Pon Bon include egg, and cheese.

Pon Bon (it has a few aliases) is traditionally a Costa Rican breakfast.

As a street food, it is eaten as such. But in posh restaurants, it is served with a steaming cup of drinking chocolate.

Of late, the chefs in this Central American country, sprinkle a generous quantity of dry fruits in the dough stage itself.

If you like fruit cake, then, you must try Pon Bon in Costa Rica.

  1. Patacones

Quite a native name for the common chips made of raw banana, in Costa Rica, it is an anytime snack; so, you can safely assume, the locals eat it for breakfast too.

No dip is necessary because the chips are sprinkled with black pepper powder and salt.

  1. Tico Empanadas

A snack item, that is similar to the Indian Gujiya. The stuffing varies with the Indian versions.

The Costa Ricans fill the patty with meat, and vegetables.

When you read it again, you will discover that breakfast in Costa Rica is 100% native. No English, or American types of dishes are eaten in the morning.

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