Eat Like a Local in Costa Rica
Empanadas at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, Costa Rica. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)
Ask anyone who loves Costa Rica for one complaint, and they will universally tell you — the food is boring. The problem is that too many hotels in the country cater to gringo tastebuds. So when I stayed at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, Costa Rica last week, I was pleasantly surprised to taste mouthwatering traditional dishes, from empanadas to sopaipillas. My favorite meal was at the Andaz’s open-air Chao Pescao, which serves bite-sized bocas, the local word for tapas.
The experience made me want to delve deeper into the country’s food scene. So I asked the resort to introduce me to someone who could take me to the spots where Ticos (as Costa Ricans are called) eat. I think they were surprised that I wanted to go to the sodas, the down-and-dirty little restaurants where lunch — the main meal of the day — will cost you $6. But the best way to access a culture is through its food, so away I went with Erick Wiessel Soto, from Tropical Comfort Tours.
Destination: Liberia, also known as the White City, with a population around 60,000. Normally, most travelers just fly into its international airport then head off to resorts in the area. But they are missing a charming town with an interesting food scene.
One of the owners of Los Comales. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)
Arroz con mais and a glass of resbaladera at Los Comales. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)