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Vegetarian Food in Costa Rica: 23 Best Costa Rican Vegetarian Dishes And Vegan Food in Costa Rica

Last updated on December 19th, 2022 at 10:52 am

We will write about vegetarian food in Costa Rica with the best 23 Costa Rican vegetarian dishes. You will find vegan food in Costa Rica while traveling in restaurants and supermarkets. As a vegetarian in Costa Rica people will understand easy but you will have to explain for vegan food in Costa Rica to make sure that they understand properly.

On average Costa Rican plant-based dishes in a local restaurant in Costa Rica will cost around $5-6 USD. Breakfast will usually be cheaper and dinner will usually be the most expensive. Coffee can cost $2-3 USD, beer $2-3 USD and for drinks like cocktails expect to pay $4-5 USD. Read here best restaurants in San Jose

You will find in Costa Rica a few of vegetarian choices like vegetarian sandwiches and fruits. Apart from this you can get vegetarian pizza and pasta with vegetables. Plus a lot of vegetables, juices, fruits and toast with butter for breakfast too.

Is it possible to survive as a vegetarian in Costa Rica or vegan in Costa Rica? Can you survive with vegan dishes in Costa Rica? It will be challenging but there are a few Costa Rican vegetarian dishes and a few options for vegan food in Costa Rica. Keep reading below

Read here the best food in Costa Rica, breakfast in Costa Rica and drinks in Costa Rica

SIM CARD AT SAN JOSE COSTA RICA AIRPORT

I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at San Jose Costa Rica airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in San Jose Costa Rica. Read here Costa Rica eSim and best Costa Rica Sim card for tourist

You can find the cheapest Costa Rica eSim with Airalo Costa Rica eSim prepaid for $8 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%). for $8 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days. For $20 USD with 3 GB data and for $30 USD with 5 GB data. (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%)

You can get an eSim for Costa Rica for €24 with 4 GB data valid for 14 days with MTX Connect eSim. Holafly Costa Rica eSim for $42 USD with 6 GB data in Costa Rica valid for 15 days and use our discount code GAMINTRAVELER.

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Vegetarian Food in Costa Rica: 23 Best Costa Rican Vegetarian Dishes And Vegan Food in Costa Rica

1. GALLO PINTO

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Gallo Pinto is the favorite breakfast of Costa Ricans and it’s considered the best vegetarian food in Costa Rica and easy to find. Gallo Pinto add black beans or red beans to their rice and pair it to other dishes. There are many variations of Gallo Pinto in Costa Rica but each variation proves that Gallo Pinto is better than old plain boring rice in the morning. Price of Gallo pinto is around $5-6 USD in local restaurants.

2. VEGETARIAN CASADO

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Image From Plan Eaters

Casado is similar to Gallo Pinto in Costa Rican cuisine. Casado is served for lunch black beans and rice with salad, plantains (fried banana) and no meat if you want to try vegetarian casado in Costa Rica. There are different versions and all of them are delicious. It’s served in sodas local restaurants for $5-6 USD.

3. Beans And Rice

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Image from Tasteeful Recipes

Rice and Beans is one of the most popular food in Costa Rica especially as side dish. You will find everywhere and it can be served with tomato sauce, onions and species. Just choose your favorite one!

4. SOPA NEGRA

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Image from Flickr

Sopa Negra is a great option for vegetarian food in Costa Rica. The soup is made of black beans with onions, peppers, coriander and more vegetables. You can add spicy sauce if you like it. Prices are around $5-6 USD.

5. RICE WITH VEGETABLES

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Rice with vegetables you will find everywhere in Costa Rica for lunch and dinner. Rice with vegetables is fried rice with vegetables and can be added salad too if you choose a vegan or vegetarian option. So delicious and prices starting from $5 USD.

6. VEGETARIAN PIZZA

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Vegetarian Pizza is so popular in Costa Rica. There are options for vegans and vegetarian. Just make sure you ask in the restaurant and they will provide the options. Basically if you choose vegan you will have to remove the cheese. But if you go for vegetarian pizza in Costa Rica you will have a few options. Prices can be around $6-7 USD depending on the size.

7. VEGETARIAN SANDWICH

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Vegetarian sandwich is easy to find in Costa Rica. If you choose a vegan sandwich in Costa Rica you will have to remove the egg. But as vegetarian sandwich you will find a few bars offering with French fries as side dish included. Prices can be around $5-6 USD and it can include French fries.

8. AREPAS

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Arepas is made of flour egg and milk a kind of small pancake. Mostly people love eating with chocolate syrup or similar sweeteners but you can also eat with cheese. Arepas are a popular dish in Costa Rica and in the other countries in Latin America.

9. VEGETARIAN EMPANADAS

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Vegetarian Empanadas is my favorite street food in Costa Rica. You can find fried vegetarian empanadas salty with cheese, beans AND potato. There are also sweet vegetarian empanadas with butter and dulce de leche so delicious too! Prices are starting from $1 USD.

10. TAMALES

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Vegetarian Tamales is a popular Costa Rican food and also in Latin American. Vegetarian Tamales is steam corn dough filled with cheese or vegetables. Tamales is served in a banana leaf and you can eat as snack or for breakfast. Prices are around $5 USD.

More Vegetarian Food in Costa Rica And Costa Rican Vegetarian Dishes

11. PEJIBAYE SOUP

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Pejibaye Soup is in the list of traditional vegetarian dishes in Costa Rica. Pejibaye Soup is made of pejiyabe palm fruit common in Central America and you can add onions, garlic, sweet peppers and milk or cream. The dish is similar to pumpkin soup. One of the most delicious Costa Rican vegetarian dishes to try!

12. PLANTAINS

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Plantains in Costa Rica is the green long banana not really sweet and is fried in Costa Rican cuisine. It’s usually served as a side dish with black beans, rice in the most popular Costa Rican dishes. You will see plantains everywhere in Costa Rica restaurants, supermarkets and as street food too.

13. PUPUSAS

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Vegetarian Pupusa as street food in Costa Rica you can find everywhere. The vegetarian pupusas are corn tortillas filled with cheese, tomato sauce, beans and similar staff. Pupusas are the most popular food in Salvador but you will find in Costa Rica too. Prices are around $1-2 USD.

14. HOMEMADES TORTILLAS

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Homemades Tortillas is made from corn and flour. And it’s eaten with every meal in Costa Rica and Central America. Starting from Mexico you will find in every single country in local restaurants when traveling in Central America.

15. PATACONES

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Patacones are deep fried green plantains. Patacones are served as a snack with black beans, guacamole or spicy sauce. Patacones can be a side dish too in Costa Rica.

16. GUACAMOLES

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Guacamoles are probably one the easiest dish on this list to prepare of Costa Rica food. It is served with tortillas because the Guacamoles serve as a dip. It is a mixture of avocadoes, tomatoes, peppers and lime juice. So delicious!

17. ENSALADA RUSA (POTATO SALAD)

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Ensalada Rusa in Costa Rica is the version of Russian salad. Ensalada rusa is made of beets, potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise is a cold dish and perfect to have in warm days in Costa Rica. If you want to choose as vegan option just ask them!

18. FRESH TROPICAL FRUITS

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Fresh tropical fruits as snack in Costa Rica, dessert and even for breakfast. There are different fruits in Costa Rica from banana, pineapple, papaya, coconut which are perfect for those warm days in the beach. Best option for sure for vegetarian food in Costa Rica and you will find almost everywhere.

19. GREEN SALAD

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Green Salad in Costa Rica will be available in the restaurants. Just make sure that they don’t ask chicken and fish especially tuna. You will find cucumber, tomato, lettuce, corn and onion mixed with oil and vinegar. Prices are around $5 USD.

20. CHORREADAS

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Chorreadas are corn pancakes as a sweet traditional dish in Costa Rica. You can make a sweet version with chocolate syrup and banana. Or you can make chorreadas with cheese both of them are yummy.

21. FLAN

Flan is gold colored caramel custard served with liquid caramel on top. Flan is one of the most popular desserts in Costa Rica and Latin America.

22. TRES LECHES CAKE

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Tres Leches Cake is a milk cake with meringue cream on the top. Tres Leches Cake is one of the most popular desserts in Costa Rica and it’s also baked in most of the countries in Central America. Prices are $3-4 USD.

23. ARROZ CON LECHE

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Arroz Con Leche is a mix of rice milk, with sugar, lemon and cinnamon. Arroz con leche is a must to try in the list of Costa Rican desserts. Prices are $3-4 USD.

BEST TIME TO VISIT COSTA RICA

In Costa Rica their summer (December to April), there are fewer rains than normal. In their winter (May to November), the rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April because of easier transport. 

Click here to know more about the weather in Costa Rica!

Hope you liked our vegetarian food in Costa Rica and vegan food in Costa Rica. Which one are your favorite vegetarian dishes in Costa Rica? And vegan dishes in Costa Rica? How do you find being vegetarian in Costa Rica and being vegan in Costa Rica?

Let us know which one is your favorite vegetarian food in Costa Rica and if we missed any vegetarian dishes in Costa Rica in the comments below.

Feel free to use our links for discounts. By using our links, you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys. 

Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas is the co-founder of Gamintraveler and a Spanish traveler who has traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. He is now a full-time digital nomad.

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