Whenever I start thinking about a trip, I start to think about the food at my destination. Do I build in time to research restaurants and local cuisine? You betcha. For Costa Rica though, my research was a little less taxing because there wasn’t quite much to research. It’s not that Costa Rican food isn’t good; I just found that descriptions of local food weren’t super enticing. What didn’t help the situation was the fact that the Manuel Antonio area is pretty darn touristy. You can find falafels and pizza in Manuel Antonio much easier than local food. Just step outside your hotel.
Where did I finally have this elusive local Costa Rican food? On the beach of all places. While Manuel Antonio beach was not necessary the prettiest water, the water was as warm as bathwater and the food service phenomenal. You want a beach chair and vodka tonic? Check! A full on meal? Here you go.
Here’s my beach lunch (a little on the heavy side but delicious).
Nothing too earth-shattering here. White rice, black beans, some lovely, and simply grilled fish, and fried plantains. The most delicious part of the meal was the fried yucca. Almost anything fried is good, but when you can make a root vegetable this crispy, it takes this bland vegetable to a new level. This fried yucca was magic, and I realized that I don’t get enough yucca in my life. I wouldn’t call yucca the most flavorful of veggies, but the crispy texture of this fried version made me a feel a little less guilty about all of the fries I’d been eating that week.
My sense of this meal is that it’s pretty representative of a local lunch. Maybe? Maybe? The local soda (Costa Rican family-run restaurants) would probably be much cheaper than what I paid though. I wished I’d have had access to more places or sought them out more, but maybe with Baby C and no car it wasn’t as obvious where to go or even easy to get there. Costa Rican food is still a bit of a mystery to me. I guess this means I need to go back!
Have you been somewhere before and not eaten any of the local food?