10 Tasty Costa Rican Snacks And Street Food In Costa Rica

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Locals in Costa Rica love snacks! There are small bites available at restaurants and from street vendors all across Costa Rica. With flavors ranging from sweet to savory, there are wonderful Costa Rican snacks to satisfy whatever your craving is!

Most Famous Costa Rican Snacks

Empanada (Filled Hand Pie)

Empanadas have made a name for themselves around the world. Many South and Central American countries have their own version of these tasty fried pies. Costa Rica is no exception in making Empanadas their unique way.

These Costa Rican snacks start with tasty corn dough. The dough is filled with rich fillings like marinated meat, cheeses, and vegetables and then deep fried. It’s a crunchy and satisfying snack that you will find all over Costa Rica. Easily one of the favorite Costa Rican food for locals and travelers alike.


Traditional Costa Rican Snacks

Copos (Snow Cones)

With such beautiful warm weather, it’s no wonder locals need to cool down. Local favorite warm-weather snacks in Costa Rica are copos. This wonderful treat is a snow cone and you can find them all over Costa Rica.

This icy Costa Rican street food comes in all sorts of fruity flavors and it’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot afternoon. It is also one of the common desserts in Costa Rica.


Yuca Frita (Yuca Fritter)

One of the most amazing local vegetables in Costa Rica is the yuca. It’s a cassava root and locals in Costa Rica love to prepare this root vegetable in tons of variations.

Possibly the most popular version of yuca is the Costa Rican street food favorite Yuca Fritas. This simple dish is made from thin spears of yuca that are deep-fried and then seasoned. They can be dipped or eaten plain, just like French fries.


Taco Tico (Beef and French Fry Taco)

This Costa Rica street food is a can’t-miss! It is a delectable and decadent savory dish that can be found from street vendors across the country. This food is great for a quick bite or filling up during a night on the town.

This wonderful taco is filled with marinated beef that is grilled to juicy and crunchy perfection. The beef is topped with fresh French fries to make an epic snack. Dress it with salsa or pico de gallo for a fresh and fantastic bite of Costa Rican street food!

Vigoron (Yucca Slaw)

This amazing Costa Rican snack is a textural wonder. It has layers of crunchy and luscious flavor that will keep you coming back for more!

Vigoron is a fun medley of cabbage, yuca, onions, and pork rinds. The piggy snacks give this salad-style dish a fun salty and meaty flavor. This Costa Rican snack is great as a side dish or as a fun fill-up on its own.

Chicken Chop Suey

Asian fusion is common in Costa Rica street food. You will find dishes that marry Central American flavor and Asian styles served by many street vendors.

One favorite is chicken chop suey. This flavorful noodle dish uses noodles, chicken, and the local favorite condiment salsa lizano to make a delicious street food you will want to eat again and again.

Arepas (Stuffed Corn Bun)

These delicious Costa Rican snacks date back centuries. It is a simple cornmeal bun that is fried on a griddle. The exterior is nice and crispy while the inside is soft. What makes Arepas so special are the many fillings you will find them stuffed with.

Street vendors in Costa Rica will fill arepas with so many rich fillings. You can find marinated pork, beef, and chicken, or beans and vegetables. Whatever your tastes are, this delicious Costa Rican street food has something delicious to offer!


Patacones (Fried Plantains)

All the best snacks are fried and that is why Patacones are one of the best Costa Rican snacks. This common Costa Rican street food features the local flavor of plantains.

Patacones are made with unripe plantains that are smashed and then deep-fried to crispy perfection. These tasty bites are sweet and crunchy all in perfect balance.

Tamales (Stuffed Banana Leaf)

Tamales may be familiar to those familiar with Latin flavors, but Costa Rica puts their local spin on this delicious snack. The filling for tamales here is made similarly to in other Central American countries. They use masa dough, seasoned meat, and vegetables to make a tasty filling.

What gives these Costa Rican snacks their signature style is the wrapper. In Costa Rica tamales are made using banana leaf wrappers. This is great as a fulfilling breakfast in Costa Rica as well. Discover all the delicious tamale fillings the country has to offer!


Salchipapa (Hot Dogs and Fries)

This Costa Rican street food is a true pig-out food! Salchipapa is an over-the-top medley of fried hot dogs and French fries. It puts the classic combo of fries and a dog together so you can dig in with a fork.

Often Salchipapa is served topped with ketchup so you get all your favorite comforting street food flavors in one bite with this Costa Rican snack!

Discovering Traditional Costa Rican Snacks

Costa Rican snacks pack tons of bold flavor into a few easy bites. Costa Rican street food will make you change the way you look at snacks. These bold flavors will keep you daydreaming of Costa Rican snacks for weeks, so grab a fork and dig in!



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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