Have you been doing some reading up on Costa Rica and heard a lot about sodas? Not sure what they are? I assure you that Costa Ricans don’t have some obsession with syrupy, caffeinated drinks. Quite the opposite in fact. Sodas are simply small restaurants that have limited menu options and have affordable prices.
If you really want to experience the food of Costa Rica, eat at a soda. While sodas usually don’t have a large menu and what menu they do have usually consists of casados and juice, they are an awesome place to get good local food, “comida tipico”. If you are feeling adventurous, you can go find a soda yourself. Simply walk out to the main strip of any town and look at the signs. You are bound to see at least half a dozen signs that read, “Soda…” If you aren’t feeling adventurous, ask your hotel or other travelers what sodas they recommend. Locals like your hotel staff can tell you the best and cheapest places to eat in town.
Why Sodas Rock
Aside from being a cool place to eat local food, sodas are a favorite of backpackers for another reason. They are usually extremely cheap. Sodas will definitely help you stretch your budget and give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to eating out. Just how cheap are they? At most sodas, you can get a drink and a full meal that will fill you up for around US$3 to US$5.
What They Serve
As I mentioned before, sodas usually have a very limited menu. Visit enough of them and you will notice they almost all have the same menu. The typical soda menu consists of a variety of casados, juices, and sodas. A casado is a typical Costa Rican dish that comes with rice and beans, lettuce, plantains, and some sort of meat. This meat can be chicken, beef, or fish.