Cheap Soda in Orosi, Costa Rica

This weekend we went for a drive out to the eastern part of San Jose, Costa Rica to explore the Irazú Volcano (Volcan Irazú). There was too much cloud cover so we re-routed our trip to pass through a few little quaint towns just south of the volcano. We drove through Cartago to Orosi and found a great little bamboo shack with promise of delicious fish.

We were thinking it would be trout from the river, but when we were told that the fish was no good, we didn’t argue. We accepted the corvina (a delicious whitefish) substitute and enjoyed one of our favorite meals so far for around $1.75 each, which included fries. Of course we couldn’t forego the ceviche, and opted for the fish and shrimp variety. It had a special tang and we enjoyed every bite of it. The ceviche is always a good gauge of how the rest of the food will be at a restaurant. We have become right snobs for it.

So, the more I look, the more I realize that there is cheap food here in Costa Rica, you just have to search for it. This place came with a mountain town feel and a beautiful lake just down the road. We know where we’ll be stopping the next time we pass through.

Taco Bar – Playa Jaco

Rustic wood, swings, a full fixins bar, it was a sweet place!

The last place we ate this weekend in Jaco was a sweet little taco bar (conveniently named Taco Bar) that we heard had great fish tacos. We walked up and found a rustic little place with a U-shaped seating area with swings on one side and solid wood stumps on the other. This place was complete with a salad bar to dress your taco to meet your style.

We started of with ceviche, which is a true test of how good the food will be, and we knew we were onto somthing with this place. Ceviche is one type of food in Costa Rica that I can’t get enough of. I ordered the fried mahi taco and the mahi a la plancha (grilled) for my husband. We loaded up the tacos with some lettuce, rice, and spicy pico de gallo. All-in-all we spent about $20 for lunch, which is more than we would have liked to spend but we loved the open and shaded atmosphere and wrought iron decor. It was modern, yet fit the style of the Ticos, especially for a place at the beach. We’ll be back there for sure.

Cheap Tico Food – Jaco Beach

Where to find cheap food here in Jaco

Where to find cheap food here in Jaco

So, we finally made it to the beach this weekend and chose the tourist hotspot, Jaco Beach or Playa Jaco. We would have preferred something less busy, but it’s the closest to San José and without a car, we are trying to limit our time on the bus. It takes about 3 hours by bus to get to Jaco from the center of San José at the Coca-Cola Bus Terminal. Sidenote- you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the Coca-Cola district.

The first place we went to eat in Jaco was by our hotel, just on the edge of the main Jaco shopping strip. It is called Los Sabores Ticos (The Tico Flavors) and I am going to rave about their food. Typically sodas are sodas (traditional tico restaurants) in Costa Rica, until you find the hidden gems. And we hit the jackpot on Sunday morning when we stumbled on the first eating establishment we came across. Los Sabores had large delicious papusas with meat, black beans and cheese for 500 colones, which is a little less than $1. The beef inside was slow cooked and perfect. I also had a fruit plate with granola (about a $1.50), and you can’t really beat the fresh fruit of Costa Rica.

There are a lot of expensive places to eat in Jaco, so make sure you are looking for the most non-descript place with dishes for 1,500 colones, plus or minus. And remember them always.