Cheap Food Escazu – Don Fernando

It can be quite a challenge to find fine-quality meats at a reasonable price in Costa Rica, especially beef. Unless you raise the cattle yourself, or your neighbors do (which isn’t that uncommon, actually). The sole purpose of this post isn’t to bad-mouth the local restaurants that serve steaks. But the American restaurant chains in Escazú like Outback Steakhouse and Tony Roma’s just don’t have the quality of meat that you’re paying for. The single time I’ve been to Tony Roma’s, I ordered filet minion with a baked potato and what was served to me was a big ball of tough, undercooked (to my taste) meat. So, you can’t blame it on me wanting a medium-well steak, because it was medium-rare from all angles and still tough as leather.

My husband and I had a similar experience when buying steaks from the grocery stores like Hipermas, PriceSmart and even AutoMercado. Same story, tough, over-priced meat with an almost-gamey taste that you needed a chainsaw to cut and chew through. Alas though, we were turned onto Don Fernando, the butcher shop in Escazú just past the Scotiabank and Mas Por Menos toward Santa Ana in Plaza Colonial.

There certainly is cheap food in Escazú, at Don Fernando Carnicería. The assortment of cuts that we love include ribeyes, NY Strip, beef tenderloin, pork chops, chicken breast, turkey dogs and CHEESE. Glorious cheese, without spending an arm and a leg for it. Anyone who has spent even just a few weeks in Costa Rica will find that cheese is like gold here. For no apparent reason really. It’s made in the country but anything other than the local white ‘squeaky cheese’ is priced like an English import.

Our regular favorites from the butcher shop are ribeyes, turkey dogs and mozzarella cheese. Take the ribeyes and rub some Willingham’s seasoning (sorry folks, only available through mail order from the USA) or your favorite steak seasoning on them and grill ‘em up. We had a side of baked potatoes with black beans, butter, scallions, cumin, cilantro and salt & pepper.

Additionally, the carniceria or butcher shop, next door they have a Don Fernando restaurant where they’ll cook up your newly bought treasures if you can’t wait to get home. They also have a regular menu, which includes everything they offer in the way of meats from the other side of the kitchen. We have made a vow, even if it means going out of our way, to hit up Don Fernando to get all of our carnivorous needs.

Banned from

In an attempt to increase my network around Costa Rica, I reached out to several of the bigger sites that have decent SEO and include relevant content to One of these web sites includes and their food forum

I emailed the Ex-Pat owner several times suggesting that I help generate relevant food content for his site in exchange for a link or credit to Not an unusual request, since I have worked with several other sites in Costa Rica writing articles, blog posts and information in exchange for either a non-linked credit to my site, or a direct link. And thanks especially to for posting my articles on their homepage.

However, I never heard back after sending an email twice and following up on said emails. (No, I wasn’t a pest about it, the total email count was 3). So, I joined the forum (a sister site to at and looked around for a relevant place to post information about Don Fernando‘s butcher shop in Escazú and my favorite Chinese restaurant in Sabana Norte, Flor de Loto. I’m no blogging expert, and maybe the forums aren’t the place to post with a link to my site, but the content was relevant to the visitors to However, if I was out of line, the owner of the site and the forum clearly has my information and email address and could have made a suggestion of simply not including a link to

I’m open to feedback on how I may have broken some code of blogging ethics or if it is just insulting to be ignored and ultimately banned from Thanks for your comments in advance.

Costa Rica Foodie

Cheap Food Here is now writing for Costa Rica tourism site Check out my first article here. If you’ve landed here from Costa Rica Pages or the Google News posts, thanks for visiting. I hope you like what you see.

I’ll be writing regular food columns similar to the blog here focusing on Costa Rican recipes, restaurants, food stores, markets and other topics to help you keep your food budget under control. Food in Costa Rica isn’t as cheap as you may think. It takes a good bit of creativity to find the items you need and not have to break your banco to do it.

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