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A very common dish found in most restaurants throughout Costa Rica is what's known as a "casado". A casado is usually a complete meal, based around some kind of meat. Most restaurants offer them with any of the 4 basic meats: beef, fish, pork or chicken, and some also offer liver and tripe (mondongo). The meat is usually pan fried, or stewed, in which case it's called "en salsa" ("carne en salsa", "pollo en salsa", etc).

The meat normally comes with:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Tortillas
  • Some kind of salad, the most common being cabbage
  • On occasion, a plantain-based dessert


Casados, being the most commonly requested dishes in restaurants, are usually inexpensive when compared to other dishes, and can provide an alternative for those looking to save a bit on food.