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 Post subject: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:56 pm 
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This year for Christmas, my family is going to Monteverde & Montezuma in Costa Rica. I know a few common spanish phrases and that is it. I think I need to learn a little more, but can anyone tell me what to look for for food? Should I just bring all the food I'll need to eat for the entire time I'll be there? (A week, half in Monteverde half in Montezuma) At least according to one website there's a place that's got a lot of vegetarian options in one of the places-both might have a place or two that's vegetarian friendly but I don't know about vegan. Has anyone been to Costa Rica in particular? Central America in general and have tips for how to eat vegan while there?


Please, PPK, stop me from panicking!

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Both of those place are incredibly vegan friendly and you really don't need to know Spanish. They are mostly expats and tourists. There were a couple vegan restaurants in both Monteverde and Montezuma when I went.

Costa Rica is the BEST and so vegan friendly and the people are so nice and gallo pinto (the rice and beans breakfast dish) is so freaking good. And the smoothies! And there are Monkeys running around!! And a ton of Fresh Fruit!!!

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Last edited by LazySmurf on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:07 pm 
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I still can't remember what vegan on my instagram feed went to Costa Rico. I feel like they recommended something that was like plato principle or plato normal or something.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:08 pm 
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And I wrote a blog post too about eating vegan in Costa Rica, it's a little out of date but I think it will calm your nerves.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:18 pm 
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I wasn't vegan when I went to Costa Rica, but I ate almost only rice and beans. And yes, it's very tourist-friendly. I don't think you'll have too much trouble. Maybe bring a bunch of snacks just in case.


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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:38 am 
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I've been to Costa Rica, but I was vegetarian then. I ate a lot of gallo pinto and plantains. I even ate a meal with a family who spoke no English and they figured it out fine.

This was a while ago so I don't have much good advice, but I thought I'd reassure you that you'll be okay. Personally, I would bring my own food, but I always bring my own food when traveling.


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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:10 am 
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You guys are the best, thank you so much for calming my nerves! I think I'll probably end up bringing some luna bars and crackers and such and hope for the best (LazySmurf, I'm about to go read your blog post!). I thought I saw some vegetarian places, but I was worried about the egg/dairy thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:34 am 
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Maybe even just feel comfortable with a few phrases, like, "Yo no comer huevos, laite, o carne" or "Yo no comer nada de animales." I'm asking my Costa Rican friend as well, so I'll let you know what he says.

You're going to have an amazing time!!

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:38 am 
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The egg dairy thing really want a problem. They seem to keep their cheese to the side instead of melted over everything. There more eggs but they were easy enough to get replace with fried plantains (platanos) or avocado.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:27 am 
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ndpittman wrote:
Maybe even just feel comfortable with a few phrases, like, "Yo no comer huevos, laite, o carne" or "Yo no comer nada de animales." I'm asking my Costa Rican friend as well, so I'll let you know what he says.

You're going to have an amazing time!!


Now I have to figure out how to pronounce those, but good plan. I'll definitely look up the phrases I think I should know.

I can't wait for plantains as a sub!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:51 am 
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Oh, "laite" milk, should be "leche" I was mixing a couple of different languages there. I think huevos might be juevos, too. I blame Wilson.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:58 am 
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ndpittman wrote:
Oh, "laite" milk, should be "leche" I was mixing a couple of different languages there. I think huevos might be juevos, too. I blame Wilson.


ETA: Email from my friend:

Quote:
The main dish is called casado, but it usually has animal products (natilla (which is similar to sour cream), cheese, and a choice of meat, sometimes eggs) with plantains, salad, and rice and beans or gallo pinto. She will usually be fine if she has gallo pinto, yucca (cassava) and plantains, but some places might cook with lard. Not often, but in more rustic locations. Apart from that there a multitude of picadillos that she can have (de arracache, de papa, de vainica, etc.) and of course a million varieties of fruits and vegetables.

In general, it is a very vegetarian-friendly country, so she should be fine!

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:55 am 
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I went to Costa Rica about 3 years ago and had one of the best veggie burgers of my life in Montezuma. I think the restaurant was called Cafe Organico. They had several vegan options, vegan "shakes," and ice cream, vegan breakfast (pancakes!). Montezuma is an international backpacker/traveler spot, so there were a lot of young people from all over the world. I loved it!

The best part of Costa Rica is all the delicious fresh fruit. They also have fruit smoothies everywhere that are vegan if you have them "con agua."

Mmm, I miss Costa Rica.


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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:53 pm 
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Any suggestions for San José and/or Puerto Jimenez?

A few specific questions: Is gallo pinto naturally vegan? Do grocery stores have soy milk (and what is it called, I only speak French...)

Ifer, I am super excited about the fruit situation.

I really hope I see sloths and monkeys!

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:04 pm 
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I don't know about all gallo pinto, but the way my husband's family made it, it was naturally vegan already.


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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:11 am 
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Yay for this thread! My boyfriend and I just made arrangements to visit Costa Rica in October, and I can hardly wait! One of the bungalows we're staying at is already vegan friendly, but it's great to know we won't have much difficulty finding something to eat elsewhere.

We'll be starting off around the Arenal/Monteverde region and then making our way toward Puerto Viejo/Limon. Sloths are in my future, and I cannot waaaaaaaaaait.


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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:39 am 
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alice1drland wrote:
Yay for this thread! My boyfriend and I just made arrangements to visit Costa Rica in October, and I can hardly wait! One of the bungalows we're staying at is already vegan friendly, but it's great to know we won't have much difficulty finding something to eat elsewhere.

We'll be starting off around the Arenal/Monteverde region and then making our way toward Puerto Viejo/Limon. Sloths are in my future, and I cannot waaaaaaaaaait.


I went to Monteverde and it was awesome! Mostly easy to get food a lot of people spoke english. Though we went to a hole in the wall that had delicious costa rican 'tipico' food (i think that's what it was called) and my brother had to do the translating to tell them I wanted the vegetarian casado without egg/dairy (sin queso, sin huevo is a phrase I learned very quickly though).

Gallo Pinto is naturally vegan I believe. I didn't question too hard but I didn't run into any times where it was obviously non-vegan. I didn't eat it for breakfast at my hotel because it was in the same hot pan as the eggs though.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:50 am 
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i keep hesitating to post in this thread because often people outside their native home will cook differently [cf my japanese in laws putting meat in, oh, everything including sushi], but my old costa rican boyfriend's family cooked their gallo pinto with chicken broth and threw in a beaten egg at the end. hopefully they're just an aberration.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:55 am 
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torque wrote:
i keep hesitating to post in this thread because often people outside their native home will cook differently [cf my japanese in laws putting meat in, oh, everything including sushi], but my old costa rican boyfriend's family cooked their gallo pinto with chicken broth and threw in a beaten egg at the end. hopefully they're just an aberration.


I've never seen the egg, but I would believe chicken broth. But as I said-I didn't question too hard mostly because of the language barrier.

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Thank you, Torque and Lillianp. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I am heading to a place where the food is provided, and it's all vegetarian/vegan, so that will be fine. But there will be a couple of meals in San José en route to/from Puerto Jiminez, and I've been trying to figure out what, if anything, I can order at a restaurant with my limited Spanish.

On a related note, does Costa Rica have a particular dialect?

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:54 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
Thank you, Torque and Lillianp. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I am heading to a place where the food is provided, and it's all vegetarian/vegan, so that will be fine. But there will be a couple of meals in San José en route to/from Puerto Jiminez, and I've been trying to figure out what, if anything, I can order at a restaurant with my limited Spanish.

On a related note, does Costa Rica have a particular dialect?


I don't think so? At least not to the point where it completely shuts down communication if you don't know the particular dialect. You should be able to find food but definitely get familiar with 'sin carne, sin huevo, sin leche' I think there's a few more things you could learn that might help. I didn't since both my brother & mother know some spanish (brother is mostly fluent, mom knows some)

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:53 pm 
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lillianp wrote:
molasses jane wrote:
Thank you, Torque and Lillianp. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I am heading to a place where the food is provided, and it's all vegetarian/vegan, so that will be fine. But there will be a couple of meals in San José en route to/from Puerto Jiminez, and I've been trying to figure out what, if anything, I can order at a restaurant with my limited Spanish.

On a related note, does Costa Rica have a particular dialect?


I don't think so? At least not to the point where it completely shuts down communication if you don't know the particular dialect. You should be able to find food but definitely get familiar with 'sin carne, sin huevo, sin leche' I think there's a few more things you could learn that might help. I didn't since both my brother & mother know some spanish (brother is mostly fluent, mom knows some)


Gracias! (I only speak French, so this is going to be interesting. Sin leche! Sin pollo!)

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:56 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
lillianp wrote:
molasses jane wrote:
Thank you, Torque and Lillianp. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I am heading to a place where the food is provided, and it's all vegetarian/vegan, so that will be fine. But there will be a couple of meals in San José en route to/from Puerto Jiminez, and I've been trying to figure out what, if anything, I can order at a restaurant with my limited Spanish.

On a related note, does Costa Rica have a particular dialect?


I don't think so? At least not to the point where it completely shuts down communication if you don't know the particular dialect. You should be able to find food but definitely get familiar with 'sin carne, sin huevo, sin leche' I think there's a few more things you could learn that might help. I didn't since both my brother & mother know some spanish (brother is mostly fluent, mom knows some)


Gracias! (I only speak French, so this is going to be interesting. Sin leche! Sin pollo!)


De Nada! (Hint, as a fellow french speaker: Leche is Letch AY or let chay or something. pollo is poi yo and huevo is hwayvo, in case you were previously unaware!)

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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:25 pm 
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So, I'm happy to start a different thread about this, but since this one is currently active – just how difficult is it to get around via bus or shuttle in Costa Rica? I ask because I am truly terrified to rent a car (no addresses and the ability to legally drink and drive? nooooo). My boyfriend and I are going to do some serious traveling some days (Arenal Volcano to Puerto Viejo), and I'm trying to figure out how realistic our plans are.

I'm just assuming I can get from one place to the other, no matter how remote, via shuttle, at whatever time I desire. Am I insane?


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 Post subject: Re: Costa Rica-Food Help? Please?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:59 pm 
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There are busses and tourist oriented shuttles almost everywhere. It should be fairly easy once you do some research to find what you need, no cars needed! There's also the option in some places to fly (I know one person who claims it's safer)

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