Costa Rica is known to be one of the most touristy and expensive countries to travel in Central America. For budget travelers like many of us, we tend to skip country like this for the meantime, and for someone coming from the other side of the world, like the Philippines, this seems pretty sky high in terms of budget to travel. But worry no more, as I will give you some tips on cheap finds to survive your Costa Rican adventure! Let me start from one of the basic needs – FOOD! Where to eat in Costa Rica’s popular, Tamarindo? Read on!
1. ANTHONY’S ASIAN CUISINE – I’ve been away home for long months now, and I am badly craving for Filipino food! Upon seeing Anthony’s Asian Cuisine, I was delighted! Guess what I ordered first thing firsts?
Chicken Adobo! Oh yes, feels like home!
The bonus is the owner and all the staff working for the food place are all Filipinos! Yes, to speaking Filipino as well! Food price range is 1,800-6,000 colones. Anthony’s Asian Cuisine serves not only Filipino food but also Japanese, Thai, and other Asian favorites!The location where you can find Anthony’s Asian Cuisine is actually a food court. Other food stalls serve cheap food and drinks as well like Wild Panda.2. THE LADY SELLING COSTA RICAN HOMECOOKED MEAL AT THE BACK OF HER CAR – Head on to La Patagonian Restaurante. Few steps from the restaurant you will see a line of people waiting to buy food from the lady starting from 11 AM up to 2 PM. Food price is 1,500 colones. It is the cheapest food I’ve eaten in Costa Rica and is very filling. Every day she has a variety of Tica homecooked meal that you can choose from. If you cannot find the lady by 11 AM, just ask the locals around, and they would know what time the lady will be there. It’s either they are are just waiting for a parking spot or a few minutes late. Patiently wait as the homecooked meal is better after all than paying for expensive restaurant food! 😉3. BUY FRESH SEAFOOD FROM THE LOCAL FISHERMEN – Head on to El Chiringuito. Outside the restaurant, you can ask around the locals where to buy fresh fish/seafood. They will point you to the fisherman’s house, or to fishermen near the port that sells freshly caught seafood at a lower price. It is way less expensive than buying them at a supermarket in Tamarindo. Grilling fresh seafood on your own sounds amazing anyway, plus it is fun to share it with friends and family. You can also cook it any way you want without breaking your pocket. You can grab some fish per kilo or other seafood from 2000-8,000 colones.4. BUY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AT A FARMER’S MARKET – At the intersection going to Tamarindo, you can see Pollolandia in Villareal. From Pollolandia walk a little, and you will see an open market for Fruits and Vegetables. A kilo of mangoes costs a bit over $1 or 750 colones. You can also buy eggs and rice, which cost cheaper than the price you get from supermarkets.Eating out once in a while is fine especially if you are pressed on time to cook your own meal before or in between activities, but if you have enough or plenty of time, I would suggest to shop for food good for few days and make your own meals. This way, you can make sure you are eating clean, proper, and healthy. It may take time and effort as well, but it will be way cheaper, especially when you are long term traveling and is trying to save some bucks to use for exploring a place.
Did I miss something on the list? Let me know in the comments. Pura Vida!