Foodies Delight – Gallo Pinto – Costa Rica’s Staple Food

Please sign up for my RSS feed and find me on twitter @marinavillatoro

This is the most traditional Costa Rica dish there is!

It is mainly served for breakfast, but if you enter any Costa Rica house at any given moment, there will always be Gallo Pinto to serve!

You can also find it in pretty much every menu of the small, local eateries called Sodas.

Plus, it is healthy, filling, super easy to make and everyone can eat it: kids, adults, vegetarians, and vegans.

Foodies Delights - Gallo Pinto - Costa Rica's Staple Food By Lablascovegmenu | Flickr


3 cups cooked rice (day old for the true Tico way)
2 cups cooked black beans (day old for the true Tico way)
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped (cilantro)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste


Frying pan
mixing spoon

Saute onion and bell pepper in oil on medium heat. Add beans and cook two minutes longer. Add rice and mix, cook three minutes more. Add coriander, mix well.

Serve. Most Costa Ricans eat it with lots of sour cream.

What is Gallo Pinto?

Wikipedia gives a great definition for this dish – literal translation: Spotted Rooster.

Did you know…

Facts, history and other interesting stuff about Gallo Pinto

Add a Pinch of Imagination and a Sprinkle of Creativity! (variations)
The author of The REAL Costa Rico Blog gives you the recipe in English and Spanish.

For More Great Info Get Your Book NOW!

Costra Rica Travel Guide for Families

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.