The local soda has great taste and the best prices around. Not a soda beverage, but rather the local small restaurant they call “Sodas” around here. They are typically family owned and many times operating right out of their home kitchen. Talk about good ole’ home cooking. As with most Costa Rica restaurants they are open air and there will surely be a dog sleeping in the corner, but do not worry I have never got sick at any local restaurants despite some of their appearances.
The typical dish at the Soda is called a “casado” which translated means “married”; which I think is because they marry the main dish of meat or fish with the various sides, but this is my personal theory. A typical “casado” comes with either chicken, fish, pork chop, or thin flank steak with sides of; rice and beans (usually black beans), some kind of “picadillo” (which can be potatoes, green papaya, squash, or other veggie chopped into tiny cubes and seasoned, then mixed with onions, chili, and cilantro), a salad (usually with no dressing just a wedge of lime), and a fried sweet platano.
Every Soda has their own version of the “casado” and this is the best way to eat out economically while getting a filling meal with the local experience included. Some Sodas also offer a buffet style line of various ready portions that you can pick and choose your favorite. So check out your neighborhood Soda next time you eat out in Costa Rica.