When you talk about holidays there are many facets you need to take care of. You need to secure a proper budget before traveling such as transportation, accommodation, activities and many more. But one of the most underrated aspects is the cost of the meal. Budgeting for food depends entirely on the traveler. If you prefer to eat economically, you can plan to eat in a budget throughout your trip. 

The cost is approximately similar to what travelers would spend dining out in an international country anywhere from $10 to $20 per person per meal, or more if a higher-quality restaurant is selected.  Generally, it depends upon your budget and to what extent you want to make your living luxurious in Costa Rica. Obviously, at conventional holiday destinations, you expect restaurants to have high prices similar like tourist beaches, viewpoints and amusement parks all over the world, but if you talk about Costa Rica food prices have gotten absurd even in supermarkets in small towns.

You can imagine the cost of the meal just by just comparing the cost of accommodation with it.  But this is also true that you will find food for every price in Costa Rica. There are family restaurants that vend smoking, fresh empanadas stuffed with chicken, beef, cheese or pork for just $.75. You can consider Costa Rica a paradise for non-vegetarians with fresh-caught lobster, whole-fried red snapper, grass-fed tenderloin and succulent slices of tuna sashimi among Costa Rica’s fresh and gratifying fare.

Costa rica beach

If you are traveling to Costa Rica it’s better to know in advance about the cost of food in Costa Rica so that you can plan your trip accordingly.

If You’re An Average Traveler

  •  If you are an average traveler then you’re spending about $900 – $1,500 per person in Costa Rica for transportation, accommodation, and activities.
  • Breakfast can cost you $5 – $8 and if you are willing to go for anything else than this could be the cheapest meal of the day.
  • At lunch, you might want a chicken sandwich $9, salad $8, burger $8 or pizza $11 and a fresh fruit drink $3.
  • At dinner grilled fish $13, shrimp pasta $16, steak $12, or grilled chicken $12. Split an appetizer $10 and a dessert $5, add a couple of beers for him $7 and a couple of glasses of wine $15.
  • Get yourself a couple of energy bars $3 each, two Gatorade $3 each and a bag of chips $2 for snacks on the road or while you’re hiking.
  • Add it all up and it’s $48 to $69 per person. Don’t forget to pike on the 13% tax and 10% service for two people it can cost $118-$170 for food each day.

Luxurious Meal Cost

  • When you plan for luxurious food $200-$400 is a night price range. 
  • You end up at the restaurant where you’re staying a couple of times and meal tabs at luxury resorts and that tends to be quite a bit higher. There are room service, poolside service and of course the mini-bar. 
  • If you’re in the luxurious zone $300 a night price range for double possession.
  • You should estimate at least $250 a day for food and drinks for two.

A Budget Travel Food Cost

  • Breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day and you can take heavy breakfast like tortillas, eggs, fried plantains and hopefully some fresh fruit for around ($4-$7) per person. 
  • For lunch and dinner sodas are most preferable.
  • How can you forget traditional Casado? It usually includes a little salad, some rice, some beans and also chicken, beef, pork chop, or fish. In rural areas, you might still find a Casado for $6-$7 but again when it comes to tourist areas they typically raise the bar $7-$11. The 13% tax and 10% service are typically included in soda prices.
  • Get yourself a couple of fruit smoothies $3-$5 or a sheath of Bokitas in $1 Ritz Crackers or a bag of munchies $1-$5, buy some delicious cookies in $1.50 for dessert all in all the budget revolves $20-$30 per person per day.

cost of food in costa rica

Let’s take a dip in your pocketbook you’ll ought while eating out in Costa Rica.


  • Sodas are local, inexpensive, family-type restaurants that are scattered throughout the land of Costa Rica. They are the foyers of Costa Rican society that endure in a country that has incorporated Subway, Taco Bell and McDonald’s. 
  • They usually serve standard Costa Rican food. They even offer buffet so that you can try typical Costa Rican Dishes.
  • A meal with a beverage customarily costs less than $10. In commercial tourist areas, travelers will find many beaneries offering a variety of universal meal options.
  • Not only delicious food at sodas, but it’s also the most affordable food you’ll find in Costa Rica. The prices tend to fall between $4 and $7 for dishes like Casado and arroz con pollo.
  • Tourist destination plays a major role while dinning as sodas nearby tourist attractions can cost you a little extra.

Fine-Formal Dine

  • You’ll identify them by their white tables, imported USDA steaks, and fresh-caught lobster.
  • It’s always worth it to celebrate on at least one of these while you’re on sabbatical but researching twice is never a bad option. There are many fantastic restaurants in the country, but not all of them are worth their reputation.
  • Formal dining will cost you around $10 to $20 per person. So if you are willing to enjoy a royal time than this is an imperative option.


  • Hotel meals will cost you no less than $10- $20 as they tend to serve expensive cuisine relative to nearby restaurants and sometimes you need to compromise with quality as well. 
  • Hotels are famous for their multicuisine nature as they include a little bit of everything but don’t specialize in anything. So before ordering your full course meal check the menu at your hotel then scout out restaurants in the area before selecting where to dine in.

A Budget Travel Food Cost

Bars And Pubs

  • Drinks are what you search for while traveling but the same goes with alcohol the closer you get to a tourism destination the more the drinks cost. The cocktails can cost you high at around $10 to $12 in popular locations and luxurious casinos.
  • Costa Rica’s most popular alcoholic beverage, beer, if you’re in a local suburb or anywhere in the land of Costa Rica will cost you $1, but as you already got the knowledge about the nature of hotel or a bar popular with tourists you’re more inclined to pay $3 to $4 for the same drink. You can also enjoy cocktails for $6 and most bars in the country offer the same happy hour special, two-for-one cocktails.  


When it comes to traveling you need to be specific about each thing and this article is the answer to all your questions when it comes to food cost in Costa Rica. Many tours include their meals in their tour rates so you can minus the cost of dining if you are taking the package for your trip. As it is clear that the food is no way cheaper in Costa Rica, and can cost you extravagant while traveling so, it’s better to be secure than to be late. Before planning your trip to Costa Rica make sure you have all the basic knowledge and detailing so that you can effortlessly relish your vacations. Comment below and let us know when are you going for your prudent trip to Costa Rica.