Vegan Finds: San José, Costa Rica
Happy Sunday Wanders and welcome back to another post! This week I will be sharing with you some amazing vegan food finds in San José, Costa Rica. Ever since moving here I have been pleasantly surprised by the plethora of fun vegan options! I thought I would give you guys a taste of what I’ve been up to on my foodie adventures, more to come!
I was ecstatic to find a vegan version of a dish that is typically made with pork at my local Saturday market. Chifrijo, is a layered dish served with white rice, red beans, meat or meat substitute of choice, pico de gallo, avocado, lime and fresh tortilla chips. The name of this bar and street food, Chifrijo, is a combination of two different Spanish words, Chicharrones (pork rinds) and frijoles (beans). This Costa Rican classic is found in both bars and markets and is considered both the perfect food to eat while drinking as well as the ultimate hangover cure. This is because the meat and the tortilla chips are both fried making the dish pretty oil heavy. An excess of oil is something that you will find in a lot of Costa Rican dishes, Ticos are not afraid to indulge.
The version of the dish I enjoyed at Feria Verde included a meat substitute made from chickpeas and an avocado crema. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the chickpea meat substitute. However, I am curious to make it myself and see if the Gardein porkless bites could offer more authenticity of flavor and a better texture.
Guys, I am about to blow your mind with this one. This is a big deal. This panini from Arbol de Seda in Barrio Escalante is the BEST vegan sandwich I have ever had in my life. It is a bit of a menu hack, but the staff are happy to accommodate as it is a vegan conscious vegetarian restaurant. On the menu, under paninis you will find the portobello mushroom panini. It usually comes served with mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, tomato and avocado. However, flip to the brunch section of the menu and in the additional section you will see that vegan cheese and vegan ham is available. So, in order to get the best vegan sandwich of your whole life, order the portobello mushroom panini without mozzarella cheese and then add vegan cheese and vegan ham.
En español, “Me gustaría el panini de hongos portobello sin queso mozzarella, con queso vegano y jamón vegano por favor!”
The price of the order comes to ₡8,500 or about $14. I will also give this restaurant another tip of the hat for their service. The owner is very friendly and dedicates her time to the back line as well as routinely coming around the restaurant to see if guests are enjoying their food. Also, I have the same very lovely male server almost every time and he has memorized my order by now.
Sobremesa is a great stop for a sunny day to enjoy a breezy lunch with friends. It is quaint and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention the availability of vegan empanadas for ₡2000 ($3.29 USD) a piece! They are not only cheep but delicious and chock-full of delicious vegetables and the perfect quick bite to eat.
Dolce Gelatos is also in the neighborhood, nestled in the Mercado Gastronómico, of Lolita. Quite a few of the fruit flavors available are vegan as well as a vegan milk chocolate flavor made from coconut milk. Pictured here I have the maracuya (passionfruit) and the vegan milk chocolate. Other vegan flavors included lemon, kiwi, and strawberry. Just be careful not to mix up the regular milk chocolate and the vegan version, my server went to the back room to scoop mine so it may not be on display. If theres one thing I’ve learned while being vegan is that it never hurts to ask! Availability of options might surprise you.
LuvBurger has to be one of my favorite restaurants! It is very close and convenient for me as well as completely vegan (aside from a few desserts with honey) which always takes the anxiety out of possible language barrier mix-ups! I’m sure I will mention more of their food in another blogposts but lets stick to the sweets! Pictured here, I have the chocolate superfood ice cream! Made from bananas, it is a delicious, decedent, and healthy dessert. I think that even if you were dinning elsewhere, stopping into LuvBurger to grab this dessert is the perfect cherry on top to any date night.
That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed. More vegan food finds coming soon.
Wander often & wonder always,