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Costa Rican food and allergies.

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Vienna, Virginia
posts: 274
reviews: 65
Costa Rican food and allergies.

My son is allergic to eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. Based on my research, there aren't too many Costa Rican food dishes that contain those allergens. How is allergy awareness in CR? Will restaurants take it seriously and give genuine answers when I ask them about the ingredients in the food?

On our trip to Mexico last year, my son just lived on Chicken/Cheese Quesadillas... ...he can never have enough of cheese! :-)

posts: 5
reviews: 42
1. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

Most places should not be a problem, my favorite food in CR, Arroz con pollo, should be fine, for example.

I noticed they are not real big on cheese or Mexican type food there, and I can't think of anything on a menu that had nuts on it... I think the biggest risk is probably eggs, but the restaurants at the road sides should always have something that is safe to eat.

Vienna, Virginia
posts: 274
reviews: 65
2. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

Thanks for your reply.

Jaco, Costa Rica
posts: 9
reviews: 4
3. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

You shouldn't have a tough time. Alot of Rice and Beans here and plenty of Pizza :-)

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 579
reviews: 9
4. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

I would make a list titled "Allergic Foods" in English and Spanish of the foods and take it to the restaurant for when you order. Some restaurants won't speak english and it'll go a lot smoother if they can carry that into the kitchen.

Bring multiple copies!


Tortuguero, Costa...
posts: 78
5. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

I agree with Gary, a pre-translated list would help a lot, but those three allergies probably won't be a problem. Nuts are quite expensive in Costa Rica, so not often used. Is he so allergic to eggs that the pan or utensils can't have touched eggs? That would be the only issue I can imagine with the egg allergy, besides battered fried foods.

Being a restaurant owner, however, I would recommend that you always communicate those allergies. I can't put every ingredient on the menu, but I can definitely tell you what to avoid if I know what you're allergic to. You might be surprised what has eggs in it sometimes!

(also: careful that "nuez" typically only refers to walnuts, not to nuts in general. The most common nut is cashew, marañon (ma-dan-yone), and peanuts are maní, allergic is alérgico: mi hijo es alérgico a los huevos, el maní, marañon y otras semillas)

san diego
posts: 56
reviews: 21
6. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

yesssss i can't wait for arroz con pollo!

Tortuguero, Costa...
posts: 78
7. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

It's fondly called "arroz con siempre" (rice with always) by the locals.

Vienna, Virginia
posts: 274
reviews: 65
8. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.


I am the OP. I returned from Costa Rica last week, and wanted to provide a quick update on the allergy awareness/situation. We only had one allergy incident (on the second day) during our two-week trip, and it was exacytly as WildGingerCR mentioned. The waiter (who spoke English) understood that my son had allergies and assured us that the "Tilapia in Garlic Sauce" did not have any eggs, tree nuts or peanuts. But the chef cooked "Tilapia in Garlic Sauce" on the same pan that he/she had used for making "Fried rice with EGGS"! My poor kid had a stomach ache and threw up his lunch after an hour of eating, but it was my fault for not insisting on separate pans. After that incident, we made sure that we asked my son's food to be cooked in a separate pan and everything went smooth!

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,931
reviews: 3
9. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

Thank you such a nice mini report...but glad that you and your kids did not had any serious health issues...


Lake Elmo, Minnesota
posts: 3
10. Re: Costa Rican food and allergies.

The web site Allerglobal has a list of foods. You select the ones you are allergic to and then select the language and the list in the language appears and you can print it out. Free.