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What is a soda?

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Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,146
reviews: 40
What is a soda?

Probably a stupid question but what is a soda in Costa Rica, I think of a pepsi or coke but I'm getting the idea that's not the case, would someone please enlighten me.

Collie

Madison, WI
posts: 116
reviews: 32
1. Re: What is a soda?

A soda is a small open-air roadside stand that sells quick food and refreshments. Some are more elaborate than others and serve lunch, coffee, etc. Others are more simple and may have only snacks, fruit, Coca Cola, etc but no hot food. They tend to be small - some have limited seating. Prices tend to be very inexpensive.

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,146
reviews: 40
2. Re: What is a soda?

Thank you for clarifying that I was really confused.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,686
reviews: 39
3. Re: What is a soda?

Sodas are as mentioned above, small restaurants really serving local cuisine. At any Soda you can get a typical plate, or Casado. This consists of Rice, Beans, Plantains, Salad, and a protein of Pork, Meat, Chicken, or Fish. A very balanced and hearty meal that can be had for as little as $5. You will also find in many places something called a Gallo. This is a small plate of food, half the size of a Casado on average and I find enough for a meal most of the time, cost as little as $2.50.

Look for Sodas with many locals, these will be the best examples of Sodas. If you are coming to Costa Rica wanting to experience as much as you can Sodas are an absolute must.

Cheers

Inca

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,764
reviews: 26
4. Re: What is a soda?

When I'm in cr I eat nearly exclusively in sodas. The bigger restaurants offer a more international cuisine but I can get that at home. I can't get a casado at home though and it's cheaper at the soda vs the restaurant.

Costa Rica
posts: 23,994
reviews: 26
5. Re: What is a soda?

As indicated by Inca, a "soda" is much more than a "small, open-air stand that sells quick food and refreshments." A soda is a restaurant that has a limited menu and serves mainly traditional Costa Rican food with the addition of a sandwich or two and sometimes hamburgers.

The casado Inca described is very typical and what many many Costa Rican eat every day for two meals a day. In most sodas, the casado can vary, depending on what the cook chooses to serve. Authentically, it has six items: meat, rice, beans, salad of some kind and then "cook's choice" for the other two. The "cook's choice" might be half a fresh avocado, sauteed plantain, picadillo (a spicy mixture of meat and vegetables) or some other thing. Cooks like to vary the casado from day to day since many people eat at the same soda much of the time - especially delivery trucks.

You might think of it as a "Mom and Pop" operation but it is usually just a "Mom" operation. Sometimes, you will see a woman scrape together some money and open a soda. If she is lucky and serves good food, she can earn a living from it.

Bethesda MD
posts: 1,476
reviews: 15
6. Re: What is a soda?

All that's what THEY want you to believe. Pay no heed. Sodas are CIA legacies, nefarious relics of a nefarious time. For it was a time of war, cold perhaps but war nonetheless; try telling Donovan it was not. And in this chiaroscuro struggle los sodas played a vital role yet untold.

Costa Rica
posts: 23,994
reviews: 26
7. Re: What is a soda?

Wow, tiltedflipcurves - don't you think it's a little early for all that rum?

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,146
reviews: 40
8. Re: What is a soda?

Thanks to all of you for the very helpful information on the sodas. I too like to partake of the local cuisines so I'm sure I'll enjoy the sodas plus the price is right.

Thanks again

Collie

Costa Rica
posts: 23,994
reviews: 26
9. Re: What is a soda?

Collie - enjoy your trip. And be sure to try the "refresco natural" at a soda - it is totally fruit (sometimes with added sugar) and delicious.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,686
reviews: 39
10. Re: What is a soda?

Agree, Tilted, stay off the Rum and Colliegirl try some of the natuarl juices available, few you may never have heard of like Guanabana, Tamarind, Cas, all very unique and unobtainable outside Latin America

Cheers

Inca