Rice & Beans for Breakfast? Yes You Should
What is Gallo Pinto in Costa Rica?
This traditional Costa Rican dish is a mixture of rice, whole beans, chili, onion, and cilantro. There are, of course, variations to the recipe — brown rice and crispier rice, added tomato, a dash of Lizano salsa — but in general what you see is what you get. On Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, whole red beans are more prevalent in the recipe. From the city of San Jose out to the Pacific coast, whole black beans are used most often.
An infinite number of YouTube videos exist on the process of producing gallo pinto in the home, so we’ll spare the intricate details here. But if you purchase the aforementioned ingredients, throw some salt and vegetable oil into the pan with them and then crank up the heat. You’ll be well on your way to a healthy, hearty, and very international meal in no time.
Gallo Pinto is almost always served with breakfast.
Even though it’s on just about every menu imaginable from the northern Nicaraguan border to the tip of Panama, sometimes in Costa Rica it’s tough to find restaurants offering gallo pinto after the morning meals are served. Now for the average North American, eating rice and beans for breakfast might seem a tad odd. The All-American Slam at Denny’s, for example, doesn’t include rice and beans at all (neither does the Lumberjack Slam, for that matter). But most things are worth trying once, especially when you’re on vacation in the tropics.
Where can you get the best “pinto” in town?
There are tons of great restaurants in Uvita and Dominical serving up this healthy local staple. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Breakfast with a side of waves in Dominical Beach:
If you want to enjoy your Gallo Pinto with a side of waves, and a friendly flock of Macaws, head down to the beach road in Dominical and check out One Love Cafe. You can also stop into any soda on the way for a cheaper version of the same dish. The typical breakfast consists of Gallo pinto, eggs how you like them, slices of toast, and sweet platanos. If you’re staying at one of our Beachfront villas, your hot plate of gallo pinto is just minutes away!
The best breakfast place in Uvita:
The best place for your morning meal in Uvita is Bagel Time. It might be difficult to pass up all the sugary sweets that are fresh-baked each morning but order the gallo pinto and a fresh glass of guanabana juice and you’ll be off to a seriously healthy start. When you combine rice and beans in one meal, it helps your body metabolize the carbs. Plus, the combo creates a complete protein (unlike that bagel you passed up). You can use all that nutritional energy to head out on an epic adventure tour.
Breakfast with a breeze by the Baru River:
Cafe Mono Congo has invented the perfect Costa Rican-meets-North-American breakfast recipe… the Tico Burrito. It’s essentially the healthy goodness of the typical gallo pinto plate wrapped up in a tortilla. It’s the perfect meal after your morning surf session. Pair it with one of their fresh-made juices, Mad Monkey or a Costa Rican coffee.
And if none of this convinces you to try some gallo pinto while staying at one of our luxury vacation rentals, perhaps this may: A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that eating rice and beans together in a meal can be beneficial for patients with diabetes.
The results are in, and the benefits of eating gallo pinto are too great to pass up!