Exploring Costa Rica’s Seafood Delights: A Guide to the Best Fish to Eat

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Exploring Costa Rica’s Seafood Delights: A Guide to the Best Fish to Eat


Costa Rica is a beautiful place located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. People love it for its stunning nature, variety of animals, and lively culture. Moreover it is renowned as a destination offering a selection of delectable seafood. 

This abundance can be attributed to Costa Rica’s coastline teeming with a variety of marine life. In this article we shall embark on a captivating exploration of  Costa Rica seafood. 

We will delve into the realm of fish species that grace its waters and introduce you to tantalizing dishes that are absolute must tries. From  Costa Rican lobster to the freshest catches of the day our culinary journey encompasses them all.

Costa Rica Fish: A Bounty of Choices

Costa Rica’s coastal waters are home to a variety of fish species, which serve as the basis for their seafood dishes.   If you like seafood or want to taste the flavors of Costa Rica, here are some great fish dishes to try when you eat there. 

  1. Mahi-Mahi (Dorado)

Dorado, also known as Mahi Mahi is a prized fish in Costa Rica that attracts both locals and tourists with its delicious meat. 

This fish’s sweet and gentle taste makes it a popular choice for cooking methods, such as grilling or preparing ceviche. When you’re exploring the areas of Guanacaste and Puntarenas keep an eye out for Mahi Mahi on the menu.

  1. Red Snapper (Pargo Rojo)

Red Snapper, also known as Pargo Rojo is a Costa Rica seafood discovery. Its flesh is firm and white with a sweetness that makes it a popular choice for grilling. The local spices add a touch of flavor to enhance its taste.  

You can also have a great time eating at a cute restaurant by the beach. They serve real tasty food there. 

  1. Tuna (Atún)

Tuna, also known as Atún, is loved worldwide. Costa Rica is no different. The Pacific coast of the country boasts tuna fishing spots. You can delight in this fish prepared in ways, such as sushi, sashimi or even seared like a steak. 

The freshness and top notch quality of Costa Rican tuna make it an absolute treat, for seafood aficionados.

  1. Sea Bass (Robalo)

Robalo, also known as Sea Bass is a fish that is encountered in the estuaries and coastal waters of Costa Rica. Its delicate and flavorful white meat is ideal for grilling or pan frying often accompanied by a citrus sauce.  

You can find Robalo fish dishes at many seaside restaurants along the coast, so it’s a popular choice for food lovers exploring the country. 

  1. Grouper (Mero)

Grouper, also known as Mero, a fish of Costa Rica is valued for its texture and delicate sweet taste. Whether it’s made as ceviche, grilled, or added to a seafood stew, Mero shows how many tasty seafood choices there are in the country. 

Don’t forget to inquire about the catch of the day when dining at restaurants as they serve caught Grouper.

Capullo boats in Tamarindo.

Costa Rican Lobster: A Luxurious Delight

Costa Rica is well known for its range of fish species. It also offers a luxurious Costa Rica seafood choice that stands out; Costa Rica lobster. The lobster found in Costa Rica is famous for its mouthwatering tenderness and exceptional flavor. 

If you’re someone who wants to treat yourself to this delicacy here are some details you should be aware of;

How Much Is a Lobster Dinner in Costa Rica?

The price of a lobster dinner in Costa Rica can differ depending on the restaurant and where it is located. In restaurants and popular tourist spots you should expect to pay between $25 to $50 or even more for a dish that includes lobster.  

But if you go to less crowded places or prefer a simpler way of cooking lobster, you might find it costs less, sometimes even less than $20. 

What Is the Best Way to Enjoy Costa Rican Lobster?

Costa Rican lobster is cooked in a variety of delicious ways guaranteeing that there is a dish to meet everyone’s taste buds. Some of the cooking methods include;

  1. Grilled Lobster

Grilled lobster is a timeless technique that brings out the flavors of the lobster. It is usually enjoyed with a mouthwatering butter sauce adding a touch of decadence to your dining experience.

  1. Lobster Ceviche

Why not switch things up with a taste of lobster ceviche? This delightful dish features lobster, combined with citrus juices, an assortment of fresh herbs and crisp vegetables. 

It’s the choice of the day offering a light and tangy flavor that will leave you feeling refreshed.

  1. Lobster Thermidor

 Lobster Thermidor is a rich dish. It’s made by taking the tasty lobster meat out of the shell, mixing it with a sauce, and then putting it back in the shell to bake until it’s perfect. 

  1. Lobster Tails

Grilled or broiled lobster tails provide a delightful option for enjoying this delicacy. Many people like to serve them with a variety of dipping sauces so you can customize your dining experience to your liking.

What Is the Famous Fish Dish in Costa Rica?

While lobster is seen as a special treat, Costa Rica is also famous for its fish dishes that provide a simpler but still enjoyable food experience. A noteworthy dish is “Arroz con Pescado,” meaning “Rice with Fish” in English.  

This tasty dish mixes the fish caught that day with rice, vegetables, and flavorful spices to make a delicious one-pot meal. It’s a favorite Costa Rican fish dish in homes and restaurants. 

What Fish Is Fresh in Costa Rica?

One of the attractions in Costa Rica is the quality of its seafood. With a coastline and thriving life you can always count on the seafood being fresh and often caught and served on the very same day. 

Local fishermen help restaurants by giving them the seafood they catch each day. This means you’ll always get the best and freshest seafood when you eat at these places. 

Costa Rica Seafood Beyond the Fish

While fish and lobster take center stage, Costa Rica’s seafood cuisine extends beyond these staples. You’ll also find other delectable marine delights, such as:

  1. Ceviche

Ceviche is a seafood delicacy enjoyed across Costa Rica. It usually consists of fish or shrimp that is marinated in citrus juices, combined with chopped onions, peppers, cilantro and a hint of spice. 

Accompanied by crispy tortilla chips it makes for a satisfying appetizer or even a satisfying main dish.

  1. Camarones al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

Garlic shrimp, a dish known as Camarones al Ajillo, is cherished in Costa Rica. The succulent shrimp are cooked in a buttery sauce infused with the essence of garlic. Usually accompanied by rice or crusty bread to savor the delectable juices.

  1. Mariscada (Seafood Stew)

Mariscada is a seafood stew that brings together a variety of ocean delights. It usually consists of fish, shrimp, clams, mussels and crab all cooked in a broth made with tomatoes and coconut milk. 

This dish highlights the range of seafood found in Costa Rica. Is a delightful way to celebrate it.


The fish and seafood options in Costa Rica are diverse, like the ecosystems they come from. When you’re there make sure to try the mouthwatering lobster dinner and enjoy the flavors of ceviche or dig into a seafood rice dish. 

The cuisine of fish in Costa Rica captures the essence of its treasures. So if you ever have the chance to visit this paradise don’t pass up on experiencing the abundance of fish and seafood that Costa Rica has to offer.

Contact us and book a tour!