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Fast Food industry in Costa Rica

Fast Food industry in Costa Rica

McDonalds was the first fast food restaurant in Costa Rica in the 70s but in the 90s other fast food chains started to enter the market in the country.


In Costa Rica you can find a lot of varieties of food. Amongst them: traditional Costa Rican food, international foods establishments, sea food and fast foods that we all know. 


Costa Rica is the third country in the world with the most restaurants per square kilometer. You can find fast food in the cities but also in the rural areas it is becoming common to see them. You won’t just only see the normal chains of fast food like McDonalds, Burger King, Subway or others but in Costa Rica you will also find fast foods in the so called “sodas”. These are local food establishments that are open until late night hours where you can find casados, pintos and fast food for a cheaper price than a restaurant and a more creole flavor.


The fast food industry provides a lot of jobs in Costa Rica that are entry level for young people without experience in other work industries or that need special schedules because they are also students. Most of the time, they are hiring. 

Now, besides being able to eat out in Costa Rica, you can also use some of the delivery apps available like uber eats and didi so you can request the food and it being delivered at your door. 


There are options available for people with allergies, vegetarians, vegans, gluten free and keto diets and more. 


For sustainability in the country, the government recently decided to have a law that forces businesses to reduce  the single use plastics. Now, every packaging in fast food restaurants has to be recycled. recyclable or biobased. 


It is very worrying that health in general is being affected by these fast foods and the sedentarism as a new lifestyle. It also impacts children. In adults, it is becoming common for people to have diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes due to the bad nutrition. 


You can also find kiosks that sell fresh fruits, vegetables, home processed foods, cheeses and more which are actually healthier options. Healthy restaurants are trendy now but are often a little expensive compared to what you would pay for fast food.  


Costa Rica offers a lot of balanced meals, meats, grains, vegetables and fruits at affordable prices that can be purchased at supermarkets and prepared at home. If you want to eat healthy in the country you can purchase and cook at a reasonable price. 


Karen Ebanks

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