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Thursday, May 26, 2022
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More than 100,000 layoffs as 40% of Costa Rica’s restaurants close

7,980 restaurants have closed this month, leading to the dismissal of 109,440 workers.

Unlimited breadsticks, anyone? Olive Garden restaurants coming to Costa Rica

The restaurant chain offers a North American take on Italian cuisine in a casual dining environment.

Off the eaten path: Al Masri Cocina Egipcia

Admittedly I have never eaten Egyptian food, so I have no reference point for good Egyption food. But I do know food, and the food at Al Masri is good. I’m pretty sure it’s authentic too since the owner, Mohammed Hussien, only moved to Costa Rica from his native Egypt six years ago.

Off the eaten path: Villa Oro

I must have driven passed Villa Oro a thousand times before I finally went in. Every time I passed the “Comida Taiwanesa” sign out front, my curiosity grew, until I finally gave it a try.

Off the eaten path: Wong’s

Just up the street from the Jade Museum in San José, there’s a Chinese-style roof displaying a large gold and red sign with a glaring typo: there’s no “t” at the end of the word “restaurant.”

Off the eaten path: Pad Thai

At Pad Thai, everything is grounded down fresh. I’m talking all the curry paste, turmeric, galangal, basil and coriander; all ground with a mortar and pestle.

Don Wang: A bite of China in San José

The restaurant Don Wang in the middle of San José gives an authentic, elegant experience of Chinese food to the family.

Off the eaten path: Bar La Selegna

Bar La Selegna has been run by the same family in Liberia since the 1970s. While the family has stayed the same, the name hasn’t. It started out as El Taconazo, then it became Discoteque Selegna, before finally adopting its current name: La Selegna.

Off the eaten path: Cantina X

You’ll find one of the best chifrijos in the country at the base of a mountain near Salitral in Santa Ana at a spot I will call  “Cantina X.”

Off the Costa Rica Beaten Path at the Soda Lima

To find Soda Lima, look for a yellow and red sign painted on a white wall that's shared with the neighboring Mini Super Feng. The sign is right beside a bookstore on Calle 2, between Avenida 6 and 8, and there's a glass display case full of yellow-orange Ají chilis that will let you know you've arrived at this authentic Peruvian diner.

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