Can’t think of any actual NAMES of places off-hand, but I can give some ideas of what to look for.
We’ve had great luck at just trying places that look good (and places where there are lots of locals eating). There are many small little places called sodas all around San Jose. Ask locals for advice, but you can go in and get a good meal (something like arroz con pollo) for real cheap.
There’s lots of roadside open-air places when you’re traveling there. Most everywhere offers a plate called a casado. This will usually contain about 6 items or so; some kind of meat, black beans, plaintains, rice, etc. Never had one I didn’t LOVE!!! [:p]
Hearts of Palm salad is very popular there, as they grow tons of palm trees. This is called palmito, and it’s a MUST.
For breakfast, you’ll find gallo pinto everywhere, a dish made with black beans, rice, and spices.
These are just some of my favorites, but fresh, local food is abundant. Because they have a perfect growing environment, you’ll find fresh fruits and veggies all over. Just experiment, and you’ll enjoy some of the best food around. I love that place…