West-Side Sodas Offer Tico Fare at Budget Prices: Soda Roble Sabana

November 5, 2010

The soda – a small mom-and-pop restaurant serving traditional Tico fare – is a Costa Rican institution that offers a true taste of Tiquicia at budget prices. Here are two of our contributors’ favorites on the west side of San José.

Soda Roble Sabana

Between Santa Ana and Pozos, on the corner of Centro Comercial Roble Sabana. Open Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: 8894-9904.

This tiny-sized, big-hearted, open-air soda kiosk sits right on the crossroads between Santa Ana and Pozos, southwest of San José, and attracts some 100 lunchers a day at shared, round, concrete tables on the sidewalk under a tin roof, or up at the counter.

Owner Guillermo Jiménez, or Don Memo, and staff know most clients by name and offer a welcome handshake, a splodge of Bactex sanitizer gel for your hands and whistle-fast service. Orders are yelled to the girls, who never make a mistake, and Chito the cook sweats over his minute kitchen kingdom with a wonderful look of culinary angst. This is the essence of street-café soda eating at its simplest and best.

Rotating daily specials include pork fajitas, beef stew with onions, chicken “Gordon Blue” and garlic fish, with rice, beans, salad, maduro (fried ripe plantain) and avocado. But the basic protein base of pork chops, beef, chicken fillet and breaded fish are always available to be cooked fresh to order.

Daily lunch of ₡2,300 ($4.60) includes homemade soup, doraditos (fried corn chips with ketchup and mayo), fresh juice (try the arroz con piña) and casado. For takeaway orders, add ₡250 ($0.50).

Breakfast (₡1,700/$3.40) includes gallo pinto with eggs, ham, juice, coffee and first dibs at the daily La Extra.

Got a favorite soda in Costa Rica? Post a comment online at www.ticotimes.net/Weekend/Restaurants.

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah
sports
68 views
sports
68 views

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 25, 2018

Part III in a series on adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I, about the country's association for disabled…

It’s frog orgy season
Environment and Wildlife
1170 views
Environment and Wildlife
1170 views

It’s frog orgy season

Lindsay Fendt - May 25, 2018

The rainy season is upon us. For many of us that means hiding indoors for the next few months, but for Costa…

Costa Rica’s guilty voters
No Sugar Please
130 views
No Sugar Please
130 views

Costa Rica’s guilty voters

Álvaro Murillo - May 25, 2018

By what I have done, and by what I have left undone. A relative of mine is 70 years old…