In Costa Rica, a “soda” is a small street-side café, usually with an open counter and stools. They serve a small range of fresh food for a very fair price. Casados are popular – see my post ”6 things to eat in Costa Rica?” – but usually there are gallos and empanadas, too. A “refresco del dia” is made with fruit or rice and water, while a “batido” is a fruit smoothy. Eating at a soda is quick and inexpensive, so you might have to fight the lunch crowd for a stool. Off-hours it’s a great place for a cool refreshment while catching up on the cook’s favorite soap opera.