Food: The Nicaraguan cuisine is simple and straightforward. It uses similar ingredients as the Mexican food such as beans, rice, corn, cheese, banana and tortillas, but without the spice and variety. Vegetarians will not have any problems, especially in rural areas where meat is a luxury product anyway. It's best not to say you are a vegetarian because the word often causes confusion and questions. Just indicate that you do not like eating meat and that you are trying to save money.
Pollo (chicken) is very popular among Nicaraguans and that you can also eat in different forms (fried, in soup, breaded, grilled). Famous Nicaraguan dishes are delicious nacatamales (cornmeal dumplings filled with meat, vegetables and rice cooked in banana leaves), gallo pinto, Indio Viejo (purée of beef, corn flour and vegetables), cuajada (white farmer's cheese), vigorón (pork with yucca, cabbage salad served on banana leaf). Snacks such as tostones (thick fried green plantains), tajadas (crispy thin chips of green banana), Maduro (ripe, sweet plantain) and tortilla con queso (tortilla with cheese) are also highly recommended. On the coast, eat mostly fish. In this area, food is prepared differently than the rest of the country. Rice and spicy dishes are often cooked in coconut milk instead of water.
Restaurants: The cheapest way to eat out in Nicaragua is at the comedor or cafetín. You can usually find them easily and park up alongside them. They serve a set menu (comida corriente) such as gallo pinto, white cabbage salad, white cheese and a choice of fried egg, meat and sometimes fish. Another cheap way to eat out is at the fritanga- restaurants that cook real, home-made Nicaraguan food. More elegant Nicaraguan restaurants all offer a similar range of dishes such as various meats, fish, salads and vegetables.
Drinking: Nicaragua's national drink and pride is their Flor de Caña, or rum. The seven year old Gran Reserva is the best of the best. Other variants such as Ron extra lite are cheaper but also taste very good. Nica's usually drink rum with cola, ice and lime juice. Besides rum there is also a lot of beer drinking, the best known brands are Tona, Victoria, Brava and the more expensive premiums. Wine lovers have to resort to the supermarket where a small selection of wines are for sale (relatively expensive). Besides the usual soft drinks (soda such as Coca Cola and Fanta or Rojita), you can quench your thirst with delicious Refrescos (fresh juices) or batidos (kind of milkshakes). Tap water you should not drink but bottled water is fine and is on sale everywhere.
Fruit: The availability of seasonal fruit: oranges, bananas and pineapples are the most popular fruits, but there are also more exotic fruits. To name a few: Chirimoy, carambola, granadilla (a kind of pomegranate), guava, guayaba, cas (a passion fruit) and papaya. The Jugos naturales or juices that are made here are simply wonderful.