I hope to travel to Costa Rica in the coming months. I am allergic to many types of seafood: shellfish (shrimp, clams, oysters, crabs, etc), plus octopus and squid. However, I enjoy eating fish and order it often in restaurants. In the US I am able to tell a server at a restaurant "I am allergic to seafood" and cover all my bases, including possible cross-contamination during preparation.

At a restaurant in Costa Rica, is it sufficient to tell a server "Soy alérgico a los mariscos" in order to get this same message across? Or will I need to list out the individual food items (los camarones, el pulpo,...)?

  • 2
    mariscos would not include pescado, which is fish. Just say: Solo puedo comer pescado pero mariscos, no. Better to be safe than sorry.
    – Lambie
    Nov 3, 2023 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Costarican here. Glad to see you're coming over and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Mariscos is fine, so saying "Soy alérgico (masculine) alérgica (feminine) alérgicx/alérgique (non-binary) a los mariscos" ("I'm allergic to seafood") should be fine. However, take into account that fish and other types of seafood may come into contact with shellfish and therefore there is always a chance that you'll get traces of them in your food, even if you didn't order shellfish

  • 1
    mariscos is not seafood. mariscos can be understood as: shellfish.
    – Lambie
    Mar 6 at 18:06
  • shellfish are a type of seafood, but I get what you mean Mar 28 at 2:31

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