Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {Copycat}

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Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {Copycat} – Sweet shredded pork made in the slow cooker, inspired by the popular Cafe Rio restaurant!

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {copycat}

If you haven’t eaten at Cafe Rio, you haven’t lived. That is my honest opinion. It is also my personal opinion that Costa Vida is not a suitable substitute, even in a pinch. It’s really not even in the same ball park here, so let’s just stick with the creators of the true sweet pork. Cafe Rio.

I feel a hostile debate coming on from all of the Costa advocates. Let’s keep it nice and friendly shall we?

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {copycat}

The great thing about this recipe, well… besides the fact that it is DELICIOUS and incredibly easy because it involves a slow cooker (my best friend), is that it’s so versatile. I mean, we all love the famous tostadas and salads from Cafe Rio but it doesn’t have to end there. Make a big batch of this pork and use it all week long in quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, on sandwiches and in wraps, the possibilities are endless!

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {copycat}

What people are saying about this Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

“I made this a couple days ago and it was AMAZING! The husband and I have been to Cafe Rio a couple times but we’re usually Costa Vida fans. And we ALWAYS get sweet pork πŸ™‚ I actually already had shredded pork roast in the freezer (maybe 2 lbs), so I just made the sauce from β€œstep 3” and simmered my pork in it. It was delicious. I made your sweet pork enchiladas, then the next day we ate it on salads. Twice. This recipe is a keeper!” – Katie

“This is delicious! I made it for the first time this weekend for a party I had. It all disappeared before I could take a picture. My boyfriend and I love Cafe Rio and this recipe is excellent.” – Maggie 

“I cooked the sweet pork, put a couple of tablespoons of it on bottom third of a flour tortilla, topped with grated colby jack cheese, rolled it up, sprayed it with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and baked it at 425 for 8-10 minutes. To die for!!! DELICIOUS TAQUITO” – Pat

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {copycat}

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork {Copycat}

Sweet shredded pork made in the slow cooker, inspired by the popular Cafe Rio restaurant!
4.6 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


Step 1

  • 2 pounds pork (rib meat or loin)
  • 3/4 cup coke
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Step 2

  • 1 cup coke
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Step 3

  • 3/4 cup coke
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 10 ounces mild red enchilada sauce


  • Step 1: Place pork in a zip lock bag. Add coke and brown sugar and seal bag. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Step 2: Add pork to slow cooker and discard marinade. Add coke, water, garlic salt, onion salt, and chili powder. Cover and cook on high 3 hours. Drain slow cooker and shred pork with two forks.
  • Step 3: Blend coke, brown sugar, chili powder, green chills, and enchilada sauce together in blender. Pour sauce into slow cooker. Cook 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice if desired.


Serving suggestions: over rice, in enchiladas, tacos, on a sandwich or in a wrap, in a salad, and anything else you can imagine!


Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 803mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Tag @cremedelacrumb1 on Instagram and hashtag it #cremedelacrumb!

Recipe slightly adapted from Favorite Family Recipes.

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Recipe Rating


Just curious if this could be doubled and then cooked in an instant pot… not sure what the cook times might be though.

    I’m sure it could- However, I haven’t tried that before! I don’t have an exact time for you on that!

    You can do this in the instapot no problem! Just set it to the slow cook setting for the same amount of time as the RECIPE calls for.

3 stars
S0unds Delish! However, why would you drain off the cooking liquid? aren’t you losing good pork flavor and collagen this way?

    Just a personal preference for this recipe πŸ™‚

5 stars
I’ve tried a number of Copy Cat Cafe Rio sweet Pork recipes and this is by far the best.

    Best compliment ever! Thanks, Kathryn!

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