The diet of the Buff-throated Saltator is varied. Skutch (1954) reported that they feed mostly on fruit, and also on flower corollas. Haverschmidt (1968) mentions wasps and ants as part of the diet. Stiles and Skutch (1989) add "nectar that it presses from flowers" and buds to the diet. Gomez (1993) indicates that the Buff-throated Saltator has been observed taking the seeds from the cones of the Zamia fairchildiana in southwest Costa Rica.