October 1, 2023


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San José Food Tour: Is It Worth It?

For a lot of site visitors to Costa Rica, the cash city of San José is not at the leading of their bucket lists. Even while remaining in this centrally located town allows tourists to choose all kinds of swift day visits, it can be relatively of a turnoff compared to the lush jungles, pristine seashores, and dazzling waterfalls in other places in the nation.

Mainly because a ton of the chatter online about San José was mainly “meh,” I was up for a obstacle and curious about what the town had to supply. I booked a foods and lifestyle tour for my to start with day there, hoping to locate out what there was to like about San José — and boy, did I uncover it.

The San José Food items Tour: What to Assume

san jose food tour worth it

I realized going into the tour that there would be a concentration on foodstuff, society, and history. But prior to my arrival in Costa Rica, I’d only tried using the common gallo pinto, i.e., rice and beans. If that doesn’t tell you that my awareness of Tico (Costa Rican) delicacies was constrained, I ought to say that I also experienced no notion about the wide range of fruits and veggies offered in the region. Also, total disclosure: I realized virtually practically nothing about Costa Rica’s record prior to arriving as well. So I showed up for my tour as basically a blank slate.

An pro area information with all the answers

When my manual arrived at the conference point in entrance of the Nationwide Theater downtown, it was unattainable not to detect that I was the only just one on the tour! I was fired up to have a one particular-on-a single knowledge, simply because I am, admittedly, that woman who asks way much too numerous concerns.

We headed right to Mercado Borbón, which my manual explained was just one of the most important open up-air markets in the nation. I like a excellent market, so we received down to striving almost everything right away. To start with, he showed me a couple of fruits that I’d never observed just before. A single of them was known as mamón criollo, which made me giggle due to the fact it pretty much implies “creole sucker” in English. (In Costa Rica, every thing that is criollo signifies it is from there everything from outside of the place is chino, aka Chinese, even if it does not truly appear from China.)

The very best coffee, empanadas, and other snacks

san jose costa rica

I didn’t assume to be fed so well, but my information continued to hand me a single scrumptious handle immediately after one more. I experienced an amazing cup of coffee and a clean empanada in Mercado Borbón, then some fruits and coconut water in Mercado Central following door. All the although, I obtained the lowdown on the historical importance of equally markets, as well as the distinct cultural influences that have designed an affect on them above the several years.

Acquire this natural remedy stand, for instance:

san jose food tour worth it

Every a single of people bundles of herbs has a various use in nearby conventional cures. Guaranteed, I’d heard of applying aloe for sunburns and mint to make a calming tea, but there ended up other people that blew my head. Choose achiote, for instance. Prior to the tour, I imagined its only use was to give flavor to particular dishes, like they do in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. No, no: in Costa Rica achiote is only utilized for dying materials or providing a crimson shade to foods.

All the deets on historic monuments and landmarks

san jose food tour worth it

I discovered how San José experienced a strange combine of historic and new properties. I wondered aloud about them, and my guidebook experienced an answer: most of the structures were wrecked for the duration of times of turmoil. The types that keep on being from decades past are few and significantly amongst, surrounded by skyscrapers, condominiums, and new design.

There have been also a great deal of other fascinating landmarks that I may have missed if I have been to have explored San José on my very own. Halting at each one gave me important context about the city’s special story, a thing I appreciated drastically.

Is the San José Food Tour Well worth It?

san jose food tour worth it
A sweet sector cat chilling on some previous vinyls

You came to find out if the San José foods tour is really worth it or not, and if the respond to isn’t already apparent — indeed! I certainly considered it was value it. This tour is ideal for anybody who is even remotely curious about gastronomy, record, and tradition in Costa Rica. And not only does the tour have an amazing tutorial, but all the treats are incorporated mixed, they are a meal’s value of foodstuff.

I did the tour on my initially full day in Costa Rica, and I endorse performing the same. It set me up to have extra cultural context throughout the rest of my adventure there. It also built me enjoy San José, generating me thrilled to go back again there at the conclude of my excursion. Contemplating this city is not just a crowd favored between vacationers, I believe this tour could improve a large amount of people’s perspectives.

The tour is also a great commencing position, for the reason that it gave me so quite a few strategies of exactly where to go and what to do in San José. I was able to talk to my information about basic safety and areas to prevent as nicely, which certainly came in helpful as a solo feminine traveler in Costa Rica.


Whether you’re just passing through San José or prepare to continue to be a few days, really do not skip out on this San José meals tour. It was one particular of the best selections I made though placing alongside one another my Costa Rica itinerary.

Are you imagining about booking the tour? Allow us know if you have any inquiries!