San José, Costa Rica Food & drinks

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Food & drinks

San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Tour

1. San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Tour

On this experience you’ll get up close and personal with Costa Rican life, through local food, history, and even the herbal remedies of folk medicine. Enjoy a hands-on lesson on exotic plants, fruits, vegetables, and more. Nothing could get you closer to authentic San Jose than strolling through the streets with a local as they show you the ins and outs of daily life. Your experience starts with a morning pick-me-up cup of coffee in a café located in the Central Market where you’ll get to know your guide and relax into your surroundings. From here, we’ll take a stroll through the vibrant market, tasting local fresh fruits, empanada and continuing along local roads towards the Borbon Market. Seeing diverse sites the Cathedral, National Theater, and the beautiful parks will help you get to know the country and its rich history and from this experience, you’ll have another sense – taste – to get more in tune with San Jose. For the end visit a special coffee store where you will find coffee and chocolates produced by women, in this special place learn to prepare coffee, enjoy a tamal, and make plantain empanadas...

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

2. Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Experience Costa Rica's nature and culture on this full-day tour from San José. Your first destination is the Doka Estate coffee plantation, where you'll learn all about the ancient techniques of producing some of the best coffee in Costa Rica and around the world. Experience the careful process involved in the cultivation, harvesting, and roasting of the Golden Bean before tasting the delectable product. After your coffee tour, continue to Poás Volcano National Park, where there is a noticeable change in temperature and beautiful scenery in a cloud forest. Climb up Poás Volcano, an active stratovolcano that most recently erupted in 2017. The crater of the volcano is over a mile across and 1,050 feet deep, making for breathtaking views. Hike on a trail to the beautiful Botos Lagoon as you learn about the different ecosystems in the park. Then, continue to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and enjoy a buffet lunch of traditional Costa Rican dishes. After lunch, explore the lush tropical rainforest. See the flowing white rivers, spectacular waterfalls, birds, butterflies, monkeys, and hummingbirds before returning to San José.

San José: Night Food and Culture Tour with Dinner

3. San José: Night Food and Culture Tour with Dinner

Follow an expert local guide and explore San José at night on a small-group, food-themed walking tour. See important cultural sites and feast on a traditional dinner with wine or beer pairings. Get up close and personal with the nightlife in San José, starting with Morazán Park where we will learn post-colonial Costa Rican history. From there, the appreciation for San José’s historical architecture continues, with a walk by the Metallic Building, then on to Spain Park for a fantastic view of the Yellow House (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Continue to the harming Barrio Escalante, one of the oldest residential areas neighborhoods in San José. Nowadays, Barrio Escalante has reinvented itself and is now home to many up-and-coming restaurants and at night is a favorite meeting spot for locals and visitors alike. The evening will end with a contemporary traditional meal with wine or beer tastings at a hip local restaurant that is very popular with locals and offers a sampler of traditional Costa Rican pub fare.

San Jose: Discover Sights and Delights with a Local

4. San Jose: Discover Sights and Delights with a Local

Join your guide for a morning pick-me-up coffee at a café in Borbon Market, where you'll get to know your guide. From here, stroll through the vibrant market and taste the local fruits. Learn the agricultural history of the area as you stop at stands such as a coffee stall. Hear all about the Costa Rican chorreado method of brewing coffee. Go to a stand that sells folk medicine and learn about cures for everything from a hangover to a broken heart.  Next, visit Central Market and immerse yourself in the life of the 120-year-old building. Sample local delicacies from Costa Rica at a market full to the brim with food and drinks. Learn more about the herbs used in local medicines or sip on your second coffee of the day. With a local guide by your side, you’ll unearth all the secrets behind this San Jose treasure. By the time you end your tour at Central Market, you will be full of local knowledge. Perhaps you will have even picked up some of the local lingo along the way!

San Jose: City Tour by Night

5. San Jose: City Tour by Night

Learn about the rich culture and history of Costa Rica on a guided tour of the city of San Jose by night. Start the tour with pickup from your hotel and travel to La Sabana Park where you will meet your guide. Here, get an overview of the history of Costa Rica's capital city. Learn about the history and current political climate of Costa Rica as you wander through the city with your guide. Stop outside sites of historical interest such as the National Theater, a monument built in 1897 known as "the Jewel of San Jose." See the Costa Rican Gold Museum, several national embassies, the National Stadium, and the University of Costa Rica. At the end of the tour, enjoy a delicious traditional dinner in one of the most fashionable areas of the city.

Monteverde: Coffee, Chocolate, and Sugar Cane Day Trip

6. Monteverde: Coffee, Chocolate, and Sugar Cane Day Trip

Discover the flavors of Monteverde on this day trip from Monteverde or Santa Elena. Enjoy a day in the countryside and have the opportunity to taste local coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane on this tour to Costa Rican plantations. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up by a comfortable and spacious bus at your hotel in Monteverde or Santa Elena. Soak up the lush countryside on the way to a coffee plantation, which is situated in one of Costa Rica's top 8 coffee-producing regions. Learn about how this area has the ideal weather, required altitude, and volcanic soils to produce a fine cup of gourmet coffee. Sip on some coffee that is grown on site before hopping back on the bus and heading to chocolate farm. Complement your coffee tasting with a visit to the chocolate farm. Find out how to produce high-quality chocolate products. Indulge your sweet tooth as you try some fine Costa Rican chocolate. Continue to the sugar cane plantation to learn about its history, growing conditions, and processing. Have the opportunity to sip on some handcrafted sugar cane juice. Return to your accommodation at the end of your day trip.

San Jose: Casa Hacienda La Esperanza Coffee Experience

7. San Jose: Casa Hacienda La Esperanza Coffee Experience

Begin your journey with a warm welcome to Casa Hacienda La Esperanza at 8:30 AM, where you will be able to enjoy a selection of pastries with coffee. Then, move on to visit the Ceibo Lookout and experience the vibrant community in the local church. After the church, go to plant your own coffee tree and experience picking coffee. After that, view for yourself the mighty waterfall and benefit from the option to take a swim in the flowing water. Return to La Esperanza and indulge with a delicious, traditional lunch. Next, learn about the production of coffee during a tour at the beneficio and see the roasting of coffee beans. End your day at the cafeteria, where refreshments can be purchased.  

San Jose By Night: Culture, Gourmet Dinner, Wine & Cocktails

8. San Jose By Night: Culture, Gourmet Dinner, Wine & Cocktails

Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the city. Explore San Jose by Night, complete with local markets, cultural icons, and a tasty dinner with wine! Starting with the Central Market, which, is the only way to learn about the city’s food. Stroll the market with your local guide and get to know the secrets, uses of the roots, herbs, and fruit common in local cuisines, including ingredients that will play a role in your authentic Costa Rican dinner later. The locals say that you can get anything you need at the Central Market, even love potions for attracting a boyfriend or girlfriend. After the market, we’ll make our way down Central Avenue, learning about the city’s history and anecdotes, as well as visiting one of the most architecturally beautiful buildings in San Jose, the National Theatre. From there, our appreciation for San Jose’s historical architecture continues, with a walk through Morazán Park and we will visit Mr. Sloth Coffee Shop to make el "Morenito" one delicious coffee cocktail and try "Golden Rush" cocktail. We’ll continue to charm Barrio Amon, one the oldest neighborhoods we’ll be spending the rest of the evening at a favorite restaurant that specializes in wine and gourmet food. This cozy establishment offers the best in Costa Rican cuisine a unique space that offers art, culture, history as well as fine dining.

San Jose: Central Market Tour with Food and Coffee Tasting

9. San Jose: Central Market Tour with Food and Coffee Tasting

Explore the biggest and oldest market in San Jose City on a guided tour. Founded in 1880, stroll through a site that offers a glimpse into the true Costa Rican way of living, their customs, and traditions. Browse through the intricate aisles and taste unique snacks and sweets. Join your professional guide for a trip into the heart of Costa Rican culture. Dive into the busy Central Market for an authentic experience of the local lifestyle. Hear about the history of this ancient market and learn about each of the traditional products sold. Observe and shop for typical handcrafts as you walk around. Sample exotic fruits and dishes that may include empanadas, cheese tortillas, 'chicharrones' (pork rind), and tamales. Sip on artisanal coffee and taste the emblematic 'sorbetera' ice cream.

Frequently asked questions about San José, Costa Rica

What are the best day trips and excursions from San José, Costa Rica?

The best day trips and excursions from San José, Costa Rica are:

Alajuela

Other Sightseeing Options in San José, Costa Rica

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

This was such a good way to kick off my travels in Costa Rica! I felt super comfortable doing this as a solo female traveller, and I met some really lovely people over the course of the day. The tour guide was so friendly and knowledgeable, and the overall day wa as great balance between exploring at an easy pace and learning lots! Definitely worth the price, I really recommend!

This is the best way to explore the city. Candidly there’s not much to do in San Jose but this tour was SO WORTH IT! Dinorah was our guide and she was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and upbeat making the tour very interesting. Don’t hesitate — book this if you’re in town for a day or just 6-7 hours.

Very good tour with a great guide, received a lot of information and was able to try a lot; the guide (Andrew) spoke very good English, thanks for the interesting impressions of the city

very educational tour with knowledgeable guide. took us to places I would have never knew to go myself

Tour guides were very friendly and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the tour and definitely recommend them.