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Central Market (Mercado Central)

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Address: Bordered by Avdas. Central and 1 and Cs. 6 and 8 | Barrio La Merced, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Description:

This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice...

This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Shop like a local

Barter, haggle, smell, touch, smile, and enjoy yourself like a local in the central frutería or calle mercado in Escazú. Open during the sunny part of the weekends until the... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Elle T
,
Dallas, Texas
via mobile
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401 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 269: English reviews
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Barter, haggle, smell, touch, smile, and enjoy yourself like a local in the central frutería or calle mercado in Escazú. Open during the sunny part of the weekends until the rain begins, sample true locally sourced, organic food and goods and support local economies without the urban luxury markup. What is a tropical vacation without tasting tropical fruits?

Helpful?
Thank Elle T
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A good place to get many things-esp fresh seafood if you are cooking for yourself( only place to buy fresh octopus). Caution very narrow paths- a lot of contact-- beware of pickpockets. Many small sodas( eating kiosks). A very good place to buy spices- but have the Spanish translation of the name. Some places are full butcher Of all -pork,chicken,beef.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robert A L
Texada Island, Canada
Level Contributor
832 reviews
630 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 332 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We enjoyed this market as felt very safe. Easy to pick and choose items and found most vendors tried to communicate to us in English and were very friendly. We did not barter on food, but did on souvenirs. Lots of stalls.

Helpful?
Thank Teresa H
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Very good place to find souveniers, also the people are very friendly. Just hold on to you're belogings.

Helpful?
Thank Wesley H
Canada
Level Contributor
116 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2017

Whatever you want, someone is selling. Many Soda's for great local food. Herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, meats, clothing, souvenirs. Lots to see and buy if you like. No hard sells either.

Helpful?
1 Thank Frank B
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2017

Central Market is great for souvenirs. A lot of the stalls sell similar products so make sure you look around in all and haggle for the best price.

Helpful?
2 Thank Ama O
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
62 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2017

We were staying in San Jose and decided to visit the market. Took Uber as it was much cheaper than taxis and we did not know the city transportation well enough to use it. When we got to the market we found everything and anything we could want. Souvenirs were not expensive and could find something for everyone. Sat down... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jamie B
Level Contributor
89 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2017 via mobile

This time I went to buy seafood, chicken and pork. Was the actual visit to the market not tourism. The variety is very good 2-3 little stores of whatever you need. Everything fresh and probably cheaper than anywhere else. Went on a Saturday 7am and were very few people and perfect to shop. Most of the sodas were close if... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Gilberto V
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2017 via mobile

So far Café Central and Marisquería La Ribera are excellent establishments with high quality sourced ingredients. Try the seafood soup with the "viagra" (a separate condiment that enhances the flavor) boiled bananas, white rice is crack addictive.

Helpful?
2 Thank Pedro D
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 23 February 2017

From shoes to flowers to supplies for tonight's dinner - it's all here. This is a place for the locals and shows it in it's character. A great place to pick up souvenirs or to people watch. Bring you camera!

Helpful?
Thank Melissa B

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Central Market (Mercado Central) and other visitors
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Columbia, Maryland
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?