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“Cultural Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Central Market (Mercado Central)

Central Market (Mercado Central)
Bordered by Avdas. Central and 1 and Cs. 6 and 8 | Barrio La Merced, San Jose, Costa Rica
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San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and...
Ranked #23 of 78 things to do in San Jose
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Owner description: This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.
Ooltewah, Tennessee
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Cultural Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Took my wife and 2 boys, ages 9 and 13, to Mercado Central mostly for the cultural experience. It didn't disappoint, but we didn't want to stay long. They had everything: locally made goods, flowers, spices, restaurants, fruits & vegetables, livestock and raw meats. All of these seemed to be divided into sections and it was like walking through a maze of narrow, dark aisleways. Being our first day in Costa Rica, we didn't entirely feel safe or comfortable here. I am sure it is safe, it was just something very different for us. Definitely an experience I don't regret and won't forget.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
midland
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Cultural living”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

we wanted to know how the people live. and a good way to learn about that was to visit the central market. we did not eat in the little soda's but were almost transported in time while visiting. except for the sporadic novelty markets it was a good visit.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
364 reviews 364 reviews
154 attraction reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
197 helpful votes 197 helpful votes
“Since 1880”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

I love going to central markets around the world, they always seem to have the best variety of food at reasonable prices. Every time I visit San Jose I always stop at this market. There are many restaurants, so walk around first to see which one to choose.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa Junquillal, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Mercado Central”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

I have been going to CR for years and always hit the Mercado when I fly into San Jose on my way to my home in Guanacaste. Great variety of great stuff to buy there. One reviewer commented about coffee with which i strongly disagree--The coffee places they suggested are touristy and over priced. The product at Trebol is great and prices fair and the people running it have been there for the 10 years I have been visiting. I usually buy 10kg of coffee at each stop and drink most and give much away as welcome gifts. I was told years ago it is the best place in CR to buy (retail) coffee--after ten years I know--it still is.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moorhead
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Mercado Central”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

This market was so much fun! We spent a lot of time exploring all of the different vendors and buying all kinds of souvenirs for everyone back home. I would definitely recommend going here and eating at one of the lunch counters, such an awesome experience! Also, once you get out of San Jose the souvenirs become much more expensive.

Visited June 2012
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