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Central Market (Mercado Central)
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San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture
Ranked #11 of 119 things to do in San Jose
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Attraction details
Owner description: This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.
United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2013

People were.. Experience was worth it. Close to airport like 15 minute... I love these Costa Rican people ...watching the local was awesome....the public bathroom was not standard. Had to pay for bathroom amenities so bring your own...

Visited November 2013
Thank Paradisetraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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407 reviews from our community

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English first
Zarcero, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Over 200 Shops, Stalls and Sodas”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Wonderful place! Sodas, tourist items, herbs and traditional medicine, pets, flowers, fruits and vegetables, household necessities, butcher shops, fish mongers, coffee stands, etc. A must when you visit San Jose! I'm including a link to my blog, since I couldn't find a website for them. They are on Facebook as, "Mercado Central de San Jose, Costa Rica." Their email (according to Facebook): cargarro@hotmail.com
Many bargains here, which in surprising, considering it's such a popular tourist destination. Great place to eat inexpensively. One of the traditional medicine shops had most of the herbs labeled (in Spanish) with instructions on how to use them. On Avenida Central, in front of the market, are sculptures dedicated to street dogs by Costa Rican artist, Munguia.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Dolores P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Georgia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A taste of city life:vibrant,busy a cornucopia of smells”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

A must see for those staying in the city for a day.A chance to see how many of the "chepes"a local from San Jose,go thru their day.I love to buy coffee from Trebol or Volio both offer great coffee by the kilo.The cost is a little less than 5USD per pound as of Sep.2013,ground=molido or in the bean =grano.Not for the faint of heart to wander thru the stalls:bargains can be found as well fresh fruit,meat ,herbs etcc.I go solo but for the new traveller it is better with a group.I am 10 feet tall or at least I project that illusion.Give them your best business face a no nonsense walk and you will see a place filled with sights, sounds and smells that will long be remembered.A great and cheap place to eat as well.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Interesting place to visit, good coffee, and good ice cream!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

We only had one full day in San Jose. We chose to pay a visit to the Mercado Central,.see the sites, and see the galleries in the area. After reading many of the reviews I feel some things should be noted. 1- The Mercado Central was an interesting cultural Tico experience and good place to visit. 2- I did not find it to be as odiferous as some of the reviews led me to believe. Fish always smells a little fishy. 3- I didn't feel any increased amount of danger or subjection to pick pocketing compared to anywhere else in the city. The quarters are tight in there though, so keep your wits about you and aware of your surroundings; just like you would in any crowded unfamiliar place. 4- Sorbeteria Lolo (I think- the place over 100 years old), the traditional helado is delicious and highly recommended. 5- I did not find any must haves here or anything original other than coffee. But it was still a genuine Costa Rican experience. 6- I avoided the pet store so I cannot comment on that.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank LovinMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Vibrant, genuine spot to visit”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

As we always do when travelling in Latin America, we headed for the central market for grub. Excellent choice: besides its original atmosphere, this maze of alleys pleasantly filled with people / food / clothes / items / paraphernalia was well worth the 30min we spent browsing and lunching.

Visited July 2013
Thank sconti555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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