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Best Markets in San Jose

What are the best markets in San Jose? In this article we highlight the best markets in San Jose.
|-Best Markets in San Jose

San Jose, is a vibrant city that offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local way of life is through its markets. Whether you’re an expat settling in or a digital nomad passing through, exploring the markets of San Jose is a must-do activity. From bustling food markets to artisanal craft fairs, each market has its own unique charm and array of goods. Here are some of the best markets in San Jose that you should definitely check out.

Feria Verde de Aranjuez

Location: Polideportivo Aranjuez, San Jose
Type of Market: Organic Farmers Market
Open: Saturdays, 7 AM – 12:30 PM

Feria Verde de Aranjuez is a haven for those seeking organic produce, artisanal goods, and a warm community atmosphere. This market is a favorite among health-conscious expats and locals alike, offering a wide range of organic fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and bread. It’s also a great place to find natural beauty products and eco-friendly crafts.

We Recommend: Try the artisanal cheeses and the freshly baked organic bread, which are perfect for a delightful weekend brunch.

Mercado Central

Location: Avenida Central, San Jose
Type of Market: Traditional Market
Open: Daily, 6 AM – 6 PM

Mercado Central is the oldest and most iconic market in San Jose. With a maze of over 200 stalls, this market offers everything from fresh produce and meat to spices, coffee, and souvenirs. It’s also home to several small restaurants known as “sodas” where you can savor traditional Costa Rican dishes.

We Recommend: Don’t miss the chance to try a “casado,” a typical Costa Rican meal, at one of the sodas inside the market.

Mercado Borbon

Location: Avenida 1 and Calle 8, San Jose
Type of Market: Food Market
Open: Daily, 6 AM – 6 PM

Mercado Borbon is a bustling market known for its fresh seafood, meat, and produce. It’s a bit more local and less touristy than Mercado Central, offering a more authentic market experience. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly vendors make it a great place to practice your Spanish and learn about local ingredients.

We Recommend: Sample some of the fresh ceviche or grab a bag of exotic fruits to enjoy as a refreshing snack.

Artisan Market

Location: Avenida 2, between Calles 13 and 15, San Jose
Type of Market: Craft Market
Open: Daily, 8 AM – 6 PM

The Artisan Market is the perfect spot to find handcrafted souvenirs and gifts. Local artisans sell a variety of goods, including wood carvings, leather products, and traditional Costa Rican textiles. It’s a colorful and lively market where you can find unique pieces and support local craftspeople.

We Recommend: Look for the beautifully crafted wooden kitchenware, which makes for both a practical purchase and a lovely keepsake.

San Jose Farmers Market (Feria del Agricultor)

Location: Avenida 20, between Calles 8 and 16, San Jose
Type of Market: Farmers Market
Open: Saturdays, 5 AM – 1 PM

The San Jose Farmers Market is a weekly event where local farmers come to sell their fresh produce directly to consumers. It’s a great place to get high-quality fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more at reasonable prices. The market is also a social event where you can mingle with locals and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

We Recommend: Try the pejibayes, a type of palm fruit that is often boiled and served with mayonnaise or a tangy dip.

Escazu Farmers Market

Location: Central Park of Escazu, San Jose
Type of Market: Farmers Market
Open: Saturdays, 5 AM – 1 PM

Located in the upscale neighborhood of Escazu, this farmers market is a bit smaller but offers a selection of high-quality organic products. It’s a favorite among expats living in the area and features a variety of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to homemade pastries and artisanal cheeses.

We Recommend: Indulge in the homemade pastries, which are perfect for a weekend treat.

Plaza de la Cultura Artisan Market

Location: Plaza de la Cultura, San Jose
Type of Market: Craft Market
Open: Daily, 10 AM – 6 PM

This outdoor market is set in the heart of San Jose, right next to the National Theatre. It’s a great place to find a wide array of Costa Rican crafts and souvenirs, including colorful textiles, jewelry, and pottery. The market’s central location makes it an easy stop during a day of sightseeing.

We Recommend: Pick up a hand-painted oxcart wheel or a miniature replica, which are emblematic of Costa Rican culture.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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