Top things to do

Top Choice Notable Building in San José

Teatro Nacional

On the southern side of the Plaza de la Cultura resides the Teatro Nacional, San José’s most revered building. Constructed in 1897, it features a columned neoclassical facade that is flanked by statues of Beethoven …
Top Choice European in San José

Park Café

At this felicitous fusion of antique shop and French restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Richard Neat offers an exquisite degustation menu featuring smaller sampling plates (Spanish tapas–style) and a carefully curate…
Top Choice Museum in San José

Museo de Jade

Reopened in its brand-new home in mid-2014, this museum houses the world’s largest collection of American jade (pronounced ‘ha-day’ in Spanish). The ample new exhibition space (five floors offer six exhibits) allows…
Top Choice Cafe in San José

Café de los Deseos

Abuzz with artsy young bohemians, this cozy, colorful Barrio Otoya cafe makes a romantic spot for drinks (from wine to cocktails to smoothies), bocas (handmade tortillas with Turrialba cheese, salads, teriyaki chick…
Top Choice Argentine in San José

La Esquina de Buenos Aires

White linens and the sound of old tango evoke the atmospheric bistros of San Telmo, as does the menu, featuring grilled Argentine cuts of steak, house-made empanadas and an extensive selection of fresh pastas in exq…
Top Choice Gastronomy in San José

Al Mercat

This exquisite new Barrio Escalante restaurant serves whatever is fresh from the market. Family-style courses of items like grilled avocado and hummus with chickpeas and peach palm fruit are fresh and flavorful. And…
Top Choice Market in San José

Feria Verde de Aranjuez

For a foodie-friendly cultural experience, don't miss this fabulous Saturday farmers market, a weekly meeting place for San José's artists and organic growers since 2010. You'll find organic coffee, artisanal chocol…
Top Choice Theater in San José

Teatro Nacional

Costa Rica’s most important theater stages plays, dance, opera, symphony, Latin American music and other major events. The main season runs from March to November, but there are performances throughout the year.
Top Choice Area in San José

Barrio Amón

North and west of Plaza España lies this pleasant, historic neighborhood, home to a cluster of cafetalero (coffee grower) mansions constructed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In recent years, many of …
Top Choice Caribbean in San José

Maxi's By Ricky

If you can't make it to Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast, this restaurant is a good substitute. Owner Ricky is a native of Manzanillo; he transported himself and his lip-smacking restaurant to the Central Valley in 2014…