From the traditional Costa Rican establishments to the international locales with flair, every visit to San José promises the opportunity to indulge in fantastic food and drinks.
And there's no one perfect location. In every corner of the city you'll be able to find great food with its own unique touch. Here are three top spots to eat and drink in San José.
Looking for a cocktail with a kick? El Bebedoro is the place to go © Maria Esther Abissi/Lonely Planet
In the glitzy, avant-garde bar, mixologists add an aphrodisiac blend called Cabeza Caliente (hot head) for a new take on the traditional Moscow Mule. For those with more eccentric tastes, there’s Cuatro Veinte (4-20), a popular drink that combines coconut, hemp and patchouli mix.
Paired with its exotic drink menu are a slew of tasty appetizers like ceviche, locally sourced oysters and pejibaye – a local veggie that's served with special sauces.
Head to El Bebedero on Friday nights for their drink specials.
Patrons of El Taller de Billy get an intimate look at how their meals are prepared © Maria Esther Abissi/Lonely Planet
El Taller de Billy
There’s nothing more exclusive than a seat at chef Sergio Dobles’ table. The open kitchen, located in Dobles’ garage in Pavas, welcomes no more than 20 guests per night.
Diners not only feast on dishes from Italy, Spain, Japan and the Mediterranean, but are able to ask questions and interact with the world-class chef on duty for the night. Among a few of the popular dishes are fried shrimp, pork loin medallions and chef Dobles’ version of a caramel flan.
The only way to get a seat at the table is to make reservations through El Taller de Billy’s Facebook page.
Bó's futuristic atmosphere is a definite crowd pleaser © Maria Esther Abissi/Lonely Planet
Bó Fast Good
Bó is a place like no other in San José.
The modern underground spot offers a new concept on fast food. Bó, located in the heart of San José, serves Bocadillos, a spanish mini bread stuffed with meat, spices and an unexpected surprise. The idea was dreamed up by chef Josep Pérez, who was born and raised in Catalonia but moved to San José a few years ago.
The menu includes 16 different types of sandwiches with different fixins and flavors like one made of Café Tarrazú, a traditional coffee bean of Costa Rica.
The best thing about these unique sandwiches is the meat. The sausages are handmade by Pérez himself. They are a combination of both local and international meat and prepared with pepper and herbs and spices that the chef buys in local markets.
The hardest decision may be what sauce to chose. Pérez has created a salsodromo (sauce bar) of 25 different kind of salsas each made with traditional Costa Rican products. The nature of the food on offer at Bó makes it the ideal place for a quick bite.