10 Best Restaurants in San José, Costa Rica

San José, Costa Rica is home to some  of the country's most exceptional restaurants, ranging from simple roadside sodas to modernized colonial mansions turned dining establishments. Each does justice to the lion's share of locally grown fresh ingredients. A stop at the century old Chelles is a must-do for traditional casados and cups of strong Costa Rican coffee. Modern Costa Rican cuisine may be found at Cafe Mundo, where the chef's creativity with each ingredient shines on the plate. For romantic dinners seek out the inner dining patio sanctuary at Hotel Grano de Oro, and save room for sumptuous desserts. Families will love the extensive menu menu options and the cozy atmosphere at La Criollita, a long-standing original spot for breakfast lunch and dinner, easily found near the Jade Museum. For special occasions or dining with friends, La Esquina de Buenos Aires is a favorite for its warm vibe and variety of Argentinean dishes.

Machu Picchu


Whether you're a tried and true fan of Peruvian food or new to the cuisine, Machhu Picchu is the place to savor such succulent dishes like the lemon-flavored mashed potatoes stuffed with shrimp and the chicken craklings, bite-sized chicken...  Read More



For the well-heeled and epicurious, Le Monast�re delivers and then some. Everything is prepared and served expertly, from escargot and French Onion Soup to chef specials like Venison Tenderloin Flambee in Port Wine and Seabass filet in...  Read More

Airport - Sjo


Those with a hankering for high-quality meat should look no further than Doris Metropolitan, a stand-out, and stand alone- restaurant in San Jose, Costa Rica- although there is now a Doris Metropolitan stateside, too. Embracing the...  Read More



What started as a simple hotel caf-- has expanded to become one of the country's finest restaurants with well-earned reputation. Casually elegant, this restaurant is situated off the Grano de Oro Hotel's central courtyard which provides for...  Read More

Airport - Sjo
Tin Jo
Photo courtesy of Tin Jo Restaurant


Restaurante Tin-Jo has rightfully named itself "the best" restaurant in Costa Rica, offering delicious, healthy Asian cuisine from its home in an original colonial mansion in the heart of San Jose. What started out as a Chinese restaurant in...  Read More

Airport - Sjo


Chelles, open since 1909 is a traditional Costa Rican soda, a casual cafe serving traditional Costa Rican dishes. An instituational dining spot in San Jose for more than one hundred years, many of the regular patrons have been dining here for...  Read More

La Criollita
Photo courtesy of slamonica


La Criollita is an excellent place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has something on the menu for everyone. The fare is traditional Costa Rican; generous portions of meat, chicken and fish with rice, beans and salad on the side, and big...  Read More



La Esquina de Buenos Aires is a corner restaurant behind the towering cathedral of la Iglesia de la Soledad that somehow manages to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the Argentine city of Plata in the middle of the twentieth century. It's a...  Read More



B�lali, Caf� y Reposter�a Artesanal located on Avenida Escaz� is a health food restaurant serving delicious baked goods, gluten free treats, organic tea and coffee, and specialties like quinoa pancakes and a Smoothie...  Read More

San José


Cafe Mundo is an original family-run restaurant in a sprawling converted turn of the century home. Located on a corner in a residential nook of San Jose, Cafe Mundo is popular with locals, who have no trouble finding it behind the massive gate...  Read More


Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia