The Sarong Goddess' (aka Vicki Skinner)
COSTA RICA EATS RESTAURANT GUIDE
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FOOD INFO


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Alajuela  -  Granos y Mas -  Mainly the basics "warehouse" type place where you can purchase large quantities of rice, corn & beans, ketchup etc.

 

PRICESMART  -  A Membership store (aka Sam’s Club or CostCo – see “Markets” below)

 

 

MARKETS – GROCERY STORES

AUTOMERCADO  

(corp:  http://AutoMercado.co.cr / 2-257-4242)

The largest selection of gringo products/things from the U.S. (hence higher prices of course).  NICE store with a pretty decent butcher department.  They also have frozen KOSHER MEATS.  Make sure to get an Auto Frecuente Club card which gets you a small rebate (you have to ask for it) plus I hear they it’s also good for some other businesses.

IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys/Empacadores  here are NOT employees (most I’ve met were from Nicaragua hence not legal, hence no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).

I met an owner that seems interested in finding out & potentially in time getting things we’re interested in so if you have items you don’t find & are willing to buy on a pretty regular basis (realizing of course it’s going to cost LOTS more $$if it’s imported) – e- me at CostaRicaEscazuResourceList@gmail.com

 

Escazu (San Rafael – Plaza Atlantis)  (2-588-1742)  HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm, Sun. 7am-9pm

Escazu – MultiPlaza (2-201-6174) -  HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 8am-9pm

Pozos de Santa Ana  -  on the road heading towards the Airport  (2-203-5335)  -  HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 8am-9pm.

Rohrmoser – Plaza Mayor  (2-232-5555)  -  HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 8am-9pm.

DELIVERY: http://AMIDomicilio.com  800-800-2886

 

 

SARETTOS 

Escazu (San Rafael) (2-228-0247 / 2-228-6703 / 2-228-6983-fax) 

The most cool/unique international things I’ve found here.  Also, one of the BEST selections of alcoholic beverages (especially wines) with some of the best prices.  Many gringo products including Entenmann's Baked Goods.  Produce section - Pretty good selection & some nicer things including lots of herbs.  You take your items over to be weighed/tagged.  GOOD quality on meats & veges (& more unique/harder to find things). 

IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (200-300+-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (400-500+-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).

HOURS:  Mon-Sat. 7:30am - 8:30am.  Sun. 8:30am-2pm.  

DIRECTIONS:  past Pizza Hut & the Shell gas station by La Cascada Argentinian/steak restaurant or 200 mts west of the Los Anonos Bridge 

 

 

FRESH MARKET

Escazu – behind Paco Plaza  (2-588-1162?)  -  NEW!!!  A lot of products you’d find in Mas x Menos but in a NICE, Clean, spacious, gringo-ized environment that’s open GREAT HOURS (Daily 6am-10:30pm)!!!  We were Tere late one night & they were handing out free bread (since it was the end of the night).  Fresh baked breads, fresh flowers.  Maggie (her nametag says “Marjorie”) is there Sun., Mon, Tues. 3-10:30pm & Wed., Thurs. & Fri. 8am-5pm & she’s SOOOOO service oriented & speaks GOOD English!!  She said if there’s something you want & don’t see – ask & they may be able to get it.  Emanuel?   7 blocks

Santa Ana – East of the Cruz Rojo/Red Cross


GRANOS Y MAS

Alajuela - It is a fairly basic "warehouse" type place where you can purchase large quantities of rice, corn & beans, ketchup etc.

 

HIPERMAS  (ala WalMart)   

http://hipermas.co.cr

Also have one of the better selections of ORGANIC things. IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan). HOURS:  Sun.-Thurs. 8am-10pm,  Fri. & Sat. 8am-11pm.

Escazu  -  Just off the Pista (the Prospero Fernandez Highway #27) coming off La Sabana Park in San Jose.

Curridabat  -  Autopista Florencio del Castillo, Kilometro 2, frente a escuela Josefina Jurado  (2-272-1994)

Guadalupe  -  Antiguo Gallito, contiguo a la intersección de los semáforos  (2-283-7170)

Heredia  -  Carretera Heredia Frente Colegio Santa Cecilia   (2-262-5353)

San Sebastián  -   Carretera de Circunvalacion, frente a la rotonda de San Sebastián  (2-286-0033) 

 


MAS X MENOS  

http://MasXMenos.co.cr

Now owned by WalMart as well as HiperMas.  More of a Tico market though they have some great things like the ONLY place I’ve found Bryanas salad dressing.  Light blue building (ya can’t miss it).  

Bag Boys/Empacadores  here ARE employees hence you aren’t supposed to take tips BUT, I’ve found when they bring them out for you – they often sort of wait around for one (so I guess you don’t try to tip them IN the store). 

LOCATIONS: http://MasXMenos.co.cr/loca.htm

Escazu  - San Rafael  -  (2-228-0954)  -   HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 6:30am-MID, Sun. 6:30am-10pm.  DIRECTIONS:  Just West of the Scotia Split

Rohrmoser   (2-231-3815 / 2-231-3852 / 2-231-3936 / 2-231-3978 / 2-231-3691)  -  DIRECTIONS: Plaza Rohrmoser – The main road in Pavas – 200 mts West of the big blue AYA office.

Sabana  (2-248-0968 / 2-248-1396)  -  DIRECTIONS:  100 Mts. North of Sabana Park

Christmas Season:  till Dec. 31 – Sun. 6:30am-mid.  New Years Day ’09 – 9am-7pm.

At Más x Menos, the supermarket said it will extend its Sunday hours to midnight until December 31 & will open until 10pm

 

 

MAXI BODEGA    

http://MaxiBodega.co.cr

Alajuela  (2-443-6196)  -  DIRECTIONS: Plaza Ferias         

Ciudad Quesada  (2-461-1333)  -  DIRECTIONS: Plaza San Carlos

El Cruce    (2-259-9185)  -  DIRECTIONS:  San Miguel & Aserri

Jaco  -  DIRECTIONS:  Antigua Coca Cola, costado Norte del cementerio   

Libería  (2-665-1796)  -  DIRECTIONS:  Contiguo al mercado Municipal

Limon (2-758-1318)  -  DIRECTIONS:  Contiguo Mercado Municipal

Puntarenas  (2-664-0248)  -  DIRECTIONS:  1km West de la Planta de Sardimar  

San Isidro   (2-770-3929)  -  DIRECTIONS: South Carretera Interamericana – across from Restaurante Brazilia

San Ramon  (2-445-9615)  -  DIRECTIONS:  200 mts North del Hospital   

 

 

MEGA SUPER  

http://MegaSuper.com

My impression of it is it’s more generic/Tico style products.  Popular with Ticos.   IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).

Santa Ana/Pozos (on the South side of the Pista where you get off for Santa Ana & the Airport)

San Antonio de Belen (Mall)

 

 

PALI   

http://Pali.co.cr

My impression – it’s at the bottom of the food Chaín of low-end products.  DEFINITELY generic/Tico style products.  Popular with Ticos.  I’ve actually found some cool kitchen chachkis here. Bring your own bags to bag your groceries.   They don’t take credit cards.  IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).

LOCATIONS: http://www.pali.co.cr/pali_en_costa_rica.htm

Escazu  -  Central  (2-288-1372 / 2-288-1373)  -  DIRECTIONS: 100 mts. North & 50 mts. West of the church/park.

Santa Ana –  Downtown  (2-282-4805 / 2-282-4456)  -  DIRECTIONS:  200 mts. North of the church

Pavas  (2-231-7730 )  -   DIRECTIONS: 600 West of the American Embassy

Rohrmoser  (2-231-4125)  -   Del antiguo Rancho Luna, 400 mts. North of Pavas

Ciudad Colon  (2-249-1773 / 2-249-1769)  -  East of the Municipalidad

 

 

PERIMERCADO   

http://PeriMercados.com

My impression of it is it’s more generic/Tico style products.  Popular with Ticos.   IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).

Escazu  - San Rafael (Los Anonos)  just before the main entrance to the Pista on the East side of the street at the intersection where Tony Romas & TGIFridays is.

Los Anonos

Pavas

 

 

PRICESMART 

http://PriceSmart.com 

Membership place ala CostCo/Sams Club (I think it’s about $35/year). Large quantity of processed foods, meats/seafood, NICE quality produce & packaged things as well as bulk on household cleaning products, etc.   Their Produce Department often has some GOOD prices & GOOD lookin' things & the CHEAPEST prices I've often found on those long braids of garlic as well as broccoli.  The bag boys seem to not be employees so I welcome you to tip them a few hundred colones to help you (more if they help take things out for you). Also good prices on appliances (including stackable washer/dryer for around $850), a few things of furniture, stuff of outdoors, electronics, etc.  Pharmacy (I’ve found their prices pretty high compared to other places & often they’re not into selling you smaller quantities).  5 or 10% off if you pay with cash.  They have locations throughout South & Central  America & the Caribbean.    (http://pricesmart.com/Default.aspx?404;http://pricesmart.com:80/Local/Default.aspx#)

Escazu  (2-288-0008)   -  DIRECTIONS:  Westbound on the Autopista Prospero Fernandez – get off at the first exit (note there is NO exit sign!!) –go straight down to the end passing the gas station, Jazz Café-West, Plaza Itzcazu (with Hooters & Outback), it curves around & goes under the Pista cutting back.  Past the new bridge, Office Depot – Before CIMA hospital. 

      Eastbound  -  Again – no sign.  Get off 200 meters West mano izquierda - from the toll on the left.  Get off at the gas station & go all the way to the end & loop around under the Pista, pass Office Depot & it’s on your right.  If you hit CIMA Hospital – you’ve gone too far

Heredia  (2-262-4848) -  DIRECTIONS:   300 m. north of Atlas Electrica 

Llorente  (2-297-2343)   -  DIRECTIONS:  Llorente de Tibás in front of the Monseñor Anselmo LLorente School of Tibás

Zapote  (2-283-4494 / 2-280-8359).   -  DIRECTIONS:  SouthEast of Fuente de la Hispanidad – in front of the National Register

HOURS:  Mon.-Fri. 10am-8:30pm, Sat. 9:30am-9pm,  Sun. 10am-8pm

 

 

 

FERIAS / FARMERS MARKETS

 

Escazu Central  -  HOURS:  Sat. 4:30am-1pm  – This is MY ritual - ESPECIALLY because of my sweetie Birthday Buddy (6/9 - June 9) Minor who is my Agua de Pipa dealer!!  My INTENTION is to get one 2-liter bottle of it per day as I hear it's GREAT for your kidneys, high blood pressure & overall health!!  I LOVE his because he does all the work - cuts it for me & then I also get the whole coconuts cut in 1/2 to take home & scoop out for tasty dessert!!!  Tell Minor Vicki sent you!! LOCATION:  on the street behind the church/iglesia.

Pavas  -   HOURS:  Sat. 6am-11:30am  - LOCATION:  next of the Pali supermarket west of the USA embassy

San Jose – HOURS:  Daily  6-11:30am. LOCATION:  The biggest market is  located in Plaza Viquez - Avenida  20, Calle 5 & 7

Santa Ana  -  HOURS:  Sun. 5am-noon.   LOCATION:  in front of the church/iglesia

Zapote  -  HOURS:  Sun. 6-11:30am. LOCATION:  Next to the Bull Fight Ring

 

 

 

FERIAS / FARMERS MARKET  -  ORGANIC

 

ESCAZU (CENTRO) ORGANIC & NATURAL FERIA  (http://BuenaTierraOrganicMarket.blogspot.com  / BuenaTierra.organica@gmail.com)

WHEN:  Wednesdays from 8-11am

Organizers Honey (she organizes the Montezuma, Malpais/Santa Teresa/Playa Carmen, Tambor ones on Saturdays) / Fiona (BuenaTierra@hotmail.es) / & Laura (LauraBarra@hotmail.com) with Buena Tierra Organic Produce bring you the Centro Escazu ORGANIC & NATURAL FERIA / FARMERS MARKET!!!  They have THE BIGGEST & MOST BEAUTIFUL, LUSCIOUS-LOOKING organic veges & fruit I’ve EVER seen!!!  When I’ve been there, I found most veges were around 400-c each (like bokchoy, herbs, various lettuces, cucumber) to 800-c+ & WORTH IT (these were better than most pumped up veges I've ever seen!) & they’re Certified Organic!!   Carola sells exquisite goat & cow yogurts & cheeses made in her farm in Coronado. Maria Fernanda delights us with her body & face soaps, creams, essential oils all made from organic herbs. Ena & Jaguar bake uncomparable bromate free brown bread flavored with organic herbs, seeds & nuts. Otto & his wife Melanie offer excellent biodegradable, ecological cleaning products.  They even now have chocolate!!!  Come support this AWESOME endevour (especially if you want to see it succeed!!), love your body & make some new friends with other like-minded people!!   Laura is now offering a DELIVERY SERVICE!  Request an order form from her at buenatierra@hotmail.es & send your order in BY Monday morning!!  The delivery fee is 1,000-c within Esaczu & 1,500-c in the Santa Ana/Rohrmoser area.   DIRECTIONS:  Escazu Centro  -  Behind the playground/basketball court next to the Biblioteca de las Damas Voluntarias Library - across the street from the Red Cross - 50 mts North of the Cemetery.

 

 

The largest Organic Feria is

PASO ANCHO 

WHEN:  Sat. 6am-till they run out. There are about a 20 vendors.  Note it’s hard to park & crazy!  DIRECTIONS:  :  400 mtrs from catholic church/iglesia.

 

 

GROCERY DELIVERY

http://AMIDomicilio.com  (from AutoMercado)

http://expressmart.net

 

 

 

AN EXPERIENCE IN REAL TICO MARKETING

NATIONAL MARKET

On the road past the Real Cariari Mall, to the right of the Texaco Gas Station  -  where fishermen & farmers even from other countries come to sell their products to vendors who then sell at local markets.  I’ve heard their prices are a bit better than Central Mercado.  HOURS:  Mon, Wed. & Fri. 2am - 9am.  

 

CENTRAL CENTRO MERCADO

Downtown SJ  -  Shop like/with the locals!!  This is a scene out of a movie – MUI CHIVA!!!  GREAT prices for fresh seafods, meat, poultry, veges, fruits, flowers, leather things & LOTS MORE!!  

 

      MY FAV is around the corner – MERCADO BORBON (2-256-0892 / 2-223-6350 / 8-811-6398-Cell for General Manager Gerardo Valverde) -  specifically the st& of El Gaver  for fruti – Ronnie is the sweetie that helps us the most though he only speaks Spanish but he’s VERY helpful!!

 

 

 

ASIAN MARKET

SUPER SONY

(2-221-1263 / http://SuperSony.com  / sschangl@racsa.co.cr)

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!

Super Sony is this FABULOUS store FILLED with pre-made Asian products, spices, Kimchi, frozen Dim Sum (that's where I'm going next time I get a craving for Dim Sum which can be VERY expensive!!)+++!!!  They have things from Thailand, China, Japan (the most expensive products so look to see if they have what you're seeking ina non-Japanese brand/label to save some $$), Taiwan, India & Middle Eastern goodies/spices+++!!  WOW!!!! 

 

FYI - They provide MANY of the oriental products sold at AutoMercado & other stores (which to me translates to those same products probably being cheaper at Super Sony!!). 

 

They even have the Chinese cake I MISS/LOVED from my days in San Francisco!!  To me, sort of a cross between a sponge & pound cake!!  VERY LIGHT but tasty!!

 

My NEW FAVORITE items that are just YUMMMM!!!  ZerGut - Lutenica Chunky Relish (a TongueGasmic chili dulce spread!!  EVERYONE that's tried it has gone WILD over this!! [& I have MANY friends from San Francisco/NY areas that KNOW GOOD FOOD that have agreed!!!]).  Mamoaraga (an eggplant spread [more roasted]). Russian Style Ikra Eggplant Spread. Alwadi Gourmet Hummus (chick pea dip)

 

SPECIALS:  BUY 6 of any one item (most) - GET 1 FREE.

 

VEGETARIAN

They have BY FAR the LARGEST VEGETARIAN selections I’ve EVER seen in my LIFE!!  This is a mecca for Tofu & other delights. Baked tofu, Korean style veggie tamales, tofu dogs, tofu chicken, tofu shrimp & crab, bistek, fresh kimchee (SPICY!!), & other "strange things" that will entertain your pallet. MrLee suggests you bring a cooler if you plan to by frozen stuff (they have LOTS of options) but its OUTSIDE in the front deep freezer. (per mrlee).  

 

Super Sony is run by a SOOOOO SWEET Taiwanese family (the Chang's - mom is Elena & just a doll)!!!  The adult kids speak GREAT English (make sure to get Carolina or Yolanda to help you & give them a BIG HUG from Vicki!!!)!!! 

 

HOURS:  Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 9am-4pm

 

DIRECTIONS:  Downtown/Centro San Jose – Calle 3, between Avenida 8 and 10 (3 1/2 blocks Sud/South of Plaza de la Cultura/National Theatre)   

 

 

 

Tong Yi asian - Rohmoser (2-291-0825 / 8-811-1977)  HOURS:  Thurs-Tues. 8am-8pm.  LOCATION: Rohmoser Boulevard - 170 mts. West of Parque Amistad

 

 

 

FRUITS / VEGES  -  FARMERS MARKET/Ferria

Most towns/villages have some sort of Farmers Market which is an AWESOME place to buy your fruits/veges!!  They’re usually on a Sat. or a Sun.

 

 

 

HEALTHY - ORGANIC

Most markets have a SMALL selection of organic items. Email me if you want more info on this topic as I’ve been collecting LOTS of it though it’s not organized yet.

 

FERIAS (organic produce & organic coffee from small, family-owned farms)

 

ESCAZU (CENTRO) ORGANIC & NATURAL FERIA / FARMERS MARKET

WHEN: Wednesdays from 8-11am

http://BuenaTierraOrganicMarket.blogspot.com  / BuenaTierra.organica@gmail.com

Organizers Honey (she organizes the Montezuma, Malpais/Santa Teresa/Playa Carmen, Tambor ones on Saturdays) / Fiona (BuenaTierra@hotmail.es) / & Laura (LauraBarra@hotmail.com) with Buena Tierra Organic Produce bring you the Centro Escazu ORGANIC & NATURAL FERIA / FARMERS MARKET!!!   They have THE BIGGEST & MOST BEAUTIFUL, LUSCIOUS-LOOKING organic veges & fruit I’ve EVER seen!!! When I’ve been there, I found most veges were around 400-c each (like bokchoy, herbs, various lettuces, cucumber) to 800-c+ & WORTH IT (these were better than most pumped up veges I've ever seen!) & they’re Certified Organic!   Carola sells exquisite goat & cow yogurts & cheeses made in her farm in Coronado. Maria Fernanda delights us with her body & face soaps, creams, essential oils all made from organic herbs. Ena & Jaguar bake uncomparable bromate free brown bread flavored with organic herbs, seeds & nuts. Otto & his wife Melanie offer excellent biodegradable, ecological cleaning products. They even now have chocolate!!!  Come support this AWESOME endevour (especially if you want to see it succeed!!), love your body & make some new friends with other like-minded people!!

LOCATION: Escazu Centro - Behind the playground/basketball court next to the Biblioteca de las Damas Voluntarias Library - across the street from the Red Cross - 50 mts North of the Cemetery.

 

http://AgriculturaOrganica.org/ferias.htm  - Organic farmers association

 

SAN JOSE - Feria el Trueque San José   - SAT. - 5am-noon  -  San Cayetano, de la iglesia 350mts sur - 3 1/2 blocks south of church

3 puestos dentro de la Feria de SAN RAMON (Alajeua)  -  FRI. noon-8pm & SAT. 5am-1pm.  50mts norte de la Universidad de Costa Rica

 

Super Sony (see above under Asian Foods) has the LARGEST section of prepared Vegetarian goodies I’ve EVER SEEN!!!

 

NATURA STYLE ORGANIC FOOD DELIVERY SERVICE   (http://NaturaStyle.com    / 235-7654 / 8-886-0092   sylvia.escalante@naturastyle.com )

They have the largest selection ofproducts from Organic fruits/veges, baked goods, snacks, vitamins, herbs, meats, plants – even organic dirt +++.  They carry MANY other "healthy" things - not just fruits & veges!!)

Order BY Thurs. for delivery Sat. (tell Sylvia that "Vallarta Vicki" referred you!) 

I've been using them & I've been quite happy!  I find their website VERY EASY for me!   Check out their products in English at http://naturastyle.com/en/productos.asp 

Vegetables & Fruits (organic & not but it’s indicated.  Some hard to find & unique things).

Dairy Products like goat milk/products (including goat cheese with herbs, pasteurized OR raw goat’s milk & yogurt, goats ricotta cheese, goat’s raw soft cheese & flavored goats yogurt; heavy cream; pasteurized mozzarella cheese; buttermilk, organic infertile eggs, pasteurized, sesame seed OR  raw butter, sour cream or milk.   

Cereals - by Biol& & Nutresol –Amaranth, barley powder, granola, oatmeal, wheat germ or bran & whole oats.

Grains, Beans & Seeds – Amaranth, barley grain, black or red beans; brown rice (non-organic [booooh]); millet; wheat berries; soy & mung beans, chan, flax, sesame & sunflower seeds. 

Dry Fruits & Nuts  - Almond (non-organic); dehydrated banana; cashew nut; dehydrated prunes; raisins; walnuts (non-organic [booooh]).

Flours & Misc. -  Soy OR whole wheat flour; Agar algae gelatin; ground coconut (non-organic); wheat gluten

Misc. – Corn tortillas (with or without cheese); Pastas - like carrot or spinach; pineapple empanada

Bakery goods like breads (sold by the piece) - Brown breads with goodies added like figs, orange, spice OR banana; chocolate, oatmeal or ginger cookies (all organic!!) ; banana cake (though I didn’t taste much of a banana taste) OR fruit cake

Salts & Sugars  -  Organic pure brown sugar; sea salt; organic sugar candy/tapa dulce

Honeys & Jams  -  Honey – plain, with ginseng OR lecitin; black berry, guava, mango/tomato, mango/ orange OR tomato/organic organic marmalade; molasses, peanut butter; strawberry jam

Oils – Coconut or sesame

Sauces, Vinegars & Pickles  -  Brown rice; hot pickled peppers; salad dressing; soy sauce, tomato sauce

Soy Products  -  Soy milk – plain or with carob; soy protein

Snacks  -   Bars – Amaranth, cereal (traditional or organic), chocolate bar –with peanuts OR vanilla (non-organic), original or with coconut, ginger, guarana or mint organic, crunch chocolate, oat, sesame (MY FAV!!) OR sunflower (Katrina’s fav!).  Cookies with whole oats (regular OR with orange), sweetened with carob OR soy.  Crackers – Sodiet (soda?) OR wheat bran. Rice cakes.  Sesame seed nachitos; sesame seed sticks.

Organic Meats  -  Chicken – organs, thighs OR breasts; calamari; congrio fish; pinki shrimp; sailfish; sea bass; small shrimp

Wine  -  Setsobua – Cabernet/sauvignon, shiraz or white Mezza luna.

Teas & Coffees  -  Teas – Basil, organic black tea, juanilama, lemon grass, linden, mixed – juanilama & lemon grass OR digestive.  Organic Coffee (grain or ground).  Corn drink coffee substitute.

Algae  -  Long strip kelp or nori/laver/porphyra seaweed.

Supplements & Medicines  -  Algae capsules; aloe capsules; bee pollen; brewers yeast; EM (some powerful stuff!! “efficient micro-organisms); flax fiber; ginseng syrup OR capsules; lecithin capsules, Noni extract; Pro-B; royal jelly capsules; spirulina capsules; aloe gel.

Personal Care  (I’m not going to list everything here but they have crystal OR natural deodorant; organic soaps; cleansing creams; creams; shampoos & rinses; clay masks (we did that the other day – REALLY tightens up those pours!!!) & body soap; hydrating cream; facial cream; organic sun block (8-85 & 45 & for kids) & tanning oils.

PLANTS (all organic so you could even grow your own!!!):

Herbs (organic) -  Aloe; basil, celery; lemon grass; mint; oregano; parsley; peppermint; rosemary; sage; tarragon; thyme.

Plants (organic) - Bougainvillea; croton; guava; lemon; mandarin (more like real lemons); mango; noni; orange; plantain herb; rose; rue; violet; weeping fig; wormwood;

Even earthworms; Compost; organic soil!

Remember this is NOT dealing directly with A farm - they are a delivery service so OF COURSE it's going to be more expensive on many things (though I’ve been shocked at their MUCH LOWER prices on many things you can find in the market) as they get all the products together for you so you're not having to run all over town & back, searching, etc.  You're paying for the convenience (WELL worth it to me!!!  The delivery fee is just 1,2000 colon).

 

 

GOURMET-Y / INTERNATIONAL ITEMS

 

I've found many gourmet-y type of items at:

CAFE TORINO  -  Escazu (San Rafael)  -  Calle Vieja - in Plaza del Rio - 700 mtrs oeste/west of Mas x Menos  OR  100 meters East of Calle Country Club  (2-288-4476 / 2-288-4473 / Torino@racsa.co.cr)  - Their restaurant (with dining upstairs, in the back or out front ALFRESCO) features REALLY GOOD  ITALIAN pastas, Soups, Salads & SANDWICHES.  They have a GOOD DELI right there which even has homemade pastas to go & LOTS MORE including tasty BREADS  (make sure to have Richard take care of you! He’s the tall cutie/sweetie that speaks Good English)!!   Downstairs & in the back (to your Left) they have tasty Italian Gellato/ ICE CREAM – especially their MINT CHIP & the Berry one (no dairy in the berry!) plus some othe r the other tasty/gourmet flavors along with tasty PASTRIES (including CARROT CAKE, a more real tasting Key Lime Pie, German Chocolate Cake, Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Croissants & now DONUTS (Christian speaks good English)!!  Here they even have a FULL BAR (they also have alcohol for sale).  They have a WONDERFUL BIG GOURMET MARKET/selection of imported goodies like REAL Maple Syrup, mustards, candies, things like pesto or sun-dried tomatoe paste in a tube, pastas, jams, crackers & cookies, wines & LOTS MORE!!  Things I’ve not found elsewhere in CR!  They’re THE PLACE for old style foreign/imported Christmas favorites.  Richard(who also speaks good English) is there to help you in this area!  They have FREE WiFi. HOURS:   Mon.-Fri. 8am-7pm (lunch noon-3pm).  Sat. 8:30am-6pm.  (they’re across the street from my place so if you’re in the area – stop by & say “Hola!” to Vicki  8-378-6679

 

SARETTOS  -  Escazu (San Rafael) (2-228-0247 / 2-228-6703 / 2-228-6983-fax)  -  The most cool/unique international things I’ve found here.  Also, the BEST selection of alcohols (especially wines) with some of the best prices.  GOOD quality on meats & veges (& more unique/harder to find things).  HOURS:  Mon-Sat. 7:30am - 8:30am.  Sun. 8:30am-2pm.   IMPORTANT:  Baggers here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) & more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).  LOCATION:  Past Pizza Hut & the Shell gas station by La Cascada Argentinian/steak restaurant or 200 mts west of the Los Anonos Bridge

 

SUPER SONY

(2-221-1263 / http://SuperSony.com  / sschangl@racsa.co.cr)

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!

Super Sony is this FABULOUS store FILLED with pre-made Asian products, spices, Kimchi, frozen Dim Sum (that's where I'm going next time I get a craving for Dim Sum which can be VERY expensive!!)+++!!!  They have things from Thailand, China, Japan (the most expensive products so look to see if they have what you're seeking ina non-Japanese brand/label to save some $$), Taiwan, India & Middle Eastern goodies/spices+++!!  WOW!!!! 

 

FYI - They provide MANY of the oriental products sold at AutoMercado & other stores (which to me translates to those same products probably being cheaper at Super Sony!!). 

 

My NEW FAVORITE items that are just YUMMMM!!!  ZerGut - Lutenica Chunky Relish (a TongueGasmic chili dulce spread!!  EVERYONE that's tried it has gone WILD over this!! [& I have MANY friends from San Francisco/NY areas that KNOW GOOD FOOD that have agreed!!!]).  Mamoaraga (an eggplant spread [more roasted]). Russian Style Ikra Eggplant Spread. Alwadi Gourmet Hummus (chick pea dip)

 

SPECIALS:  BUY 6 of any one item (most) - GET 1 FREE.

 

Super Sony is run by a SOOOOO SWEET Taiwanese family (the Chang's - mom is Elena & just a doll)!!!  The adult kids speak GREAT English (make sure to get Carolina or Yolanda to help you & give them a BIG HUG from Vicki!!!)!!! 

 

HOURS:  Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 9am-4pm

 

DIRECTIONS:  Downtown/Centro San Jose – Calle 3, between Avenida 8 and 10 (3 1/2 blocks Sud/South of Plaza de la Cultura/National Theatre)   

 

 

Appunto Gourmet Market – Escazu (San Rafael)

In little market by Big Dog’s

 

There's a Gourmet Foods store next to MacDonald's in San Pedro - turn right at KFC just before MacDonald's & it's located in the block on your left. (thanx Frances)

 

 

LIQUOR

(list of some liquor stores)

SARETTOS 

The most cool/unique international things I’ve found here.  Also, the BEST selection of alcohols (especially wines) with some of the best prices.  GOOD quality on meats & veges (& more unique/harder to find things)

Escazu (San Rafael – past Pizza Hut & the Shell gas station by La Cascada Argentinian/steak restaurant)

 

La Bruja Super Licoreras 

Escazu (San Rafael)-300 mts. South of the Scotia Split  (2-228-6710)   HOURS:  Daily 10am-mid.      Santa Ana Central  282-3326      Sabana  231-6863.  EXPRESS (depends on whereyou live)

 

http://1-costaricalink.com/costa_rica_yellow_pages/v_yellow_pages_costa_rica/vinos_costa_rica.htm

 

 

MEAT / POULTRY

DON FERNANDOS!!!!! el Especialista en Carnes  (http://CarnesDonFernando.com)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!  Their meats are basically ORGANIC (currently there’s no “official certification” for organic of meat but for all intensive purposes they are as they say “DF’s meat is produced in harmony with nature & free from hormones, chemicals & antibiotics!!!   NO animal is more than 20 months old (this helps with their guarantee to be tender & disease-free and insure that the animals are matured naturally) and there’s very litle corn in their diet and they use a natural 15-20 day curying process.   It’s BY FAR the MOST BEAUTIFUL/TENDER meat I’ve found in this country!!! Their farms are located in La Fortuna near Arenal hence the cattle gets to graze on grass from the WONDERFUL soil of this area!!  They are also VERY environmentally conscious.

THEY’LL PREPARE or GRILL YOUR MEATS FOR YOU!!!!   THIS is MUI CHIVA (“cool”)!!!  Whether it be a steak you picked from the case for lunch (They have a grill on the premise.  NO fee for this & they have some prepared side dishes you can buy like fried yucca, romero potatos, potato salad, green salad from 500-700 colones)  OR   any of their meats including Prime Rib for that dinner party (or like me – you’re just not wanting to cook!!) - for a small fee (I think about 2-3% of the cost).  They’ll prepare it for you PROPERLY – the way YOU like it!!!!  Either go there & pick your cut/what you desire or you can fax/call it in (they need about a day for this) and DELIVERY is FREE with 10,000-c+ in purchases. FYI - Most of the staff I’ve found only speak Spanish.

Be it fresh, frozen or ready to eat meat of better quality than I’ve seen at markets BY FAR.  They carry everything from Veal, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Rabbit, Duck, Chorizo, Seasonal meats like TURKEY, whole HAMS+++!!   In their deli section, they have the BEST Chimmy Churi dipping sauce I’ve EVER had (parsley, LOTS of garlic & what makes theirs so great I think is they use olive oil) – YUMMMMM (sometimes I just dip pieces of cooked chicken into it!!!)!!!  They also carry cheeses like camambert 2,200/piece, feta (Roteborg) 2,995/piece, Pate (pork liver) 3,100/kilo), turkey pastrami 6,886/kilo & some other goodies. FYI - Most of the staff I’ve found only speak Spanish.

HOLIDAY FIXIN’S!! I sampled their side dishes like the Costa Rican version of Sweet Potatoes - Camote - 8,495-feeds 6, Potato/Apple Salad - 8,995/feeds 6, Pumpkin Pie (they don't grow "pumpkin's as we know them) - 9,995/feeds 8, Pecan Pie - 16,500/feeds 12, Apple Pie-9,995/feeds 8. For MY taste - their Mashed Potatoes (9,9950 - feeds 6) were the BEST I've EVER had (there was garlic in them!!!).  COST: COOKED MEATS: Pierna de Cerdo Asada Criolla (pork?) - 15-17 lbs - 8,995/kilo, 25-30 lbs 8,995/kilo; Turkey/Pavo Asado – 7 kilos/feeds 15-17, medium 3.5/kilo, small-1.5/kilo – 8,995/kilo, Virginia Ham - 9,495/kilo - 2 or 5-kilo, Lomo de Cerdo Asado-Hawaiian – 2-kilo or 1.5-kilos – 10,900/kilo;  Relleno de Pavo (apio, crotones, wine, apples)– 8,995/kilo;  Roast Beef 7,995/kilo; lomo de res Asado 2k – 6,995/kilo; Virginia Hamp – Tipo/Natural – 9,495/kilo.  Cooked: 5,000/kilo, Not Cooked: 3,500/kilo (don't quote me on the exact price as the guy I spoke with was a bit iffy with it).  DISCOUNTS: Order/Prepay in full a couple weeks before & SAVE 10%!!

ESCAZU (San Rafael de)  -  ON Calle Vieja – 125 meters West of Mas x Menos in Plaza Colonial  2-289-9165-phone / 2-289-8171-fax   HOURS:  8:30am-7pm.   GRILL- Mon.-Thurs -11:30am-4pm, Fri. & Sat. 11:30am-9pm (closed Sun.)

POZOS DE SANTA ANA (“Lindora”) - Centro Comerial Vistana Este, Contiguo a Matra  2-282-0181 / 2-282-0182.  They only grill on Sat. (with only 1 side dish)  Mon.-Thurs. 11am-9pm, Sun. 11am-4pm    

CURRIDABAT - Plaza Carpintera - contiguo a Aldesa Valores  2-271-3334

PINARES – Plaza Carpintera (2-271-3334)  &  Rincon Parrillero  (2-272-5744)

TAMARINDO  -  Rincon Parrillero  (2-653-2265)

CATERING  (2-227-0245)

TV SHOW:  Watch their tv show (in Spanish) “Cosina Alternative” on Channel 7 at 11am on Sat.

HOURS:  Mon-Sat. 8:30am-7:30pm.  GRILLING HOURS: Mon.-Thurs. 11am-3pm & Fri. & Sat. 11:30am-5pm (Pozos & Curridabat may still be just Sat. 11:30am-5pm).

PRIVATE STOCK  (PrivateStockCR@yahoo.com / )  -  Gringo quality meat grown in Costa Rica!  Ribeye or Tenderloin -15,500-kilo, Porterhouse 17,600-K, T-bone or NY Bone Strip 16,600-K, Sirloin or Flank 14,500, Prime Rib 14,000-K, Roast Beef 12,450-K, London Broil or Brisket 13,500-K, Chuck Roast 10,400-K.  7,300-k – Ossobuco, Stew Meat.  6,250-k Ground Beef or Hamburger Patties.  Beef Tail 4,150.  Beef Ribs 11,400-K, Short Ribs 10,400-K, Eye Round 11,400-K.  9,000-K – Bottom Round, Knuckle Steak or Chuck Round.

Saretto’s  -  Good /higher quality meats

CORNED BEEF  -  Don Fernando’s, sometimes AutoMercado & PriceSmart

KOSHER – AutoMercado’s frozen section

SEAFOOD  - Carne Importadores  (2-293-8639) - Carrieri.   Ask for Vanessa (per Big Mike [this is where this REALLY GOOD chef gets his meats from usually])

Auto Mercado  -  So-so quality THOUGH they have KOSHER MEATS in their frozen section.  They also carry Argentinian Black Angus (Argentinians seem to have the market on good steaks!!)

PriceSmart  -  Larger quantities, good quality though not that cheap

Carne Importadores  (2-293-8639) - Carrieri.   SEAFOOD & STEAKS+.  Ask for Vanessa (per Big Mike [this is where this REALLY GOOD chef gets his meats from usually])

Carniceria Herrera  (2-228-4875) - Escazu – 425 meters north of Escazu Park.  DELIVERY

MasXMenos  -  As far as I’m concerned – especially with their meat/seafood section – their name says it all – “so-so”.

You can find typical Costa Rican quality meats, seafood & chicken, etc. at lower prices at Central Mercado.

For some more options:  http://1costaricalink.com/eng/shopping/shop-eng/carne-110eng.htm )

Costa Rica isn’t a haven for carnivars that REALLY LOVE good quality meet!!!  I’ve found MOST of the meat I’ve had hear to be quite tough. 

“Lomito” is a decent cut.

Most meats here – you might want/NEED to tenderize/marinate it!

If you can find meat that’s Aged – often that ends up being more tender.

CORNED BEEF  - Don Fernando’s & close to St. Patrick’s

 

 

 

ORGANIC

SUPER SONY  (see below)

 

 

VEGETARIAN THINGS

SUPER SONY

(2-221-1263 / http://SuperSony.com  / sschangl@racsa.co.cr)

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!

Super Sony is this FABULOUS store FILLED with pre-made Asian products, spices, Kimchi, frozen Dim Sum (that's where I'm going next time I get a craving for Dim Sum which can be VERY expensive!!)+++!!!  They have things from Thailand, China, Japan (the most expensive products so look to see if they have what you're seeking ina non-Japanese brand/label to save some $$), Taiwan, India & Middle Eastern goodies/spices+++!!  WOW!!!! 

 

FYI - They provide MANY of the oriental products sold at AutoMercado & other stores (which to me translates to those same products probably being cheaper at Super Sony!!). 

 

They even have the Chinese cake I MISS/LOVED from my days in San Francisco!!  To me, sort of a cross between a sponge & pound cake!!  VERY LIGHT but tasty!!

 

My NEW FAVORITE items that are just YUMMMM!!!  ZerGut - Lutenica Chunky Relish (a TongueGasmic chili dulce spread!!  EVERYONE that's tried it has gone WILD over this!! [& I have MANY friends from San Francisco/NY areas that KNOW GOOD FOOD that have agreed!!!]).  Mamoaraga (an eggplant spread [more roasted]). Russian Style Ikra Eggplant Spread. Alwadi Gourmet Hummus (chick pea dip)

 

SPECIALS:  BUY 6 of any one item (most) - GET 1 FREE.

 

VEGETARIAN

They have BY FAR the LARGEST VEGETARIAN selections I’ve EVER seen in my LIFE!!  This is a mecca for Tofu & other delights. Baked tofu, Korean style veggie tamales, tofu dogs, tofu chicken, tofu shrimp & crab, bistek, fresh kimchee (SPICY!!), & other "strange things" that will entertain your pallet. MrLee suggests you bring a cooler if you plan to by frozen stuff (they have LOTS of options) but its OUTSIDE in the front deep freezer. (per mrlee).  

 

Super Sony is run by a SOOOOO SWEET Taiwanese family (the Chang's - mom is Elena & just a doll)!!!  The adult kids speak GREAT English (make sure to get Carolina or Yolanda to help you & give them a BIG HUG from Vicki!!!)!!! 

 

HOURS:  Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 9am-4pm

 

DIRECTIONS:  Downtown/Centro San Jose – Calle 3, between Avenida 8 and 10 (3 1/2 blocks Sud/South of Plaza de la Cultura/National Theatre)   
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