Eat + Drink

A Foodie’s Guide to San José: The Fast-Growing Food Scene of Costa Rica’s Capital

You already know that Costa Rica’s gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests and tropical climate make it the ideal vacation destination. But have you heard that Costa Rica also has the ideal, year-round growing season for almost any ingredient a chef’s heart desires?

The chefs of Costa Rica’s capital city, San José, are using this agricultural advantage to fuel a dynamic and fast-growing gastronomy scene. Whether you’re visiting San José for business or are on your way to the coasts, be sure to take advantage of the city’s world-class culinary offerings.


Located in the Rohrmoser district of San José, Furca is a farm-to-table restaurant that specializes in house-aged steaks. Furca supports local farmers and maintains a large, on-site urban garden, which supplies their kitchen with fresh herbs and vegetables.

The restaurant’s dining atmosphere is modern and stylish, with the bustling open kitchen on display. In addition to world-class steaks, Furca is also known for its inventive seafood dishes, as well as superb lamb, rabbit, duck and pork entrees.

The restaurant also serves fresh gnocchi and pasta, a variety of seasonal vegetables and carefully crafted desserts.

Restaurante Kalú

san jose restaurants
Snap pictures galore at Kalu. (Photo: Camila Jurado and Laura Escobar)

In the hip neighborhood of Barrio Escalante, you’ll find the trendy and Instagrammable Restaurante Kalú. In her airy and bright mid-century modern café, Chef Camille Ratton serves up delectable dishes from a French-fusion menu, including white ceviche, warm baby octopus with smoked potato salad and drowned quesadillas.

Kalú also boasts a gourmet offering of coffees and a wide variety of desserts such as Passion Fruit Pie and seasonal flavors of creme brûlée.

Andiamo Lá

A scenic 20-minute trip into the suburbs of San José will take you to Andiamo Lá, a contemporary Italian restaurant nestled in the foothills of Santa Ana. Andiamo Lá offers an extensive menu of classic Italian dishes presented with a modern flair.

They make a large selection of their pastas in-house and even offer a bambini menu for the discerning child. Enjoy your meal in the spacious and contemporary interior dining area or outside on the airy patio surrounded by beautiful fountains and lush greenery.

Park Café

san jose restaurants
Be prepared to indulge the senses at Park Cafe. (Photo: Courtesy of Park Café)

On the north end of San José’s La Sabana Metropolitan Park (a sprawling 153 acres of greenery in city’s center), you’ll find Park Café, the culinary passion project of Michelin-rated chef Richard Neat. This gem of a restaurant is located in a renovated mansion/antique shop that is run by Neat’s partner, Louise French.

Enjoy dishes from their tapas-style menus such as scallops wrapped in prosciutto with torta Español and vichyssoise sauce or octopus braised in white wine with grilled chorizo and parsley sauce while soaking in the surroundings of expertly curated art and antiquities from across the globe.

Restaurante Grano de Oro

A visit to Restaurante Grano de Oro will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a more luxurious era. Situated in a Victorian mansion in the heart of San José, Restaurante Grano de Oro is considered one of Costa Rica’s finest dining experiences.

In this beautiful and plushly decorated atmosphere, you will enjoy the efforts of French chef Francis Canal, who has perfectly merged classic European cuisine with a Costa Rican tropical flair. Restaurante Grano de Oro also maintains an extensive wine list for perfect pairings with all meals.