Quepos/Manual Antonio--Best Place to Buy Groceries

Old Sep 15th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Quepos/Manual Antonio--Best Place to Buy Groceries

7 of us are renting a house in Manual Antonio for a week. I will be arriving early and am in charge of stocking the house and getting groceries. Can anyone suggest what store or stores in that area would be the best and most economical to purchase groceries? What about beer, wine, and soda? What kind of prices can I expect? I am willing to go a little bit of distance if it will save some money as I realize that Manual Antonio is a high tourist area and thus would have higher prices. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 15th, 2010, 11:49 AM
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For groceries, you would probably be better off to go to Quepos. Look for chain stores such as MegaSuper, SuperCompro or Pali. SuperCompro, in general, is my favorite. The Pali is a little more basic.

You will find beer and wine and often liquor at any of the large supermarkets but if you (or your group) are picky, you might look for a specialty liquor store.

As for prices -- it depends on what you buy. Anything that is imported and carries a US brand will be more. Breakfast cereals (Cheerios), Campbell soups, Jif peanut butter, things like this. You can find Costa Rican brands of pretty much everything. BioLand makes a really nice array of mostly organic products - good granola, for instance. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be your best bet. You can usually find fresh meats and seafood at the bigger stores and either the same price or cheaper. However, the cuts of beef or pork may be unfamiliar to you.

You will be able to find a good array of oils - good olive oil included. (Expensive, of course.) You can find spray oils like Pam but they are expensive also.

They will have specialty cookies and crackers that will be more expensive but you can readily find regular crackers and whole wheat crackers. (Whole wheat = integral) In general, most chocolate products or cookies sold in the supermarkets are pretty bad. You would be better off to visit a good bakery for this type of thing. The best chocolates I have found are made by Gallito - try the Guayabitos for a little treat. Britt Coffee company makes some good chocolates if you can find them but they are expensive. (Love me some chocolate covered macadamias!)

Before you go, make yourself a little "cheat sheet" showing popular denominations of dollars and their Costa Rican equivalent. Everything will be priced in colones so with your cheat sheet, you can tell at a glance about how much something will cost. All these bigger stores will accept credit/debit cards. Also carry with you a list of food items in Spanish and English since most of them will not have an English equivalent. Some do, but most do not.

The stores will not be air conditioned so be prepared for that. And eggs are not refrigerated so be prepared for that. (No problems, either. Trust me on this - I have eaten thousands of unrefrigerated eggs here.)

By the way, many of the large supermarkets are owned by WalMart of Mexico. !!
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Old Sep 15th, 2010, 10:55 PM
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There is no Megasuper nor Supercomrpo in Quepos?Manuel Antonio at this time. The closest Megasuper is in Parrita.

We usually shop at Supermas which is across the street from the bus station in Quepos. They have a larger variety than Pali. They have a relatively good selection of wines - alot of Chilean and Argentinean. But as Hattie says, Pali in many cases is a bit less expensive.
Supermas accepts credit cards - but they usually ask for you to produce your passport if you use one. Pali probably does too - but I haven't tried..

Otherwise I agree with the info Hattie has given you. I am hooked on the Bioland Sesame breadsticks and often buy the Granola. (although we sometimes buy Yipi and Chiki cookies... http://pozuelo.com/galletas_con_cobertura.htm

If you are there on a Saturday, you can check out the Farmers market in Quepos for fresh fruits and vegetables and other things. But there is usually a good selection of produce in the supermarkets and the vegetable/fruit stores. There is one right next to Pali called Fruteria La Feria.

In the Manuel Antonio area there are 2 branches of Super Joseth. They are a bit more expensive than the other stores for some things - but since they more cater to tourists you might find a different variety.

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Old Sep 17th, 2010, 03:45 AM
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Thanks so much for the valuable info.
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