San Jose

We’ve compiled the best of the best in San Jose - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Café 1930

    Barrio La Soledad | Cafes–Nightlife

    The café under the arcades at the entrance to the Grand Hotel Costa Rica pulls duty as a pleasant place for a drink or coffee. Listen to live...Read More

  • 2. Café del Barista

    Barrio Aranjuez | Cafes–Nightlife

    The rain does get a bit loud on the metal roof, but the wide selection of coffee drinks here is worth the occasional racket. ...Read More

  • 3. Café Miel Costa Rica

    Barrio Otoya | Cafes–Nightlife

    A scant two tables and a small counter are the only seating at this tiny place, which serves up coffee from its own finca in Tarrazú in the...Read More

  • 4. Café Mundo

    Barrio Otoya | Cafes–Nightlife

    The highly recommended restaurant Café Mundo is a quiet spot for a drink or bite to eat and is frequented by gay and bohemian crowds. ...Read More

  • 5. Cafeoteca

    Barrio Escalante | Cafes–Nightlife

    This café sits at the entrance to the trendy Kalú restaurant and blends and roasts its own coffee on-site....Read More

  • 6. Club Unión

    Barrio La Merced | Cafes–Nightlife

    The elevated, glassed-in café here lets you survey the ongoing hive of activity on the small, shaded plaza in front of the post office. ...Read More

  • 7. El Observatorio

    Barrio La California | Bars/Pubs

    El Observatorio strikes an unusual balance between casual and formal: it's the kind of place where folks over 30 go to watch a soccer game but...Read More

  • 8. Jazz Café San Pedro

    Bars/Pubs

    This place draws big crowds for the nightly live music (except Sunday). Although the staple here is jazz, rock and funk acts play here as well...Read More

  • 9. Juan Valdez Café

    Sabana Norte | Cafes–Nightlife

    This sleek, modern coffee shop is an island of all-Colombian products in Costa Rica....Read More

  • 10. La Avispa

    Dance Clubs

    A gay and lesbian crowd frequents La Avispa, which has two dance floors with videos and karaoke, as well as a quieter upstairs bar with pool...Read More

  • 11. La Bodeguita del Medio

    Paseo Colón | Bars/Pubs

    The mojitos flow and the chips and guacamole keep coming at this west-side restaurant that showcases live (usually Cuban) music most evenings after 9....Read More

  • 12. Mac's American Bar

    Sabana Sur | Bars/Pubs

    An older expat crowd hangs out at Mac's, which always has the TV tuned to a sporting event. It might even have the city's best burger. ...Read More

  • 13. Merecumbé

    Dance Clubs

    Step into a San José nightclub and you might think Costa Ricans are born dancing. They aren't, but most learn to merengue, rumba, mambo, cha...Read More

  • 14. Olio

    Barrio Escalante | Cafes–Nightlife

    Fill up on Spanish-style tapas at the Mediterranean bar and restaurant Olio. It draws a mix of professionals and older college students. ...Read More

  • 15. Omar Khayyam

    Cafes–Nightlife

    Smack-dab in the center of the campus nightlife, Omar Khayyam is a blissfully quiet refuge. Share a jug of wine and falafel or hummus with fried...Read More

  • 16. Q'Café

    Cafes–Nightlife

    There's lots of chrome at this downtown second-floor café that brews its own coffee from the Tarrazú and Naranjo regions. Grab a seat and survey...Read More

  • 17. Ram Luna

    Aserrí | Music Clubs

    In the far, far southern suburbs, Ram Luna is most famous for the views—the lights of the Central Valley sparkle at your feet—and the music...Read More

  • 18. Saboreaté y Café

    Cafes–Nightlife

    It's as much about the tea as it is about the coffee at this small, cozy downtown café, a branch of a Spanish chain....Read More

  • 19. Starbucks

    Pavas | Cafes–Nightlife

    The coffee and bakery selections are just like back in the United States at the Costa Rican outlets of the ubiquitous chain. You'll find five...Read More

  • 20. Vyrus

    Bars/Pubs

    There is occasionally live music at Vyrus on the weekend, which draws a mixed college student and young professional crowd. Videos from the...Read More

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