Central Market (Mercado Central)

Central Market (Mercado Central)

Central Market (Mercado Central)
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About
This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.
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  • angiejean01
    Circle Pines, Minnesota126 contributions
    A true experience.
    With not too many options of things to do in San Jose, we opted to check out the market and city center. Things to keep in mind if you are considering it. 1. Traffic is pretty crazy, we drove and finally parked in a lot we found. Street parking is basically impossible. 2. Some describe the area as unsafe, I would disagree. Would I be there after dark? No. During the day? It’s fine. 3. My family loves to experience culture and explore. This area is full of locals and not many tourists. 4. The market is full of little shops and restaurants. 5. My family enjoyed being in the city center but it may not be for everyone.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written March 25, 2023
  • betteskid
    Boston, Massachusetts1,328 contributions
    Nice market that is worth a stop
    We wandered around here during our recent stay in San Jose and enjoyed the market. There are lots of places to eat here (we had some nice ceviche) and many shops with souvenirs if you are looking for that sort of thing. There is also a nice range of produce and vegetables although Mercado Borbon (not far away) is better for this sort of thing. It is definitely worth coming here though if you like the market scene and are looking for something to do in San Jose.
    Visited March 2023
    Written April 8, 2023
  • mvanroy
    Merelbeke, Belgium729 contributions
    Wander and experience local colors and smells
    You can stroll for a long time in this completely covered central market. Wander through the small alleys and enjoy the diverse smells and colors of the different fish, meat, flower, animal, souvenir and other shops! In-between the shops you will find local food restaurants with good and cheap food, including the special ice cream shop Lola Mora.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written June 29, 2023
  • The Wandering Reviewer
    Melbourne, Australia9,806 contributions
    Come and discover the heart of a city
    Market. One of my favourite words. It’s a place where you uncover the life blood of a community. And this one in San Jose rose to the challenge. The smell is what hits you first - fish! Then as you move further into the bowels of this what seems endless building, you come across meats, herbs, flowers (Australian gum tree leaves), fruit, vegetables, flowers, touristy trinkets, sweets, candles, ice cream and so much more. I encourage you to engage with the smallholders who are as curious about you, as much as you are about them. This is not a market where they will badger you to buy something. This is a “people’s market” where everyday San Jose residents purchase their food and other goods. With all due respect, once you’ve finished walking around, I recommend you sanitise your hands. So many touch points here for a westerner without a strong constitution could pick up.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Thomas G
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,672 contributions
    Great market
    For me this market was one of the best places to visit in San Jose. There are any shops and great local places to eat. It is nice to walk around for an hour, but it is not so big, so then an hour is sufficient. Do not forget to grab a bite.
    Visited February 2023
    Written July 5, 2023
  • Doug D
    Swindon, United Kingdom83 contributions
    Find the Sorbet Bar - its magic
    Busy indoor market. Lots of herbs and food. Nice vibe in there. Find La Sorbetera de Lolo Mora - magic sorbet bar. Great, busy staff in uniform and a popular venue. Try the original sorbet its yummy.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 20, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
700 reviews
Excellent
218
Very good
301
Average
127
Poor
30
Terrible
24

Abigail A
18 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
Souvenirs are cheaper here, and there are unique finds. The food is to die for! Make sure to try the oldest ice cream in Costa Rica as well!
Written December 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Quinten Jiskoot
Amsterdam, The Netherlands530 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
Colourful place, ideal for people watching, grabbing some snack, have lunch, or just enjoying this busy highlight in the center of San José.
Written December 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doug D
Swindon, UK83 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
Busy indoor market. Lots of herbs and food. Nice vibe in there.
Find La Sorbetera de Lolo Mora - magic sorbet bar. Great, busy staff in uniform and a popular venue. Try the original sorbet its yummy.
Written October 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dana P
Lynnwood, WA5 contributions
Aug 2023 • Friends
This place was not for the faint at heart and definitely not for tourist. My friend booked a walking tour and dinner excursion for someplace in the market, they were no clear identification for the location, the market was seedy to put it lightly. Some boys were following us around, uncertain what their aim was.
Written August 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anja D
36 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
Nice authentic market, definitely worth a visit while being in San Jose
Nice and good priced lunches
Written July 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil V
1 contribution
Jul 2023 • Family
Beware!
This store charged my credit card twice! Obviously, I didn’t notice until I was out of San Jose!
Shame!
Written July 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas G
Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,672 contributions
Feb 2023
For me this market was one of the best places to visit in San Jose. There are any shops and great local places to eat. It is nice to walk around for an hour, but it is not so big, so then an hour is sufficient. Do not forget to grab a bite.
Written July 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Wandering Reviewer
Melbourne, Australia9,806 contributions
Jul 2023 • Friends
Market. One of my favourite words. It’s a place where you uncover the life blood of a community. And this one in San Jose rose to the challenge.
The smell is what hits you first - fish! Then as you move further into the bowels of this what seems endless building, you come across meats, herbs, flowers (Australian gum tree leaves), fruit, vegetables, flowers, touristy trinkets, sweets, candles, ice cream and so much more.
I encourage you to engage with the smallholders who are as curious about you, as much as you are about them. This is not a market where they will badger you to buy something. This is a “people’s market” where everyday San Jose residents purchase their food and other goods.
With all due respect, once you’ve finished walking around, I recommend you sanitise your hands. So many touch points here for a westerner without a strong constitution could pick up.
Written July 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mvanroy
Merelbeke, Belgium729 contributions
Jun 2023 • Family
You can stroll for a long time in this completely covered central market. Wander through the small alleys and enjoy the diverse smells and colors of the different fish, meat, flower, animal, souvenir and other shops! In-between the shops you will find local food restaurants with good and cheap food, including the special ice cream shop Lola Mora.
Written June 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

myhastingsfamily
Lindon, UT51 contributions
May 2023
This place was so horrible!!! There was a woman laying in the street that passed away and people were just walking over her and taken pictures. I felt so bad for this woman. My husband said "we are not going to stop here" I was fine with that. There was absolutely no way i was getting out of the car.
Written May 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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CENTRAL MARKET (MERCADO CENTRAL) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)