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Food tours in Costa Rica

Discover San José’s Culinary Revolution: Food Tours in Costa Rica with Foodie Tours Costa Rica

Discover a culinary revolution in San José, through immersive food tours in Costa Rica that showcase innovative dishes, local ingredients, and the vibrant food scene. Join Foodie Tours Costa Rica for a unique and delicious experience!

Until recently, Costa Rica wasn’t exactly on the radar of global food enthusiasts. Known more  for its stunning beaches, thrilling white-water rafting, epic surfing, and exhilarating zip-lining,  the culinary scene was often overshadowed. However, the tides are turning, thanks to a wave of  innovative chefs and creative restaurants transforming San José into a paradise for food lovers. If  you want to taste the revolution firsthand, there’s no better way than taking a food tour to learn where to check out. This is just as applicable to expats like me as it it for tourists and travelers.

Having spent four years in Lima, Peru, the culinary capital of the Americas, my expectations for San José’s food scene were modest at best. Costa Rica, after all, is famous for its natural beauty, not  so much for its cuisine. My early eating adventures here introduced me to dishes like chifrijos, gallo pintos, casados, and even a delicious Caribbean rondón. These dishes were hearty and satisfying, but they didn’t quite match the sensory extravaganza I had experienced in Lima.

Foodie Tours Costa Rica

Then I discovered Adriana H. Font and her Foodie Tours Costa Rica. This is where my perception of Costa Rican cuisine began to shift. I signed up for the Essential Gastronomy Experience in San José’s trendy Barrio Escalante, a neighborhood at the heart of the city’s culinary renaissance.

San José itself might be gritty and bustling, a stark contrast to Costa Rica’s beaches and rainforests. However, like other urban renewal projects around the world, the city is evolving. Barrio Escalante, once a coffee plantation, is now a vibrant hub adorned with Instagram-worthy street art and frequented by the trendy crowd. This area is ground zero for a culinary revolution, driven by passionate chefs eager to reimagine traditional Costa Rican recipes  using local, fresh ingredients.

Arbol de Seda

Our tour kicked off at Árbol de Seda, a restaurant celebrating Costa Rica’s rich farming culture. Known for its innovative vegan and vegetarian dishes, Árbol de Seda delighted us with a tasting menu specially curated for Foodie Tours Costa Rica. We savored a pejibaye ceviche, a vegan shrimp salad served in an avocado bowl, and an enyucado filled with cheese and topped with pico de gallo, all accompanied by a refreshing wild berries cold tea. The creativity and dedication to local produce were evident in every bite.

Amana Restaurant

Next, we strolled through the barrio to Amana Restaurant, a newcomer with a mission to honor local ingredients through fine dining. Here, we enjoyed a tasting of ayote sazon milhojas, a layered squash dish with onion puree, goat cheese, radicchio, roasted pumpkin seeds, and umami vegetable juice. The mackerel, served on a sweet plantain puree with watercress, cilantro, and  Scotch bonnet pepper oil, was a highlight. We ended on a sweet note with cas and dulce de leche, a dessert featuring cas ice cream, cas granita, dulce de leche foam, and crumble. Each dish was a masterful blend of flavors, textures, and aromas.

Learning the Art of Coffee

No foodie tour in Costa Rica would be complete without experiencing its world-renowned coffee. Our journey concluded at Cafeoteca Specialty Costa Rican Coffee Shop, where we delved into the art of coffee. From harvesting to various processing methods and brewing  techniques, we learned it all. The workshop, led by the passionate and knowledgeable barista Oscar Vargas, ended with a delightful snack, gallo de papa con chorizo.

Food Tours in Costa Rica for Other Culinary Recommendations

Our four-hour culinary adventure through San José was not only a feast for the senses but also an  educational experience. Adriana recommended other notable foodie spots in Barrio Escalante, including La Cova and Astral Speakeasy for drinks, Isolina and Garden Bistro for contemporary dining, and Cabra Negra and Franco for specialty coffee and brunch (for anyone on the west side of San José, there’s also a Franco in Rohrmoser). For casual dining with local flavors, Alma de Árbol and Apotecario are must-visits. Adriana’s dedication to promoting local gastronomy ensures that Foodie Tours Costa Rica offers only the best experiences.

Costa Rica’s year-round growing seasons, fertile land, and abundant waters make it a culinary paradise. The country’s chefs are now harnessing these natural resources to create innovative and  mouth-watering dishes that put Costa Rica on the global food map.

So, forget the rice and beans stereotype and dive into the new and exciting food scene in Costa Rica. Join a San Jose Food Tour with Foodie Tours Costa Rica or follow Adriana’s blog to stay updated on the latest culinary trends and must-try ingredients.

Buen provecho and pura vida!

Nuala Lawlor

Nuala Lawlor

Nuala Lawlor is a sometimes-Canadian diplomat (previous assignments to Venezuela, Sudan, Ghana, Peru, South Africa), full-time mom/wife, and wannabe journalist currently living in Costa Rica. She loves eating, fashion, travel, travel-planning (she's very type-A), and writing about anything of interest. Nuala only has good ideas.