San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Small Group Tour

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San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Small Group Tour
from USD $81.40
Walk in the shoes of a typical ‘tico,’ or native Costa Rican, on this 4-hour evening tour of San Jose and dinner in Guachipelin. Meander through San Jose’s Central Market with an expert guide, and learn about the ingredients used to prepare local cuisine. Then stroll through historic neighborhoods to admire beautiful architecture, including the National Theater. You will enjoy Paseo de la Luz , the east side of San Jose well known for its gastronomy , before tucking into a gourmet 3-course meal, paired with wine, at a local restaurant.
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In Brief

San José, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
4 hours
Monday to Saturday
Important InfoInfo
Meet your guide at San Jose’s Central Market, a lively labyrinth of more than 200 stalls that took root in 1882. Watch as people stream in and out of the covered market to purchase groceries and meet friends at restaurants, cafes and bars.

You’ll find wares of every kind here, including produce, herbal remedies, handicrafts and more. Your guide will take you to certain stalls to point out the herbs, roots and fruit commonly used in local cuisine, some of which may even be part of your dinner later on.

After the market, amble down Central Avenue, learning about city history along the way. In Culture Plaza, gaze at the Neoclassical façade of the National Theater. Opened in 1897, this ornate playhouse is always busy hosting performances from the National Symphony Orchestra and National Theater Company, among other acts.

For more impressive Costa Rican architecture, stroll through Morazán Park — built over swampland in the 19th century — for a look at the Metallic Building that houses two prominent schools. At Spain Park, gaze at the Yellow House, home of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and hear about its connection to Andrew Carnegie.

We’ll continue to charming Barrio Amon, one the oldest neighborhoods in San Jose. Designed by Amon Fasileau, a Frenchman who settled in the area, it has become one of the most scenic parts of the city, boasting a rich, architectural history.

We’ll be spending the rest of the evening at a favorite local restaurant that specializes in wine and gourmet food. This cosy establishment offers the best in Costa Rican cuisine, a unique space that offers art, culture and history as well as fine dining. The view from the terrace is like looking out onto an open-air museum, where 1930s architecture fuses with modern builds which infuses this delightful neighbourhood its eclectic charm.

Between your tasty three course meal, and wines that go down a treat, you’ll be ending the evening in fine fashion, feeling every bit the San Jose local.

Your local guide will be happy to provide suggestions on where to head to next, but if not, they can assist you with getting a taxi back to your accommodation


  • Local English speaking guide
  • Dinner
  • 3 glasses of wine


  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off


Sample dinner menu (subject to change)

First course (one of the following):

• Tomato filled with sea bass ceviche and chicasquil (tree spinach)
• Palm fruit cream soup
• Tuna ceviche salad with olives, nuts and beetrootMain course (one of the following):

• Sea bass filet in tamarind sauce, with sweet potato puree and hearts of palm
 • Beef tenderloin with blackberries and strawberry sauce, with banana croquettes and glazed palm fruit
 • Pork tenderloin encrusted with palm fruit seeds, mango and guava
Dessert (one of the following):

• Turrialba cheese and guava jelly
• Banana ice cream with pumpkin honey
• Coconut fudge with soursop ice cream

Each course is paired with wine from Argentina or Chile.

Departure Time

4:00 PM

Departure Point

San José Central Market, Entre Calle 8 Y Avenida 1 Entrada Noroeste Mercado Central, Paso De La Vaca, San José, Costa Rica

Returns To

Amón, San José, Costa Rica

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 6 years
  • Minimum age to drink wine is 18 years
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 people
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

It was an excellent tour with an excellent guide. We learned a great deal about the history and local culture of the area. The meal at the end of the evening was amazing to say the least. We highly recommend this as part of your experience in Costa Rica.
• Submitted 03 Feb 2020
This tour is an incredible value and it was better than I expected. Our guide Eric was calm, kind, and extremely knowledgeable. I learned more about San Jose, Costa Rica than I expected I would in such a short amount of time and I saw so much. Finally, the end cap was an amazing dinner -- that blew me away. I highly recommend this tour. Touring with a local is such a great way to uncover a cities secrets; this tour validated that for me.
• Submitted 13 Jan 2020
Our evening with Ernesto was educational and fun. At the market we learned all about the different fruits, vegetables and particularly spices and what they used for (medicine). At a different destination we tasted chocolate and learned how it is becoming a major export accompanied by wine. Finally, a delicious dinner in an upmarket restaurant - a memorable night.
• Submitted 14 Oct 2019
Very knowledgeable tour guide and dinner was amazing. I will definitely be going back to restaurant.
• Submitted 25 Mar 2019
This tour is outstanding. I was on my way to a coastal town and had one night in San Jose. This was the perfect way to spend my time. Our guide, Angel has an intimate knowledge of the material and he unveils the history and culture of Coast Rica in an interesting and humorous way. He is a true joy to be around, and the kind of guy you'd like to have a drink with. In fact, I did! The dinner was muy excelente. Very high end and very tasty. This restaurant has a hand-crafted new menu very night. The decor and the wait staff were first class and Angel did a great job orchestrating our dining experience. A great way to cap off a fantastic, enriching and worthwhile experience. This is a must for all first timers in San Jose. Puravida!
• Submitted 02 Aug 2018
You must call and get the phone number of the tour guide. We spent about 30 minutes trying to meet up with our guide because the meeting location was non specific. Which is stressful for people new to the area. Once the tour started everything was great. The indoor market is truly an experience and the food was delicious. My family had a great night and took lots of great pictures.
• Submitted 27 Jul 2018
this walking tour and then dinner was just lovely - you see some of San Jose's biggest tourist sites as the sun goes down and then eat at a great restaurant. well worth the price - great tour!!
• Submitted 30 Jun 2018
Our guide was very knowledgeable, it was a nice way to see San Jose as we only had one night in town. The dinner at the end was amazing. Very unique and delicious!!
• Submitted 14 Mar 2018
Our guide and the tour were Fantastico!!!!!!
• Submitted 11 Feb 2018
Would highly recommend this tour. Was a fun and informative way to experience San Jose for the first time. Eric was fantastic, his information was interesting, he really knew the history and current information about San Jose. The dinner was awesome. We had so much fun
• Submitted 26 Jan 2018
Very good experience - visit the old markets and get local Costa Rican experience..
• Submitted 23 Dec 2017
Ernesto was our guide and he was very informative. We had a lot of fun, learned a lot and had a nice meal.
• Submitted 20 Nov 2017
Walking around the central market was nice. Learning about the food culture in San Jose was yummy. But the tour ending at a local restaurant with a drink was awesome!
• Submitted 19 Aug 2017
Wonderful walking tour with Vinicio. Learned so much and he was incredibly knowledgeable yet only about 23 years old and very proud of his country. Great walk and incredible meal at the end!
• Submitted 03 Aug 2017
Perfect in every way. I've toured San Jose many times - but never like this. My tour guide, Venicio, was knowledgeable, friendly, and humorous. This was a tour I will remember for years.
• Submitted 29 Mar 2017
So glad that we took this tour. Jurgen with Urban Adventures met us at the Central Market. He did an amazing job and went over and above what we expected from this tour. We walked through the market with Jurgen explaining and showing us so many different things. We had walked through the market earlier in the day but it gave us a whole new insight of the city of San Jose. Jurgen toured us through the city, telling us a lot of stories and the history of San Jose. He took us to an awesome older neighborhood where there have been many homes turned into restaurants. It was a great way to end the evening, especially since he joined us for dinner. We highly recommend this tour and Jurgen!
• Submitted 29 Jan 2017
We really enjoyed this tour although it was a little difficult in meeting the guide. The food was very good and the guide was very informative with his commentary on the markets and the city of San Jose.
• Submitted 15 Jan 2017
Jurgen and Cristopher were great guides and shared many insights into the Costa Rican lifestyle and history. The meal was probably the best of my five-day trip! This was a great overview of San Jose. As noted by another visitor, the name does need to change since the meal is no longer in Escazu.
• Submitted 25 Oct 2016
Carolina was amazing, she gave us the real San Jose experience.
• Submitted 28 Jul 2016
This is a must if you're only in San Jose for a day or two. Jurgen lead us around town, explaining the historical and cultural context. We went around food markets where we got to try some local fruit. Then we were taken a little further out for a very nice dinner. Not your typical tourist experience, but a great way to get a feel for San Jose if time is short.
• Submitted 25 Jul 2016
It was a great tour - Really shows you the old part of the city and you get to experience the Costa Rican way of life, smells and sounds from up close. Our guide was very knowledgeable about each part of the city. Dinner was a one of a kind gourmet three course meal and totally yummy!
• Submitted 08 Mar 2016
Great evening. Learned so much about San Jose and a wonderful dinner in Escazu. Thanks to Manuel and Eric. This is a great way to get a cool perspective of the city. Don't miss this tour. Frank G.
• Submitted 17 Feb 2016
Like other reviewers we had a tough time finding the meeting spot. This is because San Jose started using road names/numbers but the locals aren't used to it yet. Once we found the spot however the rest of the evening was great. We had 2 guides for 4 people because another group had to cancel, so we never felt like we had to jockey for time or keep up with just 1 person. We were able to see parts of the city that we never would have, such as the history of the post office, behind the scenes of the Central Market, and experiencing exotic fruit. We had a great coffee, local dinner, and out of the way bar. Each guide brought their own personality and views for living as a tico, and one of them even hung out with us after the tour. I would highly recommend this experience.
• Submitted 28 Jan 2016
We did this tour on the same day we arrive to San Jose. What a great way to start our trip. The tour guy was very informative! Central market is amazing! We drink costarican coffee and the dinner was delicious. This tour is a MUSSSSTTT DOO!!! Our group was small and perfect!!! lol If I go back to Costa Rica I will definitely do this tour again!
• Submitted 22 Jan 2016