Best Grocery Stores in Costa Rica
Now that you’re getting settled in Costa Rica you will need to do some grocery shopping. Whether you are looking for a great variety, low prices or U.S. products, you’ll be happy to find that Costa Rica has it all.
Standard brands and exported products are pretty much in every single supermarket, and most chains are located all around the country, with a few exceptions of very distant zones and National Parks. No matter if you are near the beach or in downtown San Jose, you will never run out of supplies.
Auto Mercado. This chain provides a lot of customized American products that are not available in other grocery stores. Prices tend to be a bit higher, but so is the quality and the variety of the products offered. You can find Auto Mercado stores in San Jose, in some shopping malls (Multiplaza Escazu & Plaza Major in Rohmoser) and recently even in some beach towns, such as Playa Herradura near Jaco, Tamarindo & Playas del Coco in Guanacaste.
Mas x Menos. The ‘More for Less’ chain grocery store network is spread out throughout the whole Central Valley and some of the coastal towns. Prices are a bit lower than in Auto Mercado, and the selection of produce is smaller, as well. Still, you can do all your basic grocery shopping here.
AMPM. This is a new fast shopping grocery store chain that is spreading very fast across the Central Valley. It’s more mini grocery store than the quicky marts by the same name in the US and its best feature is that you can find an AMPM on almost every mile in San Jose. They offer regular products, fruits, and even prepared meals.
PriceSmart. The Costco of Central America, when you step inside this membership warehouse club you might think you’re back home in the States. Currently, they are only located in the Central Valley where you can buy items in bulks at good prices. Besides groceries, you can purchase electronics, kitchen supplies, and many other goods.
‘La Feria del Agricultor’. This roughly translates to ‘open green market’. Although it’s not a store, if you do your groceries shopping at ‘la feria’, you will have a great selection of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from, usually sold to you by the farmers themselves. Besides fresh produce, you’ll be able to enjoy great street food and significantly lower prices during certain seasons. Every town has their own ‘feria’, and the best time to go is usually on Friday and Saturday mornings, but some of them operate all week long. The most popular organic ‘feria’ in San Jose is held on Saturday mornings in barrio Aranjuez area and is quite an experience, be sure to check it out if you have free time.