Best Grocery Stores in Costa Rica
Whether you are looking for a great variety, low prices or U.S. products while on vacation in Costa Rica, when doing your grocery shopping—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 San José downtown, 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 José downtown, some of the shopping malls (Multiplaza Escazu & Plaza Major in Rohmoser) and recently even in some beachs 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 AutoMercado, 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. 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. There are not many establishments of this chain in Costa Rica, but in the few ones in San José and Alajuela 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’, and although it’s not a store, if you do your groceries shopping on ‘la feria’, you will have a great selection of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from, usually sold to you by the farmers themselves. Beside fresh produce, you’ll be able to enjoy great street food and significantly lower prices during certain seasons. Every town has their own ‘la 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.