When we first moved here, we had a routine for every Saturday: wake up early, head to the San José Feria Verde market to get groceries, and then to a nearby cafe for some delicious vegan food before heading home. It was our ritual; our way of “letting loose” on the weekend. Our routine has changed a bit since then, mostly because we got tired of driving 45 minutes to an hour every Saturday just to get groceries, but we still head there every now and then and recommend it to everyone we know who happens to be visiting Costa Rica.
Reasons why we love Feria Verde:
- All of the produce is organic and the selection is huge! They have pretty much anything you could want in the way of fresh fruit or vegetables.
- Besides produce, there are also vendors selling vegan goods, such as pasta, bread, and even “meats” and cheeses!
- You can find an array of hand made goods, like clothing, jewelry, house decorations, and other kinds of art. You’ll also find a beautiful selection of crystals, essential oils, beauty products, holistic products, you name it. We even saw a tarot card reader the last time we were there.
- They have food stalls where you can sit to have breakfast or lunch, two of which are completely vegan! You can grab a meal along with a coffee, tea, or kombucha while you discuss how “cool” and how “neat” the market is. Our favorite vendor is called Cocina Colibrí. They sell home made vegan desserts, both raw and baked, not to mention the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. Make sure you take some home to have with tea or coffee the next day as we always do.
- Get there before 8:00am to get the best selection of produce (before everything is picked over).
- Bring your own grocery and produce bags to save on plastic bags.
- Bring small change.
- Carpool – parking is limited.
- Always tip the guys who help you park your car – it’s common courtesy.
Feria Verde currently has two locations as I’ve listed below, but I’ve chosen to talk about the one in San José because it really is the most impressive and fun to go to! The market in Ciudad Colón is much smaller and has less produce, but it’s still a cool market to visit if you find yourself in the area. We usually go there every Tuesday since it’s close to where we live.
San José: Saturdays from 7:00am – 12:30pm
Ciudad Colón: Tuesdays from 1:00pm – 7:00pm
Next up – Mantras Cafe!
Having breakfast after the market is probably our favorite part of the day. Mantras Cafe has two locations, but we always go to the one in Barrio Escalante because it’s only two minutes down the road from the market! It also has the best atmosphere in my opinion. They’ve taken what looks like a house and converted it into a small restaurant. There are a couple of nice outdoor seating areas; one in the front and one in the back, but we usually choose to sit inside because we like it cozy. Mantras is a vegetarian restaurant, but they have a lot of vegan options. We always order the Tostadas Francesas, which is French toast topped with whipped coconut cream and bananas along with a side of fresh fruit, and the Tostadas Mexicanas, which is a piece of toasted house made bread topped with veggie tofu scramble in a tomato sauce along with a side of gallo pinto. All I can say is YUM! I have to be honest with you, don’t expect very good customer service here, but those two dishes alone are to die for and enough of a reason to go.
In summary, it’s an amazing feeling going to a local farmer’s market where you know everything is organic and no matter what you buy, it’s going to be the freshest and most high quality produce you’ve ever tasted. We’ve gotten fruit at the local grocery store in town, and the taste just doesn’t compare with what we’ve gotten from Feria Verde. If you’re ever in or near San José, I highly recommend reserving your Saturday morning for this market. You will not be disappointed!