San José is currently undergoing a gastronomic renaissance. Around 85 restaurants can be found in the city’s Barrio Amón, Barrio Aranjuez, Barrio Escalante, Barrio Dent as well as Los Yoses. Barrio Amón is slightly north of downtown with the other four areas just to the east.
All five districts touch each other and are concentrated in an area of only a few square miles making it easy to walk from one to another.
Over the last 10 years many Costa Ricans have moved to the western suburbs of Escazú, Santa Ana, and Lindora. Scores of restaurants and stores have opened to meet a growing population’s needs. However, there is no one area that has as many dining choices packed into one area as the neighborhoods near downtown San José.
Rohrmoser, to the west of San José’s Sabana Park, is starting to experience an increase in the number of restaurants being opened but still has a long way to go to compete.
Expat retirees tend move to suburban towns like Atenas, Grecia and San Ramón. While these places have a variety of dining options, none can hold a candle to San José’s five interconnecting barrios (neighborhoods).
The gastronomic diversity found there simply can not be topped. Besides restaurants, the area features a couple of microbreweries offering a variety of homemade craft beer.
San José is slowly shedding its image as an undesirable city due to a reduction in crime,a growing number of cultural events, music venues, art galleries, theaters, historic and arquitectural tours, bicycle paths, dinning establishments, scores of new stores, a constantly evolving China Town, year-round activities in its parks and the development of high rise condominiums. The city’s Gran Hotel Costa Rica, the fist hotel built in the downtown area, is being completely remodeled and destined to become the jewel it once was. Furthermore, Mayor Johnny Araya has proposed a light rail system to limit the number of vehicles entering the city. More pedestrian thoroughfares have also been created to reduce traffic downtown.
It is only a matter of time before the city recaptures its former glory and becomes more suitable place to live and visit.