It was tricky to compile a list of the Best Breakfast in San José, as that the majority of breakfast places in San José do not open before 10AM. This list celebrates scrumptious breakfast spots offered at cafés and restaurants who serve breakfast at a breakfast friendly hour (late risers might want to check out our “Best Brunch” post here).
Café del Barista
One of the earliest opening great breakfast joints in town, Café del Barista serves gourmet coffee, eggs, pancakes, waffles and pastries to the hip and hungry. The menu switches at lunch to focus on small plates, quesadillas, salads and the like, or you can choose for their any time menu of sandwiches, wraps and bagels.
For coffee lovers though, the most important thing to know is that Café del Barista doesn’t have its name for nothing. The espresso drinks are crafted by truly skilled baristas, each one trained by owner Manuel Dinarte, who organizes annual competitions to test the skills of baristas across the country. Now that's a good buzz to start off your morning with.
Barrio Amón - Av 9 between Streets 19 and 21
Open Daily 7am - 6pm; Closed Sundays
More Info: 2221 4712; http://cafedelbarista.com
If you’re looking for the best typical breakfast in San José, head down to the Central Market for some good, down-home cooking. While much of the market selling souvenirs and the like stay closed until later in the morning, many restaurant and food stalls open at 6am to cater to early morning food shoppers. Try Soda Los Angeles (2223-2606), where fresh squeezed juices are mixed with water or milk and sugar for a breakfast smoothie, or head upstairs to Soda Cristal (2223-5002), where you can hanker down for a traditional plate of gallo pinto. The Cafeteria y Cafe Central (2222-1769) serves delicious, fresh roasted coffee, and if you’re feeling cheeky, grab a post-breakfast dessert at Sorbetera de Lolo Mora (2256-5000), near the main entrance. This institution of an ice cream parlor makes one flavor only: a vanilla sorbet-like ice cream with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves - and has been making it for more than 110 years.
Downtown - Av Central between Streets 6 and 8
Open Daily from 6am; Closed Sundays
Grano de Oro
The gold medal winner for our number one best breakfast in San José is potentially the least known as well. Not that Grano de Oro itself is unknown - this beautiful boutique hotel has been delivering five star service and old world glamour to San José city lovers for more than two decades. Their restaurant is considered one of the best fine dining establishments in the city. What people don’t seem to know is that Grano de Oro also serves an excellent breakfast at completely reasonable prices.
Try their Eggs Benedict with salmon and avocado, accompanied by a fresh squeezed orange and pineapple juice. Or, the truffled eggs with a smooth black coffee. Really, who doesn’t want to lounge in an impeccably decorated courtyard, an oasis from the city’s bustle, eat delicious food and experience five star service for the same price you’d pay at any trendy café in the city? Consider the city’s best kept secret to now be officially revealed.
Sabana South - Street 30 between Av 2 and 4
Open Daily 7AM - 10PM
Our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Sofia's, has opened up a breakfast cafe right down the street in Escalante and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Everything that you love about Mediterranean food - fresh ingredients, delicious, dips, feta cheese and the like - is now available in breakfast form, all day long.
The best thing about Mediterranean food is that the quality of the ingredients will always shine through, and Pandeli is no different. Fresh breads, rich butters and jams,thick honey and dark coffee enlighten the senses even for those surfing from the worst hangovers. If that won’t do it, then go for a chia seed breakfast pudding or a green juice. It's the most delicious detox you could hope for.
Barrio Escalante - Street 33 and Av 1
Tues - Sat 8AM - 7:30PM; Sunday 9AM - 4PM; Closed Monday
More Info: 2253 6474; https://www.facebook.com/pg/pandelic
Traveling with your four-footed companion is not always an easy task, and cities usually prove more difficult than out of the way locations. The warmth that Ticos have towards canine companions, however, helps make San José one of the most dog friendly cities in Latin America.
Although the actual dog parks leave something to be desired, there are many parks and sports fields where your dog can run, as well as cafés and restaurants that are happy to host your well behaved dog along with you.
The Feria Verde was easily our top pick for dog friendly places in San Jose. From 7AM - 12:30PM every Saturday, a whole punch of people who like kids, dogs, natural products, healthy food and good music get together to hang out and enjoy these things. You can walk around with your dog and explore the for stalls - where you both can get free samples. Afterwards, sit down to have a coffee or lunch, then take fido for jog around the track or into the football field to run around and play with the other dogs. The Feria Verde is a Saturday morning must for all downtown dog owners.
Barrio Aranjuez - Street 19 and Av 15
More info: 8884-1694; feriaverde.org
Best Dog Parks
Parque La Sabana is the biggest park in San José, meaning it easily has the most space for your dog to run. What's lacking is closed off areas, so La Sabana is best for dogs who are well behaved off leash. However, it's still a great option for going on runs or walks with your furry companion.
Smack in downtown is a lovely green space where many local dog owners come to walk their pups. Although it is not an official off leash area, you’ll see more than a few off leash dogs, especially in the morning when the park is relatively quiet.
The field where the Feria Verde is held on Saturdays is the easy winner for best dog friendly run downtown. The football (soccer) field is fenced in, so many dog owners take their dogs here to play off the leash. It is the only real fenced off field that we found anywhere near the downtown area. The football field is also encircled by an asphalted track, making it perfect for owner+dog runs.
San Pedro Dog Park
I have to include the dog park because someone will inevitably google "Dog Park San José." They will see this park, and they will get excited. If your dog is small and likes running dog agility courses, stay excited! If your dog is big and would rather run around and play with other dogs who are not small, then perhaps skip this one. The park itself is pretty small (not ideal for long legged dogs to run), and unfortunately most of the (little) dog owners that frequent here were not keen on their pups playing with our very big dog.
By Stacey Auch.