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All About Food! Navigating local markets and finding specialty foods

Qué Pasa offers articles about specialty foods (and now craft beer!) available in our area. We invite you to share your special food finds with a short article and contact info that you can send to our Editor.

Recipes are in pdf format, view online or download.

We encourage you to make use of the search function in the top menu bar to find what you are looking for on our site.

¡Buen Provecho!

It's easy to eat fresh!

Market Basics

The Feria - Grecia is host to one of the best ferias or farmers markets in Costa Rica. Every Friday and Saturday you will find locals stocking up on the weeks' provisions and spending a lot of time socializing. The freshest fruits, vegetables both local and imported, a range of dairy products including yogurts, cheeses, natilla (sour cream), eggs, plus coffee, meat/pork/fish, you name it. There is also a wing that offers shoes, clothes and craft items.

At both entrances you will find a whiteboard listing the products available and their base weekly price, so you can also shop smart by buying what's abundant at the moment for the best price.

If you're walking there, you can take a taxi home, as there is a regular line of them waiting inside the market grounds, ready to whisk you home to enjoy your fresh goodies.

The Grecia Feria is located at the bottom of the hill on the road to Sarchi, parking entrance on the right in front of El Lagar hardware store. On the other side of the market (across from the Tribunales/Courthouse) is a walk-in entrance and the parking lot exit.

The Central Mercado - The central marketplace that is the heart of every town. Grecia's is located on the left as you come into town on the main road from the pista (highway). The local bus terminal is adjacent, you will see it first. The central market has everything - fruits, veggies, dairy, meat/pork/fish/chicken, plus a pharmacy, shoe stores, clothing, hardware store, plastic goods and supplies, sodas to sit and eat or order to-go, herbs, macrobioticas, pet shops, this is the original market in town.

Cuts of meat, poultry & fish in Costa Rica - they're not like in the US!   Learn what's what with our cheatsheet.

Local Cooking Resource available! Click here to learn more about Gloria Yeatman's great resource.
Convenient alternative to the Feria

Shopping Options

We hope you have discovered that many local grocery businesses (and restaurants!) are offering home deliveries (aka 'Express' or 'a domicilio'). Check your favorite vendor's FaceBook page, where they usually have express ordering availability and details.   Also, please be aware that many of your local neighborhood markets (pulperias) often offer staples at better prices than, say, Rosvil or even Maxi Pali. Remember that if we don't support our local neighbors, the big stores will swallow them up. As an example, now in Cajon, the La Pacifica market has greatly improved their product line, with an onsite bakery, more fresh produce and even more frozen meats. In Los Angeles, there is a wonderful veggie/fruit store (verdureria) in front of the high school now, and they will shortly be opening a carneceria - consume locally, use less gas! San Isidro also has a greatly expanded market as well, so we don't necessarily have to go Grecia for foodstuffs. 

La Gran Bodega, the produce-heavy market near the Grecia feria that is popular with the ex-pat community, makes home deliveries, as does Supermercado Rosvil.

Both businesses will deliver groceries to customers in the greater Grecia area for ȼ3000. Use Whatsapp to send a text message with your list and directions for delivery. You can then call or text afterwards to confirm.

Gran Bodega: The number is 8886-7278. Please have your order in by 10:00 a.m. Contact is Karla, she speaks both Spanish and English. Produce always excellent!

Rosvil: The Whatsapp number is 8654-5447. Spanish only! If you can make your list as detailed as possible they will bring exactly what you ask for. E.g., “leche, 1 galon, marca Dos Pinos”. Make a list, take a picture of it and send to the market. They will call you back to confirm – you can pay with cash or credit/debit card when they deliver. Order early in the day.

In Sarchi, a similar service is offered by Pedidos, 8301-4753, and Fulvio Verduleria, (express delivery on the weekends), 8407-2365. Call them for delivery details.

PriceSmart also has an online service - order your items via their website, pay and pick up your packed order the next day.    

updated 7 August 2022     
Specialty Breads

Ukrainian Recipe Bakery Items in San Isidro de Grecia

by Oleksandra Demianenko

Hey! Nice to see you here, at our article! Let us introduce ourselves. We are small company of people who loves what they do. We are producing very different products by their taste and variety. Please, enjoy our bakery items that we sell every Sunday in front of the Pulperia in San Isidro de Grecia across from the Sports Field and EBAIS office. We usually open around 8:30 AM each Sunday. We use recipes from our native Ukraine to make a variety of pastries and breads.
You can find us in facebook as Pan Ucraniano, and in Instagram with the same name, and and also with the name Ahumaderodelpapa.

At the page of Pan Ucraniano we are proposing to people: white breads as vegetarian bread, whole wheat bread, bread of milk and butter, bagels…
From the sweets are breads as: sweet heart with sugar, sweet heart with cinnamon, pigtail with poppy seeds, leaves with dry coconut and unprocessed sugar, coletitas with apple, pineapple and strawberries. Coletitas with almonds, sesame seeds and other.
Also, according to orders, we make cookies in butter for large orders in advance.
All our products we are making with only natural ingredients and with high quality, also we add something special in everything we are making. We have hashtag #hechoconamor that means made with love, that’s why the taste is different from all others.
Furthermore,  Pan Ucraniano offers cold-smoked products

You can find us at the Farmers Market every Friday at the place 277B, we call it La Esquina Gourmet.
We are producing: loin of the pork, beef. We have bacon and smoked meat Rolls. Also we are producing sausages such as Salami, dry chicken sausage, and hunters sausages. We use only meat. No additives.
Now we also can propose you cold-smoked seafood: Marlin, White and Pink, and Octopus.
We are happy that we already have our permanent clients who are always satisfied with our products. Please come, you too, to know that you can be happy here with delicious food from us. Made with love from us to you.


posted 6/6/2020
Carnecerias (Butcher shops)

Carneceria Don Felipe

Don Felipe is back!

In Sarchi across the street from the Big Ox Cart (part of their restaurant). 
Still has rave reviews for their steaks!
Phone is 7114-6121 / 8674-6191 / 2444-2531 WhatsApp 2494-6698

Updated 10/29/2021
Carnecerias

Lamb

By Don and Debra Rogan

Fresh farm raised lamb meat is now available delivered to your door anywhere in Grecia, Sarchi and Naranjo! Margarita Solis Alfaro raises her lamb flocks in Guanacaste and has them processed by her butcher in Coope Victoria. She is multilingual and highly educated. You can order any cuts including ground lamb by calling Margarita at the number on her business card. We love the neck cuts and ground lamb ourselves, plus lamb is one of the healthiest meats available!

posted 1/12/2019
Carnecerias and BBQ Classes

La Carne Boutique

by Diane Cooner

All the expats have been raving about this new carneceria. The owner, Adrian Marin Arroyo, is very enthused about bringing a high quality product to town and especially about educating Griegos (people from Grecia) in the art of barbeque. He is offering US cuts of beef that a US palate will find very appealing. 

By all accounts, La Carne Boutique is offering the best beef in country. If you have been here for any amount of time you will know that finding really good beef is not an easy task, more like hit and miss. And you will have learned that most cuts of beef (and other meats) here bear no resemblance to what gringos are accustomed to. 

Rib Eye, New York steak, T Bone, brisket, flank steak, sirloin, and other Premium cuts. La Carne Boutique has them all.

At the Feria, space #276 & 277. They also offer premium cuts of pork and free-range chicken.

BBQ classes (complete with a 100% English speaker) are happening;  interested parties should make a note of LCB's FaceBook page for current information, class times, etc:  La Carne Boutique.

Updated 10/29/2021
Specialty Cheeses

La Queseria don Beto

by Diane Cooner

I am just thrilled to report that don Beto cheese is available in Grecia!

They make fabulous cheeses, both cow and goat. Some favorites are fresh mozzarella, ricotta and palmito. They also offer provelone, parmesan, fresh mozzarella and more. 
Store is located 50 meters north of Perimercado, other side of the street. 

Hours are: 7 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday through Saturday

Updated 10/29/2021
Specialty Cheeses

Finca BAAA! Goat cheeses

by Walt Clayton

The favorite varieties of 100% pasteurized goat milk cheese made by Ronald Rodriguez of Finca BAAA, including Feta,  handily beat all PriceSmart goat cheeses in terms of quantity, quality, and price – I regularly check each one myself.

Although there is no current point of sale in Grecia, Ronald's wonderful goat cheeses can still be purchased in Atenas at Balcón del Café; here is a testimonial:

"Good day. I hope everyone at Finca BAAA is well. This week I bought your Feta cheese at Café El Balcón in Atenas and I am incredibly impressed. I have eaten Feta in many fine restaurants and markets around the world and thought it was important to tell you that you are very good at this. You and your goats should be very proud of what you create. It would make me very happy to always have your incredible cheese in my refrigerator. Thanks very much for what you do."
Jaye & Toni,  Atenas, Costa Rica


AND
You can enjoy Free delivery for orders of C10,000 or more in the Grecia area and Sarchí.


Contact: Finca BAAA cheese is still available for pick-up in San Isidro, direct at the source.

You can call Ronald Rodriguez at 8724-9140 (English & Spanish)
or
Marjorie at 8751-6007 (Spanish)

Updated 6/21/2022
Pickled Veggies and Salsas

Mily Salsipicas

We would like to bring to your attention some great local products made by Que Pasa subscriber Milagro Fuentes Arley.

The product line is Mily Salsipicas.

She is located in Rincon de Salas in Grecia.
Cellular: 506-8312-5370,
E-mail: milysalsipicas@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mily.salsipicas.9
And the products are certified, license: DIGEPYME-CONS-14697-19

Posted 4/30/2020
Pickled veggies in 2 sizes
Encurtido grande de 930 gramos
(930 grams of Pickled Vegetables): 4.000 colones
Encurtido de 470 gramos
(470 grams of Pickled Vegetables): 2.700 colones
Pickled onions 
Encurtido de Cebolla
(Pickled Onions): 4.000 colones
Chileras
Chilera de Uchuva (Cape Gooseberry Chili):
2.700 colones
Chilera de Carambola (Star Fruit Chili):
2.300 colones
Artesan Coffee

Cafe Artesanal El Cajon

Home delivery of local gourmet, homegrown, roasted and packaged coffee from right in El Cajon. Rave reviews all around!

Updated 10/29/2021

Maricela's Café

by Ivy Penman

Chris and I love good coffee. It was one of the main attractions which brought us to Costa Rica and of course in Grecia we live right in the middle of a huge coffee growing area. In Grecia you can buy gourmet coffee direct from a grower, in San Isidro de Grecia.

We have a French Press, which we think makes the best coffee, but it requires a coarse grind. I used to buy Cafe Brit and have it ground at Pricemart but now I buy my coffee from Maricela, in Calle Rodriguez. She grinds it and packs it in vacuum packs. Like Cafe Brit it comes in light, medium and dark roasts. The medium roast is very similar to Terrazu from Cafe Brit. Of course if you prefer a lighter or darker tasting coffee you can buy a lighter or darker roast. Did you know that many of the cheaper ground coffees in the shops contain additives, such as barley, to cheapen the product? Maricela and her husband grow, store, roast, grind and pack their coffee in vacuum packs. Drinking their coffee is a wonderful experience.

Maricela and her husband are located just off Calle Rodriguez. Turn right just past the green-painted Salon, opposite the school, before La Colina. They are both very helpful. They will also deliver.
• 350 grams ground premium C. 2,275
• 350 grams coffee beans, premium C. 2,275
• 500 grams ground premium C. 3,250
• 500 grams coffee beans, premium C. 3,250

Call Maricela Ballestero Alfaro on 2444 4072 (Spanish) or for English call Laura 8641 2152

Updated 10/29/2021
Artesan Coffee - San Isidro de Grecia

Cafe Greco

MY TICO CAFFEINE FIX
by Walt Clayton

I’m no hoity-toity café co...no...see...ur.   
I just know what I like.

Rarely do I try free samples at PriceSmart or any other place, but on a trip to the Grecia feria I was offered one I couldn’t refuse. I had already tried several so-so store brands of coffee but this was truly local, so I had to give it a shot. After all, I’m a coffee addict and will be living here a long time.

Offering me a sample cup was coffeemonger extraordinaire Rodrigo Espinoza – young, sharp, and passionate about producing the prefect brew. So passionate, in fact, that he gave up his lucrative position as a financial executive with the Dos Pinos dairy products firm to devote himself fulltime to café. One taste and I was hooked, which led to an animated discussion about coffee in our area.

Turns out Rodrigo, owner of Café Greco, has five varieties on five hectares of trees just outside San Isidro, about 500 meters before you get to the town, west side. And he does it all -- grows, dries and ages the beans, roasts them in a vintage Italian contraption, grinds, blends and sells them. The rich consistency cannot be matched by other distributors who blend beans from dozens, even hundreds, of small growers.

Many local producers got their start during World War II, when most of the surrounding sugar and coffee fincas were German-owned. Upon declaration of war, the Germans were deported. Fincas passed to the government. Costa Rican groups got the land and formed the first cooperative in the country: Cooperativa Victoria. Rodrigo’s grandfather became part of the cooperative, and his land prospered and expanded within the family.     But enough history, let’s cut to the coffee. Basically, there are two types: “el robusto” from Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia – a so-so rough bulk coffee for mass consumption.  A finer “arábica” bean is found in Central America, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and is what Rodrigo grows exclusively. The best crops are between 1,200 and 1,800 feet altitude in volcanic soil, and Rodrigo’s trees are at 1,300 feet, smack in the prime zone. The winds at harvest time help dry the husked beans, which makes this area ideal.

Updated 10/29/2021

New varieties

Being the perfectionist he is, Rodrigo is constantly tinkering with new varieties in his experimental plots. One bean in particular, Geisha, is more of a tea than coffee, but is highly prized by Asians and commands up to C20,000 per kilo.
It’s not robust enough for local tastes, so is essentially for export.
By comparison, his ground arábica goes for C6,700 per kilo, or about $6.13 per pound. 

At the Feria

To try Café Greco for yourself, swing by the Grecia feria on a Friday afternoon. Rodrigo has a grinder at his stand and sells his beans either whole or ground. To personally see his operation in San Isidro, call or text him at 8832-6254, or shoot him an email at coffee.greco@gmail.com – his English is probably as good as your Spanish.

Private tours

Private tours for visitors are welcome, and good for gift purchases and a quickie education on all this great coffee that surrounds us. I took mine in December at the height of the harvest, followed by husking and drying.

Italian roaster

 Watching the Italian roaster in action is a nostalgic thrill, followed by sampling on the premises. In an hour you’ll be café-savvy!  
Grecia now has a microbrewery! 

Beer Designers - Now Open in Los Angeles de Grecia

By John Brewer

Our very own craft beer right here!  Can it get any better?

Beer Designers is open for visitors on Saturdays from 3pm to 9pm

Located in Los Angeles de Grecia, you will find them on the right side as you go up the hill past the church in Los Angeles, about ½ mile, in that odd-looking building painted grey with that dark red/pink trim.... Parking on the street.

Beer Designers offers excellent beer and a wide variety to choose from: the milder Lager to the dark rich style. There is something for everyone and Andres has even provided a variety of games to play from cornhole to Giant Janga. 

He is bottling on site so you can take some home. This place is just starting to make a splash! 

Andres has provided a unique opportunity to enjoy beer wit friends. He has combined great brewing with good old-fashioned fun. Let’s support our master brewer and have some fun!  

posted 1/21/2022

 Most of his crew are bilingual so don’t worry about communicating in Spanish.

Clean clean clean shop
Check out their website https://www.beerdesigners.com/

You can order beer online from their site as well - free delivery on orders over 9,500 colones - what a deal! 
Give them a call - Whatsapp 8333-BEER (2337).
World class brews
Co-owners Andres Cifar, shown above center with Afner Hernancez (left) and unknown assistant. Andres' knowledge and skill is vast. He started his brewing education in Barcelona at The Institute de Cerveza Artesana. Next he traveled to Chile where he studied at the Institute de Cerveza de Americas. Then he finally finished his master degree education in North Carolina at NoDa Brewing Co. 

Need we say more?

SPECIALTY FOODS

Joy's Caesar Dressing

Due to popular demand, I will be marketing and selling my Caesar dressing (the one served at our Italian night dinners at Isabel's restaurant). Please email me your order and we can arrange delivery.
I have several sizes.The price is broken down to 50 cents an ounce.
thank you...
Joy Carson, hairmaven@aol.com

Updated 10/29/2021

German Sausage

German sausage maker Harry Hofmann in La Garita

by Irina Just

Do you know how many varieties come under the general name “sausage”?
There are numerous types to fry (Bratwurst); many varieties to cook or boil (Kochwurst) and still more to spread or slice – the spreadable kinds are pâtés; the slice-ables ones are either salames or Landjägers.

German-born sausage maker Harry Hofmann offers 2 pages of variations, divided into “Sausages and Bolognas”; “Salamis and Hams” and “pâtés” and offers 23 different types under the first category; 10 varieties under the second, and 12 different pâtés.

Under “miscellaneous”, he lists an assortment of roasts, chops, schnitzels and steaks, smoked trout and various mustards in addition to Liver-dumplings (Leberknödel), Meat-Salats (Fleischsalat), Sauerkraut (both raw and cooked) and several aspics (Sülzen).I personally have tried only about a third of his offerings (I'm working on the remaining 2/3) and found each sausage not only to be very delicious and “pure” (Hofmann uses no fillers), but also absolutely authentic. Hofmann has been re-creating the unique styles from different areas of Germany, importing spices and herbs to make them just right.

Hofmann makes his sausages fresh to order which means an order must be placed on a Friday so he can get the freshest ingredients on Monday and your order will be ready for pick up at his plant in La Garita by the following weekend.

Check out their site at: www.embutidoshofmann.com (updated 12/21/2018)
Directions: Take the autopista route 1 to the Coyol exit (the one to Riteve and to cross over to Rta. 27). Turn immediately right, so you have the Riteve building on your left.Go approx. 3 kms straight on that road and you'll see a container plant on your left.
Harry's is across the street, on your right.
Hours are:  Monday to Friday: 7:30 – 11:30 and 1 to 4.    Saturdays: 8-11 

Updated 10/29/2021

Pass Reteve

Reteve is on your left. Go 3 km.

Container plant on your left

Landmark!

Harry is across the street

On  your right will be Harry Hoffman's.

Recipes!

These are favorites submitted by Que Pasa subscribers. If you have a 'they always ask for more' recipe, please share it! Send to our Editor.