San José’s Mercado Central (Central Market), located in the heart of Costa Rica’s capital city, was established in 1880, and occupies an entire square block. The market contains a complex of narrow alleys with over 200 shops, stalls and sodas (small restaurants). A huge range of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, coffees, and other products are for sale including snakeskin boots and cowboy saddles, herbal remedies, flowers, cooked meals, souvenirs, and local handcrafts. Tens of thousands of people visit the market daily.
Two blocks to the north is the Mercado Borbón, which specializes in food, with numerous butchers, fishmongers, and fruit vendors located there. Similar enclosed markets can be found in Heredia and Alajuela.