David ’s two downtown city markets closed in 2010, scattering vendors around the city, at least temporarily. Until they find a permanent home, the vendors can be found in makeshift stalls around the Terminal de Transportes and the Palacio Municipal.
However, Mercado San Mateo (Calle Miguel A. Brenes/Calle F Sur between Avenida 3 Oeste and Avenida 4 Oeste, 5 A.M.–9 P.M. daily) has a brand-new building right behind its old home. It’s a fresh fruit and vegetable market within walking distance of the Purple House Hostel . At night vendors set up huge vats of oil and cook fried-death snacks until 5 the next morning.
Super Barú (Interamericana and Avenida Obaldía, 7 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.) is a large grocery store with a bakery, gringo-oriented packaged foods, and good veggies. It also has a pharmacy and a bank with an ATM.
There’s a 24-hour El Rey supermarket with a pharmacy across the Interamericana from Super Barú.
Super 99 (Calle Miguel A. Brenes/F Sur near Avenida 5 Oeste, 24 hours daily) is a large grocery store with a pharmacy and ATM.
Supermercado Romero (a half block northeast of Calle Miguel A. Brenes/F Sur between Avenida 2 Oeste and Avenida 3 Oeste, 24 hours daily) is a grocery and dry goods store behind the McDonald’s on Calle Miguel A. Brenes. It has a bakery, pharmacy, and ATM. It cashes travelers checks.
There’s another Romero (Calle A Norte and Avenida 3 de Noviembre/Avenida 4 Este, 8 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.) at the south end of Parque Cervantes . It’s mainly a department store, but it has an attached grocery and pharmacy.
The Do-It Center (Interamericana, tel. 775-3648, 9 a.m.– 8 p.m. daily), a DIY store next to the El Rey on the Interamericana, carries outdoor gear such as rain ponchos, lightweight sleeping bags, rather flimsy life jackets, and cheap (in both senses) tents.