Friday, July 2, 2010

New Italian and Lights, Sound Romantic? Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

We are very happy to report on new happenings downtown because most of the time they are adding cultural options or improving ambiance. This post has a little of both to cheer about in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica, making this an ever increasing destination for toursists and expats.

Safer, Nicer Lighting at Plaza de la Cultura: The plaza that sits on top of the Bank Museums and surrounds Teatro Nacional will be receiving a bit of a facelift and a new lighting system beginning next week. The plaza currently has 34 light posts and will be replaced with 11 that give out more light using less energy. A study will be done to determine the optimum placement of these lights and then they will be installed. 

In addition the plaza will be reworked to provide better seating for people to meet and have a true 'plaza experience'. A handicap ramp will also be installed for easier musuem access below. These changes should be completed some time in September. 

Add these changes to the improvements that have already happened on Paseo de los Damas, and the Urban Plan for Barrio Escalante, and in another year we are sure to have a pleasant and safe walking experience from as far as Mall San Pedro down to the heart of the city at Plaza de la Cultura. 

New Italian Restaurant: At least when one restaurant closes another usually opens quickly in its place. Last month I wrote about the closure of Argentine restaurant, Pachamama. Now in its place, on the first floor of Edificio Morazan is Little Italy. This restaurant will be 'softly' open starting next Monday, and continuing to fine-tune the ambiance throughout the week. Hours 11-4 to begin. 

Seeing as how there cannot be enough good pizza in downtown, this place is very welcome and a first round of tasting says the menu items will only get better. Featuring about 10 different pizzas including mexican and exotica (fresh fruits like pineapple, green apple or strawberry), the menu also includes calzones, spaghetti, a pizza burger and salads among its variety of options. Prices are reasonable starting with a small pizza for 2,000 colones to a large for 7,500. 

I still also recommend OK Ristorante Italiano as well for good pizza. Right now I'd say the defining difference is Little Italy is probably serving up heavier meat options while OK is a lighter, more Italian style. 
Buen Provecho!

Barrio Bird offers walking tours of San Jose. If you are a visitor or have lived here for some time, there is always a new way to see the city. View tours or make a reservation by emailing or calling 8926-9867


  1. They definitely need lights around the national theater. The lights currently installed are so intense that you can't look closely at the blind spots around the benches. It makes a nice spot to come out and mug someone, and ironically enough its because there is too much light.

  2. Can't wait to see how they redo the plaza! I always enjoy 'people watching' there.