La Ventana Meraki – Fusion Street Food in San José

Every time we ride by this place taking the bus from Mall San Pedro back to the Hemingway Inn, there’s always a crowd standing out front and I always say, “We really need to check that place out.”  Well, we finally did, and what a great surprise it was!

La Ventana Meraki is a hip little street food joint that promotes itself as serving  Costa Rican Fusion Cuisine.  It’s located on Avenida 3 between Calles 21 & 19, just east of the Parque Nacional, and across the street from the Estación Atlántico train terminal.

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly special about the place; middle-of-the-street frontage with a metal awning, a small kitchen and one cashier and a cook.  But once you sample their food, that’s when you’ll realize just how special this little joint is – and why there’s a crowd out front every time we roll by.

Eating here is about as basic as it gets, and part of what makes street food dining so enjoyable.

You scan their extensive menu printed on the chalkboard, sidle on up to the window and place your order, and then wait for your name to be called.  There are no stools or tables on the sidewalk out front, and that’s what takes us to the next little fun ‘quirk’ about the place.

Once you get your order, you walk across the street and take your spot on the cement steps out front of the train station and dig into some unbelievably delicious food!

They have some absolutely AMAZING burgers and sandwiches, fried vegetables, and dozens of special sauces to make your order even more personal and unique.  And here’s a great little bonus; considering the quality of the food, it’s surprisingly reasonable.  One sandwich and order of fried sweet potato fries was more than enough for the two of us, and the cost was about 5,000 colones (a little less than $10 bucks, and for San José, a great bargain!)

La Ventana Meraki is open Sun. & Mon. from 8PM-Midnight, Tues.-Thurs. from 12AM-Midnight, and Fri. & Sat from 12AM-2AM.  If you’re looking for something different to do after dark in San José, and want some top-notch, delicious street food, than you definitely want to give this place a try!

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