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Costa Rica Travel: Barrio Escalante among ‘Coolest Neighborhoods’

Barrio Escalante, located in Costa Rica’s capital city San José, was among those selected in the ‘Coolest Neighborhoods’ category by Time Out magazine. The area ranked 41st in a ranking comprised of 51 choices.

The British magazine highlighted Barrio Escalante’s food options and varied restaurants with unique styles.

“For a long time, Costa Rica’s capital was somewhere you’d pass through to get to where you were going. But recently, a generation of local chefs have returned home, having traveled and trained around the world, honed in on Barrio Escalante, lending Calle 33 a new nickname: Paseo Gastronómico. Many are bringing a sense of urgency to their country’s proud (but increasingly threatened) legacy of hyperlocality,” wrote Time Out.

The magazine chose several restaurants that stood out for the quality of their food or drinks and how they obtain their products while helping local producers.

“Rstaurant Franco has redirected some of Costa Rica’s best coffee – historically exported – into local hands, while Sikwa works closely with indigenous Bribri farmers to reproduce ancient, native recipes,” the magazine added.

In addition, Time Out remarked on Isolina Restaurante for its exquisite dishes and the tradition the restaurant holds.

“Isolina Restaurante has mastered a distinctive fusion of fine dining and home cooking in what used to be the home of the Escalante family, after whom the area is named. It sources its seasonal ingredients from small producers, resulting in an irresistible menu: try the arracache hash browns, yams in seabass broth, and veal cooked in caramelized garlic and served with hibiscus reduction,” the publication mentioned.

The media outlet even described a perfect day visiting the Costa Rican city, with several activities, including food, culture, and nightlife.

“Pick up a Costa Rican coffee from one of the barrio’s nameless, garage-style pit stops, and head to Franco’s for candied bacon or passion fruit and pistachio pancakes. On Wednesday nights, catch an experimental film at Cooperación Española Cultura and a DJ set at Sikwa, then head to Apotecario for cocktails and kombucha before a night on the dancefloor at LGBTQ+-friendly club Neon Ice,” author Anna Prendergast noted. 

Surely, Barrio Escalante is an enjoyable place that conquers tourists with its artistic and gastronomic options.

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