When you are in a foreign country and your Uber driver says he’s worried about letting you out to look for a hidden bar in a less than Pleasantville part of the city, you know you’re on a good adventure. When we were researching secret bars in Costa Rica we were pretty disappointed in the lack of anything truly hidden, but we read amazing reviews for the one good craft cocktail bar in San Jose and figured we’d try it while we were there. And what we found was one of our favorite hidden gems yet!
Unlike the well lit shopping plaza area we saw in an online review where Bebedero looked plain and unhidden, what we stepped out of the Uber to find was certainly different. The shopping plaza was closed with an aluminum shutter and was dimly lit by safety lights. Only a small door that was open on the side of the shutter told us there was something to find. We could see two men hanging out just inside but everything certainly looked closed and unwelcoming (hence why our driver got a little uneasy). We could see a small hanging sign that said Bebedero and we at least knew we were in the right location, so out of the car we went! Passing by the two guys (we found out later they are the security guards) we tried to act casual – like we knew where we were going – and then we noticed white rabbits painted on the ground and knew this had to be the way to find the bar! TripAdvisor had never given off such a false impression, this was definitely a secret establishment and we were so glad we hadn’t missed it!
Following the rabbits up a long ramp to the second floor, we wound our way to a sliding door and into the bar. The bar itself is a tiny hole in the wall, I only counted 30 seats available. We sat at the bar which only had 6 stools and were happy to find our bartender, Richard, spoke perfect English. Bebedero has a vintage industrial atmosphere that was elegant and hip at the same time. One of my favorite moments was looking for all the various white rabbits hidden throughout the bar, we found about 17, and we were told there were more we missed!
The menu is most unusual as all drinks are created custom on the spot. Describe the kind of drink you’d like and then the bartender creates an amazing concoction based on what you’ve mentioned. To craft your cocktail, simply go through each step of the menu. Options like “tall or short” (referring to the glass), “strong or refreshing”, and choosing your base liquor help you create your own drink for the night. The staff were incredible. Richard made us four completely different drinks and each was better than the last. I wish I could describe what we ordered but they were so original and complex it would be too hard to explain!
Let me just say, you cannot go wrong at Bebedero. Your tastes pick your libation, Richard’s mixology is genius, and the atmosphere of the tiny place is awesome. For a bar that we weren’t expecting to be anything special, it was quite spectacular. Most trips to Costa Rica fly in and out of San Jose, which means there is no excuse to miss this stop! Tell your Uber you know where you’re going and go follow those rabbits!
Your Dark-Alley-Searching PLIs, (visited April, 2019)