The meals in Colombia is unimaginable, from road meals distributors to hearty soups, unimaginable candy baked items, and desserts ‘postres’. Throughout my 3 months in Colombia, I ate my manner round Bogota, Medellín, and Cartagena, sampling among the most must-try dishes in Colombia.
In case you’re questioning what to eat in Colombia, here’s a listing of my favourite dishes, together with my suggestions as to the perfect locations to eat in Colombia.
15 Meals To Strive in Colombia
There’s some unimaginable meals to be present in Colombia, and as a consequence of its dimension, an enormous selection too. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite conventional dishes in Colombia, in addition to some suggestions for the place to attempt these tasty delights.
1. Ajiaco (Most Well-known Meals to Strive in Colombia Total)
Within the highlands and central area, Ajiaco is likely one of the hottest meals in Colombia. It’s greatest described as a sort of hen and potato soup with capers, cream, and corn. The capers and cream are normally served on the aspect so as to add to your style.
It’s given its attribute taste by the addition of the Colombian herb, guasca. Ajiaco is usually accompanied by avocado and rice, so it’s a full meal in itself. Within the cooler components of Colombia, like Bogota, it’s my favourite Colombian meals. It’s filling, warming, and really fairly priced.
In case you’re in Bogota, positively be sure you cease for a bowl of this unimaginable soup. I’d extremely advocate La Puerta de la Catedral which is near Simon Bolivar Sq., the principle sq. in Bogota. It’s splendidly genuine and serves some nice meals.
Ajiaco is a wonderful instance of conventional meals in Colombia and is significantly scrumptious.
La Puerta de la Catedral Data
Handle: Cl. 11 #6-26, La Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia
Working Hours: Open 7 am – 7.30 pm daily besides Sunday, when it closes at 6 pm
Common Price of the Dish: $8
Web site: www.lapuertadecatedral.com
One other massively standard soup in Colombia is Sancocho. This one is legendary all through Latin America, and also you’ll see that every nation has its personal twist on the fundamental recipe.
In Colombia, Sancocho is much like a stew and is made with plantain, yucca, and potato, making it a thick and filling broth. To this, varied forms of meat are added, together with hen or fish. In Cartagena, for instance, Sancocho contains scrumptious white fish and coconut milk in its recipe, which provides it an actual Caribbean twist.
It’s one other scrumptious, conventional meals in Colombia. Even in Cartagena, the place the climate is usually scorching, I positively advocate the soup. You gained’t be disenchanted.
Head to Cocina de Pepina in Cartagena to do that well-known dish in Colombia.
Cocina de Pepina Data
Handle: Cl. 25 #9a-06 native 2, Getsemaní, Cartagena
Working Hours: 12 pm – 4 pm daily, and moreover 7 pm to 9.30 pm from Tuesday to Saturday
Common Price of the Dish: $7-$8
Web site: Try their Fb web page for extra data
Final, so as to add to the wonderful listing of soups in Colombia, I’ve to incorporate changua. This one is barely totally different because it’s usually eaten for breakfast in Colombia, or at the least in Bogota and the highlands.
Changua is produced from milk, water, coriander, parsley, onions, and egg. It’s served with bread and is even rumored to treatment hangovers – it’s acquired to be value a attempt.
This deliciously creamy soup has a wealthy heritage within the Andes and is believed so far again to the Muisca civilization in 1500 BC. For me, it’s an effective way to begin the day within the cooler components of Colombia. It’s additionally one thing totally different from typical breakfast choices and I like to attempt totally different traditions while touring.
To do that glorious Colombian meals, maintain your eyes out round Bogota. I personally preferred Mama Lupe which is positioned near the cathedral within the middle of town.
Mama Lupe Data
Handle: Cl. 11 #6-14, La Candelaria, Bogotá
Working Hours: 7 am – 9 pm daily
Common Price of the Dish: $4
One in every of my absolute favourite issues to eat in Colombia is the unimaginable road meals on provide, and near the highest of that listing are empanadas.
These little pockets of pleasure aren’t unique to Colombia and are discovered throughout Latin America in varied guises, however in Colombia, you’ll discover the vast majority of them deep-fried, which differentiates them from the remainder of the continent.
They’re generally full of beef, hen, cheese, and ham. More and more standard are vegetarian empanadas containing cheese, spinach, and blended greens.
You’ll generally discover road distributors in each main Colombian metropolis serving these from pop-up stalls. In case you’re in Medellin, attempt Empanadas El Machetico. You may inform the empanadas listed below are nice from the lengthy queues! Be affected person, they’re definitely worth the wait.
Empanadas El Machetico Data
Handle: Cl. 9 #42-38, El Poblado, Medellín
Working Hours: 5 am – 10 pm daily, open till 12 am on Friday and Saturday
Common Price of the Dish: lower than $1 per empanada
Web site: Try their Instagram web page for extra data
One other very good possibility for a grab-and-go snack, arepas are a very frequent chunk in Colombia.
There are over 30 several types of arepas in Colombia, however in essence, they’re cornflour pockets crammed with quite a lot of fillings. A few of the hottest varieties are arepa de queso which is savory and created with a cheese filling, and arepa de huevo which is (one way or the other) cooked with an egg inside.
You may as well get candy arepas, that are cooked with a distinct kind of corn, extra like sweetcorn. They’ve a scrumptious taste, they usually’re surprisingly filling.
You’ll discover that plain arepas are served on the aspect of meals in eating places, significantly with breakfast. These could be a little plain and I positively advocate heading out and discovering arepas road meals stands that are a lot better and much tastier.
Alternatively, attempt La Pepiada in Cartagena for an incredible number of stuffed arepas.
La Pepiada Data
Handle: Cra. 6 #35-17, Centro, Cartagena de Indias, Provincia de Cartagena
Working Hours: Open 24 hours, Thursday to Saturday, 8 am – 10 pm, Sunday to Tuesday, and eight am – 11 pm on Friday
Common Price of the Dish: Round $5
Patacones are a staple meals in Colombia and I discover them completely scrumptious. They’re usually served as a aspect or a starter and are produced from plantain, which is smashed after which deep-fried.
They’ll be served as ’rounds’ and if introduced as a starter you’ll get quite a lot of sauces to dip them in, from ketchup and mayo to native, do-it-yourself scorching sauces.
Patacones are produced from unripe plantains, from which the dish will get its identify. The riper, sweeter plantains are known as platanos and will also be deep-fried to make a a lot sweeter aspect.
You’ll discover this tremendous typical meals in Colombia in every single place you go, however if you happen to’re in Medellin, attempt conventional Colombian meals, together with patacones and extra at Mamasita Medallo.
Mamasita Medallo Data
Handle: Cra 43D # 10 – 77, El Poblado, Medellín, El Poblado, Medellín
Working Hours: 12 pm – 12 am daily. Closes at 2 am on Friday and Saturday
Common Price of the Dish: $3-5 as a aspect, or attempt loaded patacones (pataconda) for $11
Web site: https://www.mamasitamedallo.co/inicio
Tamales are usually eaten at breakfast on a Sunday in Colombia, though you’ll discover them out there at any time of day in many various locations all through the nation.
These tasty parcels include a mix of maize, meat (usually hen, pork, or each), peas, carrots, and different greens relying on the area. The filling is then blended collectively and wrapped in a plantain leaf.
The leaf and its filling is then positioned in boiling water for round 5 hours to let the flavors all combine into one another. It’s a hearty, warming, and easy dish.
You will discover tamales in lots of typical eating places in Bogota, significantly round Simon Bolivar Sq.. They’re significantly scrumptious in La Puerta Falsa, however you can even purchase them from the grocery store or native distributors and cook dinner them your self at dwelling.
La Puerta Falsa Data
Handle: Cl. 11 #6-50, Bogotá, Colombia
Working Hours: 7 am – 7.30 pm Monday to Saturday, 7 am – 6 pm on Sundays
Common Price of the Dish: $2-$5 (relying on the place you eat them)
Web site: www.restaurantelapuertafalsa.inf.journey
8. Bandeja Paisa
Maybe probably the greatest examples of conventional native meals in Colombia is bandeja paisa. It’s generally known as the countryman’s platter and could be very standard in each Bogota and Medellin.
This big plate of meals will certainly fill even the hungriest of vacationers. It’s a large serving of floor meat, chorizo, chicharon (fried pork stomach), fried eggs, plantain, rice, avocado, and a plain arepa.
It additionally has an attention-grabbing cultural relevance because it incorporates many various influences on Colombia. The arepas come from the indigenous, the beans and plantain from African influences, and the chorizo and floor meat from the Spanish.
In case you’re in Medellin, head to Restaurante Mondongo’s for bandeja paisa, one of many must-try dishes in Colombia.
Restaurante Mondongo’s Data
Handle: Cl 10 #38-38, El Poblado, Medellín, El Poblado, Medellín
Working Hours: Opens at 11.30 am daily, closes at 9.30 pm Monday to Friday, 10 pm on Saturday, and eight pm on Sunday
Common Price of the Dish: $8
Web site: www.mondongos.com.co/carta-menu/1/#essential
9. Cazuela de Mariscos
As you head in direction of the coast of Colombia, the hearty stews and platters of the highlands are changed by unimaginable fish dishes.
One in every of my absolute favorites is cazuela de mariscos, or seafood stew. It is a way more typical meals in Colombia if you attain the Caribbean coast. It’s a creamy stew with shrimp, clams, and white fish cooked in a coconut broth.
In case you’re in a neighborhood restaurant, then the exact contents of the cazuela will depend upon what’s been caught on the day.
As with Sancocho, that is one other glorious scorching dish to be loved by the coast regardless of the temperature. It’s tremendous contemporary and engaging and is unquestionably probably the greatest meals to attempt in Colombia. I’d advocate having it at Buena Vida Marisquería in Cartagena.
Buena Vida Marisquería Data
Handle: Centro histórico, Cl. del Porvenir #Esquina, Cartagena
Working Hours: 8 am – 11.30 pm daily
Common Price of the Dish: $10
Web site: www.gela.co/menu_buenavida.pdf
The ceviche in Colombia is actually scrumptious. Overlook what you might know of ceviche from dwelling and be sure you do this scrumptious Colombian meals.
Historically, ceviche is made with uncooked white fish cured in citrus juice and blended with totally different flavors. In Colombia, there are two forms of scrumptious ceviche to get pleasure from.
The primary is nearer to the standard Peruvian dish, with totally different sorts of seafood marinated in tiger’s milk. This produces an extremely fresh-tasting dish which is usually topped with patacones.
Alternatively, if you happen to’re on the seashore, look out for carts promoting ceviche or cocteles de camarones, the second kind of ceviche. This well-known dish of Colombia is extra like a tangy prawn cocktail served in a plastic or styrofoam cup. It could not sound a lot however belief me, it’s unimaginable.
When in Cartagena, head to La Cevicheria in Outdated City for unimaginable ceviche in a fantastically Colonial road setting.
La Cevicheria Data
Handle: Calle Stuart por el resort Santa Clara Calle 39 #7 14, Cartagena
Working Hours: 1 pm to 10.30 pm, 7 days per week
Common Price of the Dish: $10
Web site: www.lacevicheriacartagena.com
11. Mango Biche
The fruit in Colombia is unbelievable, with many, tremendous contemporary varieties. A few of my favourite fruit-based meals in Colombia is mango biche.
These spears of unripe mango are offered by road sellers throughout Colombia. You’ll get a small plastic cup of mango spears that are sprinkled with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and, if you’d like it, scorching sauce. It could sound like an unlikely mixture however attempt it, it’s actually good.
These are tremendous low cost snacks you can decide up throughout Colombia. They’re good to eat on the go and are actually refreshing within the hotter components of Colombia. Or if you happen to’re taking a protracted bus journey, look out for the sellers coming onto the bus and seize your self a cup for the trip.
Persevering with the fruit theme, cholao (often known as cholado), is a loopy combination, however a really well-known dish in Colombia.
It’s a superb concoction of fruit and condensed milk that makes a scrumptious snack or dessert. It’s normally served in a big glass with ice within the backside. To this, layers of fruit are added corresponding to papaya, soursop, and pineapple. It’s completed off with fruit syrup and condensed milk, that are added to make the fundamental cholao.
It’s possible you’ll discover cholao with added coconut or cherries on high, or sometimes with whipped cream and wafers for an actual deal with.
For anybody with a candy tooth, this little gem is scrumptious and likewise surprisingly refreshing. It’s frequent all around the nation, significantly by the coast. It’s initially from Cali, so if you happen to’re within the south, take a look at Cholados Gourmand in Cali for this wonderful Colombian meals.
Cholados Gourmand Data
Handle: Cra. 34 #3-47, El Sindicato, Cali
Working Hours: 1 pm to 9 pm daily, opens at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday
Common Price of the Dish: $2 – $3
13. Chocolate Santaferaño
In case you like distinctive mixtures, then it is advisable look out for chocolate Santaferaño or chocolate con queso. Sure, for people who perceive Spanish, that does translate to chocolate with cheese.
Historically, eaten or drunk as a meal between lunch and dinner, this mix of scorching chocolate and cheese has been a standard meals in Colombia for hundreds of years. It contains a cup of scorching chocolate with cheese, and generally bread, on the aspect.
The cheese is reduce or ripped into small items and dropped into the chocolate to soften. Give it a stir and luxuriate in this style sensation. It could appear to be a loopy mixture to many people, however in Colombia, it’s completely regular.
It’s usually loved on weekends, with scorching chocolate being a preferred drink to be served with breakfast (with or with out cheese!). In case you’re staying in El Poblado in Medellin, head to The Chocolate Home to get pleasure from this unusual however delicious favourite.
The Chocolate Home Data
Handle: Cl. 8 #34-33, El Poblado, Medellín, El Poblado, Medellín
Working Hours: 1 pm – 8.30 pm daily, open till 9.30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Common Price of the Dish: $1 – $2
Web site: www.thechocolatehouse.com.co
For a fast snack to be eaten with a scorching drink, pandebono is a good possibility. This small, spherical, bread-like chunk is crammed with a delicate candy cheese.
You’ll see pandebono offered by road sellers and out there in most espresso outlets in Colombia. It’s historically eaten with scorching chocolate, however can it will also be eaten alongside espresso or by itself.
It’s an incredible grab-and-go possibility if you happen to’re on the transfer or if you’d like a fast snack. In case you’re staying within the standard Chapinero in Bogota, head to Árbol de Pan for unimaginable pastries and brunches, together with pandebono.
Árbol de Pan Data
Handle: Cl. 66 Bis #4-63, Localidad de Chapinero, Bogotá
Working Hours: 8 am – 7.30 pm Tuesday to Friday, 8 am – 6 pm Saturday, 8.30 am – 4 pm Sunday, closed Monday
Common Price of the Dish: Lower than $1 for pandebono
Lastly, in case you have a candy tooth, be sure you attempt obleas if you’re in Colombia.
Generally offered by road distributors with carts in Bogota, an obleas consists of two skinny, spherical wafer discs with candy fillings added between. You may select from chocolate sauce, blackberry jam, shredded coconut, arequipe, or caramel. The 2 wafers are then caught collectively and voila, you may have your self a scrumptious, candy deal with.
In case you’re wandering by the middle of Bogota, you’ll discover obleas carts with photos of Mick Jagger on them. Apparently, in 2016, Mick Jagger was photographed consuming an obleas purchased from one such cart (practically all of them declare to be the one cart that offered that obleas to the worldwide star).
Obleas de Doña Berta appears to have declare to be the precise road stall that offered to Mick. If not, its value figuring out that she nonetheless serves mighty positive obleas.
Obleas de Doña Berta Data
Handle: Cl. 11 #6-42, Bogotá
Working Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily
Common Price of the Dish: Lower than $1
Meals Excursions in Colombia
To attempt among the greatest meals in Colombia, I extremely advocate becoming a member of a meals tour. These are glorious methods to not solely attempt nice typical meals in Colombia however to additionally be taught the historical past and cultural components behind these well-known dishes.
Listed here are a few of my favourite excursions for attempting Colombian meals:
Medellin Avenue Meals and Rooftops Tour
Uncover the colourful neighborhood of El Poblado on this sensible meals tour whereas sampling among the greatest Colombian road meals like arepas (corn muffins) or palitos de queso (cheese sticks).
As a bonus, you’ll head as much as a few the perfect rooftops within the space, with wonderful views and nice atmospheres. Click on right here to guide a spot.
Santa Marta Strolling Meals Expertise
Pattern some typical meals in Colombia on this incredible foodie tour in Santa Marta. You’ll get to attempt the well-known Arepa de huevo (corn cake with egg) which is made on the coast.
As well as, you’ll additionally meet some super-talented baristas and be taught all about Colombian tradition and historical past by the scrumptious meals. Click on right here to guide now.
Bogota Meals Discovery Tour
Because the capital of Colombia, Bogota is dwelling to some unimaginable eating places. I like to recommend becoming a member of this 3-hour meals tour on the begining of your journey to Bogota.
The tour helps you study and style some regional and conventional dishes, in addition to obtain the information’s professional suggestions of the perfect locations to eat within the metropolis. Click on right here to guide the tour.
Cartagena: Finest Avenue Meals with Native Chef
Uncover Cartagena’s genuine road meals within the firm of a educated, native chef. Not solely will he educate you all in regards to the delicacies, and the totally different cultures which have influenced it, however you’ll get to be taught slightly in regards to the metropolis too.
You’ll go to 10 must-see locations and pattern unique recipes made by conventional cooks in between. Ebook right here for a scrumptious time out.
Flavors of Cali
Take a break from salsa dancing, and style and be taught all in regards to the totally different flavors in Cali. This meals tour focuses on tropical fruits, which is considered one of my favourite issues about Colombia and South America general.
It’s a distinct twist to a conventional meals tour, and also you’ll be taught in regards to the practices of the totally different cultures which give life to the scrumptious contemporary meals within the area. Click on right here to guide.
Finest Colombia Meals FAQs
Listed here are some solutions to often requested questions in regards to the meals of Colombia:
Soups are highly regarded in Colombia, with probably the most conventional dishes being Ajiaco and Sancocho. Arepas are additionally a typical meal in Colombia and are available plain or with totally different toppings in eating places.
To flee the warmth, dinner is eaten late in Colombia, normally between 8 pm and 10 pm. You’ll discover that eating places get busier from round 9 pm with locals nonetheless arriving.
Lunch is the most important meal of the day and is usually eaten at mid-afternoon, between 1 and three pm. That is possible as a result of dinner is eaten later in Colombia.
Like in North America, breakfast is eaten between 7 and 9 am. It’s normally eaten earlier, with a snack (like a pandebono) eaten at mid-morning with a espresso or scorching chocolate.
Sure. Most eating places will embody a voluntary tip on the invoice (propina voluntaria) which is normally round 10%. Double-check whether or not that is included on the invoice. If not, 10-15% is an efficient quantity to go along with, relying on the kind of restaurant.
Bandeja Paisa is formally Colombia’s nationwide dish, and positively probably the most filling. It comes on an enormous plate and consists of beans, pork, rice, chicharron, avocado, arepa, chorizo, and eggs. It’s a monster dish, so be sure you’re particularly hungry earlier than ordering it.
Arepas are most likely one of the vital standard as they make nice aspect dishes or could be eaten as a snack. You’ll additionally discover them in every single place; in eating places, road distributors, and within the supermarkets too.
The meals in Colombia could be very assorted. From scrumptious ceviche on the coast to variations of arepas relying on which area you go to, from candy to savory, fried to contemporary. One factor is for certain, you actually go hungry in Colombia.
There are such a lot of glorious dishes past this listing, however these are no doubt my favorites. Now, get pleasure from sampling the perfect meals in Colombia!