Ever wondered about Colombia’s food scene? Well, here goes, a round up of our top 10 restaurants and bars to add to your travel wishlist. Colombia’s food scene has been on the up in recent years, as wild flavours from the country’s affluent jungles, coffee plantations, oceans and cacao forests mixed with the country’s long standing rum history, pegs it high in Latin America’s best foodie destinations!
We’re sharing a list of must-visit restaurants and bars, to transport your tastebuds to those tropical climes!
Local chefs celebrate the best of caribbean fair - locally grown plantains, mangoes and coconut with freshly caught fish in a taste sensation. A place where the vibrancy of the interiors are only overpowered by the colourful plates in front of you.
A smarter and more ‘special’ spot in the heart of Colombia’s old town. The plant-filled courtyard within this old colonial house is fairly Bond-movie-esque. A pescatarian’s dream. And if you find yourself wanting more, the sister restaurant in Medellin is just as good.
Tucked away in the cobblestone streets of Barichara, this little low key spot practices a farm-to-table philosophy, sourcing the majority of ingredients from the restaurant’s own and neighbouring farms. Think gigantic fresh tomatoes, succulent beef and homemade bread. And they even manage to make the regional speciality dish, big bottom ants, enjoyable!
These guys do asian cuisine with a caribbean twist that will blow you away, and make you feel utterly conflicted as to which continent you’re on!
El Chato, Bogota
Exposed walls and wooden tables make up this Bogota hot spot; a meat-lovers dream behind understated black walls on a busy main street in the city centre. ‘El chato’ is a term of endearment used by Bogota locals, a term which can easily be applied to the rich, seasonally fresh dishes that fly out of chef Alvaro Clavijo’s kitchen. A low key lunch or dinner spot that never disappoints.
A favoured late-night spot in the heart of Cartagena’s Old Town, nowhere quite does cocktails like the mixologists behind Alquimico. Stepping into this restored colonial house, with its buzzy vibe and three spacious floors, you could easily blink and it would be 4am. During lockdown, the team moved to a farm in Filandia where they started growing organic fruit, herbs and sugarcane to be used in their drinks and small plates, while also developing a reforestation project. Now a cool bar with sustainability credentials, it’s a great hang out for post-dinner rooftop drinks, and throws a wild New Year’s Eve party.
Located above an art gallery, this well hidden bar/restaurant is verging on speak-easy. You’ll feel as though you’ve arrived at an urban oasis when you climb the stairs behind the blue doors, and can easily while away a good few hours with a cocktail and tasty small plates.
El Boliche Cebicheria, Cartagena
Fish is the buzzword here, with uber fresh ceviches, and a refreshing rum cocktail to go alongside. The live music on Thursday’s sees a cheery local band play guitar as you enjoy the must-have dulce coconut.
Another rooftop in central Medellin which is newer to the scene. The locals tend to head to the one in Laureles area, while its second location, Provenza, has a reputation for attracting more tourists. Both places also do brunch with bottomless mimosas!
Clero Restaurant, Bogota
A new-ish kid on the block in Cartagena’s boho Getsemani neighbourhood, this is the place you’d pick for a family dinner. Open from breakfast to dinner, the top picks include lobster bisque and fish soup. Everything on the menu is unequivocally Colombian, and it’s a great place for a pre-dancing feast before heading down the road to Havana.