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Bogotá is something of a cultural melting pot - a place where all the corners of Colombia mingle with people from all over the world, visiting the city on business, for pleasure or because they've come to call it home.
This, fortunately for us who live here, means there is an abundance of variety here in the city when it comes to food. This, of course, means great international cuisine, but also means you can taste all the distinct, typical cuisine of the country within the capital's borders.
While each area of Colombia would undoubtedly insist that for the real thing you visit their region (and they would to a large extent be right), that doesn't mean you can't indulge in some fantastic cuisine that could be Costeño, Paisa, Santandereano or much more.
So where to go? Here are some tips
While this restaurant might be found all over the city, we recommend a trip to Zona G to grab the pick of the bunch. Crispy, filled with flavour and steeped in tradition. Typical of Popayán these empanadas are stuffed with peanuts and potatoes, so they stand out from the rest.
Delicious 'gallina' - photo courtesy of Bogotá Eats and Drinks
Llanero food might not be particularly fancy, but it is particularly delicious. A huge variety of meat cooked to absolute, tender perfection is the name of the game. For those that wish to experiment a little bit, you can also try the chigüiro, which is basically some kind of huge guinea pig type thing. It's delicious though, so we recommend it.
For some of the best Costeño food in town get yourself down to Chambakú. Some of the freshest fish in town meets with great cuts of meat and unique Costeño sauces. Indeed, if you ask many foreigners, they’ll tell you the food from the coast is their favourite in the country, so be sure not to miss out on a taste.
Acacias comes directly from Antioquia and specializes in delivering the authentic Paisa experience. What's that, you ask? Great, friendly service, reasonable prices and more food than you can fit inside your stomach. Be sure to try the bandeja paisa, especially if you've got an appetite.
Finally, Mercardo is one of Bogotá’s newest restaurants and it’s making quite a stir. Offering typical Colombian food with a modern twist, it really feels like it might be the start of a revolution in the gastronomy scene here. With award winning chefs, decent service and a nice, relaxed vibe, Mercardo is well worth checking out if you just wish Colombian food was a tad more experimental.