Restaurants in Colombia

Eating out is a big part of Colombian culture so it’s no surprise that there’s an abundance of restaurants all over the country. Restaurants in Bogota are particularly numerous, with 5 seemingly lining every block in the city.

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La Mulata Restaurant CartagenaIf you’re after good value, filling food, your best option is Almuerzo, or Corrientazo or Ejecutivo. These meals are often cheaper then buying the ingredients yourself, and will cost you around $4,000COL to $9,000COL. Your meal will include a soup, a main dish of meat, chicken or fish and unlimited juice refills. Bargain stuff, and only available at lunch time.

Different areas specialise in different types of food. If you’re in Bogota, for example, hunting down some delicious seafood is quite hard, but finding some sushi, French cuisine or Italian is easy. By contrast, if you’re in Barranquilla you’ll find only a handful of restaurants serving international cuisine, but a great deal of incredible local restaurants.

Restaurants in Colombia range in prices wildly. You can get a three course meal from a small place on the street for $4,000COL, or you can pay $60,000COL for a main course in a stylish restaurant. This still is remarkably cheap compared to what you’d pay in an equivalent restaurant in Europe or the US. Predictably, there are more of these higher-end restaurants in the bigger cities such as Cartagena, Medellin and particularly Bogota.

=> Bogota is a world class destination for food with lots of amazing restaurants located in Zona G (Zona Gourmet), Zona T also called Zona Rosa and the more bohemian La Macarena.
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Dona Elvira, the best almuerzo in BogotaIn terms of restaurant etiquette, there are some small things to take note of. Firstly, Colombians tend to decide what they want quite quickly, so your waiter may be over very quickly. In a cheap restaurant, there may only be a few options, in which case someone will come over to you and you are expected to decide on the spot what you want. Drinks in these restaurants are free refills. In more expensive restaurants, of course, you’ll have a menu.

If you’ve taken a while to decide you’ll need to call over your waiter to get served (as is the case in many Spanish speaking countries). At the end of the meal, service will usually be included in the bill but make sure to check. If it’s not, a 10% service charge is usually appropriate.

You don’t have to stretch your money too far to get a great meal, either. Restaurants like Wok, Crepes & Waffles, Coral are a new style of restaurant in Colombia. Sure, they’re chains, but they’re affordable and delicious.

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A subjective and delicious selection of restaurants in Colombia. We experienced all of these places, did not get a free meal out of it.

Log on to our forum to suggest other places.

For lunch (10-20,000 Pesos per person)

- La Mulata, Cartagena

- El Bistro, Cartagena

- Dona Elvira, Bogota

- Medioriente, Barranquilla

For diner (30-60,000 Pesos per person)

- Varadero, Barranquilla

- Cazuelas de Mi Tierra, Medellin

For a posh diner (60,000 Pesos and above)

- Andres Carne de Res, Chia
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Did you know?

The Bandeja paisa from Antioquia is the Colombian national dish. Also known as bandeja de arriero, bandeja montañera, or bandeja antioqueña, it includes grilled steak (either ground or whole), chicharrón (fried pork rind), red beans, rice, chorizo, a fried egg, and an arepa. It is usually accompanied by sweet fried plantains and a slice of avocado.

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