Hi everyone! I’ve been out of touch for a bit but I’m back and ready to share some of my recent experiences while traveling this summer. During my most recent trip to Bogota, I made it a mission to find the best restaurants with traditional Colombian cuisine.
Although Bogota is renowned for its international cuisine and several Colombian chefs have created innovative dishes inspired in foreign culinary techniques and ingredients, I wanted to discover places that offer authentic and traditional Colombian food that’s all about bold flavors and different textures with a soul-food quality.
Here’s what I found:
Located in Bogota’s historic center near La Casa del Florero and La Catedral Primada, La Puerta Falsa has been serving traditional dishes, hot beverages and sweets for 200 years. For generations, the women running the restaurant have introduced items to the now iconic menu that features tamales, hot chocolate, and Ajiaco, among other typical foods from Bogota.
Must try: Ajiaco Santafereño, a traditional hearty chicken soup, made with potatoes, chicken, and corn, topped with a bit of heavy cream, capers and cilantro. The dish is served accompanied with rice and avocado.
This trendy, chic restaurant/night club has an amazing panoramic view of Bogota with huge windows overlooking the city and a bar that fills an entire wall. The venue has an outdoor rooftop bar on its second floor with its own dance floor, perfect for dancing under the stars. The drinks are to die for and the menu combines traditional Colombian dishes from the central and northern regions with some international inspiration that offers vibrant flavors and a modern twist to typical Colombian foods. The presentation is exquisite.
Must try: Sopa con trucha ahumada con tomate (Smoked-trout tomato soup) topped with avocado, corn and suero (similar to sour cream). The rich flavor of the tomatoes really comes through, giving a nice contrast to the smoked flavor and smooth texture of the trout.
With their farm-to-table approach, Abasto prides itself on presenting traditional dishes rich in flavor and quality – choosing the freshest ingredients from different regions around the country. Plan on having brunch at the Abasto in Usaquen; this location is perfect because the artsy neighborhood hosts a flea market every Sunday so you can stroll around the plaza after brunch for great finds and some dessert. #Sundayfunday
Must try: Camarones en achiote. This shrimp dish is made with coconut milk and sweet chili and served over sweet plantain puree. The combination is melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Pair it with a refreshing Aguaepanela con limón, a Colombian sugar cane beverage, similar to iced tea, to really round out your meal.
Café Color Café is in the heart of La Candelaria, an area known for its bohemian/artsy vibe and magnificent, colorful graffiti plastered on almost every wall. You may remember I wrote about this neighborhood before in a previous post.
Located at El Chorro de Quevedo (the place where the city of Bogota was founded), Café Color Café sits in a small house with antique furniture including quaint couches and coffee tables, replacing the usual restaurant tables and chairs. The menu boasts typical Colombian items, including empanadas, chorizo, fruit juices, cocktails and coffee.
Must try: Patacón con carne. Fried green plantain topped with shredded beef mixed with tomato, onion and cilantro. Pair it with the Duende cocktail, a concoction of different liqueurs and real passion fruit.
What is your favorite Colombian dish? Do you know any other traditional restaurants in Bogota that you love?
Join the club and tell me in the comments below!