While visiting Colombia, we want to make sure you savor and try the most scrumptious and amazing local dishes. This is why we have compiled everything you need to know about Colombian cuisine. But first, if you have not done so already, book your hotel now at any of our 21 Hilton hotels throughout this magnificent country in Yopal, Valledupar, Santa Marta, Medellín, Cucuta, Cartagena, Tierra Bomba, Cali, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, and Barranquilla. Now, let us get up close and personal with the exquisite and diverse Colombian gastronomy.
For breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack, you will surely have an arepa at some point during your visit. An interesting fun fact about arepas, is that they are as varied as there are places in Colombia. That is correct, pretty much every Colombian region has its own type of arepa, so our suggestion is wherever you go, make sure you to try one.
The basic idea of an arepa is a corn-based, round-shaped pocket, which depending on the region, varies in thickness and filling, and it is usually served as a side-dish. Fillings include cheese, beef, chicken, among others. You must try the arepa de huevo or arepa con huevo. This is a an arepa originating in the country’s coastal region with an egg inside that will have you licking your fingers. Others you should taste, are thearepas from Santander and Boyacá and the arepa de choclo (maize).
Some soups in Colombia are considered a main course, such as the famous Ajiaco santafereño, which is a soup made with three different types of potatoes, chicken, and a local herb, called guasca. Usually, you also put rice, avocado, cream, and capers into it, mix, and enjoy! The all-time Colombian chicken soup is sancocho, which includes chicken, potato, plantain, and cilantro. Other soups you will probably come across include mondongo, cuchuco con espinazo, and mazamorra.
Additional dishes you should definitely try:
- Bandeja Paisa: Medellin’s traditional dish includes ground beef, frijoles (red beans), fried eggs, avocado, plantain, rice, and chicharrón (pork grind).
- Picada colombiana: This is the Colombian version of a barbecue.>The best part is that you eat it with your hands. This scrumptious dish includes, beef,arepa de choclo, pork sausage, blood sausage, potato, plantain, papa criolla, salt potatoes, among others.
- Cocido boyacense: includes pork, beef, chicken, corn, vegetables, all mixed together.
- Empanadas: fried pastry filled with beef or chicken and potato or cheese.
These aforementioned dishes are so common you can find them throughout all of Colombia. However, you must be wondering where you can enjoy the best local food in Bogotá. We have compiled the following list of the best restaurants. This is our brief Bogotá Food Guide.
Leo: Led by Latin America’s best female chef in 2017, Leonor Espinoza, and positioned as number 49 among The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019, this restaurant’s dishes are inspired by the country’s biodiversity and ecosystems. Here you will find innovative dishes with unique Colombian ingredients, such as hormigas culonas (ants) from Santander and fruits from the Amazon.
Andrés Carne de Res: It is both a nightclub and restaurant and it excels at both. One of the best traditional restaurants in the country with an unbelievably broad menu. We suggest you try everything you can, because, literally, you won’t know which item on the menu is more delicious. You will be able to enjoy typical Colombian food and desserts from all of the country’s regions.
Club Colombia: We recommend its brunch served on Saturdays and Sundays. It is a great spot for tourists looking to eat Colombian cuisine at its finest and in an elegant, yet cozy setting.
Harry Sasson: It is number 22 among Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. It is sophisticated and its dishes exude perfection and excellence. We highly recommend its meats and empanadas.
La Ventana: Trip Advisor’s2019 Travelers’ choice thanks to its above and beyond customer service and Colombian flavors and textures. Located in the Hilton Hotel, the chef’s slogan is “Everything is possible”, so you can imagine how good the food will taste.
El Envigadeño: A bountiful and exquisite bandeja paisa waits for you at this restaurant in downtown Bogotá.
La Fragata: Best seafood in the city combined with elegance. We recommend visiting the Fragata Giratoria which will give you an amazing view of the city.
Estrella de los Ríos: Located in Macarena neighborhood, this restaurant offers you the best of Colombia’s Caribbean food.
You will be surprised and enthralled by Colombian gastronomy and customer service. We have chosen the best of the best and those dishes you cannot pass up; however, Colombian cuisine is as vast and exquisite as its regions so we invite you to come and explore them all.