With a recent a culinary revolution of sorts, food in Bogotá has become a draw to the city. Lots of great gourmet restaurants opening up in the city have turned it into a foodie destination. International cuisine as well as traditional Colombian food can be found almost anywhere in the city.
Bogotá has decent restaurants serving traditional Colombian food in La Candelaria. In the modern part of the city, there are a multitude of restaurants to choose from, serving traditional fare along with international, fusion, upscale restaurants, and several American chains. The Zona G, Zona Rosa, and Usaquén have plenty to choose from.
La Puerta de la Tradición
The first restaurant I tried was La Puerta de la Tradición next to Plaza de Bolívar. I had a Bogotá local specialty called ajiaco santafereño. It’s a creamy stew with chicken, potatoes, and corn. To drink, I had jugo de mango con leche (mango juice with milk) The price was a reasonable COP$20,000 and it was excellent.
Balcones de la Candelaria
I also tried the ajiaco at Balcones de la Candelaria, which is on the same block as La Puerta de la Tradición. It was excellent, but both were a bit different. I can’t choose between the two.
The next restaurant I tried was Rosita in Chorro de Quevedo. I had the Bandeja Paisa. It’s a traditional meal from the coffee growing region in the mountains usually containing, meat, chorizo, chicharrón (deep fried pork fat), rice, beans, avocado, patacón (fried plantain), arepa (flatbread), and a fried egg. It was very good. With a jugo de maracuyá (passionfruit juice) it cost about COP$25,000.
A lot of new and very good international restaurants have been popping up in La Candelaria. If you’re looking for decent Italian, try Edos 65.
Sahara, near Parque de los Periodistas, serves authentic Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine. Try the couscous dishes or the combo mixto árabe. Our lunch came out to COP$50,000 total including drinks.
La Puerta Falsa
For breakfast, I visited a very popular café in La Candelaria called La Puerta Falsa. I had the chocolate completo (hot chocolate, cheese, bread with butter) and arroz con leche (rice pudding with raisins and cinnamon). It was all excellent. They also serve tamales, eggs, and make many sweets that are displayed in the front window.
Near my hotel on one trip, Plaza 36, I tried two restaurants. The first, Rico, served traditional Colombian food, and, as the name suggests, the food was “muy rico”. I had the ajiaco. It was a little watery for my taste but delicious. Try the fresh fruit juice combos.
The other restaurant was Fairuz, a Lebanese restaurant. I shared a combo plate for lunch with my girlfriend, Marisol. The food was excellent and reasonably priced.
In the northern part of the city, we went to Teo Restaurante. This Greek restaurant served excellent authentic Greek cuisine. It’s run by Theodoros, a very friendly man from Greece who was happy to explain some of the Greek dishes to Marisol. We shared a moussaka, saganaki, Greek salad, and fried zucchini. For dessert, we had an excellent baklava. The restaurant is located on the bottom floor of the Hotel Morrison.
There are a few locations for this Asian restaurant, and we tried the one at Centro Comercial Gran Estación. The first night, we tried sushi and spring rolls.
We loved the menu so much that we came back the next night to try Phad Thai and sesame chicken.
Bogotá Beer Company
BBC is a Colombian microbrewery with locations all over the city (we ate near Torre Sudamericana). They have a simple menu of your typical greasy fried bar food as well as a few sandwiches and burgers. The sandwich I had was excellent, but we weren’t too crazy about the fried shrimp Marisol ordered. We both loved our beers and will be back to try more.
Hornitos has a few locations around Bogotá. It’s a bakery that serves some delicious breakfasts. My desayuno gringo was pancakes and eggs with bacon and fruit and it tasted almost like what I would get at a diner back home.