There are a lot of good restaurants in Pereira to choose from. Most are around the entertainment district near Circunvalar while others are located in the city center. I always look forward to eating in Pereira because of the variety of foods available.
Kilaba, at Circunvalar and Calle 11, is a very cozy little restaurant serving authentic Lebanese food. I recommend the bandeja paisa árabe, which is a combination plate of many of the dishes and is enough for two to share. The kibbe crudo and esfiha are also excellent. Try the fresh juices for your drinks. What makes a meal at Kilaba even better is the owner, Samir. You won’t find a friendlier and more attentive host.
Leños y Parrilla
Looking for a good steak? Try Leños y Parrilla. It’s a casual Argentinian steakhouse with a simple menu. There are about 12 different types of steak on the menu including Angus beef. They come with arepa and potatoes. I ordered the Picaña rare but it was a bit overdone. However, everyone else in our group was very happy with their steak.
Alternatively, La Ruana serves great meat dishes and traditional Colombian food. The picada for two had a juicy combination of beef, pork, chicken, and chorizo.
If you’re staying at Hotel Castilla Real, you don’t have to go far for good food. The chef whips up some fantastic dishes in the hotel’s Salón Inglés. The affordable menu has a wide variety of dishes to choose from. Try the steak in mushroom sauce with bacon or the steak with calamari. Our meal was surprisingly as good as any of the better restaurants in town.
Mirador de las Camelias
For a giant plate of meat with a view, head to Mirador de las Camelias. It’s located on a hill on the outskirts of town. A picada for two is big enough for three people to share. We paid COP$48,000 for the meal plus drinks for three. The cab ride was COP$8,000. After the meal, the restaurant can call a taxi for you.
Crepes y Waffles
There are a few decent places to eat in central Pereira. G Grajales Autoservicios is a 24 hour cafeteria style restaurant. Food is fair and reasonably priced. La Merienda is a 50s style diner with sandwiches named after American idols of that period. I had the Sinatra (ham, lettuce, tomato, and mozzarella). The tomato soup is excellent. Marruecos is a pizza place open late that serves decent pizza, salads, and sandwiches.
Lucerna is near Plaza de Bolívar. It has a huge menu with decent food but service and quality can be hit or miss. The ice cream dishes are great to finish off your meal. There’s also a good pastry and ice cream counter just inside the entrance. The line for the ice cream was about 15 people long when we visited on a sweltering Friday afternoon.
Near Parque de la Libertad is City Hall. This popular lunchtime spot serves good set menu ejecutivo dishes at reasonable prices. When we went, there was a choice of chicken or beef with rice and plantains. It also came with soup and a drink.