Being on the Pacific coast of Colombia, the food in Ladrilleros is mostly fish and seafood dishes as expected, but there are some local specialties that should be tried before leaving.
First, you’ll have to try the Colombian version of shrimp ceviche. It’s not the typical ceviche you’re used to from Peru or Chile in which lime dominates the flavor. Colombian ceviche is made with ketchup and served with saltine crackers. It resembles shrimp cocktail more than anything else.
Available in both Juanchaco and Ladrilleros are empanadas filled with piangua. Piangua is a shellfish found on the Pacific coast. They’re delicious, and can also be used to make ceviche. We tried them at a street stand in Juanchaco. At the same stand, we found aborrajados, which are deep fried plantains stuffed with cheese and bocadillo (guava paste).
For some of the dinners at our hotel, we had sudado de camarón (shrimp stew) or sudado mixto (mixed stew) with shrimp and calamari. The sauce is what makes the sudados delicious.
Finally, a local drink called coco loco is exactly what it translates to – crazy coconut. Coco loco is coconut milk, rum, brandy, whiskey, piña colada mix, aguardiente, and condensed milk all mixed together and served in a coconut. One of these is all it takes to turn “loco”. They also have a much less alcoholic version with strawberry juice called coco fresa. We saw coco loco selling between COP$20-25,000. A coco fresa was about COP$15,000.