When travelling to any country in the world, we often wonder what’s the real local cuisine and we are normally willing to try it, just to have a full cultural experience.
If you find yourself in this position you came to the right place! Before heading for our 3 months’ trip in South America we were already searching for the amazing flavors we could taste once there. So in this post we will tell you all about the best food you must try when in Bogota.
We found online this great tour company called Beyond Colombia (highly recommend it), which made our job of compiling all the good stuff Colombian cuisine is famous for, easier.
*All food prices are for a taster not a full meal.
Colombian traditional food
Although an Arabic food, Medellin has brought the best of the two continents together, changing the wheat flour for corn and deep frying instead of baking. The pastry can have different fillings from cheese only, to meat, potato and eggs all inside one. You should eat it with sauce, which is also provided in abundance, you can choose from sweet to savory, plain to spicy, there are sauces and fillings for all tastes. It’s normally a small snack and it won’t cost a lot, a “caseira” one which means home made with some meat, potatoes and rice will be around 800 COP. Cheap and delicious, all what we need!
Potato based soup! Yep, that’s it, a traditional soup from Bogota which consists of 3 different types of potato and you can add cream, capers and chicken to it. I’ve seen some restaurants adding corn as well, I’ve just tried the one without corn and even for me, who is not a big fan of soup, I found it incredibly tasteful. I believe the restaurant we’ve been to, it was more “high end” therefor we probably overpaid, but it was totally worth it, especially having some Colombian music to add to the atmosphere. 3.500 COP
Chiguiro y Mamona
If you are a vegetarian, this dish is not for you! The traditional Colombian barbecue includes some exotic meat besides beef and to be honest I quite like it. Chiguiro is probably from the same family as beaver; known in English as capybara, unlike in other countries, Colombians do eat them. 3.000 COP
A delicious dessert came just in time. After our barbecue we stopped in one of the streets around La Candelaria to try another traditional food from Colombia. A thin waffle sandwich with dulce de leche, known in Colombia as arequipe; and you can also add some fruit, cream and cheese (queso). Colombians are really crazy about cheese. I’ve tried mine with arequipe and queso – awesome, obvious. 2.500 COP
Chocolate y queso
Oh well, as I said, Colombians are really crazy about cheese and they do have a chocolate with cheese. Yes, it’s exactly how you think it’s; you add cheese inside your chocolate. You don’t have to stir the drink, but after you’ve drunk around half, you should get a spoon to eat the cheese now melted in the hot chocolate. Not the best experience I had, but worth trying.
Pandebono y Avena
This is one of the traditional breakfasts a student in Bogotá would have, dough with cheese, guava or arequipe. You should have it with avena, a delicious refreshing drink made of oatmeal. Please, do try this! 2.500 COP
You will see signs for arepa everywhere in this country – a very simple corn cake filled with, guess what!? That’s right, cheese! I personally liked pandebono better, but you won’t truly experience the Colombian cuisine if you don’t try arepa. 2.000 COP
An alcohol drink made from sugar cane, it taste like anise and you should have lime after it. I normally don’t like strong drinks but this has 30% of alcohol and it wasn’t bad. 3.000 COP
If you are a coffee lover you probably know that here is the heaven for it. We went to a barista school called Arte y pasion Café. Here you can have all sort of coffees including coffee infused martini or mojito. You can smell the beans and see how a proper coffee should be done. Very cool experience! 4.000 COP
Where can I found the traditional Colombian food?
I’m sure you will be able to find all best Colombian foods in the restaurants around the city, however I really recommend you get this free food tour with Beyond Colombia tour agency as you will not only have amazing food, but also discover the history behind each of the dishes. The tour last about 3 hours and you get to go to places where only locals go.
If you have any other question about food in Bogota, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you 🙂