Everyone around me knows that I love to eat and when I travel, picking where to eat is always the top of the to-do list. Whenever I’m researching a new country or city, I always try to plan a mixture of local restaurants serving traditional foods and cool, fancy restaurants. Since we had two full weeks in Bogotá we had the opportunity to try a bunch of traditional Colombian dishes at some amazing local restaurants. Check them out below!
La Puerta Falsa
Opening in 1816, La Puerta Falsa is one of the oldest restaurants in Bogotá. Located in an old colonial home just a block away from Plaza de Bolivar, “The False Door” is one of the most popular restaurants in the La Candelaria area. When we arrived around lunch time on a Monday, there was a small line but it moves quickly as the service is very fast. We had Ajiaco Soup, a chicken and potato soup that’s basically the national dish of Colombia. Made from three local potatoes – papa sabanera; the tiny, papas criollas; and the papa pastusa – it is a creamy and hearty soup that will fill you up. We also had a traditional Colombian Hot Chocolate, served with cheese, buttered bread, and a biscuit. The cheese melts into the hot chocolate and makes it extra creamy!
Nestled in the Usaquén Park area, Abasto is known for their arepas and typical Colombian dishes. We visited on a Sunday for brunch and it was the only restaurant within a three block radius with a line. Everyone on the line were locals, so you know it’s local-approved. We had excellent Empanadas Paisas Con Aji de Lulo, which were little crunchy pockets of deliciousness. We also, of course, had arepas. I think my favorite was the Arepa de Mote, a thin, whole-grain corn cake topped with local cheese.
Andres Carne de Res
The original location, which is roughly 45 minutes north of Bogotá, is roadside grill spot with three dance floors, a roving band of performers, and a doggy daycare and kids section. Many people online call it a Colombian BBQ joint on steroids. We did not end up going to the original location, but did have food from their many satellite restaurants in Bogotá proper. Our waiter rattled off a list of their grilled goodies and we had a wonderful sampler plate. Their chicharrons are crispy and crunchy and their meats are grilled to perfection. If you’re looking for some delicious grilled meats with a fun time, give Andres Carne de Res a visit.
Azahar Coffee Company
While Azahar is a café that serves delicious, local Colombian coffee, their Parque 93 café also serves an all-day breakfast and lunch menu. They serve one of the most delicious Arepas de Choclo that I’ve ever had while in Bogotá. Traditional Colombian arepas are prepared with a precooked corn flour called masarepa. Arepas de choclo are made with fresh corn in addition to the masarepa, which gives them a sweeter flavor. Stuffed with a lightly salty queso fresco, it’s kind of like a sweet and salty marriage of flavors.