In case you missed last week’s post, we are talking about Bogotá. This week, we are focusing on one of my favorite parts of any trip: food! And Bogotá has great options. Every meal we had was delicious and hearty and filled with local ingredients. Here are my favorites!
Prudencia – (La Candelaria) Prudencia had been recommended to me by a friend of a friend of my brother, who is one of the owners of the restaurant. As soon as I saw pictures of the interior, I knew it was right up my alley. Prudencia offers delicious and beautifully plated food in a gorgeous setting that is brightly lit with natural light. At this time, the restaurant is open for lunch only on Monday to Friday and has a set menu (amuse plate, choice of main, salad, and dessert) served with great cocktails. Everything varies daily and the entire meal was only 35000-44000 COP, depending on your drink. I highly recommend planning for a leisurely lunch at Prudencia.
La Puerta Falsa – (La Candelaria) La Puerta Falsa is a famous restaurant that has been serving food for 200 years. It is very inexpensive and offers authentic Colombian dishes. It is open from 7am to 10pm, but go at an off-peak time if possible to ensure you can get a table without waiting in a long line. The chocolate completo is one of the most famous dishes and consists of a mug of hot chocolate, a hunk of cheese, and buttered bread. The proper way to eat it is to break the cheese into pieces and let it melt into the chocolate and then rip off hunks of bread to dip into the chocolate/cheese mixture. What to order: Chicken tamale and chocolate completo (pictured below).
Quinua y Amarante – (La Candelaria) Another authentic place, Quinua y Amarante, is a vegetarian cafe most of the time, but for lunch on Saturday, the elder ladies working in the restaurant cook a fantastic chicken ajiaco soup. It is absolutely delicious with tender chicken, fresh corn, capers, and served with avocado and bread for dipping. I’m determined to learn how to recreate this soup and if I do, I’ll be sure to share it on the blog (I’ve been meaning to work on a recipe section with dishes inspired by our travels)!
Four Seasons Bogota Casa Medina – (Zona G) The Four Seasons hotel is beautiful and is set in a former mansion in the middle of upscale Zona G. Upon arriving, we felt like we were walking into a bright, garden oasis in the middle of the city. Like Prudencia, the glass ceilings lend to a ton of natural light! The Four Seasons has a great brunch with mimosas and bloody marys on Sundays at the Castanyoles restaurant. What to order: Sampling of tostas and mimosas.
Julia – (Zona G near 4 Seasons) Julia offers artisan pizza and wine in a charming little bistro setting. The pizza is perfect in my opinion- thin and crispy crust, fresh sauce, and the perfect amount of mozzarella cheese. Also, the wine selection is substantial! What to order: Pizza prosciutto (tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula)
Andres DC – (El Retiro) Any visit to Bogotá MUST include a stop at Andres. All of the Bogotanos go to Andres for any sort of celebration or just for a great night out. It’s a super fun, quirky, loud, delicious restaurant with live music, dancing, and lots of drinks. It is such a festive place and if you know me, you know that I always love a good festivity! A lot of people recommend the original location in Chia over Andres DC, but Chia is a 45 minute taxi/uber ride from Bogota. We went to the Andres DC location at El Retiro which was much closer and had a fantastic time. I really don’t think you can go wrong either way!
Mini-Mal – (Chapinero Alto) Mini-Mal was one of my favorite restaurants in Bogota. It’s a little hidden which only adds to the charm; in fact, we actually drove right by it in the uber and had to go into a shop to ask for directions. The entrance is exactly where it is shown on google maps, but isn’t marked well. Go to the building on top of the hill and the entrance is on the side. The food was fantastic and we got to try several interesting local dishes with seasonal ingredients. The restaurant has a very homey ambiance and the staff was amazing – they gave us Colombian viche aguardiente (an artisanal alcohol made with sugarcane) to try and spent time chatting with us in Spanish. Alex’s dish came with an hormigas culona (ant with a fat behind!) and I laughed when we saw the size of it (see photo below). The waiter saw me taking a video of Alex eating the hormiga and decided that I needed to try one too. Of course, at that point I had to eat it, so after having Alex rip off the legs, I popped it in my mouth. I have to say, it wasn’t terrible. It tasted like a pork rind- crunchy and salty, but not very flavorful. I think both Alex and the waiter were pretty impressed with my bravery! What to order: Red tigers (spicy shrimp), campesina salad (vegetables and cheese in sauce served over mashed potatoes), and beef with hormigas culonas
Chibchombia – (La Macarena) There are a lot of great restaurants in the La Macarena neighborhood, including Tapas Macarena (Spanish tapas) and La Jugueteria (a quirky and playful family restaurant filled with toys and antiques). We chose to eat at Chibchombia for its lengthy menu of traditional Colombian dishes and traditional decor. The restaurant was filled with tapestries and other Colombian artifacts and the atmosphere was patriotic, particularly because everyone was watching a soccer game between Colombia and Costa Rica! (Sadly, Colombia lost.)
Bogotá Beer Company – (La Candelaria) There are a few locations of Bogotá Beer Company, which offers local craft beer and bar snacks in a loud and youthful atmosphere. We had a blast checking out the social scene on our first night in Bogotá while eating mini Colombian style hot dogs and drinking local beer. If you aren’t in the mood for the party, you can still pick up a 6 pack to take home with you.
Chicha Street – This is not the official name of the area (at least I don’t think it is!), but we dubbed carerra 2 in La Candelaria as “Chicha Street” based on the large number of cafes advertising chicha. Chicha is a drink made from fermented corn that actually doesn’t taste bad, but smells a bit like vomit. It’s one of those things that you just have to try, when in
Rome Bogotá. Chicha Street and the Plazuela del Chorro de Quevedo was always packed with young locals on the weekends, so you could easily walk to the square and meet or make some new friends to go to local bars. Carerra 2 and carerra 1a were filled with small cafes and bars with live music and soccer games on TV. It was a fun and raucous atmosphere and we enjoyed having cheap drinks and doing some dancing and people-watching! Our favorites were Cafe Mana for the music and Cafe del Chorro for the chicha and soccer watching with locals. Note: Neither Cafe Mana nor Cafe del Chorro appear to have a web presence, but you’ll find them easily as both are just off the Plazuela.
That’s it for Bogotá! Thanks for reading and can’t wait to tell you about our time in Alaska, the Last Frontier, next time!
Prudencia, Carrera 2 No. 11 – 34, Bogotá
La Puerta Falsa, Calle 11 #650, Bogotá
Quinua y Amarante, Calle 11 #295, Bogotá
Four Seasons Casa Medina, Carrera 7 #6922, Bogotá
Julia, Calle 119b #631, Bogotá
Andres DC, Calle 82 interior centro comercial el retiro #12-21, Bogotá
Mini-Mal, Tv. 4 Bis #57-52, Bogotá
Chibchombia, Carrera 4a, Bogotá
Bogota Beer Company, Calle 12D # 4-02, Bogotá
Chicha Street, Carrera 2
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