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An experimental dish at El Chato
Denise Monroy

The 30 Essential Bogotá Restaurants

Where to find everything from casual arepas joints to exquisite tasting menus

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An experimental dish at El Chato
| Denise Monroy

“Many first-time visitors to Bogotá are surprised, as if they expected a very different city,” says food writer and Bogotá native Liliana López Sorzano. They’re in for a treat.

Perched on a plateau in the Andes at close to 9,000 feet, Bogotá is at a high point in more ways than one. Culturally, artistically, and gastronomically, the Colombian capital has never felt more alive. In the past, Sorzano says, Colombia hasn’t had quite as defined a culinary identity as Peru or Mexico, but that’s changing. “Today a new generation of chefs are creating a cuisine that turns its gaze inward,” she says, “toward native ingredients and ancient recipes, with an eye on sustainability.” At the same time, the streets are brimming with restaurants and tiendas selling cheesy empanadas, soul-warming soups, and platters of grilled meats with potatoes and plantains.

From casual spots for arepas to experimental takes on local classics, these are the essential dining experiences of Bogotá.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol
$ = Less than $17,100 COP (Less than $6 USD)
$$ = $20,000 - $57,000T COP ($7 - $20 USD)
$$$ = $57,000 - $86,000 COP ($20 - $30 USD)
$$$$ = More than $87,000 COP (More than $30 USD)

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1. Andrés Carne de Res

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Calle 3, Chía
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 861 2233
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This place’s fame surpasses borders, and for good reason. It specializes in grilled meats and typical Colombian dishes: Order with sharing in mind so that you can sample the arepas de choclo (sweet corn cakes), papas criolla (Colombian potatoes), chicharrones (fried pork rinds), lomo al trapo (cloth-wrapped grilled beef), and plátano maduro relleno de queso y bocadillo (baked plantains stuffed with cheese and guava). The rest is pure fun: live music, over-the-top decor, and improv actors who create a world of their own. If you want to party, Saturday is the best night (and the toughest reservation). A very Colombian experience in one of Colombia’s most unique restaurants — well worth the 45-minute drive. Otherwise, the Bogotá location will give you a good approximation of the original. [$$$$]

The eclectic decor at Andrés Carne de Res
Andrés Carne de Res/Facebook

2. Abasto

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Cra. 6 # 119B-52, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 215 1286
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Arepas, circular corn cakes, are a Colombian diet staple found throughout the city. Abasto's original location in Usaquén — a welcoming neighborhood that hosts an outdoor flea market on Sundays — is the ideal breakfast spot to sample different types of arepas made with ingredients from local farmers markets. Also be sure to try their granadilla juice (it’s not easy to find), as well as the Putumayo palm hearts and the Santa Rosa de Cabal chorizos. [$$]

Arepas at Abasto
Liliana López Sorzano

3. Restaurante El Tambor

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Km 12 Vía Bogotá La Calera, La Calera
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 377 9220
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On weekends, Bogotanos like to head out to the countryside for a bit of fresh air and a long lunch. Thirty minutes outside central Bogotá, El Tambor is sort of an upscale piqueteadero, casual roadside restaurants specializing in grilled meats consumed by the platterful. Al fresco seating is large wooden stumps and acres of grass for reclining while you nibble on a feast of morcilla, chorizo, grilled beef and pork, smoky grilled corn, guacamole, sweet plantains, yuca, potatoes, arepas, chicharrones, chunchullo (fried beef small intestine), longaniza, and lots of beer to help plow through it all. There are three locations, but the La Calera branch is by far the most popular. [$$]

The lawn at Restaurante El Tambor
Lesley Suter

4. Julia

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Cl. 119b #6-31
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 619 6478
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Chef Daniel Castaño, who oversees several of Bogotá’s hippest restaurants, spent half of his career alongside (now disgraced) chef Mario Batali in New York. After much trial and error, Castaño finally created the dough he longed for, and his pizzas are considered some of the capital’s best. He likes to top them with buffalo mozzarella and a sauce he makes from the San Marzano-style tomatoes he cultivates exclusively for his restaurants. [$$]

Julia’s specialty pizza
Santiago Rodríguez

5. Pajares Salinas

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Cra. 10 #96-08, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 616 1524
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This fine-dining institution has been in business for more than 60 years. What’s more remarkable is how the classic Spanish restaurant has maintained such excellent standards for food and service. Start with a few tapas from the bar menu and move on to the cochinillo (suckling pig), paella, or lamb chops. This formal dining room attracts the city’s elite, everyone from politicians to celebrities. [$$$$]

Spanish-style shrimp at Pajares Salinas
Pajares Salinas Official

6. Azahar

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Cra. 14 # 93A - 48 Parqueadero Aparcar, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 703 4799
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They say a shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot. For decades, Colombia’s coffeehouse culture has been somewhat sparse. Over the last few years, however, a spate of new third-wave coffeehouses has emerged — places like Azahar, where you’re served by baristas at a spacious cafe in the Parque de la 93 area after choosing from an array of Colombian beans and brewing methods. [$]

Latte at Azahar
Lesley Suter

7. Amor Perfecto

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Cra. 11 #93a - 43
Bogotá, Colombia

This was one of the first places in Bogotá to serve specialty coffees prepared with a variety of brewing methods. But Amor Perfecto is more than a coffee shop — the company has trained many of Colombia’s best baristas, and their micro lots are roasted in-house. At all three locations, the expert staff will craft your drink while they explain the story behind every bean. The Usaquén location is the largest and most charming. [$$]

Amor Perfecto in Usaquén, Bogota
Kevin Chacón

8. Local by Rausch

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Cl. 90 #11-13
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 756 1202
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The Rausch brothers, Jorge and Mark, are celebrity chefs who’ve made a name for themselves by exploring and experimenting with Colombian cuisine. The result is a menu of modern, personal takes on classic dishes that buzz with familiar flavors. Take, for instance, the ajiaco, Bogotá’s quintessential soup, reborn as an empanada. The buñuelos, fried balls of corn and mandioca dough eaten for breakfast, are here served for dinner, stuffed with chicharrón acevichado (fried pork skins in a ceviche sauce). [$$$]

Food and drink at Local by Rausch
Local by Rausch/Facebook

9. Les Amis Bizcochería

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Carrera 14 # 86A-12, 2º Piso, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 236 2124
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Les Amis Bizcochería feels more like a friend’s home than a bakery. The smell of fresh medialunas (Argentinian sweet croissants) wafts down the stairway before you even enter. Inside, a large table displays pastries, cakes, and breads on cute vintage plates. Ideal for breakfast, dessert, or sipping afternoon tea with whatever just came out of the oven. [$$]

Empanadas at Les Amis Bizcochería
Les Amis Bizcochería/Facebook

10. Osaka — Cocina Nikkei

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KR 13-85 25, Bogotá
Bogota D.C. 110221, Colombia
+57 1 631 8175
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With sister franchises in Chile, Peru, and Argentina, the Bogotá location of “Osk” owes its success to excellent food, great ambiance, and good service. The menu is based on Nikkei cuisine, a Peruvian-Japanese fusion, and features dishes like grilled shrimp with red curry-leek sauce and soy-marinated whole fish with crispy garlic, almonds, and Peruvian chiles. [$$$$]

A crispy wonton bite at Osaka
Facebook

11. Casa

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Cra 13 entre 87 y 85, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 236 3755
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This restaurant’s name is an homage to the building it occupies, a 1950s home by the famous Colombian architect Guillermo Bermúdez. Classified as an architectural heritage site, its interiors have a sophisticated mid-century style, while the back terrace has a luxe jungle feel, perfect for enjoying a sunny afternoon. The menu is vaguely Mediterranean; try the fried rice with oxtail, the mussels, and the tuna tartare. Conveniently located on a prime dining street, it’s a perfect stop after perusing the nearby boutiques or Andino Shopping Center. [$$$]

12. Segundo

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Ac. 85 #12- 90, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 644 7766
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This is easily one of the most stunning restaurants in Bogotá. Cocktails and tapas are dispatched from the bar; don’t miss the sweet Colombian chile stuffed with crab and served over leche de tigre. In the kitchen, they champion Colombian ingredients, working mainly with small producers. Dry-aged beef, pork chops, and crispy whole fish emerge perfectly cooked from the charcoal oven. [$$$]

13. El Bandido

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Cll 79B No. 7 - 12, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 212 5709
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Bandido nights are well known in this town. The management has a knack for booking jazz bands and cover acts nightly, which draw the crowds. The French bistro fare is completely serviceable, but you’re really here for the scene. Within the restaurant is El Enano, a smaller bar serving craft cocktails. [$$$]

El Bandido
El Bandido/Facebook

14. Harry Sasson

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Kr 9 75-70, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 347 7155
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With 30 years of experience, Harry Sasson is perhaps Colombia’s most famous chef. His eponymous restaurant, now in its third decade, is known for its service, consistency, ambiance, and the overall quality of its ingredients. Expect simple, well-prepared food that uses traditional cooking elements, like a wood-burning stove and a charcoal grill. Large cuts of meat are the specialty here; share some side dishes like the sauteed green beans with ginger and garlic or the cinnamon-perfumed rice with lentils. Try a few desserts with one of the many coffee offerings. [$$$$]

The modern dining room at Harry Sasson
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez​

15. Chichería Demente

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Cl. 69 ###15-08
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 320 937 3488
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Situated in a beautiful converted home from the 1920s, Chichería Demente is an unusual star in La Concepción, a neighborhood known more for its auto parts shops and garages than gastronomy. The concept is inspired by piqueteaderos. Here, American chef Steve Haritopoulos is using those trays to serve different cuts of dry-aged beef, sweetbreads with capers and limes, and organic chicken with pickled vegetables; vegetarians can feast on salads, empanadas, and yucca poutine. The large open kitchen is dominated by a cavalcade of grills. Perfect for big groups. [$$]

16. La Huerta Bar

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2do. piso, Cl. 69a ##10-15
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 301 784 4934
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Located in the Quinta Camacho neighborhood, this cozy little bar specializes in creative and craft cocktails. They use nearly 100 different vegetables, herbs, and Colombian fruits to create a rotating slate of unique drinks. Try the Corozo Mozo made out of corozo, a local fruit from the Atlantic or Caribbean coast, or Daiquireando con Lulo with rum, lulo, ginger, and lemon. [$$]

17. Masa

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#483, Cl. 70
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 653 1001
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For a breakfast meeting, mid-day treat, or leisurely afternoon of coffee and pastries, this is the place to be. Owners and sisters Silvana and Mariana Villegas both worked in restaurants throughout New York City before returning home to open Masa; their un-Colombian morning buns and doughnuts attest to that time abroad. At lunch, go for the turkey sandwich on raisin-nut bread with bacon, avocado, cheese, and romesco, or a customizable salad. The chocolate chip cookies, arguably Bogotá’s best, pair well with a good Colombian coffee.  [$$]

Breakfast pastries at Masa
Lesley Suter

18. El Chato

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Cl. 65 #3b-76
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 743 9931
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The dishes at this contemporary bistro get buzz for being as innovative as they are delicious. Expect local ingredients that are smoked, fermented, pickled, and dehydrated before they’re worked into an array of unique dishes: chicken hearts with native potatoes, sour cream, and egg yolk dust; rice crackers with crab and mango; a lulo dessert with powdered milk and guanábana. Álvaro Clavijo’s special collaborative dinners have featured chefs like Iñaki Aizpitarte from Le Chateaubriand in Paris and Elena Reygadas from Mexico City’s Rosetta. [$$$]

An experimental dish at El Chato
Denise Monroy

19. Los Troncos

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# a 57-84, Cra. 16a #572
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 218 0810
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This old-school Bogotá chain has specialized in food from the Valle del Cauca region for more than 30 years. It also offers variations on empanadas from around the country: The pipián is filled with red potato, peanut, achiote, onion, tomato, and garlic, and is served with a side of peanut chili for dipping. It’s a total delicacy. You’ll also find tamales stuffed with the same ingredients; luladas, drinks made from the aromatic yet pleasantly bitter Colombian lulo fruit; and other regional specialties. [$]

Los Troncos’ famed empanadas
Liliana López Sorzano

20. Mini Mal

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Tv. 4 Bis #57-52
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 347 5464
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On a curvy street in the Chapinero neighborhood, this welcoming restaurant is one of the pioneers of the new Colombian food movement, with dishes inspired by the diverse regions of Colombia from the Amazonas to the Pacific coast. Chefs Eduardo Martínez and Antonuela Ariza are passionate about rediscovering and promoting national ingredients, and showcasing them in creative dishes like shrimp in a passionfruit chile sauce with coconut rice, and octopus, calamari, and shrimp in a coconut milk curry with the chocolaty cupuaçu fruit. [$$]

Mini Mal
Lesley Suter

21. Villanos en Bermudas

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Cl. 56 ##5-21, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 211 1259
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The cooking of Mexican-born Sergio Meza and his Argentinian partner Nicolás López combines unusual flavor pairings and minimalist aesthetics. The chefs exclusively work with small producers to make tasting menus based on market availability, with dishes like fresh cheese with strawberries and flowers, chickpea mousse with passionfruit ice cream, and beef tongue with beets and yogurt. [$$$$]

Chocolate y uchuvas dessert at Villanos en Bermudas
Villanos en Bermudas/Facebook

22. Cenas Clandestinas Castro Cocina

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a 4a-53, Cl. 56 #4a1
Bogotá, Colombia

There is a side of the Bogotá food scene that happens just under the radar, at a number of what are called cenas clandestinas — basically supper clubs or pop-ups. Castro Cocina is one of the best. Every Thursday, Jorge Iván Castro, a former journalist who decided to go to culinary school, opens the doors of his charming house in Chapinero Alto for dinner. The menu includes cava, an appetizer, a soup, two entrees, a dessert, and unlimited wine. Expect dishes like shellfish encocado, a traditional coconut-milk stew from the Pacific coast; short rib with tucupi (a spicy sauce made from the wild Amazonian cassava); and a local cheese-based ice cream with bocadillo veleño (sweet guava paste). [$$$]

23. Mesa Franca

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Carrera 6 # 55 - 09, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 805 1787
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The menu at the popular Mesa Franca is loaded with flavor, color, simplicity, and experimentation. Sample the cocktails, the pork shoulder- and black bean-stuffed empanadas, and the succulent pork belly with peanut chili, caramelized pears, and arugula. On Thursday nights there’s suckling pig and a salsa DJ, which makes for the perfect Bogotano night out. [$$]

Pork and greens at Mesa Franca
Liliana López Sorzano

24. Salvo Patria

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Cl 54A 4 - 13, Bogotá
Bogota D.C. 110231, Colombia
+57 1 702 6367
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Chapinero Alto is the “it” neighborhood for young Bogotá, and the epicenter of its gastronomic boom. Salvo Patria is cozy and laid-back with a California vibe, where every ingredient comes with a story. There’s also an extensive gourmet coffee selection and a tasting menu that you should make reservations for in advance. If you hit one restaurant in Bogotá, make it this one. [$$]

Octopus at Salvo Patria
Alejandro Osses

25. Restaurante Doña Elvira

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Cl. 50 #20-26, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 235 8275
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For a deep dive into traditional Colombian cuisine, hit up lunch at Doña Elvira. Founded in 1934, the restaurant has a humble façade and a simple cafeteria-style interior. The menu is the best of everyday Colombian eating. Try the stuffed chicken necks, chopped pork ribs, or the braised flank steak. The original location is in the neighborhood of Galerías, while the second is in the city center.  [$$]

Doña Elvira
Alejandro Osses

26. Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao

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Av 19 25 - 02, Bogotá
Bogota D.C. 111411, Colombia
+57 1 742 6664
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If you’re eager to explore Colombian produce — and you should be — here’s where to do it: This vibrant and colorful market is one of Bogotá’s oldest, and it brings the farm to the city daily. Although Paloquemao is way off the regular tourist path, it’s worth the trek just to sample the awe-inspiring array of exotic local fruits. Get there early for breakfast in one of the stalls serving arepas, lechona (stuffed pig with rice), tamales, or caldo de costilla (beef-rib broth), or have a fresh juice at Jugos Doña Vero. [$]

A vendor at Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao
Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao/Facebook

27. Leo

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Calle 27 B No 6-75, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia
+57 1 283 8659
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Don’t leave Bogotá without dining at Leo, which is run by — and named for — one the country’s most celebrated chefs. Leonor Espinosa’s creativity and talent for rescuing forgotten ingredients from the country’s remotest areas has earned her numerous awards, and her skill in the kitchen has solidified her status as a pioneer of contemporary high-end Colombian cuisine. Leo’s tasting menu and its innovative fermented beverage and wine pairings capture the technique, flavor, history, and aesthetic vision for which the acclaimed chef is known. [$$$$]

A savory starter at Leo
Lesley Suter

28. Misia

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Tv. 6 #27-50
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 795 4748
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Celebrity chef Leonor Espinosa, a leading spokesperson on Colombian gastronomy, took a chance on popular Caribbean cuisine, offering regional dishes from Colombia’s northern coast in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Either location (Centro or Zona G, near Chapinero) is perfect for a tour of the coast’s fried fare — start with arepa de huevo and carimañolas (empanada-like patties made of yuca flour), and pair it with tropical fruit juice. Be sure to try Espinosa’s grandmother’s recipe for posta Cartagenera: beef slowly cooked in a rich, dark sauce that’s a perfect balance of sweet and salty. [$$]

A traditional spread at Misia
Lesley Suter

29. La Puerta Falsa

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Cl. 11 #6-50
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 286 5091

This two-century-old restaurant is located just a block away from La Plaza de Bolívar, Bogotá’s central public square, and is a beloved emblem of the capital’s cuisine. Tamales, almojábanas (cheese bread), and chocolate with cheese are essentials for either breakfast or onces, the Colombian equivalent of a morning snack or afternoon tea. If you are there for lunch, try the ajiaco — the city’s signature soup — and one of the desserts from a vast spread. [$$]

Chocolate and tamales at La Puerta Falsa
AndreaBroad.com

30. Prudencia

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Cra. 2 #1134
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 394 1678
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When visiting the historic central neighborhood of La Candelaria, don’t leave without having lunch at Prudencia. The beautiful colonial French-style home was renovated by star architect Simón Vélez, known for his flair with bamboo. Chef Mario Rosero — who was raised in Los Angeles and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America — delivers dishes with powerful doses of umami. The menu changes daily, always features a vegetarian option, and everything from the bread to the butter is made from scratch with local ingredients. Expect dishes like a beef tenderloin crusted in smoked panko, a pork chop spiced with Aleppo pepper and coffee, or apple salad with beet molasses, pine nut yogurt, and watercress. Prudencia is only open for lunch and reservations are encouraged. [$$$]

The dining room at Prudencia
Lesley Suter

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1. Andrés Carne de Res

Calle 3, Chía, Cundinamarca, Colombia
The eclectic decor at Andrés Carne de Res
Andrés Carne de Res/Facebook

This place’s fame surpasses borders, and for good reason. It specializes in grilled meats and typical Colombian dishes: Order with sharing in mind so that you can sample the arepas de choclo (sweet corn cakes), papas criolla (Colombian potatoes), chicharrones (fried pork rinds), lomo al trapo (cloth-wrapped grilled beef), and plátano maduro relleno de queso y bocadillo (baked plantains stuffed with cheese and guava). The rest is pure fun: live music, over-the-top decor, and improv actors who create a world of their own. If you want to party, Saturday is the best night (and the toughest reservation). A very Colombian experience in one of Colombia’s most unique restaurants — well worth the 45-minute drive. Otherwise, the Bogotá location will give you a good approximation of the original. [$$$$]

Calle 3, Chía
Cundinamarca, Colombia

2. Abasto

Cra. 6 # 119B-52, Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
Arepas at Abasto
Liliana López Sorzano

Arepas, circular corn cakes, are a Colombian diet staple found throughout the city. Abasto's original location in Usaquén — a welcoming neighborhood that hosts an outdoor flea market on Sundays — is the ideal breakfast spot to sample different types of arepas made with ingredients from local farmers markets. Also be sure to try their granadilla juice (it’s not easy to find), as well as the Putumayo palm hearts and the Santa Rosa de Cabal chorizos. [$$]

Cra. 6 # 119B-52, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia

3. Restaurante El Tambor

Km 12 Vía Bogotá La Calera, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia
The lawn at Restaurante El Tambor
Lesley Suter

On weekends, Bogotanos like to head out to the countryside for a bit of fresh air and a long lunch. Thirty minutes outside central Bogotá, El Tambor is sort of an upscale piqueteadero, casual roadside restaurants specializing in grilled meats consumed by the platterful. Al fresco seating is large wooden stumps and acres of grass for reclining while you nibble on a feast of morcilla, chorizo, grilled beef and pork, smoky grilled corn, guacamole, sweet plantains, yuca, potatoes, arepas, chicharrones, chunchullo (fried beef small intestine), longaniza, and lots of beer to help plow through it all. There are three locations, but the La Calera branch is by far the most popular. [$$]

Km 12 Vía Bogotá La Calera, La Calera
Cundinamarca, Colombia

4. Julia

Cl. 119b #6-31, Bogotá, Colombia
Julia’s specialty pizza
Santiago Rodríguez

Chef Daniel Castaño, who oversees several of Bogotá’s hippest restaurants, spent half of his career alongside (now disgraced) chef Mario Batali in New York. After much trial and error, Castaño finally created the dough he longed for, and his pizzas are considered some of the capital’s best. He likes to top them with buffalo mozzarella and a sauce he makes from the San Marzano-style tomatoes he cultivates exclusively for his restaurants. [$$]

Cl. 119b #6-31
Bogotá, Colombia

5. Pajares Salinas

Cra. 10 #96-08, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Spanish-style shrimp at Pajares Salinas
Pajares Salinas Official

This fine-dining institution has been in business for more than 60 years. What’s more remarkable is how the classic Spanish restaurant has maintained such excellent standards for food and service. Start with a few tapas from the bar menu and move on to the cochinillo (suckling pig), paella, or lamb chops. This formal dining room attracts the city’s elite, everyone from politicians to celebrities. [$$$$]

Cra. 10 #96-08, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia

6. Azahar

Cra. 14 # 93A - 48 Parqueadero Aparcar, Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
Latte at Azahar
Lesley Suter

They say a shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot. For decades, Colombia’s coffeehouse culture has been somewhat sparse. Over the last few years, however, a spate of new third-wave coffeehouses has emerged — places like Azahar, where you’re served by baristas at a spacious cafe in the Parque de la 93 area after choosing from an array of Colombian beans and brewing methods. [$]

Cra. 14 # 93A - 48 Parqueadero Aparcar, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia

7. Amor Perfecto

Cra. 11 #93a - 43, Bogotá, Colombia
Amor Perfecto in Usaquén, Bogota
Kevin Chacón

This was one of the first places in Bogotá to serve specialty coffees prepared with a variety of brewing methods. But Amor Perfecto is more than a coffee shop — the company has trained many of Colombia’s best baristas, and their micro lots are roasted in-house. At all three locations, the expert staff will craft your drink while they explain the story behind every bean. The Usaquén location is the largest and most charming. [$$]

Cra. 11 #93a - 43
Bogotá, Colombia

8. Local by Rausch

Cl. 90 #11-13, Bogotá, Colombia
Food and drink at Local by Rausch
Local by Rausch/Facebook

The Rausch brothers, Jorge and Mark, are celebrity chefs who’ve made a name for themselves by exploring and experimenting with Colombian cuisine. The result is a menu of modern, personal takes on classic dishes that buzz with familiar flavors. Take, for instance, the ajiaco, Bogotá’s quintessential soup, reborn as an empanada. The buñuelos, fried balls of corn and mandioca dough eaten for breakfast, are here served for dinner, stuffed with chicharrón acevichado (fried pork skins in a ceviche sauce). [$$$]

Cl. 90 #11-13
Bogotá, Colombia

9. Les Amis Bizcochería

Carrera 14 # 86A-12, 2º Piso, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Empanadas at Les Amis Bizcochería
Les Amis Bizcochería/Facebook

Les Amis Bizcochería feels more like a friend’s home than a bakery. The smell of fresh medialunas (Argentinian sweet croissants) wafts down the stairway before you even enter. Inside, a large table displays pastries, cakes, and breads on cute vintage plates. Ideal for breakfast, dessert, or sipping afternoon tea with whatever just came out of the oven. [$$]

Carrera 14 # 86A-12, 2º Piso, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia

10. Osaka — Cocina Nikkei

KR 13-85 25, Bogotá, Bogota D.C. 110221, Colombia
A crispy wonton bite at Osaka
Facebook

With sister franchises in Chile, Peru, and Argentina, the Bogotá location of “Osk” owes its success to excellent food, great ambiance, and good service. The menu is based on Nikkei cuisine, a Peruvian-Japanese fusion, and features dishes like grilled shrimp with red curry-leek sauce and soy-marinated whole fish with crispy garlic, almonds, and Peruvian chiles. [$$$$]

KR 13-85 25, Bogotá
Bogota D.C. 110221, Colombia

11. Casa

Cra 13 entre 87 y 85, Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia

This restaurant’s name is an homage to the building it occupies, a 1950s home by the famous Colombian architect Guillermo Bermúdez. Classified as an architectural heritage site, its interiors have a sophisticated mid-century style, while the back terrace has a luxe jungle feel, perfect for enjoying a sunny afternoon. The menu is vaguely Mediterranean; try the fried rice with oxtail, the mussels, and the tuna tartare. Conveniently located on a prime dining street, it’s a perfect stop after perusing the nearby boutiques or Andino Shopping Center. [$$$]

Cra 13 entre 87 y 85, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia

12. Segundo

Ac. 85 #12- 90, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia

This is easily one of the most stunning restaurants in Bogotá. Cocktails and tapas are dispatched from the bar; don’t miss the sweet Colombian chile stuffed with crab and served over leche de tigre. In the kitchen, they champion Colombian ingredients, working mainly with small producers. Dry-aged beef, pork chops, and crispy whole fish emerge perfectly cooked from the charcoal oven. [$$$]

Ac. 85 #12- 90, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia

13. El Bandido

Cll 79B No. 7 - 12, Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
El Bandido
El Bandido/Facebook

Bandido nights are well known in this town. The management has a knack for booking jazz bands and cover acts nightly, which draw the crowds. The French bistro fare is completely serviceable, but you’re really here for the scene. Within the restaurant is El Enano, a smaller bar serving craft cocktails. [$$$]

Cll 79B No. 7 - 12, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia

14. Harry Sasson

Kr 9 75-70, Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
The modern dining room at Harry Sasson
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez​

With 30 years of experience, Harry Sasson is perhaps Colombia’s most famous chef. His eponymous restaurant, now in its third decade, is known for its service, consistency, ambiance, and the overall quality of its ingredients. Expect simple, well-prepared food that uses traditional cooking elements, like a wood-burning stove and a charcoal grill. Large cuts of meat are the specialty here; share some side dishes like the sauteed green beans with ginger and garlic or the cinnamon-perfumed rice with lentils. Try a few desserts with one of the many coffee offerings. [$$$$]

Kr 9 75-70, Bogotá
Bogota D.C., Colombia

15. Chichería Demente

Cl. 69 ###15-08, Bogotá, Colombia