“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.
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