Did you already know that you can eat like the best in Colombia? Travelers who claim you don’t need to go to South America for the food, have still a lot to discover! One of the reasons I love living in Colombia is precisely the food. Even as a vegetarian, like me, a lot of good food await you in Colombia. In this article, I’ll tell you which neighborhoods in Bogotá are the best to eating out. And I give you my top 13 best restaurants in Bogotá.
Why is eating out in Colombia so much fun?
Here in Colombia, like the Colombians, I really learned to enjoy (lots of) food. After living in Colombia for so many years, I, like Colombians, now also say something is “spectacularly delicious”. It is also not for nothing that I go eating out so often. Why?
Especially in Colombia’s major cities, you will find a wide variety of cuisines and restaurants. Colombian cuisine can be found mostly in the somewhat cheaper neighborhoods, in typical Colombian restaurants. For example, go for ajiaco, bandeja paisa or sancocho. In La Candelaria, for example, you will find more typical Colombian dishes.
However, if you want to eat out really well, you will do so in the neighborhoods where you will find the best restaurants in Bogotá. And for that, you have to get out of the historic center. These neighborhoods tend to be more expensive, and you will find less typically Colombian.
In general, service in Colombian restaurants is very good, especially in the larger cities. The food is often incredibly delicious, and for many travelers not what they expect from Colombia.
And did you know that from almost all restaurants you can also order the food from home or from your hotel? You do that with Rappi (an app on your phone).
For most tourists, their round trip Colombia begins in Bogotá. A huge city, where it’s not so easy to find good restaurants if you don’t know where to go. And you will read exactly that in this article, so you can enjoy all the good Colombia has to offer during your trip.
In which neighborhoods in Bogotá can you find the best restaurants?
Although most travelers stay in La Candelaria, it is neither the safest neighborhood nor the one with the best restaurants. To get to know the city well, you have to get out of the historic center. The best neighborhoods for eating out in Bogotá are:
All the way north of the city. A cozy neighborhood in Bogotá, which is more like a separate village in the city. Around the central square and in the cute little streets you will find many restaurants. Some of them can be found below in the top 13. Here you can read all about Usaquén.
Chapinero Alto and Zona G
More in the middle of the city, on the side of the mountains, you’ll find the Chapinero Alto neighborhood, where you’ll also find Zona G. This somewhat upscale neighborhood is perfect for having dinner or lunch in Bogotá. Choose your restaurant in advance or just walk through the neighborhood, you will always come across something. This is where you’ll find Zona G on the map. Many restaurants in my top 13 are in Chapinero Alto or Zona G.
Zona T is somewhat better known among foreign tourists. This nightlife area surrounds the upscale shopping center Andino, in the shape of a T. Not only in the T, but also around it you will find many good restaurants and nice places to eat. When the sun shines, this is also the ideal place to sit on a terrace. You can find Zona T here.
ParkWay is the more hippie district of the city and fantastic to visit. You will find a long park to walk through, surrounded by many good restaurants and small eateries. For example, they sell delicious chocolate here, you can find the best ice creams and more international restaurants. Including some listed below. ParkWay can be found here on the map.
Parque 93 is a large grassy field with some trees, where events often take place. In addition, this is the place to eat out. Right around the park and in the adjacent streets you will find many good restaurants. Many restaurants listed below can be found here, among others. Parque 93 is immediately a good place to sit in the grass or on one of the colorful chairs there. For children, there is a playground. You can find Parque 93 here on the map.
Here you will find two walking routes in Bogotá, number two will take you along the most beautiful parks in Bogotá with the best restaurants.
All these neighborhoods are also safer than La Candelaria, so fine to visit. Always keep these safety tips for Bogotá in mind.
You can get to all neighborhoods easily by taxi. Or do this bus-route through Bogotá. You will pass all neighborhoods on this route, except ParkWay. Best take a cab there, or go with the Transmilenio.
The 13 best restaurants in Bogotá: my favorites
I almost always go to the same restaurants until I find something new that also turns out to be delicious. Many of my favorite restaurants can be found in my favorite neighborhoods: Usaquén and Chapinero Alto. Are you in Bogotá? Then definitely don’t skip (at least one of) these restaurants! (Although none of the restaurants below are purely vegetarian, in all of them you’ll find (also) vegetarian food.
In no particular order, all are fantastic.
Oliveto is an Italian restaurant and incredibly delicious. I usually order pizza there, but they also have delicious pasta dishes. You can find Oliveto in Usaquén (here on the map), Parkway (here on the map) and in Rosales (here on the map).
2. Crepes & Waffles
This is not only one of my favorite restaurant, but probably of many Colombians and foreigners who come here. The name says it all: they sell crepes and waffles. They have a vastly expanded menu of very creative crepes and waffles. Both sweet and salty. The soups here are also great (tip for a typical Colombian soup: Sopa Covarachía).
You can find this restaurant scattered throughout Bogotá and all other major cities in Colombia.
Crepes & Waffles is so popular that you can expect lines to get in. If you can walk through without waiting, you are lucky. It is normal to have to wait about 10 to 30 minutes. Especially in popular places like Parque 93.
Search the map for the nearest Crepes y Waffles or visit the website for all locations, opening hours and menu.
Another Colombian gem: Wok. Founded in 1998, Wok is focused on Asian cuisine, where you will find Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes, among others.
They have many original dishes, such as sushi with mango. The food at WOK is incredibly delicious. In addition, the restaurants are very nicely set up with lots of wood. Which makes it a very cozy place to eat.
You can also expect lines at WOK, especially on holidays and weekends. But really: it’s worth the wait! I myself eat at WOK very often (never get tired of the vegetarian sushi) and it really never gets boring.
WOK is spread throughout the city and can be found in all the neighborhoods mentioned above, as well as in others. Find the nearest WOK on the map or click here for all locations, opening hours and menu.
4. La Lucha Sangucheria
La Lucha Sangucheria is a Peruvian sandwich restaurant also found in Colombia (only in Bogotá) and in Chile. It is definitely one of my favorites. This restaurant has great sandwiches and other dishes that you can put together yourself. I myself always take the vegetarian sandwich with extra egg. That is also immediately the only vegetarian dish by the way.
There are 4 locations in Bogotá (click on the link for the location on the map):
- At Unicentro
- At Parque 93
- In the center of Chapinero
- In Plaza Claro, a small shopping center near the airport
Information about the restaurant La Lucha Sangucheria and the menu can be found at their website.
5. El Altillo del Sol Café
El Altillo is a cute little cafe in Usaquén, especially for lunch and snacks. This is one of my top favorites in Usaquén. And for good reason. El Altillo is located in an old building, and that shows in everything. The blue doors are always open so you actually sit on the street. It is fantastically nicely decorated, as if you were in a living room.
You can have delicious cakes and muffins, and lunch with great sandwiches. And don’t skip the toilet either: even that’s beautiful. The atmosphere is fantastic, with fine music, lots of coziness and good service. Highly recommended!
6. HAB Café
In Chapinero Alto you will find the restaurant HAB Café, which belongs to the HAB hotel. A popular and good hotel by the way. But not only is the hotel worthwhile, the restaurant is also great. Very cozy, you can sit outside and good service.
It is slightly more expensive than the other restaurants mentioned here, but trust me: it is worth it. I come here often and always it is delicious.
You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner in Hab Café. Are you coming for breakfast, lunch or somewhere in between? Try the blue Matcha tea….
Varietale is without a doubt one of my favorite the restaurants. This restaurant has delicious cake, coffee, many teas, cookies, sandwiches, breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are several locations in Bogotá, but the nicest one is this one. This Variatele is large and is very cozy. With several rooms, a bar and a huge outdoor terrace. Full of trees, plants and on the walls hang not only flower pots, but also bicycles. Because of its location near several universities, students often sit here with their laptops to study.
I would definitely visit this restaurant, and thus at this location. About a half-hour walk from La Candelaria, or take the bus or cab. You also have a Varietale in La Candelaria, by the way, click here for its location on the map.
Masa is a fine restaurant with a terrace. They have delicious sandwiches, good breakfast and lunch. You can find this restaurant in El Nogal and in Zona G. I like to eat at Masa, a cozy place in nice neighborhoods in Bogotá. Highly recommended!
Colombia is not a bread country, but there are places where you can still enjoy delicious dishes with bread. Brot, for example, an artisanal bakery.
Founded in 1999 by a German who wanted to introduce Colombia to the bread from his country. You can have lunch here, dinner or just have nice coffee or tea in between. In the latter case, don’t forget the pastries. Especially my favorite: chocolate banana cake. To savor!
Location: in 4 different places in Bogotá, including in Parque del Chicó and on Calle 81 # 7-93. | Click here for more locations and for the menu.
In Bogotá and other Colombian cities, you can eat very good middle eastern food. They have delicious humus and other dishes. One of my favorite restaurants is Marrakesh, with Moroccan dishes. Although it is more middle eastern in general.
Marrakesh is a very nice and cozy restaurant, all Moroccan style. Cozy decor and beautiful photos. You’ll find the restaurant in the ParkWay neighborhood, here on the map.
11. Tapas Chapinero
In Chapinero Alto you will find the amazing restaurant Tapas Chapinero. Incredibly cozy, great food and on certain nights there is live music. They have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, and delicious sangria.
Restaurant Indio is close to the tapas restaurant and a very nice place to eat. This restaurant is also cozy and they have a huge terrace outside. Among other things, you can eat tasty pizza, but this place is also suitable for just having a drink. Sometimes there is live music. Indio is definitely recommended for a fun night out.
13. Quinua y Amaranto (vegetarian)
In the middle of La Candelaria, Bogotá’s old town, you’ll find this little vegetarian restaurant. The menu is very simple: each day there is only one menu. The daily menu.
The small and cramped restaurant is situated in an old building and also has a small kitchen. Here, a few women make a different menu every day, using fresh ingredients typically from Colombia. In this way, you will be introduced to the goodness of Colombia, but in a vegetarian way.
During peak hours, keep in mind that you may have to wait in line for a while before you can get to your table.
Vegetarian food in Colombia
In big cities, you can eat vegetarian food very well. And even vegan. Almost all restaurants in the neighborhoods described in this article have vegetarian dishes.
However, in the smaller villages and cheaper typical Colombian restaurants, vegetarian and vegan food is somewhat more difficult to find. Many people do not know exactly what it means and how to make a dish vegetarian.
Want to know more about this? Then read this article with tips for vegetarians and vegans in Colombia.
And there’s more: stroll through the above neighborhoods in Bogotá and find your favorite restaurant!
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