Nestled in the nook of the Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a famous port city in Colombia that is filled with tourists. Apart from the spectacular beaches, this paradise is well known for its rich history, architecture, culture and stellar ceviche. Restaurants tables spill into the narrow cobbled-stoned pathways flanked with vibrant coloured houses. Tendrils of tropical flowers make their way down balconies, hovering over heavy wooden doors of small hotels.
Tourist activities disperse along quieter lanes, trailing to small coffeeshops that promise Limonada de Coco (Coconut Limeade) on hot summer days. However, this city has more to offer beyond the stellar sights and friendly locals. Cartagena is a foodie’s paradise which will leave you wishing you did not pack that pair of skinny jeans for a night out in town. From classic ceviches to pastas and more, the rich food culture here is an attraction in itself. Here are 5 places you must have a meal at when you are in Cartagena!
1. Sierpe Cocina Caribe
Home to excellent traditional seafood, Sierpe Cocina Caribe has been delighting customers with unique and exotic flavours since its opening. Tucked away in the neighbourhood of Getsemani, it is surrounded by inspiring street art and splashes of colour that gives diners an experience like no other. As the day gives way to a warm night, immerse yourself in a homely atmosphere that is dripping in candlelight while munching on some arroz con coco that sits beside a succulent crawfish dish. The unforgettable food there will leave you wanting more.
2. Plaza la Trinidad
While not an actual restaurant, Plaza la Trinidad is bustling with life each night. Musicians and performers flock to the Plaza each night and entertain the crowds who find themselves immersed in the local scene. Here you can find yourself amazing food and cheap drinks from street vendors that are absolute must-tries! These include Shrimp Cocktail (as fresh as it comes!), Grilled Arepa con Queso, Peto and Patacón con Todo. Plaza la Trinidad is located in the Getsemaní neighbourhood where Sierpe Cocina Caribe can be found. So after a hearty meal, one can consider taking a stroll through the Plaza and grabbing a bite while street entertainers light up the night.
3. La Taperia
Think succulent octopuses and delicious paella, fit for a king. La Taperia promises the hardcore foodie an unforgettable experience. This couple-owned restaurant has a cozy set-up with minimal tables and maximum deliciousness. The warm atmosphere coupled with the Galician style Spanish food keeps tourists and locals alike wanting for more!
4. Beiyú slowfood
This hole-in-the-wall cafe is popular amongst visitors for its respectful preparation of coffee that comes from small farmers in the country. If you are a lover of fresh fruits and vegetables, this restaurant will be perfect for you too! It caters to vegans, vegetarians and those who opt for gluten-free options. Furthermore, the restaurant is careful with the food it prepares and truly lets its customers understand the food they are eating. Take a bite from a spectacular meal and your understanding of healthy food will change. Don’t forget to take a break from all the seafood in Cartagena and visit this place for a gratifying lunch!
5. La Cevicheria
Having lunch at this restaurant is one of the top activities for one to do in Cartagena. Hailed as the best ceviche restaurant in Cartagena, La Ceviche promises a dining experience that is incomparable to others. From tender ceviches to sandwiches and a Vietnamese dish in the mix, you can enjoy your food at a relatively low cost in both an indoor and outdoor setting. Having eaten, you can end off your night with their House Dessert; guava oozing with melted cheese, accompanied by mint and mandarin juice.