For travelers everywhere, Colombia is quickly becoming a must-visit destination. From salsa crazed Cali to the seaside city of Cartagena, there are numerous sights to be seen, experiences to be had and, of course, food to eat.
My very first trip to the capital of Bogota, I fell in love with the outdoor barbeques also called parrilladas. Simply an open-air hut on the side of the road, you step right up and order from the straightforward menu as workers behind rapidly chop, grill and prepare everyone’s orders with skill. Within minutes, you walk away with platters full of perfectly cooked and fragrant meats, potatoes, corn and fresh sauces. My personal favorites include the rich morcilla (blood sausage), steak, and yucca fries.
On my second visit, I knew I could not leave without trying the city’s most traditional dish, ajiaco. It is a hot soup typically made with chicken, different types of potatoes, and chunks of corn on the cob. On the side comes fresh avocado, rice, capers and cream to mix into the soup to your liking. It’s definitely hearty and enough to be considered a very full meal.
For starters, empanadas are always a great choice. They come in a variety of flavors, but whether chicken, beef or vegetarian, they typically include potatoes and are made with corn flour that’s all fried. My favorite part of these is the variety of accompanying sauces that you can (and most definitely should) add to every bite.
It would also be a shame to not tempt your taste buds with some of the exotic fruits that are unique to the region. Take time exploring the local fruit market and you’ll find most vendors are eager to share samples. Some of my newfound favorites include granadilla, guanabana, lulo and passion fruit (pictured above). All of these and more make delicious juices that are prepared fresh at restaurants all across the city.
Don’t have time to travel to Colombia? Our South Beach Food Tour gives you a taste of the country with our stop at Bolivar Restaurant. Of course, any good meal (including ours) is best complimented with some refreshing refajo, an alcoholic beverage made by mixing Colombian beer and soda that can be served a variety of ways.