Cartagena, Colombia Restaurants: Best Local Cuisine
By Bianca Lambert
Cartagena is a port Caribbean city filled with stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches. But the UNESCO world heritage site is making its mark on the culinary world with its emerging food scene. If you’re looking for brunch, ceviche (a dish the city is known for), or a new spin on classic Columbian cuisine this list has something for you.
Ely Cafe is buzzing with glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and Google not just for its well-rounded menu, that consists of brunch favorites like french toast (that a reviewer said was “soft like clouds”), quinoa bowls if you want a healthy start to the day and even burgers, but its staff also makes the establishment worth a visit. If you do stop by be sure ask for Jesus.
El Aesenal is known for its small plates (the grilled sweet peppers are a fan favorite), exceptional service, and its rum tastings. With a little-advanced planning, the restaurant will put together a tasting pairing local rum and chocolate, to go alongside your dinner. Oh, and you can except a couple of hugs along the way.
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Since the late Anthony Bourdain’s visit to the no-frills seafood restaurant in 2010, this has been on the lists of travelers visiting Cartagena. You can expect a line when you visit (and they don’t take reservations), but the ceviche is worth the wait.
If you’re looking for a restaurant that locals and visitors frequent, look no further than La Mulata. Seafood lovers will rejoice, but the hometown favorite also is a great place for diners that are vegetarian. The fare offered in the main attraction, but don’t forget to order the Limonada de coco — it’s not to be missed.
You’re on vacation, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself with a fine dining experience. Reviewers boost that the upscale eatery is “a true culinary experience” because of its beautifully plated dishes and picture-perfect ambiance. The lobster empanadas, seafood chowder, pork belly, and grilled octopus are among the most highly rated dishes to try.