When in Cartagena, you'll likely notice that lunch is the heaviest meal of the day. Fresh fruit, soups and fish stews, shrimp and pork dishes accompanied by rice or potatoes, coconut, and fried plantains are examples of foods near and dear to these people. Ajiaco, composed of potatoes, poultry, and corn, and chicken or fish sancocho exemplify two stews enjoyed by Colombians, and these are often served during "high holidays." While Colombian cooking reflects the cultural influences of the Spanish and the indigenous people, you'll also have opportunity to enjoy international entrees (French, Italian, and Creole). Super sweet desserts concocted with panela (brown sugar) are often enjoyed as the last course. Ajiaco, composed of potatoes, poultry, and corn, and chicken or fish sancocho exemplify two stews enjoyed by Colombians, and these are often served during "high holidays." While in Cartagena's Old Town, street vendors offer a variety of local favorites. You'll have opportunity to purchase bunelos, which are cheese balls, arepas de huevo (fried dough encasing an egg), and butifarras (meatballs)!
Wine and milk are not often served, but Colombians do enjoy their coffee, and beer. Aguardiente, a drink made of rum and brandy, is also well loved!
Popular Restaurants in Cartagena:
La Mulata is located in the Old Town, and does a fine job of serving Colombian cuisine for lunch. In fact, this restaurant is so popular that we do suggest arriving as early as you can for a "first come, first serve" table. Look forward to fresh juices, fresh fish entrees accompanied by coconut rice, salads including (cold shrimp salad), and plaintain chips. Prices range around 6.50 USD. La Mulata is located at Calle Quero No 9 -58 El Cntro, and a contact number for them is 5 -664 -6222.
Le Cevicheria serves a variety of seafood dishes, but (as you may suspect) specializes in ceviche. Open for lunch and supper, this lovely place was featured by Anthony Bourdain when HE was in Cartagena! You'll have a wide variety of ceviches and other entrees from which to choose, several of which are quite unique! While some past guests have suggested the prices are a bit high, the COP equivalent of 14 to 30 USD for main dishes and 9 to 24 for ceviche entrees, food quality and taste gets rave reviews! And after all, you are in Cartagena and it IS your vacation! La Cevicheria can be reached by phone at 5 -664 -5255, and is located at Calle Stuart No 7 -14 San Diego.
La Vitrola, ensconced in a 400 year old colonial house, is consistently regarded as the best restaurant in Cartagena. With the ambiance of a private club, also part of its reputation, you'll find a wide variety of delights on the menu. Seafood aficionados will likely love the carpaccio de mero, and the langostinos are also extolled. This is also a wonderful place for live musical entertainment nightly! Prices range from 11 to 31 USD, and their address is Centro Cll 33 #2-01 Calle Baloco. Their telephone number is 57 -5 -664 -8243.