Bogotá is one of the most fascinating cities in South America for those who are willing to wander in its diversity: old streets full of history, bohemian and modern districts, street food and world-class restaurants coexist. Yes, it’s a frenetic city, with a tireless rithm and a colorful offer in culture, leisure and gastronomy. A great variety of plates and preparations from all over Colombia converge here: Bogotá is a melting pot.
One of the best kept secrets of Bogotá, aside from the grand observatory that is Monserrate, with the most magnifiscent views of the city, is the variety of markets you can find. They are Colombia’s pantry and a great place to start tasting traditional cuisine. Paloquemao, the largest, is the most amazing live showcase of produce and flowers from all over the country. It’s probably the best place to experience what Colombia tastes like.
Many of the most popular and emblematic places are in the city center and its magical neighbourhood: La Candelaria. It’s the best place to walk and discover the city’s traditions: colorful houses, colonial churches, museums. For a foodie, walking through its streets means finding colorful food carts, set to please every palate. In almost every corner you can find empanadas with the most varied fillings, but above them all, a treasure, a fresh salsa with tomatoes, cilantro, onion and chile that bogotanos call simply ají.
The weather is everchanging and allows you to experience a fresh piece of fruit or a juice on a sunny day, and on a cold day, a delicious hot chocolate santafereño-style with tamal, or agua de panela with fresh cheese.
Colombian cuisine has many influences: Indigenous, Spanish, African and its own geography. They all live together in Bogotá. You have to dive into the streets and shops and taste at least a couple of plates that will not be similar to one another. You should taste Ajiaco Santafereño, a potato and chicken soup with a couple of unexpected ingredients. From there on, be ready to savour and get lost.
In the end, Bogotá tastes of fresh fruit juices and herb and fruit infusions, of aguardiente (its’ anise falvoured liquour) or a refreshing local beer. It is a surprisingly foodie city.