Food in Bogota: 5 Dishes to Try

Food in Bogota: A South American Food Primer for 5 Foods to Try in Columbia’s capital

One of the best parts of travel is discovering new foods. Luckily when I arrived in Bogotá, I was equipped with great foodie information from a friend who is married to a Colombian and has made several trips to the capital city of Colombia. I had five days to experience the culinary delights of this city, and here I share my list of food in Bogota that you simply must try.

The Hearty

Ajiaco is a savory and satisfying traditional soup. It is made with generous proportions of shredded chicken, potatoes, corn, and avocado. The soup is topped with fresh cream and capers.

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Sancocho is a delicious soup made with any kind of meat cooked with corn, potato, yucca, and local spices. You can find sancocho made with fish as well, but ask if the fish has bones before ordering. It is a bit difficult to enjoy a soup with teeny bones invading every bite.

The Sinfully Delicious

[pullquote]The arepa is a common breakfast or afternoon snack in Bogotá and is usually considered to be comida rápida (fast food).[/pullquote]There is quite a bit of variety in Columbian arepas, which makes them all the more fun to sample. The arepa is actually the flat, round unleavened patty. It can be made with cornmeal or flour. It can be grilled, baked, or fried. The arepa is then stuffed or topped with, well, almost anything. Traditional toppings include cheese, meat, eggs, or chorizo.

The arepa is a common breakfast or afternoon snack in Bogotá and is usually considered to be comida rápida (fast food).

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Chocolate Santafereño
This delicious drink will warm you up on those cold days in Columbia. Chocolate Santafereño is a cup of hot chocolate served with a large chunk of cheese and bread. You drop the cheese in the chocolate to melt, which adds an interesting flavor and makes this sweet drink more savory.

The Fresh and Healthy

After trying the food in Bogota listed above, you might be craving something healthy and on the lighter side.

Fresh fruit is everywhere in Bogota. You can buy it at the many small stores in the streets of the Candelaria historic neighborhood. There are also convenient fruit carts, especially around the main square, where you can get a cup of pre-sliced mango, papaya, or pineapple. It is the perfect healthy snack when you are out exploring for the day.

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Fresh Fruit

Also, keep an eye out for the fresh-squeezed orange juice carts. There is nothing better than watching a vendor make your orange juice right in front of you. Ask for it sin azucar (without sugar) for an even healthier option.

Have you been to Bogota? What is your most favorite food in Bogota?

All photos by, and property of the author.



  1. says

    I love arepas! When my husband and I lived in California there was a cafe we used to visit from time to time… I have yet to find a place that sells arepas in Washington, DC where I live now.

  2. says

    I still can’t quite get over the Chocolate Santafereño hot chocolate served “with a large chunk of cheese and bread.” Was glad that you told me the Columbians also eat large amounts of fruit :)

  3. says

    Sweating in 110 degree heat right now, the “hearty” item looks alarming! Nothing, however, not even this heat, could keep me away from a good arepa!

  4. says

    Great post! especially the pictures are amazing. Colombia has a lot of great plates but still is developing its cuisine. I live here in Bogota for over a 1 1/2 year and had the chance to taste a great variety of plates. I am a great fan of the juices and BBQ.

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