This is part two of a series of free Bogota food tour guides I am writing up for anyone who is new to Bogota or just generally looking for some good grub.
Make sure you check out part one which is focused on La Candelaria/El centro area.
This tour will be based on Chapinero Alto (Chapinero for short). For those who have been here for awhile, I realise there is a difference between Chapinero Alto and Chapinero but for the purposes of this guide, I am just going to call everything Chapinero.
A few things to note about this neighbourhood. It is situated next to the Zona G (Gastronomy zone), a little area that is jam packed with high end restaurants. That’s a good place to go dining at night, but for general walking around, I prefer Chapinero.
Chapinero is known as the “hipster” area of Bogota. Honestly, I don’t even know what the word even means anymore. All I know is that dudes with squiggly moustaches are not unheard of. Whatever.
I bring this up because I feel traditional Colombian culture is dying out here. It seems like every month there is some sort of new burger joint, sushi joint or whatever else is in foodie fashion. Yeah, gentrification is not just a western concept.
That being said, there is still good food to be had but I will be focusing more on Colombian food. If you need any advice on restaurants or any particular cuisine, feel free to drop me an email.
Breakfast: La Castaña empanadas al horno
Calle 57, #5-17
La Castaña has only been around for a few years but it its popularity has skyrocketed in the past 12 months and it’s now become one of my favourite restaurants to hit. As the name implies, their specialty here are their baked empanadas (traditional Colombian empanadas are deep fried).
BUT. They also have a pretty great breakfast and brunch menu. As for the empanadas, there are too many good ones to try them all in one go but my favourite is the Caprina which is filled with sun dried tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and ricotta.
Mid morning snack: Empanadas at Cafeteria Daniel
Calle 59, #10-13
I love empanadas. Which is why I am suggesting you hit another empanada shop that’s just a couple of blocks away.
From the outside, this place looks a little dingy but trust me, the place is legit. It is a popular spot amongst students as it is cheap and it is just across the street from La Salle university. They do a variety of fried and baked empanadas. For a taste of a traditional empanada, check out the beef and potato one (carne y papa). I also like the chicken and cheese (pollo y queso) which is an unusual but tasty blend. If you don’t see any hot sauce on your table make sure you ask for some “aji” and drizzle it all over your empanada.
Pick me up coffee: Amor Perfecto
Carrera 4 #66-46
It is a bit of a hike up the hill to get to Amor Perfecto but after the empanadas you will appreciate the exercise. A small number of influencers have changed the coffee culture in Bogota over the past decade but at the forefront of the modern coffee movement sits Amor Perfecto. Whilst a huge chunk of their business comes from their wholesale supply, their main coffee shop in Chapinero Alto has become a favourite for true coffee lovers.
Walking in, you will feel like you are in a cocktail bar in Brooklyn. The service here is exceptional and the stuff really know what they’re doing. Try out one of the new age filter options of V60, Chemex or AeroPress and be marvelled by the attention to detail of the barristers.
Lunch: Las Cazuelas de la Abuela
Calle 59 #10-13
You’ve hiked a hill and you’ve had a much needed hit of coffee. Good. You should be ready for lunch now. Just a few blocks away lies Las Cazuelas de la Abuela, a real traditional local restaurant that offers old school Colombian grub at very reasonable prices. There are 2 restaurants on the same street but you can hit either one.
While their menu is quite extensive, I always end up having either the Ajiaco or the Bandeja Paisa. They also do a stewed oxtail (Guiso de cola) that’s really nice. It is a dish that’s getting harder and harder to find (it’s fatty so keep that in mind if you’ve never had oxtail). Please keep in mind that if you aren’t a massive eater, you can easily share a dish here as the portions are pretty big. If you go with the Bandeja Paisa, you will notice they have two sizes, medium and large. The medium is big enough as it is so unless you are trying to bulk up or you are sharing, a large will only leave you comatised.
For those that want a real traditional lunch, make sure you wash down your meal with one of the many juices on offer. Their limonada is really good and if you don’t like your juice to be overly sweet, make sure you ask for “sin azucar” or “con poquito azucar”.
Dessert: Artesano Gourmet
Carrera 6, #58-63
If there is one thing that is blatantly obvious about the Colombian diet, it is their love of sugar. Just up the road from Las Cazuelas you will find Artesano Gourmet, a dessert shop offering some of the most mouth watering sweets in Chapinero. If you have a hard time finding the place, it’s the one in a pink house on the corner of Carrera 6 and Calle 59. I struggle to give one recommendation but if you are a caramel person, anything that looks remotely caramely here is good. The only downside is their coffee isn’t the best so what I suggest you do is smash a dessert, get your sugar fix and head over to…….
Last Stop: Afternoon coffee at Salvo Patria
Calle 54a, #4-13
Just a hop and a skip away from Artesanos is the famed Salvo Patria. While they are known more for their food, the coffee here is pretty damn good. While I doubt you will be hungry, I highly recommend you come back for dinner at some point to try the Bondiola de cerdo braseado (stewed pork shoulder).
It’s also a great place to grab a drink and let your belly rest and recover.
P.S: If you enjoyed this food tour, you will also enjoy my market food tour because I will be there to make you eat everything.