A few weeks ago I caught up with a friend of mine for a cup of coffee and as always we started to shoot the breeze about food and recent restaurant discoveries. As foreigners and foodies living in Bogota, while we love Colombian cuisine we often get cravings for some home cooking. So when the conversation turned to sandwiches and cured meats, my friends face lit up like a pinball machine as he had just uncovered a little deli in the Parkway neighbourhood that offers cured meats, cheeses, wine and other international goodies. Needless to say we immediately hatched a plan to meet up for lunch the following week.
In the heart of the Teusaquillo neighbourhood lies Parkway, a long stretch of green where locals go to escape from the daily grind of Bogota and get lost in dog walking, jogging, people watching or in my case sandwich eating at La Despensa de el barrio (“La Despensa”).
Just one block off the park, La Despensa is an extension of its brother restaurant, El barrio. I have not yet visited El barrio but will be checking it out very soon after being blown away by the amazing product offered by its younger sibling.
From the outside, La Despensa looks like a cute little neighbourhood café but the inside is stocked like a typical deli. In addition to the extensive array of imported cured meats and cheeses, they also stock wine, paté, bread, pickled vegetables etc.
Let’s talk sandwiches because that’s what drove me there. For 12,000 Colombian pesos (Approx. 6 US dollars), you get a generous serving of your choice of cured meat on a roll of either ciabatta or baguette. You can also get cheese as an addition for only an extra 1,500 pesos. Each sandwich comes with generous toppings of quinoa leaves, caramelised onion, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and a side of black olives to nibble on between sandwich bites. Seriously, wtf would anyone go to Subway?
I got pastrami with pepper jack cheese on a baguette and my buddy ordered jamon serrano with pepper jack on ciabatta bread. They were both amazing and more than justified the 13,500 pesos we each spent.
In addition to the sandwiches, La Despensa also offers platters and a selection of house wines, craft beers and natural juices to wash down the goodness.
The sandwich was so freaking good that I had to doggy bag a portion of swiss cheese and salami to snack on later.
I was so impressed with La Dispensa that it automatically shot to my list of weekly places to visit. Now I just need to get an apartment in Teusaquillo so I can get my sandwich fix more regularly.
La Despensa de el barrio
#39A-73 (one block off Parkway)
Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed