What to eat in Colombia? Typical dishes of Colombian gastronomy

In Colombia there is only one thing more voluptuous than the bodies that Botero painted: the food that overflows from the plates. In those places you eat a lot (and very well), and we love that! So if the question of what to eat in Colombia comes to mind? that you know that you are in the right place: we are going to tell you 10 typical dishes of Colombian gastronomy.

To plan your trip, take a look at these 25 tips for traveling to Colombia

Arepas, one of the star dishes to eat in Colombia

Aaaaafriends. Menudas rich, rich arepas are eaten in Colombia. Don’t you know what we’re talking about? They are cakes made with corn flour, round in shape, cooked on the grill and can be served in different ways: the simple ones are presented as is, with a little butter, but there are all kinds, from cheese arepas ( ooooh maaaaaai goooood) to arepas with meat/chicken/vegetables… Depending on the area, there may be different arepas. In Cartagena, for example, egg arepas are typical .

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Another perfect snack to snack between meals or as a starter. Colombian empanadas are quite different from Spanish empanadillas: the dough is usually thicker and the filling is usually meat. The best thing is that they are found in many bars and venues for very affordable prices, being an ideal snack to get out of trouble.


In Colombia many soups are eaten (as they say… they are even in the soup XD) and one of the richest is ajiaco, typical of the Bogotá area. It is prepared with shredded chicken, Creole potatoes, white potatoes, savannah potatoes, corn and guasca. If you are thinking of a light soup before launching into the main course, let it be known that this soup can be gigantic, so first make sure of its size before continuing to order.

Paisa tray, one of the richest typical Colombian dishes

It is one of the most famous typical Colombian dishes… come on, its fame precedes it, but make no mistake: even if you think you know it, the first encounter will leave you breathless (and when you finish the dish you will have to undo the button on your pants, sureuuuro). It is a dish of rice, beans, ground beef, chorizo, pork rinds, arepa, egg and avocado. Light, light it is not, but you have to try it at least once. In Antioch you will find it everywhere.


Another dish not suitable for vegetarians… picada is the Colombian answer to the Argentine asado or the Spanish barbecues, that is, a plate of various types of meat (chicken, pork, veal, sausages, chorizo, etc.) that are accompanied with potatoes, corn on the cob, patacones, avocado and the ever-present arepas. Picada is not something that Colombians eat every day, it is rather a meal that is reserved for family gatherings or nights with friends. Try to try it at least once during your trip.

Sancocho, a typical soup to eat in Colombia

We tried this soup in the Coffee Region (although there are all over the country) and it was one of the best meals of the entire trip. When they brought us the plate (platazo) we freaked out in colors: that was gigantic! It is a soup with Creole potatoes, green plantain, yucca, cob, arracha (a tuber), chicken (although it can also be beef or fish) and is accompanied with avocado and rice. If you have doubts, it is better to ask the waiter what is NOT in the soup, instead of what is in it XD Don’t go home without trying at least one sancocho, which is one of the tastiest typical Colombian dishes.

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Garlic trout

It is one of the Colombian dishes that we liked the most. It is typical of the Salento area and the Coffee Region . We tried it after trekking in the Valle del Cocora and it tasted like heaven… they presented us with the trout on a tray, covered entirely in a white garlic sauce with prawns. Rich, rich and foundation!

Fried snapper and coconut rice

It is one of the typical dishes of the Colombian Caribbean, we ate it over and over again in San Andrés and Cartagena . It is a simple recipe that you will find in many local restaurants: the snapper (type of fish) is fried and it is accompanied with fried plantains and coconut rice (delicious!). What are patacones? It is banana cut into slices that are fried after being crushed. There are those who love it and those who hate it… so try it and get rid of doubts.


Tamales can be found in many countries in the Americas, and Colombia is no exception. We tried them in Bogotá for breakfast (don’t judge us!). The tamale is essentially a corn dough filled with the most varied ingredients (chickpeas, eggs, chicken, meat, bacon…). It is prepared by wrapping it in a banana leaf and slowly boiling or grilling it. An energy bomb that we really liked! Come on… it’s one of the typical dishes that we recommend you eat in Colombia.

Sautéed sausages

It’s hearing the word “chorizo” and my stomach makes me sick, so when I found out that one of the typical dishes of the Eje Cafetero area, and specifically of Santa Rosa de Cabal, was a chorizo, I didn’t think about it! The name refers to the way the meat is cooked: cooked. In addition to the chorizos, there are also whole dishes with a mixture of meats accompanied by rice, yucca, potatoes, also cooked, and salad.

Typical Colombian drinks

To accompany these dishes, ask for some of the most famous drinks in Colombia, like these:

  • The coffee, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the world. Coffee in Colombia is called red and here it is drunk almost by the liter and without adding sugar. It is almost more of an infusion than anything else, since it is prepared with a filter and very hot water (but not boiling). To learn more about the Colombian coffee culture, here we tell you about our visit to a coffee farm .
  • Fruit juices, one of the best in the world. Seriously, the fruit in Colombia will drive you crazy. You will find smoothies/juices in all restaurants, bars, beach bars… You only have to choose the fruit and if you want it with milk or water . Our favorites are the lulo and passion fruit juices (with water). addictive
  • Water with panela and cheese. It is a combination that may sound somewhat strange to our palates, but here it is almost a commandment. It is basically a glass of water with panela (sugar type), which is accompanied by a piece of soft cheese. Some people eat the cheese separately, but they told us that in the original recipe the cheese is soaked in the water. Ideal to replenish energies.

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Do you know more typical dishes to eat in Colombia ? We are looking forward to returning to this country that captivated us so much (and to go back to eating those delicious arepas and drinking those juices hehe, why deny it!).

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