Looking for where to eat in La Candelaria of Bogota? I’ve got some great recommendations for you!
Ok, I really liked eating in Bogota.
Bogota’s food scene is a little bit different than other places in Colombia – as a lot of the restaurants cater in international cuisine rather than traditional Colombian foods. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of good spots to get some of that great Colombian fare, nor does it mean that there aren’t a lot of really fantastic restaurants in Bogota.
All of the restaurants and mentioned in this article are all located in La Candelaria district of Bogota, with one notable exception that should definitely be on your list.
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Where to Eat in La Candelaria, Bogota: 11 Great Spots
Let’s dive right into where to eat in La Candelaria neighborhood of Bogota! This list includes cafes for breakfast, restaurants for lunch and dinner, some great places for snacks, and a couple fun experiences!
Cafes and Restaurants
These cafes for breakfast and restaurants for lunch and dinner were some of our favorite places to eat in La Candelaria of Bogota.
1. Café de la Pena
Tucked away on an quiet street in Candelaira is this really adorable French-Colombian café.
While you can take some food to-go from the case, I highly recommend sitting down in the greenhouse style courtyard with plants and tiled floors. We came here for breakfast and it was a lovely, quiet, and peaceful place to start the day.
The food was delicious – we loved the hot chocolate, the quiche, flan thing, and the sable de arequipe. The staff were all very kind here – the chef even brought us out a special treat he whipped up on the spot. I just highly recommend this café across the board; it was one of my favorite places to eat in La Candelaria.
Address: Carrera 3 #9-66
2. Chopperia GastroPub
If you are interested in a more “American” style breakfast, this is a great café to visit for breakfast. They also have cakes and coffee throughout the day, and pub food for lunch and dinner.
Breakfast options include waffles, pancakes, omelets, and crepes. The interior is very cute and cozy, offering a respite from the busy streets and chill air.
Address: Calle 11 #3-11
3. Mama Lupe
Situated just around the corner from Plaza Bolivar, Mama Lupe’s is a great place to try Chocolate Santafereno, aka hot chocolate with melted cheese.
This very traditional Colombian drink is something you definitely should try at least once during your trip to Colombia. While I can’t say I was converted to cheese in my cocoa, it’s not bad, either!
They also have a fantastic ajiaco soup, another Bogota traditional food.
Address: Calle 11 #6-14
4. El Establo de Pegaso Libro-Café
As soon as we saw the name of this restaurant (The Pegasus Stable), we knew we owed it to our magic-loving little girls back home to come here for dinner. This book-café is actually a really trendy little spot with bookshelves for guests to peruse, a chess set to play, a bar, and about eight tables for sit-down dining.
The food and the vibe were both excellent. We came here for dinner and really enjoyed it, but the lunchtime “menu del dia” looked really delicious, too.
Address: Calle 11 #2-29
5. San Felipe Restaurant
This colorful little restaurant is just down the street from Plazoleta Chorro de Quevedo. Their menu del dia (set lunch option) of a chicken and rice mixture was delicious and a great value, and the ajiaco soup was hearty and flavorful. I loved it all. I also liked that the capers for the soup came on the side and an extra cup of cream was given, too.
I would go back to this restaurant for lunch any day – it was one of my top favorite places to eat in La Candelaria.
Address: Calle 12 #1-79, Candelaria (Make sure you note the address on this one, as Google Maps doesn’t pull it up)
Where to Eat in La Candelaria: Snacks
6. The Candy Stand
This may seem a little random, but there was this little candy shop/stand on Calle 11 between Carrera 3 and 4 (I can’t even find the exact address on the map, but it’s right in the middle of the block) that sold a variety of Colombian sweets for really cheap. We loved picking out a whole bunch of different candies to try!
Address: Calle 11, La Candelaria
7. Panaderia Cafeteria la Candelaria Bakery
We absolutely adored this bakery – they had such a wide variety of delicious breads and pastries in several cases around the store. There were no prices posted, so we were taking a bit of a gamble when we went around the store and ordered a bunch of stuff, but this whole haul only cost 8000 COP (less than $2)!
This was a delicious place to eat and get some snacks in La Candelaria.
Address: Calle 14 #1A-05
8. Fruit Carts on the Street
As you walk around La Candelaria, you’ll run into lots of different carts on the street – and some of them are selling fruit!
We saw mamoncilla and mangosteens on these carts most often, but you’ll sometimes see other fruits as well, such as plums, mangoes, and pineapple. These fruits are great to grab for a quick snack, so fresh, and are generally very cheap.
9. Street Snacks
In addition to fruit carts, you’ll also come across other street snack carts, or little shops with counters on the street. You can buy a lot of warm snacks like empanadas or pastels this way. We also saw lots of carts selling obleas, a Colombian favorite that involves a thin and crispy wafer sandwich, stuffed with arequipe, cream, or other sweet filling.
You can also find the traditional drink, chicha, on street carts, especially around the Plazoleta Chorro de Quevedo. Note that on the street this is often an alcoholic drink, though you can find a non-alcoholic version if you ask or visit a restaurant.
10. Paloqueamo Fruit Market
The Paloqueamo Fruit Market is a great way to get off the tourist track, dive into a local experience, and pick out some really delicious and interesting tropical fruits to try. The fruit market is in a large, covered warehouse. The front of the warehouse has mostly fruits, with the back selling other foods (like dairy products and meat).
We had a great time browsing the market, looking at the all different fruits on the different stands, and admiring the colors. We ended up buying about 7 different fruits to try here – the workers at the stand we went to were really nice, helping us write down the names of the fruits, giving us suggestions, and just being all around really friendly.
We left with a bunch of fun new things to try later on! I would highly recommend a stop at Paloqueamo.
Address: Av. Ciudad de Lima #25-04
11. Bogota Food Tour
This food tour through Bogota was a highlight experience of our trip to Colombia!
For several hours in the afternoon, we walked around with a local guide and a small group of other tourists, trying lots of different traditional Colombian dishes at different restaurants around La Candelaria. The tour included restaurants featuring cuisine from regions all over Colombia, so we really felt like we got to experience a bit of the whole country.
I loved that the vibe of this tour and the guide was really laid back, just like a bunch of friends hanging out for the afternoon. And the food that we tried was all really fantastic – interesting and different and delicious. I also really enjoyed all the little tidbits of information we learned about Colombian food, cooking, culture, and history.
TL;DR: You will eat extremely well, try a large variety of new foods, and learn some really fun tidbits about Colombia, all for an exceptionally reasonable price.
Tips for Restaurants and Eating in Colombia
- A 10% gratuity is often automatically added to your bill. If it’s not, it’s polite to leave a 10% tip on your own.
- Tap water is safe to drink in Colombia.
- However, if you order water at a restaurant, you will be brought bottled water to drink, not tap water, and it will not be free.
- At most restaurants, you can ask the server to bring you the check at the table, or you can just settle your bill at the front counter.
- Don’t plan on being able to pay with credit card. While you could pay with card at some restaurants, many only took cash – so I would always plan to pay in cash.
- If you don’t speak Spanish, I would highly recommend you download the Google Translate app and use their camera feature to read menus. You can hover the camera over whatever document you need to read, and the translated text in English will show up on top of the Spanish words. It’s really handy!
- Food is generally very inexpensive in Colombia. We usually spent between 10-15 USD total for a sit down meal and drinks for two people at dinner time – and less at lunch.
- Street food and snacks are very inexpensive. Fruit is often around 50 cents USD, and pastry items also around a dollar or less.
Where to Eat in La Candelaria, Bogota – Final Thoughts
While most people say that the best place for restaurants in Bogota is in Zona Rosa (and that area definitely does have great dining), we really did find a lot of great places to eat in La Candelaria. We also found that Zona Rosa had a much higher rate of non-Colombian fare (Italian galore) while La Candelaria had a higher chance of giving a traditional experience.
So, when you’re considering where to eat in La Candelaria, consider one of the options on this list, and enjoy!
Check Out My Other Colombia Articles:
- 3 Days in Bogota: Absolute Best Things to Do
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- How to Get from Pereira to Salento
- Where to Stay in Salento (3 Best Areas + Hotels)
- A Detailed Guide To the Cocora Valley Hike in Colombia in 2023
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