Your ultimate dining guide to the best restaurants in Bogota

Photo of author

| Updated:

Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, is home to more than 11 million people — and nearly as many restaurants. Nestled high in the Andes at 2,640 meters, this city is a melting pot of cultures from every corner of the country, with its restaurants dishing out all manners of Colombian and international dishes.

A plate packed with mouthwatering meat, eggs, and vegetables served at one of the best restaurants in Bogota.
Paisa tray. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

From the hearty traditional plates in local markets to experimental cuisine in upscale districts, Bogotá’s best restaurants are a study in Colombian gastronomy. The city takes you on a journey through Colombian cuisine, with a nod towards innovative fusions that showcase Latin food in all of its variety.

Colombian cuisine’s core revolves around the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients from the country’s varied geography. Diners can experience the distinctive taste of Colombian coffee at cozy cafés, or indulge in the complex flavors of regional Colombian favorites.

The best restaurants in Bogotá understand the importance of ambiance as part of the dining experience. Eateries such as Andrés Carne de Res offer a riot of color and an eclectic mix of culture and cuisine, while El Cielo by the chef Juan Manuel Barrientos Valencia stands out not only for its modern plates but also for its unique atmosphere, filled with natural light and lush greenery. Whether looking for cozy spots, gourmet destinations or fun environments, every meal in Bogota can become an unforgettable event.

Award-winning eateries

In Bogotá, several award-winning eateries present a rich tapestry of tastes ranging from the luxurious experiences of fine dining to the vibrant flavors encountered in street food. Luckily for budget travelers, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to taste incredible food in this city. 

Fine dining

A bowl of food placed elegantly on top of a vibrant banana leaf, showcasing the culinary skills of one of the best restaurants in Bogota.
Fish cooked in plantain leaf in Leo. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

Bogotá’s fine dining scene boasts internationally recognized chefs and innovative cuisine that showcases the diversity of Colombian flavors. Restaurante El Cielo, led by chef Juan Manuel Barrientos Valencia, captivates with its sensory tasting menus that marry local ingredients with modern techniques.

At Leo, chef Leonor Espinosa draws upon indigenous traditions to create imaginative Colombian dishes that have positioned this establishment among the finest in the city. Don’t skip the Amazonia fish cooked in banana leaf or the chilled aguapanela.

Street food

Colombian street food stall.
Colombian street food stall. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

Bogotá also offers exceptional street food experiences, where traditional dishes are given a contemporary twist. The arepas and grilled meats found at bustling marketplaces not only embody the local spirit but also satisfy diverse palates. For those seeking an authentic taste of Bogotá without the frills of fine dining, these flavors are not to be missed.

La Perseverancia Market, featured on the Netflix show “Street Food: Latin America,” has won numerous accolades for its fried fish, traditional arepas and grilled meats. Venture a bit further to Usaquén and Zona T for their vibrant street food scenes.

Subscription Form

Save this article and we'll send it to your inbox. Plus we'll send you more great article links every week.

Local Colombian cuisine

A plate of fish and beans on a table at one of the best restaurants in Bogota.
Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

In Bogotá, a vibrant array of traditional Colombian restaurants and bustling street food markets offer an authentic taste of the country’s rich culinary heritage. Go beyond the glitziest establishments to taste real Colombian food, like ajiaco — a hearty chicken and potato soup — served with a side of warm, buttered cornbread known as arepas.

Traditional Colombian restaurants

At one of the best restaurants in Bogota, a steaming cup of coffee is delicately placed on a polished wooden table.
Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

Bogotá’s traditional Colombian restaurants serve an array of classic dishes, presenting the legacy of indigenous, African and Spanish influences. A notable example is Restaurant La Herencia, praised for its Chuleta Valluna, a perfect introduction for those new to Colombian flavors. 

For artisanal Colombian coffee that comes directly from the source, trek down to one of the Cafe San Alberto locations across the city. They work with coffee growers and farmers across the country to offer some of the best beans, brews and chocolates this side of South America. 

“El Chato in Bogota is a special homage to local cuisine. Their menu is just a single page, but packed with local ingredients and techniques (think sweetbreads with coconut yogurt!) and delicious cocktails. The chef uses Colombian ingredients, but brings in exciting flavors from around the world, with dishes like oysters with tamarind broth. Great ambiance, and a foodie’s delight!”

— Shruthi Baskaran-Makanju, Rainy City Life

Street food and markets

A bustling market offering an array of fresh and vibrant fruits and vegetables.
Fruit piles in a Bogota market. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

Street food and market stalls in Bogotá offer an authentic glimpse into daily Colombian life, featuring arepas, empanadas and fruit juices. The city’s markets, like Paloquemao fruit market, teem with vendors offering freshly made breakfast arepas and bold, local coffee. You can also climb up several thousand steps or take the cable car to Monseratte, Bogota’s trademark mountain that is home to one of the most colorful street food quarters in the city.

Dining experiences and ambiance

Bogotá’s restaurant scene showcases not just exceptional cuisine but also distinctive settings. From panoramic city views to intimate atmospheres for couples and welcoming spots for family gatherings, each venue offers a unique ambiance.

Restaurants with a view

A sumptuous plate of fried doughnuts, displayed enticingly on a sleek marble table at one of the best restaurants in Bogota.
Arepa guajira in Abasto restaurant. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

Many dining establishments take advantage of Bogotá’s stunning landscape. Oda Restaurante is renowned for its picturesque backdrop of the Bogotá hills, offering diners a feast for their eyes as well as their palates. Perched on the 10th floor, it allows guests to appreciate the urban skyline.

Go up 15 floors above the city to the top of the AC Hotel by Marriott and you will find Astoria Rooftop. This stylish and cosmopolitan addition to the city’s bar scene has panoramic views, a swanky New York-style interior and a menu of contemporary international dishes and crafted cocktails.

Family-friendly restaurants

A plate of food on a wooden table at one of the best restaurants in Bogota.
Ceviche in Central Cevicheria in Bogota. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

Families will find an array of options that cater to all ages. Eateries like Andrés mix a vibrant atmosphere with live performances, creating an eclectic and enjoyable dining experience suitable for both adults and children. It’s not just about the food; it’s about the entire family having fun together.

For a breakfast that highlights unexpected Colombian dishes, head down to Abasto in Usaquén. It may cost you an hour and a half in Bogota traffic, but it’s worth it for a taste of the vegetarian caldo soup with potatoes, cilantro and green onion, an unusual puffed-up arepa and a jar of powdered Colombian pepper flakes you’ll never find anywhere else.

Colombian ceviche is a true phenomenon, with variations available from coast to coast. To take a trip down the geographic map of Latin ceviche, head down to Central Cevicheria and order a variety of dishes for the table. Be prepared to even find some spicy dishes in this unique restaurant.

Wrapping up

Bogota has made a name for itself as one of the culinary capitals of South America. With heavy hitters at all price points, it should come as no surprise that the best restaurants in Bogota constantly feature on San Pellegrino’s list of Latin America’s top 50 eateries. Bring this guide along with some stretchy pants and a big appetite on your next trip to Colombia’s capital for a true taste of adventure.

Ksenia Prints is a food writer, blogger, photographer and recipe developer from Montreal, Canada. She blogs over At the Immigrant’s Table, a food blog showcasing healthy, beautiful international recipes for adventurous home cooks. She loves to highlight ethnic cuisines and immigrant cultures by working with chefs from relevant countries and adapting those recipes to gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free and other dietary restrictions.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.