Although Bogotá was never recognized as a gastronomic reference, little by little Colombia’s capital has attracted attention in the Latam’s food scene. Thanks mainly to new and exciting proposals with young chefs delving into local ingredients and traditions and offering casual and more affordable food to please their diners.
Bogotá has been raising the level of its own cuisine and gaining a prominent role in the continent, slowly attracting the attention of the food world. So much so that the city hosted the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants awards twice. With new gastronomic concepts popping up, the city has increasingly become a destination for those who love to eat - and explore one of the richest biodiversities in the world, which is translated into vibrant, colorful dishes full of identity.
The following list encompasses more casual restaurants that are helping to give a facelift to the gastronomy scene of Bogotá.
Villanos en Bermudas
In addition to having the best restaurant name in town, which means villains in shorts, Villanos en Bermudas (No. 15 in the Latam’s 50 Best Restaurants list) is one of the most inventive places in Bogotá, raising their interpretation of Colombian cuisine to higher levels of experimentation.
Run by Argentinian chef Nicolás López, his gastronomic approach focuses on local ingredients and the tasting menu changes daily, according to the availability of local farmers.
What caught the attention is the unusual combination of flavors, in dishes like the langoustine, with spicy banana broth and mature goat's cheese, and a shitake tartare, with green mango and nasturtiums.
With international experience in acclaimed restaurants such as Boragó and Noma, the chef elevate the authorial cuisine of the city in a vibrant space located in a refurbished house in the Chapinero neighborhood.
Villanos en Bermuda
Calle 56, #5-21,BogotáWebsite
Located in the hip neighborhood of Chapinero Alto, Salvo Pátria is where chef Alejandro Gutiérrez has built one of the most consolidated and striking food proposals in Bogotá.
With a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, this casual restaurant offers a cuisine based on craft processes and the selection of quality products from small farmers that define the Colombian quintessential flavors. It’s a place both to share a meal in a group of friends or try the remarkable tasting menu served by Gutiérrez - that one has to book two days in advance.
The dishes prepared with modernist techniques vary from the octopus with chorizo powder with corn cake and hogai, to the chatas asadas with chimichurri, native heirloom potatoes, and local greens.
One of the restaurant’s highlights is the dedicated attention to the preparation of coffee: all the beans come from the best coffee farmers in Colombia.
Not by chance, Gutiérrez’s partner in Salvo Pátria is the barista Juan Manuel Ortiz.
Calle 54, #4-13, BogotáWebsite
Partners and sisters Silvana and Mariana Villegas decided to open a place where their guests could drop by any time of the day: from a proper breakfast to a mid-day treat, and also a snack for a light dinner.
Both of them had worked in many restaurants in New York City before they decided to open their own business, where they could serve not only the best pastries in town (from NYC-style doughnuts to other delicacies, such as cookies and tartes), but also sandwiches, tartines, and eggs.Masa is a mixture of bakery, café and pastry shop. With three branches in town, they revolutionized the concept of all-day in Bogotá, creating very welcoming and modern environments in the city, where not only bogotanos (people from Bogotá) can spend many hours.
Calle 70, #4-83 | Calle 81, #9-12 | Calle 105, #18A-68, BogotàWebsite
Away from the main restaurant areas of the city, situated in La Concepción neighborhood, this restaurant mixes the concept of popular piqueteaderos (traditional restaurants in Colombia) but keeping an eye on the most updated trends from cities like New York, where informality is an essential part of the new food scene.
American-born chef Steve Haritopoulos serves dry-aged beef and sandwiches, grilled fish (like the one with coconut milk and ginger) and great seafood.
His open kitchen boasts many grills from where come the scents that take over the entire room of this beautiful home from the 1920s.
Calle 69, #15-10, BogotáWebpage
Chef Andrius Didziulis decided to open a space in Bogotá that could work fresher seasonal products in a cozy environment to his guests. Thus was born Café Universal, with a short and smart menu, which changes almost daily in favor of the ingredients.
With references to European cafés - as its name suggests - the restaurant offers not only lunch and dinner but also brunch, always with recipes that show all the diversity of Colombian products.
Calle 65, #4-76, BogotàWebsite