Bogotà, Cartagena Trip
I'll be headed to these two cities at the end of this week.
A recent search of the board gave me these recommendations. (sorry that I don't have correct attribution.) Are there any up to the minute comments?
Leonor Cava y Cana (or Cana y Cava) for the best ceviche
Astrid y Gaston (Fancy Peruvian)
Club Colombia in the Zona Rosa (high-end Colombian)
Harry Sasson in the Zona Rosa
I cannot speak to the Bogota restaurants -- I have not been there yet, but I am going in December. In Cartagena, though, I can share some opinions. La Vitrola is the best restaurant on the list -- it's outstanding. Their ceviches are especially good. I was not as impressed with El Santisimo -- it felt a little pricey for what we actually got. 8-18 is good, but not quite as good as La Vitrola. For lunch, I had a very nice meal at Club de Pesca, which is right on the water and has nice views when you sit outside. The food and drinks were good there, as well. It's a cab ride away from the old city.
I made it back to the States after a wonderful trip to Columbia. It is a diverse nation facing many challenges. The Bogota airport remains one of these challenges. Folks, some signs identifying the lines that travelers must heed would help tourism as much as western signs are goiing to help China's tourism!
Club Colombia is definitely a good restaurant in Bogota that offers a lot of Colombian cuisine. My Colombian born GF and travel partner, who is currently living in the States spent an inordinate amount of time reading and reminiscing about the things on the menu. The sausage platter app and the arepas are worthy of note.
A destination for many people from Bogota on their Sunday Drive on the Carretera Central del Norte is the Villaquesada, open on weekends. You carry your basket past small stations that specialize in meat or sausage or potatoes or yuca and get portions or samples until you can't carry any more. Deep fried plantains make life worth living, if you like such things. Grab a table inside, outside, or a spot on the lawn and enjoy. Go for a hike up the mountainside after, if you aren't too full. The trails look steep.
Cartagena was saturated with touristy places, yet local connections led me to Restaurante Socorro, a place that specialized in fish. Simple preparation and freshness makes is a treat. It's where the enlightened locals eat lunch. I can't comment on dinner, but I imagine it's equally satisfying
I've heard good things about Harry Sasson... I went to Criterion... Excellent food and service. International food just as Sasson. Don't skip the hole-on-the-wall places for empanadas, arepas and the such. Empanadas, while ubiquitous all over latin america, have a different twist in every country.
Save a day for "Ternera a la Llanera". "Andres carne de res" in the northern outskirts of Bogota.