Best Ramen in Bogota

****** Update February 21, 2016***** The rising trend of ramen shops has reached Colombia. Here are the ramen shops I’d say are the best. Actually, Ramen Factory’s noodles and pork combined with Tokyo Ramen’s broth served at Tomodachi would be the best.

Tokyo Ramen, Carrera 11 and Calle 98. 12/13: It’s probably the best ramen shop in Bogota, and the restaurant is perfectly nice to sit in when slurping. They are not open on Saturday night (and maybe not at all on Sundays?). They have a variety of items to eat. I’m not a huge fan of their pork, a rolled style with a slightly porky flavor (and not in my favorite sort of way). They have a variety of types of ramen.

Ramen Factory Tokai-No-Men, Calle 93B # 13-65, Centro Comercial VEI Plaza (down the street from Parque 93, after the Andres kiosk, inside a courtyard that whose entrance looks like a parking garage). 11/13: It’s the far left corner of a covered food court courtyard. The broth is a whitish color and the noodles are chewy in that good alkaline way. I liked the pork here as it’s tender pork belly. But most people would not be impressed with the iceberg lettuce or lack of seaweed in the soup. Also, this is truly a hole-in-the-wall sort of feel (not elegant at all as it’s located in a food court). I liked the place. For those who care about this sort of thing, the guy working here is Japanese. His gyozo/dumplings are fine.

Tomodachi, Diagonal 70A No. 4-66 (turn up the little hill at Bagatelle, and it will be on the left just before the butcher), 12/13: This place has the atmosphere down perfectly. The broth is not special. And the noodles are too bland with a tendency to get overcooked instantly. They are open 12-3 and again 7-10, even on Sundays. Also, this is the only of the ramen places in Bogota that serves the eggs soft boiled. Yum.12716323_10153900139189618_6961970452263989506_o

Arigato, Calle 80 No. 11 – 28. 10/13: It’s a large restaurant and the service is fine. Feels like a chain restaurant. 12265966_10153716933019618_1713243912304424123_o

Sushigozen, Carrera 14 # 93B – 45. 10/13: I don’t like the their sushi but the bowl of ramen was okay.

Wok, various locations. 8/13: It’s not as bad as one might expect. It’s a chain.

I’ve also been to a restaurant called Ramen in Macarena. Not good.

Happy slurping!

The Leather District

photo(100)Colombia is famous for its leather products. If you find yourself in Bogota and ask for the “leather district,” you will be told about an area of town called “Restrepo.” But I do my leather shopping at the intersection of Carrera 23 and Calle 63F. There are about 20 leather shops. They will even custom make leather products for you. It’s not that expensive either. I saw an Australian cowboy hat for $35. Wallets run about $20.

Like almost everything else in Bogota, it’s also possible to have leather craftspeople (including custom shoe makers), come to your house.

Sacred Valley Vegetables – Lettuce Never Tasted So Good!

Cusco is usually considered a preparatory stop on the way to Machu Picchu. But, Cusco should be considered a food destination. The food in Cusco was like the weather, crisp and clean. Every time I asked about the vegetables, including the lettuce, I was told that they were fresh from the Sacred Valley. I don’t have many photos of our salads… because it’s salad.IMG_1039

One of the salads included a peanut-like item which was also from the Sacred Valley.

I don’t like quinoa but when it’s used to bread deep fried shrimp, then I like it. The food in Cusco was delicious. Surely, it helped that we had been out in the fresh Sacred Valley air all day.