10 Best Restaurants in Bogota… Well, at least where I eat…

As I have mentioned before, I’m not going to eat at 100 restaurants in Bogota. Now that I’ve been in Bogota for over a year, these are the restaurants where I’ve found the food good or acceptable:

La Brasserie (which, along with Agadon, is part of the Di Lucca restaurant family) Carrera 13A, #85-35 (12/13): Only once have I been here and had a bad piece of food and a strangely odd waiter. Otherwise, this is my go-to restaurant in Bogota because, whether I arrive sweaty and in short pants — or with a reservation and long pants, the service is always good. I have never felt racism when walking in or eating here (does that seem amazing? Sad, no?). Plus, some of the food is stuff i want in my life on a daily basis. They have a house made chicken pate which makes me want to smuggle in a banh mi sandwich (if I could find one that I liked).

La Diva, Calle 93A, Carrera 12 (12/13): El Tiempo just listed this place as the best pizza in Bogota. Hope it’s not getting too crazy with long lines… this is my favorite place away from home. It’s warm, cozy, and the food is good. Plus the dresser takes his dressing job seriously. He may not use tweezers and spray nitro-spray all over the food a la fancy pantsy style… but, it is some of the prettiest food in Bogota. I also love the Sistine chapel style painted ceilings and the Euro-pop music. Plus, on Sundays, they have a “brunch” set menu for 35,000 pesos which is one of the best deals around. Oh, and they are always open (well, not at 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday… but still).

Gran China, Calle 77A and Carrera 11 (12/13): You’ve already heard me talk about this place. It’s good. The waiters like to go home around 9:00 p.m. so it’s amusing (to me) to watch them turn off the lights and “encourage” us out… only place in Bogota for truly spicy food. IMG_7266

Gringo Cantina, Calle 80, 12A-29 (12/13): This place opened in January 2016 so let’s see how it does. IMG_2651

El Cielo, Calle 70 #4 – 47 (11/13): It’s fancy. Wait, FAHHNCY. Yup. They probably have the best ceviche in Bogota (but, we’re at 8,500 feet above sea level — so go to Lima instead). But, that makes for interesting people watching for the Margaret Meads in us all.

Taj Mahal, Calle 119b #6A-34 (10/13): I wish they would bake their own bread and serve it warm. It’s Indian food. The only place in town. This town of nine million.

La Fama, Calle 65 Bis #2-85 (10/13): They are a bit pricey. They aren’t open all the time. It’s barbecue. The meal for four would be the meal for one in the U.S. It’s good. But, I get my ribs at Agadon.

Xarcuteria, Carrera 12 #93-43 and new location on Calle 85 (10/13): I don’t usually eat here because sometimes the service is too much attitude for me. And slow. But, the food is good. Only place for a reuben sandwich in Bogota.

Tokyo Ramen, Calle 98 and Carrera 11 (10/13): They have a variety of Japanese foods and ramen.

Others: Wabisabi, NN (speakeasy with great desserts), etc. As for the rest of the famous ones (Andres Carne de Res, Cuatro Estaciones, and Harry Sasson), I have had some negative experiences at them… or, I don’t think the food is all that. Or worth it.

As you can possibly tell, I’m just not all that excited by the food scene in Bogota. But, still, there is progress. I’ve noticed it.

Small Pyramids in El Salvador

IMG_0448One of the nice things about the small pyramids in El Salvador is that not that many people visit them so you don’t get run over by camel (or llama) salesmen trying to get you to buy a ride or a photo. Getting out to the pyramids, and there are many, is relatively easy from San Salvador. It can all be done in a few hours along with other touristy things. Some of the pyramids still have sacrificial areas (chopping blocks for cutting off heads?) and walking alone around them allows one’s imagination to fill in the story.IMG_0507

I recommend it. Another nice thing about El Salvador is that the weather is so pleasant. I guess I’d never contemplated the weather in El Salvador. IMG_0539


Bread and Cheese – El Pan de la Chola

IMG_1081Lima, Lima, Lima! My friends are probably tired of hearing me rave about the food in Lima… turn away now then.

IMG_1076Yet another delicious place to eat in Miraflores is El Pan de la Chola. The atmosphere is a bit like being in San Francisco. Just not quite as expensive. The baker is a young man who started by selling bread on the beach. Now he teaches children to bake in the open-air bakery at the back of the restaurant.

IMG_1043The cheese used in the melted cheese sandwich is so locally sourced that it doesn’t even have a name! The juice drinks are refreshing, the yogurt home-made, and simple dish of “palta fuerte” avocado, oil, and bread is simplicity itself.

IMG_1032Even the cafe con leche is one of the best cups of coffee that I’ve had (the coffee is one found by the “coffee hunter” of TV fame).

IMG_1036Never mind the hype. Go for the melted cheese sandwich.