Best Burger in Bogota

14,000 pesos for a huge meal!
14,000 pesos for this meal (here with Belgian fries) at Street Gourmet.

Hamburgers are a popular food here in Bogota. There are so many hamburger restaurants here that I can’t keep there names apart. But, when I want a burger, these are the places that I’d recommend Xarcuteria, located down the street from McDonalds in Parque 93. This place grinds their own meat, makes their own sausages, and they make good burgers. Some people find the experience unpleasant because they perceive that the waitstaff aren’t nice to non-Spanish speakers. I don’t really care. But, recently I’ve found that the mushrooms (on my burger) have something funky going on that is not so much to my taste. A burger with fries (not included) costs about US $23.

Vegetarian with meat.
Street Gourmet’s vegetarian with meat.

Agadon, Carrera 13 # 85-75 across from the Sofitel, was the place recommended to me. Lots of people like these hamburgers. I don’t but that doesn’t mean that others won’t.

The food cart and tables.
The food cart and tables.

Street Gourmet, a food cart on Parque Virrey and 19A (technically that corner of Parque Virrey is Calle 88 but just walk down the park). This is my new favorite burger joint. The chef is Belgian as are the fries (or Dutch depending on their provider). They also grind their own beef. With two tables and picnic blankets to borrow (where they will deliver your burger to you), the couple who run this place are smiley and charming. A huge burger (the buns are from a specialty baker), equally huge portion of “frites” and a small soda costs only 14,000 pesos (that’s under $7). The burger patty is a flatter style to fit the bun. Street Gourmet makes their own spicy sauce (and I insisted on mayonnaise for my Belgian fries), and a subtle garlic sauce. Yes, they also have vegetarian burgers (and they will even make a vegetarian burger with meat for you if you ask for it). The down side to this burger cart is that they are only open during lunch on the weekends. But, it’s a good reward for walking Ciclovia?

The short menu at Street Gourmet.
The short menu at Street Gourmet.

And then there is El Corral which is the Colombian answer to McDonalds. Carl’s Jr. is also opening up in Parque 93 so now I’m wondering if In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys will also enter the Colombian market?

Street Gourmet have picnic blankets for use in the park.
Street Gourmet have picnic blankets for use in the park.

10 Iconic American Eats In Washington, D.C.

Recently, some of my Bangladeshi friends visited the U.S… which made me think about iconic American foods to make them try while visiting D.C. The following are some of my recommendations.

1. Krispy Kreme: Who does not love a freshly fried yeast doughnut, hot and fresh from a sugar glaze waterfall?

2. Five Guys and Shake Shack: The last decade has seen the rise of the new hamburger restaurant which makes me happy. Freshly made with fresh French fries – it sounds simple but we, the consumers, put up with so much less for too long. Five Guys is a nationwide chain that started a few miles from D.C. and if you have peanut allergies, you must stay away…

A burger from Shake Shack.
A burger from Shake Shack.

3. All-American classic restaurants and bars: These are classic modern restaurants and bars in the “old boys’ club” style of dark wood, etc. — The Hamilton, The Lincoln, and also Old Ebbitt Grill, the Willard, and Ray’s the Steaks.

4. Ben’s Chili Bowl: Visitors like this historic place which has recently become a chain and it will soon be opening a branch at National Airport.

5. Honey Pig (noisy Korean BBQ restaurant), To Sok Jib (hole-in-the-wall Korean restaurant), and Bon Chon Chicken: Annandale, Virginia is a well known Korea-town but Bon Chon has just opened a branch in Clarendon. There is also Lighthouse Tofu which serves more than tofu and Oegadgib which serves all-you-can-eat Korean including shabu-shabu (shabu-shabu are the words you should say to time how long you swish your meat in the broth to cook it.).

6. Pho soup: Eden Center is a little Vietnam in Falls Church, Virginia, where the restaurants serve pho and other Vietnamese food.

Vietnamese pho soup, fried rolls, and summer rolls.
Vietnamese pho soup, fried rolls, and summer rolls.

7. Ravi Kabob: It’s a northern South Asian/Pakistani place that is “hole-in-the-wall” and serves delicious food. The most famous local chain is Moby Dick’s.

8. Edy’s Chicken or El Pollo Rico: It’s Peruvian style rotisserie chicken. Anthony Bourdain went to El Pollo Rico but I like that Edy’s serves yucca fries. There are also several other Peruvian style restaurants in the area where you can explore some of this world famous cuisine, although I’m still waiting for the celebrity chef level restaurants to open.

9. Ramen shops: This is a fairly new trend in American food, thanks in part to David Chang of Momofuku, and I like the trend. Yummy, homemade soup. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is.

10. El Salvadorean food: Try a fresh pupusa as the El Salvadorean population begins to emerge on the culinary scene (there are not that many Mexican places in this area but Jugalita is authentic).

Of course there are also many Ethiopian restaurants to try and loads of food carts serving all manner of new American foods (Korean kalbi taco, anyone?). Every new group of immigrants contributes a new flavor to American cuisine.

When tourists visit the U.S., many want to try Chipotle and other famous restaurants. I recommend using Yelp to find the locations. Speaking of American foods, there is, of course, pie, lobster, grits, collard greens, chicken and waffles, barbecue, etc. to be had here in D.C., but, maybe I’ll write about that another time. And not to forget, I’ve done some research and it looks like there is only one Colombian restaurant in the area… y claro, por supuesto, voy a visitarlo.