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  • Writer's pictureJuan Aponte

Where To Eat in Cartagena

Due to its location on the Caribbean coast, the food scene in Cartagena is out of this world. And if you’re thinking arepas, you’re wrong! The seafood and tropical fruits mixed with traditional Colombian cuisine is what makes the food unique. The influences of Spanish & African cultures give the food a kick. Below are the restaurants that you must try while visiting Cartagena.

Restaurante Palenqueras(Bocagrande): #9- a, Cra. 1 #9266, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Beachside restaurant where the waitresses are colorfully dressed, known as palenqueras. It’s an open-air restaurant where you'll feel the breeze from the Caribbean. Prices vary between $10-$20USD. Try the bandeja paisa! Video and pictures below:

Restaurante San Marino(Bocagrande): #12, Cl. 8 #8, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Beachside restaurant located at the Hotel Capilla del Mar. Perfect atmosphere overlooking the sea serving contemporary and seafood cuisine. I had the garlic pasta shrimp which I highly recommend. Prices vary between $10-$20USD. Video below:

El Tropel de J.J(Bocagrande): Cra. 2 #9-42, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

A fast-food place serving arepas, picadas, hotdogs, and hamburgers all served with homemade sauces from the restaurant. I had the felices los 4 picada and siglo con todo arepa. Prices vary between $2-$11USD. Video and pictures below:

Cafe del Mar(El Centro/Walled City): Baluarte de Santo Domingo., Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

The best place to catch the sunset. It’s a great spot for a small bite/drinks and you’re literally on top of the fortified wall with cannons all around. You must try the ceviche de camaron - it’s the best I’ve ever had. For food, prices vary between $2-$19USD and for drinks(beer/liquor), prices vary between $3-$15USD. Video and pictures below:

La Mantilla(El Centro/Walled City): Esq.Calle La Mantilla, Cl. 36 #3-32, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

The interior decor of the restaurant is pretty colorful, mostly blue with wall portraits of famous people all around. Their menu has a wide range of food options at reasonable prices. If you’re craving seafood, try the mixed seafood platter. Comes with tostones, shrimp, octopus, oysters, squid, & vegetables. Prices vary between $10-$20USD.

Restaurante La Casa de Socorro(Getsemani): Cl. 25 #8B-112, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

A taxi driver recommended us to this place and WOW! This place is truly authentic and has the best seafood in all of Cartagena. It’s pricey, but you’ll get your money’s worth. The seafood is fresh and our server was very informative about the menu. He gave us fish soup for free and was the best soup I’ve ever had. I ended up paying $24USD and got; fried calamari which included tostones as an appetizer, breaded prawn as my main dish which included tostones and coconut rice, & 2 beers - definitely worth the money. Pictures below:

Malagana Cafe & Bar(Getsemani): #45, Cra. 10 #31, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

A small, nice cozy spot with some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever tried. The fish is very tender which is a plus. They also have a rooftop, but it was closed for a party when I went. Prices varies between $10-$20USD.

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