You’ll find this grilled delicacy in many parts of Colombia. In Salento, there are many famous shops that serve this in a stew with patacon.
#2: Sopas / Soups
You may not expect this – but Colombian soups are not to be missed. They’re always filled with so many ingredients they can be a meal of its own! Ajiaco is a traditional soup made of chicken, corn, potatoes, and herb in the Boyaca region, and is a MUST TRY.
This is our favorite Colombian breakfast – you can find this literally anywhere in Colombia, though arepas from different regions may taste differently (more yellow / white, depending on the type of corn used). They are traditionally served with butter and cheese, and served on the side with a soup or entree, but they pretty much go with anything. Plus points if you can find a place that makes their own Arepas from scratch – meaning they grind their own corn flour. Fresh homemade arepas taste lighter and are more fragrant.
Colombian fruits may look nothing like what you usually see – but they are exceptionally delicious and in abundant! These exotic fruits are pretty much non-existent outside of the region as they are unique to the climate, so do try at least one of everything when you are there. Put aside your doubts on how they look and be adventurous – you’d be surprised! Some of them may not be the sweetest you’ve ever tasted (though some certainly are), but they certainly will be the most fragrant!
The name translated in english literally means “thousand leaves”. The dessert is a layered pastry, similar to a Mille-feuille, usually topped with Arequipe / Dulce de Leche (caramel) sauce. It’s oh-so delicious and indulgent, best balanced with a cup of coffee.
#6: Menu del Dia
Or known as “Menu of the day”, is typically served during lunchtime in Colombia for a relatively inexpensive price for a lot of food. As a backpacker / traveler it’s the most bang for your buck! You’ll typically get a sweet drink (usually a juice), a soup, an entree (a hearty one with protein, carbs and fat). Prices are usually around 10,000COP (or ~3USD as of June 2018). It’ll definitely fill you up! Our Colombian friends regularly have meals like these during lunch and opt for a light dinner.
You can’t come to Colombia and not try their coffee. The best quality Colombian coffee beans are typically exported overseas into our third wave cafes around the world, but the beans Colombians use for their own coffee are delicious as well. Our advice is to skip the espresso drinks, and opt for their “Tinto”, or brewed coffee in Colombian fashion – black without sugar. Tinto is brewed light so it never tastes too overwhelming. We always order one during breakfast and as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
These are delicious cheese bread served in every bakery and pastry shop in Colombia. They’re really light and slightly sweet, perfect for a light breakfast or pick-me-up. We always grab a couple of these for our long bus rides around Colombia.
We must admit – tamales wasn’t one of the food items that jumped out at us when we visited Colombia. After trying one from a local shop we couldn’t stop getting it everywhere! The best part is everyone makes them differently – so you can savor different versions of it in different parts of Colombia. You can easily find vegetarian tamales as well and they are very inexpensive yet can fill you up easily.
#10 (Special mention) Ants
We were skeptical at first – but seriously they do taste delicious. They are not always in season and are not very common, but if you find them, we suggest you try them. If made well they are quite tasty! Really!