We´ve tried to make this list as comprehensive as we can, but obviously we´ll never be able to add every restaurant in Cartagena. For sure you´ll find some great ones just by walking the streets and seeing what you can see.
Breakfast is included in our price(pancakes) and a more comprehensive breakfast is available for purchase. Our chef also cooks up some great pizzas and pastas and makes everything on site, from breads to pastas, to ensure freshness and taste. We´re open from 7am till late so be sure to drop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and stay for drinks late into the night.
This small friendly cafe, just around the corner from the hostel, has a nice atmosphere.
(Phone #660 0958; Calle San Andres; Ranging from 6,500/10,000COP) it includes the main course, homemade bread and jam, fresh juice and coffee or tea. They also do a pretty good set lunch which is a fresh chicken salad @ a good price; have great coffee. Gato Negro opens at 8am and closes around 2pm. Turn right out of the hostel and take the next right, it’s the blue building with the black CV on it on the left hand side. Be sure to say to Pepitas the house dog (very friendly).
There are many people selling cups of fresh fruit for about (1-2000 pesos) all over Cartagena. There is usually one outside Cafe Havana in the mornings and he charges 1000 pesos. Coffee is available from street vendors for $500 for a shot glass size. They are hard to miss strolling the streets with thermos flasks. There are usually people selling meat kebabs’ and sausages on a stick with potatoes as well (this is more in the evenings than for breakfast.) They range in price from about 4,000 pesos in front of Havana’s to 2000 pesos in Plaza Trinidad. Plaza Trinidad, just one block from the hostel has some of the best budget food options in Cartagena.
In the mornings on the left hand side as you are entering the Plaza Trinidad, there is a stand selling fresh juices from all kinds of tropical fruits in milk or in water. The fruit here are so exotic that most do not have names in English. Price range is about 2,500-3,500 when getting more than one fruit. There is also a juice stand in the evening at the Plaza Trinidad around 6pm on the left hand side towards the middle of the plaza. Prices range around 3,500-10,000 with a shot of your preferred liquor.
All over Cartagena there are bakeries selling sweet pastries. We like this place because they sell delicious savoury pastries with fillings such as chicken or cheese and ham which cost about $1700. There is a good selection of fruit juices at around $2500. It’s Iocated on the corner of Calles del Porvenir and San Augustín in front of the Juan Valdez coffee shop, near the Cartagena University.
This is a favorite for locals in the evenings and is one of the oldest parts of Cartagena, located just around the corner from the hostel. It’s a great for chilling with a beer and people watching, or playing soccer with the local children. There are a variety of food stands selling a range of street food. One of our favorites is a Quesadilla stand opposite the pizza restaurant to the right of the plaza. The burger stand on the left of the Plaza has very large meat filled Arepas for about $6000. Go to the right from the hostel then take the next left at Havanna Club and go one block.
Pizza restaurants are all over Cartagena, and many sell pizza by the slice. A good value local one is on calle Tripita y Media sells them for $3000 a slice. There are pizza restaurants opposite the hostel and also along the street to the right.
These sausages, chicken or meat kebabs are available all over Cartagena. They are a great snack, costing up to $4000. There is often one next to the local supermarket in the evenings on the corner right to the hostel.
Papas Rellanas de Carne
If you are hungry, this meat filled potato buns are a filling snack. If you forget the name ask for papas con carne. Although available at many bakeries or small supermarkets, we recommend Panaderia Ferpan on the corner of a building on the hectic Avenida Luis Carlos Lopez, where all the buses queue up. There is a nice place to sit and eat them over the road by the water. Turn left from the hostel and take a left on the big road walk all the way down to the bus station and it’ll be on your right hand side.
Portal de Los Dulces
Under the arches at Plaza de los Coches, next to Donde Fidel, is a line of stands selling local sweets. They are there every day from 9am to 9pm. (Behind the Clock Tower)
These cheesy dough patties can be found throughout Cartagena on street stands. They cost about 2,000 pesos. Alternatively, pan de bono is popular bread made from cassava starch, cheese and eggs. It can be found in some of the bakeries for about $1000.
These restaurants are great for a cheap but filling meal. There are plenty around to choose from, and you get soup, a main meal and a fruit juice or sugar cane water (delisous). Avoid Mondongo on the menu if you don’t fancy tripe soup!
One of our favorites is Este es El Punto, where a good meal is 6500. Make a right once outside of the hostel, turn right at the supermarket and it is on the left. If it is full Restaurant you are looking for “El Conroncoro” is another good, but slightly more expensive restaurant further down on the right.
Pizza, Pasta, Italia is another great little local place where you can get fresh pizza slices for 3,000COP any toppings or homemade chicken lasagna for 7,000COP..
(Calle Guerro down towards the Plaza Trinidad, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a left at the corner, it’ll be on your right hand side half way down the block.) great Italian restaurant with decent price, and homemade pasta and cute patty/terrace area. Prices are about 10,000-15,000COP
Cieba Tropical Café
In front of Restaurant Pavia, this little café has fresh juices from 8am-5pm, good music with a hd tv screen, breakfast menu and bar at night. Prices for juice 2,800-4,000COP, prices for breakfast 6,500-10,000COP and bar is about 7,000COP- 10,000COP.
This Colombian restaurant offers a generous vegetarian meal for $7000, including fruit juice and soup. Don’t expect a menu… you get what they decide to cook on the day. It is a white building located on the corner of Calle La Tablada and Puntales, near parque Fernandez Madrid. Head upstairs for the main air conditioned dining room. (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a right at the Exito and contuine straight for about 2 blocks, make a left and it’ll be in front of you in 1 block.)
El Pollo del Sabor
(Calle Tripe y Media, on the corner to Calle San Andres; 3,000/6,000COP, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and another right at the corner, 1 ½ blocks down on your left hand side.) Great little fried chicken place, meals or combos very cheap and include boiled potato and/or bollo (boiled cornmeal dough) and a side of dipping honey sauce for the chicken. Just make a right when you walk out of the hostel, then right at the corner and it’s locate on the second block right hand side, across from the Indian Restaurant.
(Calle Tripe Media, 12,000/25,000COP, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and another right at the corner, 1 ½ blocks down on your left hand side.) It a cozy restaurant with a cute roof top terrace, pretty view, and they serve mostly seafood and ceviche.
Crepes and Waffles
This popular chain offers a very large range of … crepes and waffles. Most are between $12000 and $17000. They also have good coffee, homemade gelatos, and a highly rated salad bar. One is located in the old town on Calle Baloco, near the Palace of the Inquisition. There is another in Caribe Plaza and in Boca Grande on the main street. It´s a chain restaurant, but a good one and reasonably priced.
Oh! La La (ceviche)
It’s located around the corner from Parque Simon Bolivar on Calle de Avos. This is a pizza bistro/bar that mainly sells pizza but also has ceviche for $6000, one of the cheaper places to buy it.
(On Calle Stuart, Plaza San Diego; Walk out of the hostel and make a right, another right at the corner, walk straight down and pass the main road, continue straight and cross the division in the rd, continue you straight until you walk up to a street called “Calle Jardin” and a small store on the corner on your left. Make a left at the store and 3 blocks down in the plaza; main courses 25,000-52,000COP; ceviche 16,000-45,000COP around lunch and dinner times.) Best ceviche in town!
Hard Rock Café
Typical American food at American prices, expect to pay $40,000 for a burger. Beer isn’t too expensive but if you want cocktails, be sure to make use of the happy hour (7pm til 8pm) They have occasional live music and free wifi. Located in Plaza de la Aduana, around the corner from Fidel’s just to the left as you walk into the Clock Tower.
Plaza Santo Domingo
(4 blocks behind the Clock Tower)There are lots of restaurants here with outdoor seating in the plaza. The prices are a bit touristy, but not bad considering the location. Here you’ll be harassed by the waitresses as you pass by, if you’re a bunch of single guys that may not be such a bad thing though.
Plaza San Diego
There are a few higher end restaurants to choose from in this plaza. These include Teriyaki (Japanese) and Juan del Mar (Caribean seafood). On Calle Stuart, at one end of the plaza, is La Cevicheria (ceviche) & Patagonia (Argentine) & a very flash hotel with not a bad bar if you’re after a drink in a better location, Hotel Santa Clara. (Walk out of the hostel and make a right, another right at the corner, walk straight down and pass the main road, continue straight and cross the division in the rd, continue you straight until you walk up to a street called “Calle Jardin” and a small store on the corner on your left. Make a left at the store and 3 blocks down in the plaza)
(Phone# 664 8243; Calle Balocco, El Centro; main courses 20,000-59,000COP; open lunch and dinner times) Located inside a 400 year old colonial home converted into a seafood restaurant. They also have a great wine list and live Cuban music.
(Phone#664 6222; Calle Quero, Old City; make (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a right at the Exito and contuine straight for about 2 blocks, make a right and it’ll be in front of you in 1 block.), lunch full meal 7,000/8,000COP) Best place to eat lunch as it’s cheap and absolutely delisious. About 10 different plates to choose from, you eat in a hip and beautiful old house and court yard. No signs outside, just a manikin with an afro.
(Phone #660 9880; Calle Media Luna & Guerrero; Getsemani; 16,000/19,000COP for a LG pizza; open around lunch and dinner) Just above the Havana bar and dance club, I Balconi has great pizza with a great view of the city. Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and on your left hand side at the corner you’ll see the restaurant upstairs.
(Phone #664 1683; Calle de Espiritu Santo, Getsemani; 20,000/30,000COP; open lunch and dinner) Accross the street from Saint Roque, La Guacha is an Argentina steak restaurant in an elegant spacious old city style house. Enjoy some steak with a wonderful glass of Malbec or Cab. Make a left when you walk out of the hostel and at the corner make a right.
(Phone #663 1799; Calle de Ayros, Old City; sandwitches @ 11,00COP; main courses 12,500/22,000COP; open around lunch & dinner time Mon-Sat) Great little German-run place with fresh German bread and excellent beer. Not too far from Plaza Santa Domingo.
Local cafes include Luna Nueva, oposite the hostel, and Gato Negro, around the corner on Calle San Andres. Others in the city include:
In the Old Town there is a Juan Valdez Cafe on Calle San Augustin, opposite to the bakery “La Esquina del Pan de Bono”. Equivalent to the North American Star Bucks, this place serves good Colombian coffee and has free WiFi. (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a left at the second corner and it’ll be on your right hand side 2 blocks down.) Our favourite pastry shop is just in front on the corner.
They have a second location right at the side of the convention centre as well. It´s waterside location makes it a great place to relax and catch up on whatever you are doing.
Abaco Libros y Café
Around the corner from Plaza Santo Domingo is this corner bookshop and cafe. It serves good coffee $3,500 and has a few outside seats. Selection of books and magazines in English and Spanish. calle de la iglesia cerca de la iglesia cathedral. (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a left at the second corner and it’ll be on your left hand side 5 blocks down.)