Colombian cuisine blends the history of Colombia and the region all in one pot. With European, Native and Afro-Carribbean influences, Colombian food has developed into the unique cuisine we all know and love – arepas, empanadas, bandeja paisa and coffee (after all, Colombia is the world’s fourth-largest coffee producer). In addition to a rich culinary tradition, Colombians live life to the fullest – any Colombian restaurant you step into will be vibrant and full of energy, no matter if it’s a hole in the wall or a chic restaurant in town. We’re sharing a few of our favorites from around the country but know there’s plenty more to discover – message us some of your favorites on social!
Peppe’s Pollo 1209 S Glendora Ave, West Covina, CA 91790 (626) 918-0604 Peppe’s Pollo is a humble looking storefront, but the flavors are world class. It attracts people from all over Southern California, and it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice having to drive for an hour and a half just to eat here. The food feels homemade in the best way, the menu has great variety, and the service is quick and excellent. Tease your taste buds with their amazingly fresh and cheesy pandebono or the perfectly done Bandeja Paisa. The arepa accompaniments are similarly delightful.
Bogotá Latin Bistro 141 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 230-3805 Bogotá is one of Brooklyn’s best Latin eateries. To start the restaurant has great vibes – a mural covers the back patio, and the whole place is brightly colored. The restaurant focuses on Colombian cuisine and has a diverse menu that includes vegan options. You’ll find a wide variety of Colombian empanadas, their signature appetizers, along with skirt steaks, bandeja paisa (meat platter) and arroz con pollo (rice, chicken and veggies), their signature dishes. Don’t sleep on the cocktails, either – they have specialized tropical drinks like the tasty guava mojitos, coconut margaritas, and other popular drinks like caipirinhas, Aguardiente, and sangrias.
Colombia in Park Slope 376 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 369-2020 Colombia in Park Slope is one of the best Colombian restaurants in all of New York City. The dishes are traditionally homemade and authentically Colombian. We couldn’t help but go back for the Entrana Asada (a sizzling platter of grilled skirt steak), Milanesa de Res (breaded, pan-fried steak), and Arroz con Pollo y Mduro (chicken rice). The empanadas are also one of the most popular items on the menu.
La Fonda Antioquena 5125 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (323) 957-5164 La Fonda is a popular LA eatery known for its amazing arepas (served on the house if you order a meal) and empanadas. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the environment is diner-like. Outdoor seating is also available. Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include the bandeja paisa with fried egg, beef, avocado, chorizo, white rice, chicharron and red beans. The fish and garlic sauce are great, and the sangrias are excellent.
Pueblito Viejo 5429 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (773) 784-9135 8285 SW 40th Street, Miami, FL 33155 (305) 551-4650 Pueblito Viejo in Chicago has an excellent cocktail menu. They make delicious mojitos, palomas, margartias and more, along with awesome batidas, or milkshakes, with guava, mango, papaya and more. Dig in to delicious sancocho, bistec de cerdo empanizado and the carne asada with arroz, arepa y papa salada (grilled skirt steak serves with boiled potatoes, arepa and rice) for a mouthwatering meal before throwing back those cocktails.
Las Tablas Colombian Steakhouse 2942 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 871-2414 Las Tablas Colombian Steakhouse is a family-owned restaurant with over two decades of experience in the trade. They offer mixed grills, steaks, and other incredible options. Quench your thirst with the tasty Las Tablas Limonada (freshly squeezed lime juice) or the Las Tablas Limonada de Coco (fresh coconut lemonade). Satisfy your hunger cravings with the Frutos del Mar (char-grilled shrimp, baby octopus, and calamari marinated lightly in white wine and garlic sauce) or Crab Cake Aperitivo served with plantain chips and fruit salsa. If you love salad, the Ensalada de Mango y Aguacate (marinated red onion, mangos, avocados, and Boston lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette dressing) is a must-try.
Mis Terras Colombianas 54-08 Roosevelt Ave, Woodside, NY 11377 (718) 672-7272 Mis Terras in Woodside, Queens is an excellent Colombian option for New Yorkers and visitors. Some popular menu items include the grilled chicken breast and the Mis Terras platter – sausage, grilled beef, an arepa, sweet plantain, avocado, rice and beans. The lunch specials change daily but are excellent – call ahead or check their website for more info.
Arepa Lady 77-17 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372 (917) 745-1111 Maria Piedad Cano, the original “arepa lady,” used to sell her craft on the street. However, her children (the arepa gents) opted to cement the family legacy by giving her delicious creations a permanent home. Popular dishes at Arepa Lady include the patacon (fried plantain with avocado and beef toppings), arepa de choclo, and the chicharron. Their sauces are quite impressive, along with excellent dessert options (specifically, a delicious flan).
La Colina Comidas Rapidas 11200 West Flagler St, Miami, FL 33174 (305) 225-5344 La Colina is an unpretentious fast-food restaurant that was established in 2003 and serves traditional Colombian meals. While the ambiance may not be five star dining, their menu makes up for it. Try out the perros for some Colombian style street food (Colombian style hot dogs)! Other menu favorites are the salchipapas (pan-fried sausages), patacones (fried plantain), porc chicharron (traditional pork rind), salchi-criollas (quail eggs, sausage, and criollas potatoes), and tequeños (Venezuelan style cheese sticks). Their Lomi Perro sandwich is a must-have, undoubtedly one of the few places to find one in the country. The prices are pocket-friendly, the service is fast, and the portions are sizeable.
Monserrate Restaurant 9545 NW 41 Street, Doral, FL 33178 (305) 436-0803 | (305) 436-8391 Monserrate offers a family-friendly atmosphere with classic Colombian cuisine options. Tease your taste buds with menu favorites like the mini picada appetizers (Colombian potatoes, pork rinds, sausage, and white corn tortilla) or the arepa con queso (corn tortilla and mozzarella cheese). Or for less adventurous palates, try the nuggets y papas fritas (chicken nuggets served with french fries), the pechuga a la parrilla (grilled chicken breast), and the churrasco corte colombiano (Colombian style butter-fried steak).
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