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Best Restaurants in Cartagena

Is your cruise ship stopping in the Cartagena port for a few hours and you’re looking for a great lunch spot? Are you staying in Bocagrande and want to elevate your dinner plans? Check out my top 5 favorite restaurants in Cartagena, Colombia on your next visit to the colorful city!

 

La Cevicheria



In the Old Town, nestled away on a side street near the wall sits La Cevicheria. It opens at 1 pm and quickly has a line. They have limited seating, but the outside tables are usually accompanied by a local street artist performing during the meal. They offer several different sizes of ceviche but be sure to try to typical Colombian style – made with coconut milk. It’s delicious and keeps you coming back for more. They offer great appetizers too, such as the shrimp empanadas.


Siete Cielos



Located in Bocagrande, Siete Cielos rooftop location has amazing cocktails and water views of the navy ships and large port. But don’t stop at drinks. The food is amazing as well! We enjoyed every single dish but be sure to order the Smoked Salmon Rolls and the Tenderloin Montadito. The sushi was also tasting (and filling). You want to leave room for dessert because their Chocolate Volcano is superb!

 

Stefano’s Bistro

picture of crab risotto with fried calamari and a mint lemonad

Make your way to Getsemani for dinner at Stefano’s Bistro. The creative blend of Italian and Colombian flavors makes this neighborhood bistro a must-try. I loved the crab risotto with fried calamari. They also offer large pizzas and salads, as well as a full brunch that looks heavenly. The restaurant is small but has outdoor seating as well. They often have live music in the evenings, making this the perfect date night spot for a cozy meal.

 


Hamachi



Don’t let the strip mall exterior fool you, Hamachi in Bocagrande is a wonderful Japanese fusion restaurant with fresh seafood and sushi. Located on Calle 8, they don’t have a website, but are open for lunch and dinner (they close in the afternoon, opening again at 6 pm for the dinner service). Their outdoor seating is covered, and the indoor tables have views of the kitchen (which I love). We loved the tuna taquitos, a blend of exquisite fish and wonderfully fresh flavors. We also really enjoyed the Barranco Sushi roll (it was HUGE).  

 

Café San Alberto



Located across from the Santo Domingo Church in the historical city center, Café San Alberto serves their award-winning coffee and light breakfast. San Alberto is Colombia’s most awarded coffee. The crowd favorite, especially on a hot day, is a granizado (like a Frappuccino), though we loved the smooth flavor of the cappuccino helado that was served with an almond popsicle. During our visit, they were serving warm guava pastries (yum!!). Café San Alberto is a little more upscale, but quite a nice experience with friendly staff and wonderful coffee.



BONUS: Cool Treat at Alkiwi

There are loads of different yogurt and ice cream shops around the city, but we kept coming back to Alkiwi (Carrera 10 #30-47) for their tart frozen yogurt and fresh fruit toppings. I loved mango and chocolate chips atop my froyo. If yogurt's not your thing, they offer a dozen different popsicle flavors too! Grab a tasty treat at this shop in Getsemani.



I’m sure you have realized these are not quite the backpacker’s list of cheap restaurants, but I was in Cartagena with a friend, so we decided to indulge a little on some of the best food in the city. I had heard Colombian food would not be the best, as nothing is spicy and the food tends to be more bland, less spiced. But I think Cartagena and these 5 spots prove the haters wrong! Hope you enjoy your time in Cartagena. If you are considering a visit to Volcan del Totumo, be sure to read my post on the 411 of the Mud Volcano for all the good, bad & ugly! Also, my absolute favorite activity in Cartagena was our full-day excursion by catamaran to the Rosario Islands. Definitely worth the price to be in a catamaran and not tucked into a speed boat with 30 other folks.


 

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