The night we went to this restaurant was the "big night out" of our trip, as it was the only day we actually fixed ourselves up for dinner (ha). We went to Juan del Mar, which specializes in fish, I tell you that because it's in the same place as San Diego (where the Sofitel Santa Clara is). It's a Peruvian food restaurant and a pizza place all by the same owner. They've got really excellent food and service, the prices are too high for Colombia and for my taste. The service is impeccable and very attentive. The place is an old restored house, we ate in the courtyard where there's an old cistern. Art abounds in the decor, there is a collection of metal fish hanging above the tank and the roof. Everything between pictures and a mermaid. The icing on the cake was a group of musicians playing some songs from Buena Vista Social Club, among others.
Hard Rock Cafe Cartagena is a rock-themed restaurant located in Plaza de la Aduana. You can come here to listen to good music and enjoy some truly phenomenal cocktails. The atmosphere is fantastic on the weekends and on Saturdays you can see the rock band Subterfuge play live. The building consists of two floors, which are decorated with guitars, costumes and autographed portraits of musicians. I personally prefer the second floor, which is a bit livelier. The food isn't great, and to be honest the dishes are a bit expensive compared to other restaurants of comparable quality. I don't recommend coming on a Thursday, which is karaoke night. You can also visit the Rock Shop souvenir store, where you can find some interesting mementos.Oh, and by the way, some of the waiters and waitresses are very cute!
I found this restaurant in 2011 where I had lunch twice, everything was great except for some ghost customer ve insisted on drawing attention to himself, I returned in May 2012, and more ghosts had been raised, the service lamentable... They served us the second course but forgot to serve the first. A meal in this environment can never be satisfactory. Dispensable. Furthermore, this restaurant is no longer in the Alley Vargas, it's on Ayos Street, in the center.
One of the most popular restaurants in the San Diego neighborhood is the Cevichería, a tiny premises with a very cool terrace on the street. They specialize is seafood prepared in delicious paellas (the Colombian!) In exotic ceviches and salads. The place also serves lobster, but it must be ordered 1 day in advance. What's the best drink of the Cevichería? The mojito.
When traveling, the best way to eat hearty, inexpensive, and delicious food, is to go where the locals eat. In Gethsemane, the popular and simple Coroncoro is always filled with cartagenos ve live in the neighborhood, so that's where I went. I had a typical dish, which consisted of vegetable soup and then a big plate of fried fish (an exquisite burel), salad, coconut rice and fried plantains. The delicious and abundant menu included a tamarind juice. All for howmuch? $ 4500, or less than 2 €.
If you're travelling on a budget but are hungry for some seafood, I'd suggest trying one of the local oyster stands which have been popping up all over the historical center of Cartagena. You can buy a small, medium or large cup filled with shrimp, prawns, mussels, oysters and other delicacies, all covered with a tasty tomato sauce. It's a good meal for only a few pesos. Recommended!
Located in the heart of the neighborhood Gethsemane, the Gato Negro is a great place to go if you're hungry for a European-style breakfast. Here you can have coffee with milk, fruit juices, eggs made to order, pastries, and toast with butter and jam. A great place to relax with wi-fi and good background music.
The beautiful Plaza de Santo Domingo is one of the best corners of the old town of Cartagena to have a drink, relax and people watch. The space is occupied by the terraces of different bars and restaurants, one of them, highly recommended, is Conde de la Cruz. In the sun or under a red umbrella, I recommend a traditional dish, typical of cartagena that has many variations. At Conde de la Cruz, the fish was a fine bass accompanied by coconut rice, fried yucca and a salad. And to drink? An ice cold Eagle beer.
Colombians often say that La Vitrola is the best restaurant in the old city of Cartagena. And while I don't know if that's 100% true, what can't be denied is that the restaurant has a steady stream of clients and the reservation list is always full. The Vitrola stands in a beautiful colonial mansion, nearly 400 years old. The interior is cozy, with a large bar, and live music at night. The menu is quite tempting. They offer carpaccio and ceviche, tamarind prawns, grilled octopus and a list of dishes based on seafood and fish. Delicious!
This fort, separate from the other fortified buildings of the centre and Getsemani, is located in the Manga neighbourhood. It's free to access, and you can even swim in the sea here, enjoying the incredible view of the yachts, canoes, boats and military ships in the bay. I really recommend this spot - it's not very well-known and barely visited, but it really does have stunning views, so be sure to come here if you visit Cartagena de Indias.
The restaurant Etnia is an enchanting place. When you enter, you feel a Caribbean vibe combined with good taste. The food is an ingenious fusion of everything that characterizes the Colombian Caribbean Coast and definitely captivates the palate of any eater, local, national and international. Additionally, this restaurant is cleverly located in a good place that is close to the Cartagena vaults, where there are also other restaurants that have a very good reputation. But this place not only attracts customers for its menu but also for the service that it offers. The work is achieved by Ricardo Movilla, the owner and chef, ve is undoubtedly an icon that makes a difference in our country.
Despite its name, we can be certain this wonderful bar-restaurant doesn't alter the message it puts out, with the impeccable service provided, and the high quality food. The decor takes us to Cuba in Bombay because of the dark rooms which are like old French theaters, and are a real treasure for lovers of antiques. The fruit juice, served in giant glasses, is worth the visit, and the hotel patio makes you want to rent a room despite its price. A nice place located at the end of Crescent Street.
Located opposite the beautiful Plaza de San Diego, right in the heart of the district of the same name, the Zebra restaurant is striking for its almost minimalist modern decor. Inside, or out on the terrace, you can enjoy delicious produce, a fusion of Colombian and African cuisine. While I waited for my food, they offered me some Arabic bread with delicious spreads. Then the shrimp arrived - a truly unforgettable dish, with a bed of beans, corn and onion, and the delicious prawns on top, sprinkled with fresh coriander.
From the same owners as the modern Media Luna hostel, the Cafe Media Luna breaks away from the wave of traditional cafes and bars abound in the neighbourhood of Gethsemane. It is white with charming décor and comfortable armchairs. This spot is ideal to keep away from the noise of Gethsemane, have a beer, connect to wi-fi and have a European sandwich.
This restaurant, run by an Italian and a Colombian, is just perfect. The pasta dishes are delicious, and the service has that homely South American touch. The restaurant is just metres from the Plaza de Santo Domingo, in a lovely little central street, with simple but lovely decor. In addition to the great pasta, they also offer ceviche, which is exquisite, almost like you're in a cevichera on the shores of the Pacific, in Lima.
Browsing around Gethsemane, I found this place. It's small but very clean and cozy. From when you get there until you leave the service is amazing. The food has the typical Spanish touch, how a Latin American eats normally at home. After eating so much Colombian food (which is very good), we were grateful to find an oasis like this. Menu of the day: 10,000 Colombian pesos. Super cheap, good, and beautiful!
It is located in the area of visual arts in the centre, this beautiful Argentinian restaurant is nicely decorated being a nostalgic tango delight with different grills. The menu is meat-fueled, but also offers some pasta and salads. It'd be a shame to miss the grilled food, its perfection, recommended!