Bogotá, the bustling heart of Colombia, is a underestimated as a brilliant place to visit in Colombia.
Bogota hosts a dynamic world of entertainment, delectable cuisine, and cultural experiences that will leave you spellbound. In this guide, I’ll dive deep into the vibrant nightlife and culinary scene of Bogotá, a city that effortlessly blends tradition and innovation.
One thing that stood out to me was how you could go from local cultural dishes, to street food to a metropolitan cafe as if you were in NYC or Vancouver all within 15 minutes.
In just one day I went from eating local cuisine overlooking the entire city, to street food, to a cafe that felt as if I was in Vancouver Canada to a fine dining experience rivaling any city on earth.
When it came to bars you can go from a little speakeasy, to drinking chicha from a local on the street, to a lovely greenhouse bar to a raging multi-room nightclub all in a day as well!
When the sun sets in Bogotá, the city comes alive in a symphony of lights, music, and energy. The nightlife here is nothing short of legendary, offering a diverse array of bars, clubs, and entertainment options for all tastes.
Bogota truly is so underrated and with its unique temperature it is a nice change of pace from the hot and humid Colombian cities.
When eating in Bogota a few things to make sure you try are;
- Ajiaco, an incredible chicken soup
- Arepa, a tortilla typically stuffed with meat, eggs or cheese
- Carajillo: while not specifically Colombian at all, I just love it and tell everyone visiting Latin America to have one as it is their version of and espresso martini… and we all know Colombia does the best coffee!
- Chicha, an indigenous beer of colombia made of fermented corn and honey
- Chocolate Santafereno, which is hot chocolate and cheese, sounds just like it says and is a unique must try in Bogota
- Bandeja Paisa: A staple typically made up of meats, beans, plantainains, arepa, avocado, egg and other additions pending the restaurant.
- The churro passion fruit Colombian chocolate dessert at Castanyoles. 1. I am not a dessert person. 2. I don’t care about churros… but WOW… this is up their as my favorite dessert of all time.
Not to mention Bogota is so cheap, you can eat like a king for 50% the price of USA or Canada.
With all of that said, let’s dive into some of my favorites for all tastes and types of traveler!
Best place to eat in Bogota – Mercado Monserrate
If you are looking for the best place to eat in Bogota, well there are a ton of places and you can argue for 20 different places to be in this spot.
However, this is my article thus I am telling what I think is the most unique and coolest spot to eat in Bogota.
If you have read any of my articles about food I always side with the experience first and then food quality and taste. Quality and taste are still important of course but the experience is what puts a place over the top.
I ask, what is a place I can eat at that is unique to this place and like nothing I can get anywhere else. Mercado Monserrate is that place for me in Bogota.
First of all… the Monserrate hike is hard! Not only is it steep and long… if you are visiting Bogota then the elevation will also kick your backside. Walking a few steps at that elevation sometimes can take your breath away let alone this.
Monserrate is 2.4 km or 1.5 mi with a 1,968 foot elevation gain. I hike a ton and with the elevation gain it was definitely harder than I expected.
Yet, everyone can do it, just take water and take your time. For those physically unable you can take the Cable Car or Funicular to the top but beware very long lines to purchase tickets and then lineup to get on them on top of that.
Thus, it is quicker (but much harder) to just hike to the top. With that said, the hike is so worth it with stunning views along the way… but enough about the hike!
Let’s get back to the food… imagine a grueling hike… and then grandma cooking a feast for you at the top that will cost $5-10 a person.
The Mercado is stall after stall of family owned pop-up restaurants cooking authentic food, grilling fresh meat and all else for you to dive into.
There are abuelas on the grille, vendors selling chicha from barrels, fresh squeezed juice vendors, arepa vendors, coffee vendors as well as an entire market for shopping.
All of this, while you overlook the massive view of Bogota, steps from the Monserrate Sanctuary and even a stunning view of the mountains from the backside.
These things combined together creates such an epic experience and the #1 thing you must do when in Bogota.
Best fine dining restaurant: Castanyoles
I have a couple favorite fine dining restaurants but this one takes the lead as their greenhouse themed location is one of the prettiest things you might ever come across.
Castanyoles is located in the luxurious Four Seasons Casa Medina, which Casa Medina is a site in its own right and is listed here as one of the 3 best places to stay in all of Colombia.
The food rivals any other restaurant in town and really the pictures show you what really sets it apart, the greenhouse setup with a fireplace outside in the courtyard is just a magical setting.
Furthermore, as mentioned above their churro dessert is one of the best I have ever had and their Sunday brunch, while expensive, it is absolutely epic and worth a splurge meal.
Best Barstaurant In Bogota: Andres Carne de Res
Infamous barstaurant known as one of the wildest restaurants in Latin America and probably even the world it is a site to behold.
If you want something different and fun… well this is it. Sure it has a touristy feel… but you are a tourist and it is actually full with as many Colombians as well.
With multiple levels you can go from restaurant to bar to live music to club all in one place. It is known as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants for party people and diners since the early 80s!
This is definitely a must-visit site and while the original location in Chia is said to be the best spot, tourists can have just as good of a time at the more central location on Zona Rosa known as Andres DC.
Favorite place for coffee: Usaquen Flea Market
While there are hundreds of great places to get coffee in Bogota, the Usaquen flea market has two great spots to have a magical cup of coffee.
First we have a great spot if you have been shopping the flea market and just need a little reprieve, sit down and great atmosphere to enjoy your coffee.
Colo Coffee Usaquen is just that and they have multiple locations in the city. They are a chain but not a starbucks type thing, but more a local spot that has grown to a handful of uniquely designed shops.
They are farm to your cup and roast their own coffee for a great little experience perfectly mixing comfortability, ambiance and authenticity.
For something more unique head down the street to the outdoor pop-ups of the flea market at the corner of the main street Carrera 6a and Calle 119B.
Here you will find a cool little pop-up coffee shop adding a bit of a bite to your drink if you so choose… grab your drink and get a little buzz on while you meander through the market.
Best Breakfast & Cafe In Bogota: Masa 70
Finding the best breakfast & cafe in Bogota is near impossible but this is definitely one you must try.
If you want consistency with a great ambiance then Masa 70, which Masa/Mass has multiple locations in town, is a great place to come by.
Their food is great and they are also a bakery. Not to mention the drink selections covered every base I needed as I ordered fresh juice, a latte as well as a smoothie.
The location is surreal… you would never guess you were in Latin America. If I dropped you right at the doors of Masa 70 and you didn’t know where you were, you might guess Vancouver Canada, NYC, Portland or Denver.
It truly is very contemporary and such an open modern feel in a great similar feeling neighborhood.
Not only was the food great but two of us over-ordered as we always do and it came to around $40 USD… for something that would easily be $100 USD in the USA.
Best Nightclub in Bogota: Video Club
Video Club is one of my favorite nightclubs I have been to in the world and reminded me of a smaller version of the world famous Razzmatazz in Barcelona.
There are multiple bars, multiple rooms that are nightclubs by themselves and then an outdoor terrace with a DJ spinning in the open-air.
No matter what you are looking for each room has a different vibe and you can spend all night hopping around having one of the best bar nights you will come across.
The decor and setup is phenomenal looking like a warehouse from outside and inside exposed brick, metal staircases, cages, glass, open air patio upstairs, dungeon feel downstairs… it is staggering and a must visit.
Another one of the best fine dining restaurants in Bogota: Harry Sasson
There are a ton of amazing fine dining restaurants in Bogota so it is hard to just choose a second.
However, Harry Sasson is always at the top of the list and similar to Castayonoles the decor along with the food is extraordinary.
From their cocktails to their tomahawk steak to their mac-n-cheese to their salads to their massive wine list… Harry Sasson has everything you could want in a fine dining restaurant.
The grounds outside are exquisite and inside is just as stunning.
Not to mention cost again but… we had the tomahawk steak, large salad, 2 massive sides, appetizers and 4-6 cocktails all for $200 USD. That meal would have been $500 USD in the USA easily.
Bogotá is a city that invites you to party, savor delectable cuisine, and explore its cultural treasures. Whether you’re dancing the night away in Zona Rosa or savoring an exquisite meal, Bogotá promises a journey filled with unforgettable experiences.
If you already weren’t wanting to go to Bogota then hopefully this helps and you get going!
If you are looking for some affordable luxurious places to stay see our article here about best places to stay in Colombia!
So, pack your bags and get ready to uncover the endless possibilities that Bogotá has to offer. Your adventure awaits!