Colombia: Food Guide - Dining Out
Colombians love their food and this is very evident in the options for eating out in the country. From roadside stalls, kiosks and hand pulled carts to cafes and top end restaurants, travelers have a lot to choose from! Colombian cuisine is varied; a culmination of many South American influences, and differs from region to region. Colombian food generally consists of a lot of meat, with coastal areas serving up a good variety of fish, lobster and seafood often prepared with a sauce made out of coconut milk. The offer of fresh fruit is overwhelming and many of the varieties you have probably never heard of before. While breakfast is considered a very important meal in Colombia, lunch is served between noon and 2pm and is generally the main meal of the day. A traditional main meal consists of Ajiaco which is a chicken soup, Arepa or bread made from cornmeal, Aroz Con coco, a coconut based white rice and Fritanga which is grilled meat. Fruits and dessert round off the meal. The dinner is more like a snack. In the big cities the main meal often will be served around 7pm or 8pm. A few Colombian specialties which are found in most street stalls and restaurants include Empanadas which are baked pastry puffs stuffed with meat or chicken. They are also served as a sweet with sweet fillings, Patacones which are plantains squashed into thick pancakes that are deep fried in vegetable oil until golden brown and Tamales which is a corn cooked dough stuffed with different meats and served in banana leaves. A filling meal at an average restaurant in Colombia will cost COP415 to 10600 (US to 5). Budget meals at street stalls come as cheap as COP138 (US). Restaurants serving different cuisines are also easily available in most parts of the country.