8 Colombian Dishes You Must Try
If your abuela is colombiana, you can stop reading now: you already know all of the following dishes by heart. For the rest of us, here’s a helpful list of classic Colombian dishes and street foods to try, whether you’re on vacation in Cartagena de Indias or exploring your local food scene.
Ajiaco is a hearty stew made with chicken, corn, and several varieties of papa criolla. The key ingredient is an indigenous herb called guascas (fun fact: the plant belongs to the same family as daisies) that gives the broth a distinct and delicious flavor.
iStock / ALLEKO
Bandeja Paisa—a plate piled high with beans, rice, chorizo plantains, chicharrón, avocado, and carne en polvo, and topped with a fried egg— is a dish you’ll find all over the country.
Pescado frito, a simple and delicious fried whole fish, is a classic option along the coast.
Patacones, also known as tostones, are twice-fried green plantains. Eat them alone with a dash of salt, or order as a side dish.
Arepas are a no-brainer. You’ll find these flat, doughy disks, made with maize flour and stuffed with cheese, cuajada, or avocado, everywhere in Colombia.
Puchero Santafereño is a filling Colombian stew made with beef, chicken, and/or pork, plus plantains, yuca, potatoes, corn, cabbage, and chorizo. Needless to say, you won’t be hungry for a while afterwards.
Empanadas are found all over South America. But the Colombian version is particularly delicious, stuffed with shredded beef or pork and served with ají and lime wedges.
iStock / Aleksandr_Vorobev
Tamales need no introduction. But it’s worth noting that they’re typically eaten for breakfast in some regions of Colombia.
Lechona is just a roast pig stuffed with vegetables and slow-cooked in an outdoor oven; just a simple, light dish (just kidding.) Don’t miss it if the opportunity arises.
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