4 Must-Visit Restaurants in Cartagena, Colombia

Maria Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

Colombia’s city by the sea has so much to offer travelers including UNESCO sites worth exploring, unique hotels worth staying at and culinary treasures worth trying. The restaurant scene in Cartagena is caliente with a lot of options to choose from. Here are four of the top restaurants worth dining at in Cartagena.

1. María ($$)

Maria Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

Bogotá-born chef Alejandro Ramírez spent years refining his culinary craft in foreign locales like London, Mexico City and Tokyo, before returning to his home country and opening María in 2012. Head to this electric restaurant for an expansive cocktail menu and inventive seafood dishes, like sea bass with grilled bacon succotash, salmon cooked in coconut milk curry and fried wonton with fish and tuna. The restaurant is located in the heart of Cartagena’s walled city and features a jazzed-up jungle decor. The dining room is decorated with white wicker chairs, brightly colored and hypnotic tiger-motifs adorn the walls, and a massive chandelier with mini white pineapples is suspended from the ceiling. Centro Calle del Colegio 6A. Tel: +57 (5) 660-5380

Maria Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

2. Vera ($$$)

Tcherassi Hotel + Spa Vera Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

Italian cuisine in the heart of old town Cartagena? Believe it. Located in the Tcherassi Hotel + Spa – a 250-year old colonial mansion turned boutique hotel – Vera is posh, and the food is equally as impressive. Bogotá-born chef Daniel Castaño helms the 40-seat restaurant and provides the taste of Italian coastal cuisine. The menu includes dishes like snapper carpaccio, seafood risotto with shrimp, mussels and squid, and ravioli granchio stuffed with crab. After dinner, linger for a while at the outdoor lounge overlooking a small pool and a vertical garden with over 3,000 local plants. Calle del Sargento Mayor 6-21. Tel: +57 (5) 664-4445

Tcherassi Hotel + Spa Vera Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

3. La Cevicheria ($$)


La Cevicheria Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America

There’s a lot of hype surrounding La Cevicheria, especially after Anthony Bourdain visited and fawned over the fresh fish on an episode of No Reservations. The hype is for good reason since this restaurant serves the crème de la crème of ceviche. Be sure to try the crab pincers served with a honey mustard vinaigrette and the devil’s shrimp with spicy lime juice and red onion. Take a seat at one of the outdoor tables during lunchtime for prime people-watching. The charming and colorful restaurant is tiny and located in Cartagena’s walled city. Although the wait time may be long, the fresh ceviche is worth it. Calle Stuart 7-21. Tel: +57 (5) 664-5255

La Cevicheria Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

4. Malagana Café & Bar ($$)

Malagana Cafe Bar Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena

Two design-centric sisters helped put the Getsemaní neighborhood on the map when they opened Malagana Café & Bar in 2011. The three-story restaurant is located on a side street in the once seedy neighborhood outside of Cartagena’s walled city that has come into its own. The restaurant is decorated in bright colors and fun tile, but it’s the ambient charm of the rooftop terrace that’s the real draw. The menu is simple and offers dishes like fish tacos, ceviche and empanadas. Head up to the rooftop to relax and enjoy views of the city, with a cocktail or limonada de coco in hand, of course. Calle Tripita y Media 31-55. Tel: +57 (5) 660-1360

Malagana Cafe Bar Restaurant Cartagena Colombia South America Restaurants Cartagena


  1. January 8, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    These restaurant sounds fantastic and would love to visit all of them. I also love the decor and atmosphere from your pics. Thanks for the recommendations.

  2. Emily Holm
    January 8, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    Love this post! Its always so helpful to know the price of things.Its so often that people write reviews but then its not until further research that you realise its way out of your price range! Looks like you had so much fun and had some yummy food!

  3. January 8, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    As a food lover, these all sound great. I’m particularly drawn to the MALAGANA CAFÉ & BAR as it has a rooftop terrace! Not sure when I’ll make it to Cartagena, but now I know some great places to eat if I do.

  4. January 8, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    We have not made it to Cartagena yet but would like to at some point. Thanks for the write up on the restaurants. It’s nice to have reliable places to eat at before arriving.

  5. January 8, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    Awesome blog post. My sister-in law is from Columbia, certainly a place on my bucket list. Great job providing us with info on places to eat in Cartagena. Food is my number one focus when I travel, before museums or even the accommodations.

  6. January 9, 2017 / 8:24 am

    I love the colors of the food and the restaurants itself. Would also love to visit Cartagena someday.

  7. January 9, 2017 / 10:44 am

    Thanks for this info! I’m headed there next month!

  8. January 9, 2017 / 11:15 am

    These are some great recommendations! Everything looks so vibrant and tasty. I’m not sure when I’ll make it to Columbia but I’ll be sure to bookmark this.

  9. January 9, 2017 / 11:44 am

    I love to be reading so many positive posts about Cartagena lately! This food looks incredible, beautiful photos! The Italian would be a hit for me for sure. YUMMMM!

  10. January 9, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    These might be out of my budget a bit, but the food looks incredible though! Love your pictures <3

  11. January 9, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    Now I’m super hungry and in need of a snack! I haven’t made it to Cartagena yet but I’ve only heard good things! Thanks for the tips on the eats. I love ceviche!

  12. January 9, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    I’m definitely bookmarking this post. I’ll be spending 5 weeks in Colombia (Bogota) this spring so I’m sure I’ll make it to Cartagena at least some point in time and it’s always nice to know where to get a good meal at!

    • January 11, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Hope you have an awesome trip!

  13. January 10, 2017 / 5:55 am

    These restaurants are all so pretty and look like they are putting out some amazing food – it’s made me hungry just reading the dishes you highlighted!

  14. January 10, 2017 / 9:22 am

    La Cevicheria can also be my fav because of Anthony Bourdain! But hold up! I actually all of them for their unique style!Nice review.

  15. January 11, 2017 / 4:14 am

    Those restaurants look great. La Cevicheria is my favorite already because I can watch people while i wait for my food. Watching life on the street go by is my favourite pastime.

    I’m a vegetarian. So do you happen to know if they have good spread for people like me?

    • January 11, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      Yep! They definitely have options for vegetarians.

  16. January 11, 2017 / 9:51 am

    Looks like there’s some great options over there, everything looks so bright. I loved the food in Colombia. Did you find any decent vegetarian offerings?

    • January 11, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      Yep! There are restaurants (including La Cevicheria) that cater to vegetarians!

  17. January 16, 2017 / 3:34 am

    I love your photos and the colours – Cartagena looks like such a lovely place! My favourite is probably Malagana Café & Bar – it seems to be one of those places I’d just love. Thanks for the recommendations!

  18. May 21, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    These photos are stunning! I wish I had seen this before I went to Cartagena back in 2013- we were actually quite disappointed with our restaurant experience there. Should’ve done our research!

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:34 pm

      Oh no, sorry to hear you didn’t have such a great restaurant experience when you were in Cartagena. Give it another chance because there are definitely some gems in the city!

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