Colombian cuisine is not the most popular around the world. However, once you know it, you discover that it’s full of amazing dishes and ingredients. It’s also full of history and has a very important legacy, since it carries the culture of several Colombian towns. When you visit Colombia, it’s your duty to try the typical dishes, as they are delicious and, in addition, they will help you learn a little more about Colombian life and culture. Come and discover the best typical Colombian dishes.

Ajiaco: The Most Important Typical Dish

Each region of Colombia has its typical dish. However, there is one that stands out above the rest and, in our opinion, could be considered as the traditional Colombian dish: ajiaco. The ajiaco is a soup made with three types of potatoes (the potato is one of the most important and traditional natural products of Colombia), chicken and other spices. It’s a soup with a dense consistency and is perfect for cold and rainy days. For this reason, it’s more popular in departments such as Cundinamarca and Boyaca, where there are winter seasons throughout the year. In Bogota you will find the best ajiaco restaurants in the country.


Bandeja Paisa: The Biggest Dish

In Colombia, there’s a dish that stands out for its size and flavor. The bandeja paisa is a dish that, although it is believed that it was born in the city of Medellin (hence known as a “paisa” dish), was actually born by chance in Bogota. It’s a very substantial dish that contains beans, rice, pork, ground beef, avocado, ripe banana and another couple of ingredients. It can be found in almost every city in the country but it’s very popular in Bogota, Medellin and the small towns of the department of Antioquia. The best bandeja paisa can be found in Medellin.


Tamal: The Typical Breakfast

In the minds of Colombians there is the typical image of a tamale and a hot chocolate cup. For years, Colombians -and especially the people of Bogota, Tolima and Boyaca- ate tamale as a typical meal for meetings, gatherings and breakfasts. Today, the tamale (a dish made of corn dough with vegetables, pork and chicken, wrapped in a banana leaf) is a popular dish in breakfasts. And despite its preparation and traditional style, the tamale is sold in almost all supermarkets and stores in the country. You can find the best tamales in the department of Tolima and in breakfast and tea rooms in Bogota.


Arepa: The Perfect Complement

This is not exactly a typical dish but a food that accompanies almost all Colombian dishes. The arepa is a food that has many preparations -depending on the main ingredient of the dough- and is eaten in all regions of the country. This is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved meals for Colombians. In addition, due to its popularity, it’s also an important source of income for many Colombians. Each region has its own preparation of the arepa, but we recommend you try the “arepa de huevo” on the Caribbean coast, in cities such as Cartagena, Santa Marta and Valledupar.


The typical Colombian dishes are not elegant or expensive. They are picturesque and you can find them in almost any corner of the country. They are a sample of the culture, agriculture and history of the country. When traveling to Colombia, we recommend that you look for the traditional restaurants of each city and make a stop in each one. There’s no doubt that you will know much more about the country by enjoying the best typical dishes of Colombia.