These are some of the best restaurants in Cartagena, Colombia, that share the motivation to exalt Caribbean and Colombian products in general. This food has a cosmopolitan tone, a social commitment and the format of alliances with local suppliers. They are all inspired by the construction of a gastronomic culture of the country, without hassle, but with rhythm and a tropical spirit.
Best restaurants in Cartagena
1. Carmen restaurant
With the same force and a new mural by a local artist, Carmen welcomes her diners in the heart of the walled city. A seven-course tasting menu and à la carte dishes that display Colombian biodiversity and the artisan production work of suppliers from different parts of the country. Their wine and cocktail list expresses the same appreciation for the careful work of farmers.
2. Celele restaurant
Celele is the result of Caribe Lab research, by chefs Jaime Rodríguez and Sebastián Pinzón Giraldo, winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Latin American Region in the 2019-2021 edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy. The project rediscovers agricultural products from Caribbean ecosystems such as the Serranías de Coraza and Montes de María, capturing the identity of rural and urban communities in the region in the color and aesthetics of the dishes, especially with the use of wild flowers and leaves.
3. Mar y Zielo restaurant
In the La Escribana house, in the historic center, Mar y Zielo Gastro Bar is a proposal for cocktails and contemporary cuisine inspired by the tour of Colombian lands and the history of its products, in the hands of its chef Rafael Pedraza. It has a lounge with an à la carte menu, a dining cellar, the lounge reserved for the tasting menu and a roof top to enjoy Cartagena afternoons and nights with cocktails such as the Floreciente (gin, soursop reduction, eucalyptus syrup and Prosecco) or Mono Ice cream (with tamarind, cape gooseberry, orange juice, corozo reduction and banana whiskey).
4. Harry’s restaurant
Located in the inner courtyard of the Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa, this is the proposal of the renowned Colombian chef Harry Sasson in the Colombian Caribbean. The menu combines the offer of Mediterranean tapas such as serrano ham, patatas bravas, fried eggs and fried squid, with traditional dishes from the region such as arepa de huevo, posta cartagenera, grilled fish and shellfish, soupy rice dishes and steakhouse-style meats. The desserts have a tropical accent with the professional hallmark of Harry’s confectionery.
5. La Cevicheria restaurant
La Cevicheria is a restaurant with aesthetics and beach vibes, created by Jorge Escandón and his knowledge of Spanish Mediterranean cuisine, with his own chef’s label and enriched by Karla Miliani who has managed and co-directed it for years. Travel and cooking show host Anthoy Bourdain launched him to full fame with his visit to Cartagena over a decade ago. Fifteen types of ceviche, paellas and dishes with octopus, lobster and shellfish make up his menu. This restaurant is rustic, cheerful, simple and at the same time refined in the way it treats its customers. The crockery in which the food is served and the quality of the ingredients that come from the region make this place an unforgettable experience.