So, I failed to mention food in my last two blogs about Colombia. Seeing as I spent over three weeks in the country, I suppose I have the room to create a third Colombia blog devoted solely to edibles. So, let’s start with the basics: comida tipica. The comida tipica of Colombia is the same as in the rest of Latin America – basic lunches of chicken (or pork) with rice, beans, salad, and a plantain of some sort. That’s why it’s called “comida tipica”. It’s typical. Set lunch menus often come with all of the above and a soup to start, which is fine in Medellin and Bogota, but who in their right mind would want a hot soup in Cartagena? It’s already hotter than hell there. Less soup. More ice cream.
And lots of ice cream is exactly what I had in Cartagena because it was so hot. I also had a lot of ice cream in Bogota despite the fact that it wasn’t so hot. I’m on vacation. I’m allowed.
Aside from the comida tipica, there were some Colombian delights which were… well, delightful. Arepas. Arepes con queso. These are corn cakes with cheese in the middle. Fuck yes. These are popular in Florida so I was excited to have them straight from their country of origin. Or maybe they’re Venezuelan. Whatever. Bunelos were fried cheese bread balls. I don’t think I need to say anything more about that…
Ajiaco is a chicken soup from the Bogota region. It has chicken and cream and avocado and rice and happiness and more stuff. I had it first on my day trip to Guatape, but then again at the famous La Puerta Falsa – one of the oldest restaurants in Bogota. Patacones are big flattened plantain crackers that basically act as a plate because you pile toppings on them like chicken and salsa and avocado and goodness. And it’s good. I had some more arepas. I had tres leches. A few times. Because dessert. I tried El Corral – Bogota’s top local fast food joint which is way better than its American competitors. And finally, there was limonada de coco. It’s coconut lemonade. It’s fucking amazing.
Speaking of drinks, I had lots of coffee. Colombian coffee. Because I was in Colombia and drinking coffee from the source is obligatory. And it was good. I tried several cafes in Cartagena, Medellin, and Bogota, but the winner was obviously Salento – in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region. I had a delicious coffee on my coffee tour there and various coffees at different cafes in the town.
Now, it wasn’t all just about Colombian food. While Salento is certainly lacking in culinary variety given its small size, the major cities of Colombia have a wide range of restaurants and cuisines. During my time, I had good pizza, decent sushi, surprising Indian curry, moderate Thai curry, burgers, and the obvious Mexican food. Yay! I also ate my fair share of cake and tarts and such from fancy bakeries.
I love fancy bakeries.
But all the fancy bakeries in the world couldn’t prepare for me the peanut butter brownie from a little restaurant called “Brunch” in Salento. I had heard about this from a fellow traveller that I met in India (Hi Whitney!) and came to this town specifically to try this brownie.
I know that sounds ridiculous but I seriously came to this town just for that.
And it was worth it. Eating in the restaurant, the peanut butter brownie comes a la mode. Orgasm. I also got one to take away for breakfast the next day. YES. There’s a pic on Facebook. Look at it and feel your loins moisten with desire.
Finally, there is one food group that I have thus far failed to mention but proved to be my biggest staple in Colombia: crepes and waffles. Or, rather: Crepes & Waffles. Crepes & Waffles is a chain of restaurants that started in Bogota as a way to help disadvantaged women get work.
And it’s delicious.
There are roughly 27 million Crepes & Waffles locations in Bogota – or about four for each of the city’s inhabitants.
I think that’s right.
Their menu is massive. It consists of crepes and waffles. And other things. They have savoury crepes. They have sweet crepes. They have sweet waffles. But they don’t have savoury waffles. Because who the fuck wants a savoury waffle? They have American-style waffles and they have Belgian-style waffles. They also have soup and pitas and a few other things but if you go to a restaurant called “Crepes & Waffles” and other something other than crepes and waffles then you’re just a buffoon.
Crepes & Waffles has normal restaurants and they also have just dessert restaurants – like glorified ice cream shops with big menus of over-the-top sundaes. The restaurant offers reasonable prices and each meal comes served with a generous portion of pleasure.
I first saw Crepes & Waffles in Quito, and my first actual meal at a Crepes & Waffles was in Panama City. I also had it in Cartagena. But it was in Bogota that my love for Crepes & Waffles was cemented. I think I ate there five times in nine days. Don’t judge me. It’s not fast food.
The chain has restaurants in several Latin American countries now and apparently even in Europe! The restaurant recently expanded into Chile and I may have gone to two of their locations in Santiago… a few times… or more. It’s like my new obsession.
My favourite is their Mexican chicken crepe because obviously.
I keep thinking: surely they should open one of these in Miami because it would do extremely well there. I mean, Crepes & Waffles is popular in Latin American countries and Miami is a Latin American country so I rest my case.
So, next time you visit Latin America – particularly Colombia – make sure you try some Crepes & Waffles. It’s the local cuisine. It’s for a good cause. It’s better than chicken and rice and beans daily. And you’ll thank me later.
I don’t have a selfie of me at Crepes & Waffles, so this one will have to do.
To see more pictures of Crepes & Waffles, you should visit their website at: