An increasingly diverse crowd of chefs is rapidly expanding the Colombian capital's culinary repertoire. Most of the action is concentrated in one neighborhood—Zona G (for Gourmet), which makes a culinary long weekend enticingly possible. Here’s how to do it.
Dinner is Served
Night 1: Baita
The chef: Israeli-born Nimi Molad has opened this homey spot for updated Middle Eastern comfort food.
The space: An inviting dining room with exposed-brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The food: Crisp and airy falafel, stick-to-your-ribs hummus, and shareable dishes like beef kebabs and baked cauliflower. 69-26 Carrera 5; 57-1-675-3699; entrées $5–$12.
Night 2: Tomodachi Ramen Bar
The chef: Colombian Daniel Castaño, who worked for Mario Batali, now has his own empire of spots in Bogotá.
The space: A narrow, 26-seat room where each table is set with togarashi, garlic chips, and chili paste.
The food: Hearty bowls of ramen and Japanese snacks like pork gyoza. 4-66 Diagonal 70A; ramen from $8.
Night 3: Castanyoles
The chef: Pablo Peñalosa, who worked at Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, is overseeing the food at this place in the Four Seasons Casa Medina.
The space: A glass-roofed courtyard with green living walls and cozy nooks for lounging in.
The food: The Spanish menu includes tapas (splurge on the jamón ibérico with mini breadsticks), seafood risotto, and short ribs. 6-24 Calle 69A; 57-1-325-7918; entrées $11–$21.
Chocolate Completo: The bittersweet hot chocolate comes with buttered bread and soft cheese. At the 200-year-old La Puerta Falsa (6-50 Calle 11; 57-1-286-5091), it comes with a chewy almojábana roll.
Empanadas: At Empanaditas de Pipián, a stand with counter seating (and locations throughout the city), try the curried-chicken-and-potato empanada or the slightly sweet queso, made with mozzarella.
Ajiaco: The classic soup (below) is made with potatoes, chicken, and avocado and is flavored with capers and herbs. Sample it at Restaurante Club Colombia and Las Margaritas (7-77 Calle 62; 57- 1-249-9468).
Hop on a Bike
The easiest way to get around in the traffic-clogged city is on two wheels. Go for a ride on a Sunday, when streets all over the city are shut to cars from 7a.m. to 2p.m. Or sign up for a session with Bogotá Bike Tours, which offers both biking ($11) and walking (free) tours of the historic neighborhood of La Candelaria.
Where to Stay
The Four Seasons Casa Medina (Doubles from $199) has just opened in a 1946 mansion. It still feels like an intimate home, with only 62 rooms in two wings. Or try the trendy Click Clack Hotel (Doubles from $106) in Usaquén, with its popular rooftop burger bar.