Headed to Cartagena? Tempt your palate with these 10 local delicacies


Cartagena, known since the colonial era as Cartagena de Indias, is a city and one of the major ports on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region, bordering the Caribbean sea. Cartagena’s past role as a link in the route to West Indies provides it with important historical value for world exploration and preservation of heritage from the great commercial maritime routes. As a former Spanish colony, it was a key port for the export of Peruvian silver to Spain and for the import of enslaved Africans under the asiento system. It was defensible against pirate attacks in the Caribbean. The city’s strategic location between the Magdalena and Sinú Rivers also gave it easy access to the interior of New Granada and made it a main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire, establishing its importance by the early 1540s.

In Cartagena, you will find some delectable dishes that you just cannot miss! There are some mouth-watering dishes and tasty dishes like Empanadas, Mote De Queso, and Fritanga and many more. Continue reading to know more.

1. Empanadas

Originating in the country of Portugal and very popular in Latin American, Filipino and Southern European cuisines, empanadas are a type of deep-fried treat that is shaped like a half-moon. The outside of the empanadas are usually made of cornmeal while the interior is filled with various ingredients. The filling can contain anything from pork, beef or chicken to rice and potatoes.

The most popular places to try out Empanadas are dunia expresss, BATALOGIANNI and Amritsari Dahi Bhally.

2. Mote De Queso

This dish comes originally from the Atlantic coast of Columbia. A traditional soup in two Colombian cities located in the Caribbean area, Sincelejo and Montería, mote de queso combines yams with a specific type of cheese called Queso Costeño. This cheese has a salty flavor and a crumbly consistency and is added directly to the soup to increase texture and improve taste.

The most popular places to try out Mote De Queso are Egyptian Nights and Best Beer.

3. Fritanga

Fritanga refers to any number of fried foods that serve as a meal. It usually includes a variety of meats such as beef, pork, pork rinds, chicken and sausage, accompanied by plantains, arepas, patacones, corn and potatoes or French fries. In Nicaragua, a fritanga is meant to be shared and enjoyed together by a group of family or friends.

The most popular places to try out Fritanga are Zaitún Cartagena, Best Beer and Egyptian Nights.

4. Sancocho

Sancocho can also have corn on the cob. The meat varies a lot, and can be fish, chicken, beef ribs, or pork. Sancocho is actually a broth but is almost always referred to as a soup, when all the other ingredients are added. Sancocho can be even made with goat meat or tripe, if you are into either of those.

The most popular places to try out Sancocho are Best Beer and Egyptian Nights.

5. Arepa De Huevo

This cuisine, very popular along the Caribbean coast of Columbia, consists primarily of an arepa that is stuffed with eggs. Arepas are a type of food that is made from ground maize dough. They are pocket-shaped which allows them to hold other ingredients such as, in this instance, eggs. Typically a raw egg mixture is poured into a slice in the arepa and then the entire preparation is fried in oil.

The most popular places to try out Arepa De Huevo are Egyptian Nights and Sierva María.

6. Arroz De Mariscos

This classic meal from Portugal is a type of thick stew that consists of assorted seafood ingredients as well as rice. Arroz de mariscos often contains seafood such as shrimp, squid, clams and mussels. Arborio rice is sometimes used which provides a texture similar to risotto. Usually this dish is seasoned with fresh herbs and white wine and served along with peas or tomatoes.

The most popular places to try out Arroz De Mariscos are Beigel Shop, La Mulata and Best Beer.

7. Arroz Con Coco

Arroz con coco is also known as coconut rice and comes in many varieties, depending on where you’re eating it. In Burmese cuisine coconut rice is a ceremonial staple food, often eaten in lieu of plain white rice. In the most basic version, the rice is cooked with a base of coconut milk, along with fried shallots and salt, adding to the rice’s savory and rich flavors. In Thai cuisine, sweet coconut rice is very popular as a dessert or sweet snack. It is made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, salt and water and most famously paired with slices of ripe mango and an additional dollop of coconut cream.

The most popular places to try out Arroz Con Coco are Restaurante Donde Chuco and serious eats.

8. Cazuela De Mariscos

Cazuela de mariscos is called a seafood casserole in English and is a traditional Columbian fish soup. Vegetables are sometimes added to the dish to not only enrich the color but the flavor as well. The coconut milk brings not only flavor but makes the broth creamy and appealing to the eyes.

The most popular places to try out Cazuela De Mariscos are Egyptian Nights and BATALOGIANNI.

9. Camarones Al Ajillo

Camarones el mojo is a popular Mexican dish, commonly enjoyed to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Fresh shrimp are fried in generous amounts of butter or olive oil that has been flavored with coriander, chili, and garlic. It is served with white rice, a lime slice, bread for dipping and Margaritas.

The most popular places to try out Camarones Al Ajillo are Best Beer, La Mulata and BATALOGIANNI.

10. Fried Fish Plate

Fried fish is commonly eaten in many different ways and forms all over the world. There are numerous methods to use to cook fish and hundreds of fish varieties to consume. Fish is often covered in batter, egg and breadcrumbs, flour, or herbs and spices before being deep fried in hot oil.

The most popular places to try out Fried Fish Plate are colombia, Egyptian Nights and LOST ANTHES.

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