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Seafood casseroles and coconut rice are part of the typical Cartagena menus. Photo: Kiosko El Bony
Seafood casseroles and coconut rice are key parts of Cartagena menus. Photo: Kiosko El Bony

Cartagena, a food destination in the Caribbean.

The typical restaurants of the city exalt all its flavors and history in every dish.

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Cartagena is a city where different flavors of the Caribbean converge, due to the role it's played as a port of entry for different cultures throughout history.

Cartagena's cuisine has a popular origin, based on fried foods, rice, soups and stews, it is also a cuisine that adopts elements from other parts of the world, such as slow-cooked meats with vegetables, based on delicious, vibrant sauces and powerful flavors.

Here are some restaurants in the city that celebrate the mix of flavors that has been perfected over time with ingredients native to the region: 

Celele 

Celele Restaurant is the materialization of the dream of two Colombian chefs Jaime Rodríguez and Sebastián Pinzón. In a small house in the Getsemaní neighborhood in the historic center of Cartagena, Celele has built itself up as one of the best restaurants in the country, winner of the 2019 Miele Want To Watch award, and in December 2020, were 49th on the list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, a subsection of the The World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Chefs Jaime Rodríguez Camacho and Sebastián Pinzón Giraldo spent years exploring the Caribbean coast of Colombia to perfect their presentation before opening, meeting the Indigenous people and discovering flavors and ingredients they had no idea existed. They researched techniques and documented recipes that were in danger of being lost in an attempt to capture the authentic identity of the region. The research initiative is called Proyecto Caribe Lab.

El Bony Junior 

The restaurant bar El Bony Junior was created by Bonifacio Avila Castaño 12 years ago, a former Colombian world boxing champion. 

The business was born on Avenida del Lago near the Bazurto market under the name of 'Afrodisíacos del Bony,' and after four years of experience and reputation building, it moved to the San Fernando shopping center. 

Bonifacio Avila is recognized in the food scene of the city thanks to his restaurant, Kiosco el Bony.

Kiosco el Bony is part of the food history and culture of Cartagena. For 43 years, it has managed to captivate thousands of people from all over the world through its delicious Caribbean cuisine. Its dishes based on typical coastal techniques with fresh seafood are recognized as one of the best in the country.

Candé

Candé is a typical Cartagena restaurant located in the Historic Center of the city. In 2021, it was the grand national winner in the Best Tablecloth Restaurant category at the La Barra-Elite Professional Awards, for its authentic menu that includes ceviches, rice dishes, seafood, meats, soups and desserts, aimed at rescuing and preserving the food and culture of Cartagena.

The restaurant offers 100% Cartagena food and is one of the most-recognized in the city for its culinary authenticity. 

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