A Foodie’s Guide to Bogotá’s Best Markets and Culinary Hotspots

Embark on a mouthwatering adventure through Bogotá’s best food markets and neighborhoods


Bogotá is famous for its rich history and an incredibly diverse culinary scene. From bustling markets overflowing with fresh produce to trendy zones with chic restaurants and lively bars, Bogotá offers food lovers an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the best food markets and neighborhoods in Bogotá, including Paloquemao Market, Usaquén Market, and the historic La Candelaria, where you can savor traditional Colombian dishes, exotic fruits, and artisanal treats.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these must-visit spots are sure to delight your taste buds and provide a deeper appreciation of Colombia’s rich culinary heritage.

Join us as we dive into the heart of Bogotá’s food culture, showcasing the city’s best markets and zones where tradition and modernity blend seamlessly to create a foodie’s paradise.

Best Food Markets in Bogotá

Bogotá Food Guide
The historical district of La Candelaria is also a good place to eat in Bogotá

Discover the most characteristic flavours of Colombia with this free food tour of Bogota. Taste delicious local specialities from empanada paisa to the best Colombian coffee!

1. Paloquemao Market

If you’re a food lover visiting Bogotá, Paloquemao Market is a must-see! This vibrant, bustling market is one of the city’s largest and a feast for the senses. It’s the ultimate spot to dive into Bogotá’s rich culinary scene and discover the freshest local goodies and traditional Colombian flavors.

Exotic Fruits

One of the coolest things about Paloquemao is the variety of exotic fruits you’ll find. Don’t miss out on:

  • Lulo: This bright orange fruit has a tangy, citrusy flavor that’s perfect for a refreshing juice.
  • Feijoa: Known as pineapple guava, this fruit is sweet and a little tart – great for snacking or smoothies.
  • Granadilla: A type of passion fruit with a sweet, gelatinous interior that’s amazing on its own or in desserts.

Street Food

The food stalls in Paloquemao are packed with traditional Colombian snacks that are perfect for a quick bite. Be sure to try:

  • Empanadas: Deep-fried pastries filled with meat, potatoes, and spices – crispy, savory, and satisfying.
  • Arepas: Grilled corn cakes that can be stuffed with cheese, meats, or just enjoyed plain with butter. Learn more here.
  • Fresh Juices: Cool off with freshly made juices from tropical fruits like maracuyá (passion fruit), guanábana (soursop), and mango.


Don’t forget to check out the flower section! It’s a stunning explosion of colors and fragrances, showcasing an incredible variety of blooms. Whether you’re picking up a bouquet or just taking some Insta-worthy photos, this part of the market is a must-see.

Tips for Visiting Paloquemao Market

  • Go Early: Hit the market early in the morning for the freshest produce and fewer crowds.
  • Bring Cash: Most vendors prefer cash, so carry small bills and change.
  • Taste Before You Buy: Don’t be shy – ask for samples, especially with fruits. Vendors are usually happy to oblige.
  • Learn Some Spanish: A few basic Spanish phrases can really enhance your experience.
  • Stay Alert: As with any busy market, keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.

2. Usaquén Market

The charming and coloful neighborhood of Usaquén gets even more interesting during Sundays’ street market, trasforming it into a perfect for foodies and culture lovers alike. Usaquén Market is a delightful mix of artisanal crafts, antiques, and mouth-watering gourmet food, all set against a backdrop of cobbled streets and colonial architecture. It’s the ideal spot to spend a leisurely day exploring, eating, and soaking up the local vibes.

Artisanal Products

Usaquén Market is a treasure trove of artisanal goodies. You’ll find a wide range of handcrafted products that make for unique souvenirs or gifts. Keep an eye out for:

  • Handmade Chocolates: Indulge in rich, decadent chocolates made by local artisans.
  • Cheeses: Sample and buy a variety of delicious, locally made cheeses.
  • Colombian Coffee: Pick up some high-quality Colombian coffee to take home or enjoy a cup on the spot.

Food Stalls

The food stalls at Usaquén Market are where the magic happens. From traditional Colombian dishes to international flavors, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Must-try treats include:

  • Tamales: These savory bundles of corn dough filled with meats and vegetables are a Colombian staple.
  • Lechona: A delicious dish of slow-roasted pork stuffed with rice, peas, and spices. It’s rich, flavorful, and utterly satisfying.
  • Obleas: A sweet Colombian treat, obleas are thin wafers filled with arequipe (caramel), jam, cheese, and other delicious toppings. They’re perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
  • Global Cuisine: Discover a variety of international foods, from Mexican tacos to Italian pasta, all prepared with a local twist.

Live Music

Adding to the festive atmosphere, Usaquén Market often features live music performances. As you wander through the stalls, you might find yourself swaying to the rhythm of a local band or enjoying a traditional Colombian folk performance. The music adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your market experience.

Restaurants in Usaquén

Usaquén isn’t just about the market; it’s also home to some of Bogotá’s best restaurants. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or a cozy café, Usaquén has it all.

  • Casa Vieja: For a taste of traditional Colombian cuisine in a charming colonial setting, Casa Vieja is a must-visit. Try their ajiaco, a hearty chicken and potato soup that’s a local favorite.
  • Abasto: This farm-to-table restaurant focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Their brunch is especially popular, featuring dishes like eggs Benedict and homemade pastries.
  • Wok: Perfect for a more casual meal, Wok serves up delicious Asian fusion cuisine. Their sushi and noodle dishes are particularly popular.
  • La Provence de Andrei: Enjoy a touch of France in Bogotá at this cozy bistro. Their French onion soup and coq au vin are standout dishes.
  • La Mar: For seafood lovers, La Mar offers a fantastic array of ceviches and other seafood dishes with a Peruvian twist. The fresh flavors and vibrant presentations are sure to impress.

Tips for Visiting Usaquén Market

  • Visit on Sundays: The market is open on Sundays, with the most vendors and activities.
  • Take Your Time: Plan to spend a few hours here to fully enjoy everything the market has to offer.
  • Bring Cash: Like many markets, cash is king, so have small bills and change on hand.
  • Try Everything: Don’t be afraid to sample different foods and talk to the vendors – they’re usually very friendly and happy to share their culinary creations.
  • Enjoy the Atmosphere: Take in the beautiful colonial architecture and the vibrant, lively ambiance of Usaquén.

3. Mercado de la Perseverancia

Mercado La Perseverancia, in Bogotá: one of the best places to try traditional colombian food

The Mercado de la Perseverancia is a vibrant culinary hub where tradition and flavor come together. This historic market has been serving locals and visitors alike for decades, offering an authentic taste of Colombia’s rich culinary heritage, from mountains to the sea.

A Glimpse into History

Mercado de la Perseverancia has a storied history that dates back to the early 20th century. Originally established to serve the working-class neighborhood of La Perseverancia, the market has evolved into a beloved institution that celebrates Colombias’s gastronomic diversity. Its historic charm and community spirit make it a unique destination where tradition is preserved and innovation is embraced.

Traditional Colombian Cuisine

The market is renowned for its array of traditional Colombian dishes, made with love and authenticity by skilled cooks. Here are some must-try dishes:

  • Ajiaco Santafereño: A hearty chicken and potato soup flavored with guasca leaves and served with corn, capers, avocado, and rice. This iconic Bogotá dish is a comforting bowl of goodness.
  • Mojarra Frita: Whole fried fish, typically served with patacones (fried green plantains) and a side of coconut rice. This dish is a staple of coastal cuisine and a true delight.
  • Chicha Stall: Look for the dedicated chicha stalls where vendors serve this historic beverage, a traditional fermented corn drink that has been enjoyed in Colombia for centuries. It’s typically served in a clay cup, adding to the authentic experience.

Fresh Produce and Local Ingredients

Apart from ready-to-eat meals, Mercado de la Perseverancia is also a great place to shop for fresh produce and local ingredients. The market offers a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, ensuring that you have access to the freshest and highest-quality products. Highlights include:

  • Exotic Fruits: Sample the diverse range of tropical fruits such as lulo, guanábana, and maracuyá.
  • Herbs and Spices: Discover aromatic herbs and spices that are essential to Colombian cuisine, like cilantro, guasca, and cumin.
  • Local Staples: Stock up on traditional ingredients such as yuca, plantains, and various types of beans.

Famous Food Stalls

The heart of Mercado de la Perseverancia lies in its food stalls, where vendors serve up delicious dishes with a smile. Some of the most famous food stalls include:

  • La Esquina de Mary: A place famous for its coconut fish soup and other coastal dishes.
  • Cositas Ricas Doña María: This stall offers a variety of traditional dishes, but their Bandeja Paisa is particularly famous.

Tips for Visiting Mercado de la Perseverancia

  • Go Hungry: With so many delicious options, you’ll want to come with an empty stomach and a big appetite.
  • Bring Cash: While most vendors accept cards, it’s best to have cash on hand for easier transactions.
  • Interact with Vendors: Don’t hesitate to chat with the vendors. They are usually very friendly and eager to share their stories and recommendations.
  • Visit During Lunch Hours: The market is most lively around lunchtime when the locals gather to enjoy a meal. It’s the perfect time to experience the market’s vibrant atmosphere.
Ajiaco Colombian Food
Ajiaco is the most traditional dish from Bogotá

4. San Felipe Market

Nestled in the up-and-coming neighborhood of San Felipe, San Felipe Market is a unique destination that seamlessly blends contemporary art with culinary delights. This vibrant market is a haven for those who appreciate creativity and flavor, offering an eclectic mix of food stalls, art galleries, and cultural events.

The market stands out due to its innovative concept of combining art and food, providing a community hub that hosts a variety of events and workshops. The market is housed in a repurposed industrial space, giving it a trendy, urban vibe that attracts both locals and tourists.

Art Galleries and Studios

One of the main attractions of San Felipe Market is its array of art galleries and studios. The neighborhood has become a cultural hotspot, known for its vibrant art scene. Within the market, you’ll find:

  • Contemporary Art Galleries: These galleries showcase works by both emerging and established Colombian artists, offering a diverse range of styles and mediums. It’s a great place to discover new talents and purchase unique pieces.
  • Artist Studios: Many local artists have their studios in the market, where you can watch them work and even commission custom pieces. This interaction between artists and visitors creates a dynamic and engaging atmosphere.
  • Art Installations: The market itself features various art installations and murals, adding to its creative and inspiring environment.

Food Stalls and Eateries

San Felipe Market has a variety of food stalls and eateries offering both traditional Colombian dishes and international cuisine. Highlights include:

  • Gourmet Food Trucks: The market is famous for its gourmet food trucks, serving everything from gourmet burgers to vegan delights. The ever-changing lineup of trucks ensures there’s always something new to try.
  • Colombian Street Food: Sample traditional Colombian street food like empanadas, arepas, and buñuelos. These stalls offer authentic flavors that provide a taste of local culture.
  • Artisan Bakeries and Cafés: Enjoy freshly baked goods and specialty coffee from local bakeries and cafés. Whether you’re in the mood for a flaky croissant or a strong cup of Colombian coffee, you’ll find it here.

Craft Beers and Cocktails

The market’s vibrant atmosphere extends to its beverage offerings, boasting several spots where you can relax with a drink, making it a popular evening destination.

  • Craft Breweries: The market is home to a few craft breweries that offer a variety of locally brewed beers. Enjoy a pint of pale ale, stout, or a refreshing lager while soaking in the market’s lively ambiance.
  • Cocktail Bars: For something a bit stronger, the cocktail bars at San Felipe Market serve up creative concoctions using local spirits and fresh ingredients. Try a cocktail infused with aguardiente, Colombia’s traditional anise-flavored liquor, or a classic mojito made with a twist.

Tips for Visiting San Felipe Market

  • Visit in the Evening: The market comes alive in the evenings, especially on weekends. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and participate in events.
  • Bring Cash: While many vendors accept cards, having some cash on hand for smaller purchases and tips is always a good idea.
  • Take Your Time: With so much to see and do, plan to spend a few hours exploring the market. Whether you’re browsing art, enjoying a meal, or sipping a craft beer, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
  • Engage with Artists and Vendors: Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with the artists and vendors. They are usually very friendly and happy to share their stories and recommendations.

Feeling hungry? How about joining a breakfest tour in Bogotá? You’ll taste some of the country’s most typical dishes and discover the history behind them. 

Best Neighborhoods to go out and eat in Bogotá

Suggested Read:
Digital Nomad’s Guide in Medellín
Digital Nomad’s Guide in Santa Marta

1. La Candelaria

La Candelaria, Bogotá.

La Candelaria is the historic heart of Bogotá and the city’s oldest district. This charming neighborhood is a vibrant blend of colonial architecture, cobbled streets, and a rich cultural scene. From its colorful murals to its eclectic food offerings, La Candelaria offers a unique glimpse into Bogotá’s past and present.

The place has also a few restaurants offering a range of traditional Colombian dishes and modern culinary innovations. Here are some must-visit spots:

  • La Puerta Falsa: Established in 1816, this iconic eatery is the oldest restaurant in Bogotá and is famous for its Colombian fare. Try the ajiaco, a hearty chicken and potato soup that’s a Bogotá specialty, or indulge in its traditional hot chocolate with cheese and bread.
  • La Puerta de la Tradición: Another historic spot, known for its delicious and filling almuerzos (lunches). Their bandeja paisa, a platter of beans, rice, meat, and avocado, is a must-try.
  • Andrés Exprés: A casual offshoot of the famous Andrés Carne de Res, this spot offers a lively atmosphere and a variety of traditional and contemporary Colombian dishes, perfect for a quick yet memorable meal.

Cultural Hotspots

The neighborhood is also a cultural hub and home to numerous theaters, galleries, and cultural centers that offer a glimpse into Bogotá’s vibrant arts scene.

  • Teatro Colón: This stunning neoclassical theater hosts a variety of performances, from opera to ballet. Even if you don’t catch a show, a tour of the beautifully restored interior is worth it.
  • Chorro de Quevedo: Believed to be the spot where Bogotá was founded, this lively square is surrounded by bars and cafes, and often features street performers and artists. It’s a great place to soak in the local atmosphere.
  • Street Art: La Candelaria is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a walking tour to see the impressive murals that tell the stories of Bogotá’s past and present, often highlighting social and political themes.

Tips for Visiting La Candelaria

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: The cobbled streets and hilly terrain can be tough on your feet, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes.
  • Stay Alert: Like any busy tourist area, it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Take Your Time: There’s a lot to see and do in La Candelaria, so plan to spend at least a full day exploring the area.
  • Enjoy a Coffee Break: Bogotá is known for its excellent coffee, and La Candelaria has numerous cozy cafes where you can take a break and enjoy a cup.

2. Zona T (Zona Rosa)

If you’re looking for an upscale dining or the best places to enjoy the energetic nightlife in Bogotá, Zona T and Parque 93 are the places to be. These adjacent areas are renowned for their trendy restaurants, chic bars, and lively atmosphere, making them perfect destinations for food lovers and party-goers alike.

Also known as Zona Rosa, this bustling district is where Bogotá’s nightlife truly comes alive. The area is pedestrian-friendly, with its iconic “T” intersection forming the core of this entertainment hub. Here, you’ll find a variety of high-end restaurants and stylish bars.


  • Andrés DC: A Bogotá institution, Andrés DC offers a unique dining experience with its eclectic decor and extensive menu featuring traditional Colombian dishes and international cuisine. It’s not just a restaurant but an entertainment venue with music, dancing, and performances.
  • Harry Sasson: One of Bogotá’s top culinary destinations, Harry Sasson’s restaurant blends Asian and Latin American flavors in an elegant setting. The innovative dishes and impeccable service make it a must-visit for food enthusiasts.
  • Club Colombia: This restaurant offers a gourmet take on traditional Colombian cuisine in a beautiful colonial-style house. Try the bandeja paisa or the ajiaco for a true taste of local flavors.


  • Armando Records: A multi-level bar and nightclub that’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike. With a rooftop terrace offering stunning city views, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy live music, DJs, and cocktails.
  • Salto del Angel: Known for its vibrant ambiance and extensive cocktail menu, this bar is great for starting your night out. The outdoor terrace is particularly popular for its lively vibe.
  • Bogotá Beer Company (BBC): Colombia’s leading craft brewery, BBC’s Zona T location is ideal for sampling a variety of local beers in a casual, friendly environment. Pair your drink with one of their delicious bar snacks for a perfect evening.

3. Parque 93

Just a short walk from Zona T, Parque 93 offers a more relaxed yet equally exciting experience. This upscale area surrounds a beautifully landscaped park, making it a favorite spot for both dining and unwinding.


  • Matiz: An elegant restaurant known for its contemporary European cuisine with Colombian influences. Matiz offers a sophisticated dining experience with dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delicious.
  • Criterión: Run by the Rausch brothers, Criterión is acclaimed for its French-inspired cuisine. The tasting menus are particularly popular, offering a curated journey through the restaurant’s best dishes.
  • La Brasserie: A chic spot serving French bistro fare. From steak frites to escargots, La Brasserie delivers classic dishes in a stylish setting, perfect for a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner.


  • Gaira Café: Owned by the famous Colombian musician Carlos Vives, Gaira Café combines great music with delicious food. The bar offers a wide selection of cocktails and often features live performances, making it a lively spot to spend an evening.
  • El Fabuloso: A rooftop bar with a fantastic view of the city. Known for its creative cocktails and vibrant atmosphere, El Fabuloso is a great place to relax with friends and enjoy the Bogotá skyline.
  • Apache: Located atop the Click Clack Hotel, Apache offers American-style burgers and cocktails with panoramic views of the city. The cool, retro vibe and great music make it a popular hangout.

Tips for Enjoying Zona T and Parque 93

  • Make Reservations: These areas are very popular, especially on weekends, so it’s a good idea to book a table in advance.
  • Dress Smart: While the vibe is generally relaxed, many venues in Zona T and Parque 93 have a smart-casual dress code.
  • Explore on Foot: Both areas are best explored by walking. The streets are lively and safe, with plenty of places to discover.
  • Try Local Specialties: Don’t miss the opportunity to try local Colombian dishes and drinks, even if you’re visiting international restaurants.

4. La Macarena

La Macarena Bogotá Food Guide

Tucked away on the eastern hills of Bogotá, La Macarena is a charming, bohemian neighborhood known for its artistic vibe and diverse culinary scene. This area offers a mix of art galleries, trendy cafés, and some of the best restaurants in the city, making it a must-visit for foodies and culture enthusiasts alike.

Its narrow streets are lined with colorful murals, quaint boutiques, and artistic installations that reflect its creative spirit. The neighborhood has long been a hub for artists, musicians, and writers, contributing to its laid-back and eclectic atmosphere.

Culinary Delights

La Macarena is renowned for its diverse and innovative food scene. Here are some must-visit spots:

  • La Juguetería: Step into this whimsical restaurant that feels like a childhood dream come true, with walls adorned with vintage toys. The menu offers a fusion of traditional Colombian dishes and international flavors. Don’t miss their signature ajiaco, a hearty chicken soup, or their succulent grilled meats.
  • Restaurante LEO: Run by the acclaimed chef Leonor Espinosa, LEO offers a gourmet dining experience that celebrates Colombian biodiversity. The tasting menu takes you on a culinary journey through Colombia’s diverse ecosystems, featuring ingredients sourced from indigenous and rural communities.
  • El Patio: A cozy and charming eatery known for its delicious Mediterranean and Colombian fusion cuisine. The outdoor seating area is perfect for a relaxed meal with friends or family. Try their seafood paella or their mouth-watering tapas.

Art and Culture

La Macarena is not just about food; it’s also a cultural hotspot with plenty to offer in terms of art and entertainment.

  • Art Galleries: The neighborhood is home to several contemporary art galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. These galleries often host exhibitions, workshops, and events that are open to the public.
  • Live Music: Many bars and cafés in La Macarena feature live music, ranging from jazz and blues to traditional Colombian rhythms. It’s a great way to experience the local culture while enjoying a drink or a meal.

Tips for Visiting La Macarena

  • Explore on Foot: The best way to experience La Macarena is by walking through its picturesque streets. Take your time to explore the hidden gems and enjoy the artistic surroundings.
  • Visit in the Evening: The neighborhood comes alive in the evening with its bustling restaurants and lively bars. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a meal and soak in the atmosphere.

Editor of Yes, Summer! I am a Brazilian journalist, writer, and digital nomad. I have been traveling the world, telling stories, and tasting local beers since 2010. I am the co-founder of 360meridianos, a reference in travel writing in Brazil, and author of the newsletter Migraciones. On social media, I'm always reachable at @natybecattini.

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