4 typical Colombian dishes to try

bandeja paisa
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Welcome to a vibrant and colorful gastronomic universe, where authentic flavors meet a rich and diverse culture. Colombia, a true culinary jewel of Latin America, is full of unique culinary delights that will delight your taste buds and leave you with taste memories forever etched in your memory.

Imagine wandering the cobbled streets of Bogota, Colombia's bustling capital, where the tantalizing aromas of traditional cuisine waft from small neighborhood eateries. Or maybe you prefer to explore the tropical regions of the Caribbean coast, where fresh exotic fruits are transformed into delicious fruit juices and are the perfect accompaniment to local dishes.

Whether you are an intrepid adventurer or a lover of good food, Colombia is a culinary destination that is sure to seduce you. In this article, we will guide you through a thrilling taste journey, discovering the 4 typical Colombian dishes that you absolutely cannot miss.

The Bandeja paisa

bandeja paisa

Bandeja Paisa is the culinary gem of the Antioquia region of Colombia. This hearty dish rich in flavors is a real explosion of tastes that will transport you to the heart of Colombian culture.

Imagine a generous plate overflowing with tantalizing delights. The Bandeja Paisa is made up of several elements that combine to create a unique dining experience. First, you'll find a generous helping of slow-cooked kidney beans, infused with smoky flavors and topped off with a hint of cumin. These beans are the base of the dish, providing a creamy texture and delicious taste.

Accompanying the beans, you will discover a mountain of fluffy white rice that absorbs all the surrounding flavors. This rice is often mixed with peas to add a touch of freshness and color.

But that's not all ! The Bandeja Paisa also includes a generous portion of grilled meat, usually pork or beef, which is marinated in traditional spices before being grilled to perfection. The meat is juicy, tender and full of flavors that blend harmoniously with the other elements of the dish.

But wait, there is even more to discover! The plate is also topped off with a delicious slice of chicharrón, which is basically crispy fried pork. The chicharrón adds a crunchy texture and an explosion of savory flavors that contrasts with the rest of the dish.

And as if that weren't enough, the Bandeja Paisa is topped off with a fried egg, whose runny yolk enhances the other flavors and lends extra creaminess to every bite.

This iconic Colombian dish is often accompanied by sliced avocado, fried plantains and a delicious arepa, a Colombian cornbread. These accompaniments add a touch of freshness, sweetness and crispness that perfectly complement the Bandeja Paisa.



Tamales are true culinary treasures of Colombia. These little bundles of happiness are a perfect combination of flavors, textures and aromas that will make you melt with pleasure.

Imagine enjoying a freshly made tamal wrapped in a banana leaf. With every bite, you experience a delicious blend of ground corn, savory meat, vegetables and fragrant spices. Colombian tamales are often stuffed with pork, chicken, beef, or even vegetables for vegetarian options. The filling is rolled in corn dough, which is then wrapped in a banana leaf to be steamed.

But what makes Colombian tamales truly unique are the flavors and ingredients that come with them. Each region of Colombia has its own variations of tamales, which makes them even more interesting to discover. For example, in the Tolima region, you will find rice tamales, stuffed with pork, vegetables and olives. In the Caribbean region, tamales are often prepared with fish and seafood, offering an explosion of sea flavors.

Preparing tamales is a laborious and time-consuming process, which makes them even more special. Traditionally, tamales are prepared on special occasions, such as holiday parties, weddings or birthdays. It's a dish that brings family and friends together, as preparation often requires a team to create these little culinary masterpieces.

Tasting a tamal is an experience in its own right. When you delicately open the banana leaf that surrounds it, you are greeted by a wave of delicious fragrances. The aromas of spices, meat and corn combine to create a taste symphony. Each bite is an explosion of flavors that transports you to the heart of Colombia.



Colombian arepas are made from previously cooked corn flour, which is then mixed with water and salt to form a paste. This dough is shaped into small round patties, then grilled or pan-fried until golden and slightly crispy.

But what makes Colombian arepas so special is their versatility. They can be enjoyed at any time of the day and accompanied by a wide variety of ingredients and garnishes. Whether you enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack, arepas are always a delicious option.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy arepas in Colombia is to top them with cheese. Imagine biting into a warm and melting arepa, where the cheese blends harmoniously with the soft and chewy texture of the galette. It is a pure delight!

But the possibilities don't stop there. Colombian arepas can also be topped with meat, chicken, ham, avocado, tomatoes, onions, sauces, and even eggs. The combinations are endless, allowing you to customize your arepa to your preference.

Whether you opt for a traditional arepa with melted cheese, or go bolder by adding more varied ingredients, every bite transports you to the heart of Colombian cuisine. Authentic flavors, unique textures and tantalizing aromas will surely make you succumb.

In Colombia, you will find street stalls and small restaurants specializing in arepas, where you can taste these little culinary wonders in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It's the perfect opportunity to meet the locals, exchange smiles and share authentic moments.

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When you travel to Colombia, you can't miss the patacones. These delicious crunchy bites are a staple of Colombian cuisine and are loved by locals and travelers alike.

Imagine enjoying a freshly made patacón. It is a slice of green plantain banana, cut into rings and then fried until crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The patacones are then sprinkled with salt and served hot, ready to be devoured.

What makes patacones so special is their versatility. They can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course, depending on your preference. You can enjoy them as they are, savoring their crispy texture and slightly sweet taste. But the possibilities don't stop there.

Colombian patacones are often served with a variety of delicious toppings. One of the most popular options is to top them with shredded meat, grilled chicken, shrimp, or even guacamole. These toppings bring an explosion of flavors and textures that pair perfectly with the crunchiness of the patacones.

Another way to enjoy patacones is to accompany them with traditional Colombian sauces. The hogao sauce, prepared with tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro, adds a touch of freshness and authentic flavors. You can also opt for the ají sauce, which is more spicy and spicy, for those who like to spice up their dishes.

When you taste a patacón, you are transported to the heart of Colombian cuisine. Each bite is an explosion of flavors, textures and aromas that will surely make you succumb. Whether you enjoy them in a busy little street restaurant or in a local restaurant, patacones are a real delicacy.

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Clara & Danny

For several years, we have been traveling the world together in search of new experiences, cultures, and different landscapes.

Our passion for travel has led us to create our own blog, where we share our adventures, tips, and tricks for traveling authentically and responsibly.

We have been fortunate enough to explore many countries in Europe, South America, and beyond.

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