28 Delicious Colombian Foods

28 Delicious Colombian Foods

In this post, you will discover 28 delicious Colombian foods. This might be the longest food list I’ve done. Colombia might not be on the list of places you think of when it comes to great food, but it should be.

I meet a lot of people who think that South American food is bland. While they don’t use as many spices as in Asia, they still cook up a great feed. Colombian cuisine is some of the best in the region.

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Delicious Colombian Foods

It surprised me to find so many great Colombian foods that I had never tried or even heard of before. Especially since my mother’s Colombian! To be fair, you can’t find many of the ingredients in other parts of the world.

1. Salchipapa

Chips (french fries) with sausage, cheese, ham, and a couple of different sauces (tomato, mayo, etc). Not the healthiest meal but tasty.

Usually goes for around 5,000 – 8,000 COP.


2. Emapanadas

You can’t walk very far in Colombia without seeing empanadas. It is a fried maize “dumpling” with various savory fillings. Usually potato, meat, cheese, egg, or a combination of these.

2 Delicious Colombian Foods, Empanadas

3. Arroz con Pollo

The direct translation is rice with chicken. It is like the Colombian version of fried rice. You can also get it with shrimp (camarones).

2 Delicious Colombian Foods Arroz con Pollo

4. Buñuelos

You will see these balls of delight everywhere on display in the mornings. Usually with empanadas and other fried snacks. It is basically deep fried bread balls. Sounds simple but very delicious. Best when fresh. 500 – 1000 COP.

4 Delicious Colombian Foods Bunuelos

5. Ajiaco

Number 5 on this list of delicious Colombian foods is my favorite Colombian soup, Ajico. Bogota’s specialty soup consists of three types of potatoes. It also has corn, meat, chickpeas (I think), and a few other things I couldn’t quite place. It is very filling.


6. Tamal Tolimense

You can find Tamales all over Colombia but the Tolima version is a cut above the rest. I tried it while passing through Ibague.

Ingredients are generally rice and/or masa with meat and vegetables. They placed in a plantain leaf and steamed. It’s usually a breakfast thing but can you can find it at any time.

Unfortunately, when I tried it my SD card got corrupted so I lost the photo. Pictured here is not Tamal Tolimense but it is Colombian.


7. Tacos

This was not at all what I was expecting when I ordered a taco, but I guess this is the Colombian version. It was pretty much a big empanada.

7 Delicious Colombian Foods

8. Avena

A sweet oatmeal based drink. Pretty delicious and only 1000COP with a bunuelo.

8 Delicious Colombian Foods, Avena

9. Arepas

Arepas are like a bread made of maize. On their own, they are not that great but when made fresh and with filling they are delicious. You can get them as a snack on the street for around 2,000 COP depending on your choice of filling. If you want it as a meal it can cost up to 10,000COP, but they are worth it.

This one was the arepa of the house filled with meat, beans, cheese, and a quail egg. 8,000 COP.

9 Delicious Colombian Foods, Arepas

10. Frijoles

Frijoles is a direct translation of beans. It’s simple but is one of my favorite Colombian foods. My mum used to make it for me and still does when I visit. It is a popular side serving for lunch. Also on this plate is Chicharrón (pork crackling), rice, some bread, and a meatball. This meal also came with a bowl of soup, some kind of corn-based dessert, and a small cup of juice – all for only 4,000 COP!

Full meals like this are a very common lunch in Colombia. Look for the “Menu Del Dia” or “Menu Executivo”. Depending on how “stylish” the restaurant is, these meals can range from 4,000 – 20,000+ COP.

10 Delicious Colombian Foods, Frijoles

Here’s my homemade version of frijoles. It is a far cry from the authentic Colombian version but still tastes good.

10a Delicious Colombian Foods, My Frijoles

11. Cholao

On my first day in Armenia, I met up with a friend I had met through ConversationExchange.com. She introduced me to Cholao. I’m not sure of the exact ingredients but it is very sweet. I ate it and didn’t feel like eating anything with sugar in it for a couple of days after. One other ingredient (besides sugar) that it had was soursop.

Later I discovered there are different versions, some are not so sweet.

11 Delicious Colombian Foods, Cholao


12. Sopa de Platano

I tried many different soups in Colombia. Most of them I have not bothered to put on this list but I’ve never seen plantain soup before so it gets in. I’m not sure of what else is in it, but there were definitely chunks of plantain. I enjoyed it.

I took the banana on the side home for later.

12 Delicious Colombian Foods, Plantana Soup

13. Estofado

Estofado is the Spanish word for stew and it’s on the far right of this plate. This particular one is beef.

13 Delicious Colombian Foods, Estufado

14. Arepa con Queso

Hitting the halfway mark on this list of delicious Colombian foods is arepa con queso. I mentioned arepas before but this deserves a special mention. A great afternoon snack with a coffee. An arepa with cheese inside and doused with butter (optional). Not that healthy, but ultra tasty.

14 Delicious Colombian Foods, Arepa Con Queso

15. Dedos

Dedos means ‘fingers’ in Spanish. These long, deep fried bread sticks come filled with cheese and other savory ingredients (e.g., ham).

15 Delicious Colombian Foods, Dedos

16. Crepes

Crepes are popular in Colombia. I wouldn’t say they are like an ‘everyday’ meal, but you can find them in most places. This is a crepe con pollo (with chicken). It had lots of cheese and was pretty tasty.

16 Delicious Colombian Foods, Crepes

17. Patacon

There is a small town in Quindio called Salento, and in this town, they have a couple of specialty foods. One of them is patacon. There are a few different types depending on the ingredients you want on top. It is like a cross between pizza and nachos – only it is better than both of those.

Don’t let my terrible photo put you off, patacon is a must try!

Delicious Colombian Foods, Patacon

18. Truche

Another Salento special and another photo out of focus. This is truche. Some type of fish – trout I think. I’m not a big fan of fish but thought I should at least try the towns signature dish. Next to it is crispy fried plantain, which is also the base of patacon.

18 Delicious Colombian Foods, Truche

19. Alitas

Fried chicken wings in a sauce of your choosing. I like picante (spicy) but there are many flavors available depending on where you go. Great with beer.

Delicious Colombian Foods, Alitas

20. Chuzo

Number 20 on this list of delicious Colombian foods is the Colombian version of satay. Minus the satay flavor. It’s meat (chicken or pork) on a skewer with a few sides. Pretty tasty.

20 Delicious Colombian Foods, Chuzo

21. Frisby

Frisby is a Colombian fast food restaurant which focuses on fried chicken. Besides Jolibees in the Philippines, it is the worst fast food restaurant I have ever been to. Actually, the food is not too bad (I had a burrito) but the service is definitely NOT fast. I was waiting about 25minutes for my food. I even tried it a second time in a different town and got the same slow service.

Fried chicken is cheaper and served instantly everywhere in the streets. Also, getting a burrito from a Mexican restaurant would have been faster and tastier.

Although it is delicious, I do not recommend Frisby, or any fast food outlet, ever.

21 Delicious Colombian Foods, Frisby

22. Sopa de Mondongo

I was a bit worried about trying this because I knew it involved tripe (which I’m not a fan of) but a friend of mine insisted. Also, it is a traditional dish so I thought I’d better give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. No liver (thank god). It was kind of like ajiaco (#5 on this list) so I was happy with it.

22 Delicious Colombian Foods, Sopa de Mondongo

23. Huevos Pericos

I only managed to try this once at a restaurant, because it is a breakfast thing and I rarely eat breakfast. It is scrambled eggs with tomato and onion. Simple and delicious.

I ended up making it quite often at home, with my own twist of course. Besides tomato and onion, I add garlic, aji picante (a mild chili sauce), cilantro, and corn kernels.

A Colombian friend taught me about adding Corn kernels in scrambled eggs. It was a game changer and now I do it all the time!

23 Delicious Colombian Foods, Huevos Pericos 2

24. Planchita

I assume this is a small version of Plancha. Plancha is when the food (generally a type of meat or fish) is grilled on a very hot metal plate. This cooks the meat fast and seals in the natural flavors. It’s delicious.

24 Delicious Colombian Foods, Planchita

25. Sancocho

Number 25 and almost at the end of this list of delicious Colombian foods. Sancocho is a soup/stew usually made from large pieces of various root vegetables. They include plantain, potato, cassava. There is also some type of meat, such as chicken, fish, etc.

There are a few different versions of Colombian sancocho depending on what region you are in. There are also different versions in other countries. My favorite is Sancocho de Costilla. It is from the coastal region and uses beef ribs. I first tried it in Cartagena and from then ordered it whenever the opportunity arose.

25 Delicious Colombian Foods, Sancocho

By Daguerreroa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

26. Guisado

Guisado is another type of stew. A friend told me it is also about the sauce it comes with, which is delicious.

You can have it with any type of meat. Guisado de pollo or cerdo (chicken or pork) are common on el menu del dia’s. Guisado de Pollo was actually my go-to when ordering menu del dia.

This picture is actually a type of sancocho, but it is pretty close to guisado de pollo. Imagine it on a plate with rice instead of a bowl of soup.

26 Delicious Colombian Foods, Guisado

By WIKIRAICES (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

27. Suero Costeño

During my last few days in Santa Marta, a friend brought back a bottle of suero from her hometown to try. Suero is a creamy ‘cheesy” tasting sauce made from milk and vinegar. To me, it is like a tastier version of sour cream. She also added salt and garlic. I finished the bottle in two days!

27 Delicious Colombian Foods, Suero costeño

By Jdvillalobos (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

28. Kokiyas de Cayeye

The last item on this list of delicious Colombian foods is Kokiyas de Cayeye. Before seeing this on a menu I had never heard of it. It’s strange because it was a local specialty in Santa Marta, at least that’s what the waitress told me. When I mentioned it to some local friends they all knew what it was.

It reminded me of a shepherds pie but with plantain instead of potato. Also, it had suero in it. It was pretty good.

This is actually a picture of shepherds pie, but it looks almost identical.

28 Delicious Colombian Foods, Kokiyas de Cayeye

By User:Themightyquill (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you know of any other delicious Colombian foods that should be on this list? We’d love to hear about them or anything else you want to say in the comments.

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Comments ( 13 )
  1. Tim
    December 11, 2017 at 20:12

    My first time to Colombia, South America for that matter, was this summer and I didn’t have an Arepa until the last day!! I wish I could go back and try all of these!

    • Bert Luxing
      December 12, 2017 at 02:05

      I love arepas. I ended up making them at home, although mine weren’t nearly as good as the ones on the street.

  2. Manoj
    December 12, 2017 at 05:28

    I am not familiar with Columbian foods. But I have a close friend in Venezuela & she regularly share her favorite recipes from Venezuela and COLUMBIA with me. it will be very helpful if you add detailed making guidance here.

    • Bert Luxing
      December 12, 2017 at 12:59

      haha… I can only eat it. My actual Colombian cooking skills are nowhere near authentic. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. five little doves
    December 12, 2017 at 08:54

    I’ve never tried Colombian food before, I’m not sure some of it looks overly appealing to me! that taco looks more like a potato!

    • Bert Luxing
      December 12, 2017 at 12:57

      yes, I was a bit taken back when I ordered a taco and got the Colombian version. Not the best example of Colombian food, but still tasty.

  4. Ali Rost
    December 12, 2017 at 11:09

    My husband works with a graduate student who’s from Columbia. Whenever we go to a party, I secretly hope he and his wife are going to be there. She makes the most incredible crepes. I love the sweet version with pie filling, and my husband the savory with meat and spices. So, so good. x

  5. eliza
    December 12, 2017 at 14:15

    Wow! what a long list, didnt really know that we can explore so much food in columbia. the most that attracts me is Truche – looks DIFFERENT yet interesting.

    • Bert Luxing
      December 13, 2017 at 15:47

      I usually don’t like fish but the truche really was deliscious.

  6. jhilmil
    December 12, 2017 at 20:29

    I’m not aware of the Columbian food, but this Kokiyas de Cayeye looks too delectable and heavenly. I need to try Colombian food for sure.

  7. Ana De- Jesus
    December 13, 2017 at 07:18

    I loved your authentic overview of Colombian cuisine! For me I have only tried crepes and empanadas (vegetarian ones) and i found them to be so delicious x

    • Bert Luxing
      December 13, 2017 at 15:45

      I love empanadas also. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  8. Sheri
    December 15, 2017 at 04:10

    What a complete and wonderful list, i have not TRIED many of these but it would be great to try AUTHENTIC CUISINE from Colombia

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