Tap to Read ➤

Favorite Foods of Colombia

Maya Pillai Sep 26, 2018
Easily, most people only think of coffee at the mention of Colombian food, and what a pity that is. This Tastessence post aims to shed light on the several delicacies that make Colombian cuisine what it is.

Did You Know?

The citizens of Colombia are known to be among the happiest people in the world, according to the Global Barometer of Hope and Happiness survey conducted in 2012.

It would certainly be safe to say that a lot of it has to do with their delicious and unique cuisine.
Colombia's distinct cuisine has long been overshadowed by the 'South American' labeling, which is a rough mishmash of anything found beyond Mexico's southern border. Colombians, being Colombians, don't seem to mind these sweeping generalizations―they're too secure in their culture and lifestyle to care about the rest of the world.
So, the least we can do is take the effort to actually acquaint ourselves with the delicious delight that is Colombian food. Here's a round up of the nation's best and most popular dishes.


Ajíaco is a comforting and hearty soup made of three different types of potatoes, corn, shredded pieces of chicken, seasoned with a special herb called guascas. The soup is popular in the national capital Bogotá, with its pleasantly chilly weather. It is usually served with rice or bread, and is sometimes eaten as a full meal with a side of green salad.


Buñuelos are cheese fritters, and need we say more? It is a local favorite, being fried cheese and all, and is made in most households during the Christmas. Additionally, you'll find variations of this dish in different forms of cheese bread.

Beef Patty

This is a fried patty made from yellow cornmeal, which is stuffed with minced beef. The fillings may vary to include potatoes, chicken, and even cheese. You'll find a lot of roadside vendors selling these, and they provide you with some delectable dips to go with it.


Arepa is a Colombian corn bread, a favored accompaniment to most stews and soups, but is also eaten as is. It comes in various shapes and sizes and are all equally delicious. You'll also find a stuffed version that is savory and a sweet, chocolate-filled one as well.


Ají is a typical Colombian sauce made using tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, vinegar, water, lemon juice and, finally, ají or habanero pepper. It basically omnipresent at most meals in homes and restaurants across the country, paired with grilled meats, empanadas, patacones, arepas, and other dishes.


Aguardiente is a popular liquor made using sugarcanes and aniseed, and has a name which translates to 'burning water'. Enough said, isn't it? This fiery liquor can be found at most celebrations and festivals, and is best enjoyed when shared with family and friends.


Tamales are a breakfast staple in Colombia. For the uninitiated, the banana leaves are stuffed with chicken, pork belly, pork ribs, boiled eggs, carrots, peas, potatoes, and rice, which are then steamed.


Blood sausages can be an acquired taste, but the Colombians make them interesting in form of morcillas. It is stuffed with rice, peas, onion, parsley and other ingredients, a definite step upwards.


Arequipe is the Colombian version of dulce de leche―the slow-cooked, thick, sweetened milk. A decadent delight meant only for those with a serious sweet tooth, you'll find that in this country, the arequipe is eaten with thin wafers called obleas.


'Tinto' is what the Colombians call their coffee, and as proud coffee makers, they do enjoy their daily dose of caffeine. However, the Colombian version, tinto, always comes without the frills―it's plain, black coffee, with a rich aftertaste.
This post has merely touched upon the vast expanse of Colombian cuisine. The best way to acquaint yourself with it, of course, would be to go out and give some of these dishes a try.