Bogotá is Colombia’s beating heart, full of culture, history, and charm. Monuments, streets, markets, and mountains aside, Bogotá is known for its fantastic street food movement. Here are the best street food choices.
One of the most popular street food options by far is arepas. A typical breakfast choice, these treats are flatbreads. They are made from ground maize dough or cooked flour, and are somewhat of a cross between an English muffin, a crumpet and a tortilla. Served in almost every Colombian home, and on every street corner in Bogotá, arepas can be enjoyed in various ways. For example they can be complemented by masses of butter and salt or stuffed with a scrambled egg. The type of arepa usually depends on the region, but with Bogotá being the melting pot of the country, you can find every kind there. Have it sweet, or have it salty, arepas are so diverse you could have them all day, every day.
It may sound strange when translated into English, ‘shaved corn’, but this savory treat is a popular street food choice in Colombia. As the name suggests, mazorca desgranada does consist of corn, freshly shaven off the cob, and mixings of your choice, ranging from lettuce, to regional cheese, or even meat. Mazorca desgranada is almost a salad. Much like arepas, it can be diversified almost as much as you like. This means it’s difficult to get bored of it. A relatively healthy street food choice, so long as you don’t opt for all of the toppings – sauce, bacon, crunchy potatoes and all – mazorca desgranada is a great alternative to a typical Western salad.
Empanadas are perhaps the most well known Colombian food. They are available everywhere, including from street vendors. These delicious, usually fried, stuffed pastries come typically with ground beef, but chicken is also a popular option. Empanadas are a popular treat all around Latin America. However, Colombians put their own twist on the classic recipe with a cornmeal base as opposed to a doughy bread like texture. So choose your filling, have your empanada baked or deep fried, and enjoy this traditional treat.
A traditional item, obleas can be found in every major Colombian city, and are a popular sweet treat. Pretty much a giant, thin wafer, obleas can be made even more deliciously sweet and decadent with toppings. Toppings include Colombia’s special caramel, fruit sauces, cream, cheese, or even coconut. If you’re feeling like you really deserve a treat, ask for ‘todo’ (all). But don’t be surprised when this really does mean ‘todo’, caramel plus cheese included. Forget any diet – this desert sandwich is a must-try.
An excellent option for those tourists with a sweet tooth, coco frito, or, fried coconut is something apparently unique to the streets of Bogotá. It is also probably available (albeit at more of a search) in other cities. Simple but sweet, this treat consists of sticks of fried coconut, wrapped in a paper cone and sold to satisfied street customers. Nothing too exotic or gourmet, but worth a try for those adventurous enough to satisfy their sweet craving with foods traditional to Bogotá.