Cartagena, Columbia is a gastronomic wonderland and I was totally blown away by how good the food was. I was even lucky enough to attend the Sabores Gourmet Event which I will write up in a later piece. I’m going to break down my food experiences by Dinners, Lunches, and for this piece Gelato’s and Coffee.
My first cold treat in Cartagena was at Gelateria Paradiso. I came across it while It was so hot out I thought I was going to melt …I needed something to cool me down and though looking for juice since it was only noon and I had not eaten lunch yet, I figured I’m on vacation, so why not desert first.Gelateria Paradiso has dozens of flavors to choose from, I went Coconut and Salted Caramel. Both were excellent especially the coconut loaded with shredded coconut. Scoops are ok sized but for only $3 for both, a bargain .They have tables and chairs decorated in tropical prints, A/A and Wi-Fi, making this place is an oasis in the heat.
I love Paleta’s and when I heard there was a place in Cartagena there was a shop that made dozens of them I had to find it. La Paletteria’s pops come as water based and cream based fruit and nut flavors. I went with the local fruit Lulo(looks like a small orange and tastes like a combo of Pineapple and Lime) that was amazing both sweet and a little sour/tart. Later in the week I was back for a Mango Biche…another winner.
Another great spot for Gelato is San Lorenzo Gelateria, which happened to be next door to La Paletteria. They too have a great selection of both cream and juice based Gelato and Sorbets…while they had many local exotic treats I went for the Banana Gelato which turned out to be the best Banana Ice Cream I’ve ever had! This is more of a take out spot, though they do have some counter-space with bar-stools.
On Hostel and Bar row on Calle Luna That’s Amore stands brand spanning new and clean on this still gritty street. They have soft serve ice cream(only time I saw it in Cartagena), smoothies and fresh juices…I was thirsty and went with my favorite local fruit Lulo for a tasty fresh juice.
Colombians love their coffee and Serano was my favorite spot for it in Getsemani. It’s located right across from the park outside the wall. It’s a great spot to get a cup of coffee, a smoothie or grab a sandwich. I had a great cup of coffee here.
Juan Valdez Cafe’s are all over Cartagena(Starbucks is the Juan Valdez of the US). I went to the one right by the University to get out of the sun. Coffee is pretty good and they have food as well. More importantly plenty of seating, A/C and Wi-Fi.
Oma is a nice little pop-up kiosk in the brand new Nao Shopping + Fun Center in Bocagrande (It was the Bogata Beer Company that drew me here….more on that in an upcoming blog). I had a very good Cortado here. They have have food if you get hungry and seating for some people watching.
Next up…Lunch in Cartagena…