Restaurants in Colombia: Harry Sasson

Quick Reviews are short peeks at restaurants around Colombia.

Harry Sasson

One of Colombia’s most beloved chefs, Harry Sasson is an icon in Bogota. He has several restaurants where you can try his international cuisine, but the heartbeat of Harry is at a remodeled 1930’s English-style mansion near one of Bogota’s financial areas.

The spacious driveway, the modern atrium out back, and the interior in the style of a conservative English mansion all make this one of the most luxurious spots to have a meal in Bogota. One of the highlights is the robata grill, a Japanese slow-grilled barbecue.

By the way, Harry came  in at number 43 on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List in 2015 and this year came in at 40..



Coffee Fair in Bogota

Every year the coffee industry in Colombia has a coffee fair that gathers together everyone involved in the coffee industry – coffee growers, exporters and distributors, coffee shop owners and baristas. From around the world coffee importers come looking for the next specialty coffee to take back home with them.

The most exciting moment of the fair is the national barista championships, where the top baristas around the country compete to see who will be the king for the following year.

This year we watched Mauricio Romero, the current national barista champion, presenting before the judges. Although he didn’t win this year’s competition, we are looking forward to drinking his coffee at his cafe, Top 5, which he’ll open November 1.

Mauricio Romero barista Bogota

We were mesmerized by the presentation that Giovanni Largo from Juan Valdez made, a complicated contraption that played with temperatures and defied gravity.

Giovanni Largo barista championship presentation

And this coffee presentation was literally smoking…


This fair is a chance to hobnob with specialty coffee industry giants like Jaime Duque from Catación Publica, Luis Velez from Amor Perfecto, and Manuel Barbosa from Azahar coffee.

Bogota coffee shop owners and managers

And even the littlest participants can join their barista parents.

Colombian Barista and son

A special treat is meeting the coffee farmers. During a break between competitors, this gentleman from Caldas addressed me from across the championship arena. His pride at being a Colombian coffee grower was evident in his words and actions as he took his hat off to a foreign journalist and presented me with a bag of 100% Colombian coffee.

Passionate Colombian coffee farmers

Which I appreciated, as you can see by my grin.

going home with a coffee prize

We all watched, breathless, as the baristas made their presentations, and we cheered them on through high points and low points. At the end of the evening we got the results we were waiting for. The new Barista Champion for 2016: Diego Campos from Amor Perfecto.

Diego Campos Barista Champion 2016



Restaurants in Colombia: El Cielo

Quick Reviews are short peeks at restaurants around Colombia

El Cielo is a restaurant that will knock your socks off. Baby-faced chef Juan Manuel Barrientos’ inventiveness and his experimental tasting menu will challenge your preconceptions about food. In fact, it’s better not to come with any expectations at all – the experience will be different than anything you imagine.

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Restaurants in Colombia: Matiz

Quick Reviews are short peeks at restaurants in Colombia

While Matiz tends to fly under the radar, it’s one of the hidden jewels in Bogota’s dining scene. A refined and understated restaurant set in an ivy-covered restored house near the posh Parque de la 93, Matiz is based on Mediterranean roots. Chefs from around the world have taken their turn at the stove here, and each new chef brings a different air to the restaurant.

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Beyond Tacos and Burritos in Bogota

Trying to find fast Mexican food in Bogota often limits you to tacos and burritos. What about when you want something different that’s not going to break the bank?

¡Chidas! Quesadillas brings you that something different. As the name suggests, this place limits the menu to quesadillas (think – tortillas and cheese). But these come with a bunch of other flavor combinations.

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Restaurants in Colombia: LEO

Quick Reviews are short peeks at restaurants in Colombia

Colombia’s most famous female chef, Leonor Espinosa, brings international attention to regional ingredients like corozo and yacón, snails and fried ants (a Colombian delicacy). Yes, Colombia’s regional cuisines shine at her restaurant, LEO.

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